The White House is reviewing its email security policy after an intern "mistakenly" forwarded an email describing a senior Democrat as "doddering" and "senile" to dozens of Hispanic leaders.
According to the Denver Post a White House spokeswoman said that the email, which was also highly critical of the Hispanic members of Congress who voted against the Iraq war resolution, was written by "an activist" and "does not represent" the views of the president.
The message took to task Democratic Hispanic members of the House who voted against the Iraq war resolution, which gave the President the authority to use military force to topple Saddam Hussein.
"If they have a defence for their actions, they should deliver it to the kids in uniform that could one day have their **** shot off to protect these ninnies!" the email said.
The reference to Democratic senator Bob Byrd said: "Even Tom Daschle, Senate leader, committed to President Bush today. He's just waiting for doddering old Bob Byrd, the senile senator from West Virginia, to shut up and sit down so the Senate can vote!"
The email was forwarded by Jennifer Hugo, an intern, who accidentally sent it to dozens of Hispanic leaders across the country. Many were stunned that a White House official would send such a critical message to a group that included many Democrats.
No one knows what possessed Hugo to send the email and the spokesman said it was sent by accident.
However, US security experts said the White House had scored an own goal by not monitoring more closely who had access to potentially embarrassing emails.
The White House has confirmed that its email policies are under review in the wake of the incident.
Peter Williams of analyst firm DataWatch said that office juniors should not have access to that sort of information.
He told the Denver Post: "The intern has sent it to the wrong list on her email software. It is an easy mistake to make.
"But why on earth didn't the activist write and send their own emails? That way there would not be these sorts of errors."
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