BANGKOK, Thailand -- After receiving loud and embarrassing complaints,
the U.S. Embassy has tried to defuse its diplomatic blunder by
publicly apologizing a second time for officially identifying a
prominent Thai as an enemy of one of Thailand's most popular former
prime ministers.

"To err is human! I delivered a properly addressed invite to Dr.
Pramote, apologized for our mistake. #HumblePie," tweeted U.S. Embassy
Charge d'Affaires W. Patrick Murphy on June 23.

The American diplomat also posted a photograph of himself -- dressed
in a dark blue suit with a tiny pin displaying a U.S. flag and a Thai
flag -- handing a white envelope to an unsmiling, gray-haired Pramote
Nakornthab, who is a former Thammasat University professor.

Mr. Murphy was trying to fix his gaffe which appeared during the
weekend when the Embassy mailed an invitation card to Dr. Pramote and
addressed the envelope:  "Dr. Pramote Nakornthab, Anti-Thaksin

Former Prime Minister Thaksin is one of Thailand's most popular and
divisive leaders.

Mr. Pramote and Mr. Thaksin are known to be enemies.

When Mr. Pramote received the Embassy's starkly labeled invitation in
the mail during the weekend, he photographed the envelope and posted
it on his Facebook page.

He also displayed the embossed invitation to "celebrate the 239th
anniversary" of America's July 4th independence at a five-star hotel
reception in Bangkok, scheduled two days beforehand on July 2.

The invitation card was issued under Mr. Murphy's name and included
the email address:

"Thank you. SORRY. Cannot accept invitation due to mis-identification.
It should be Pro-Monarchy, Pro-Democracy, and Pro-American," an
outraged Mr. Pramote wrote on Facebook.

He satirized the invitation's return address on the envelope and
labeled it:  "Pro-Thaksin American Embassy".

Mr. Thaksin was overthrown in a 2006 coup by the U.S.-trained military
three years after U.S. President George W. Bush had visited Bangkok,
praised him, and designed Thailand as a Major Non-NATO Ally.

In 2014, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, who participated in the 2006 putsch,
also toppled Mr. Thaksin's sister, former Prime Minister Yingluck

Mrs. Yingluck represented her brother and their allies in a team which
repeatedly proved unbeatable in national elections.

Today, Gen. Prayuth rules this Southeast Asian nation with absolute
powers and official immunity from prosecution, atop a repressive
military junta.

Mr. Pramote's Facebook display of the diplomatic blunder unleashed an
outcry among Thais and foreigners who plastered online social media
with complaints, insults, arguments and even a threat to beat-up a
French editorial cartoonist who mocked the feud.

"Was the error in categorizing him or was it showing that he was
categorized?" tweeted "pchansue" on Mr. Murphy's Twitter page, after
his apology.

"To keep a political blacklist is to be an insidious snake and a
breach of diplomatic protocol," "Anon_TEA03" also tweeted on Mr.
Murphy's page.

"Anon_TEA03" earlier described Mr. Thaksin as "a mass-murdering
billionaire" who led "his mobs of Red Shirts" during the past several
years of street clashes after the 2006 coup.

"Creepy list of political enemies emerges in U.S. embassy," tweeted

American diplomats appeared flat-footed in their initial response to
Mr. Pramote's outrage after he posted the envelope online.

"The U.S. Embassy regrets that, due to an administrative oversight, an
invitation to our Independence Day reception was inaccurately
addressed to an invited guest. We have apologized for the error," the
mission's first apology on June 21 stated.

But when U.S. diplomats awoke on June 23 morning, they saw their
mistake in the country's biggest English-language newspaper, the
Bangkok Post, headlined: "Pramote hits out at U.S. embassy over

"U.S. diplomacy is below international standards," Mr. Pramote was
quoted as saying.

"I know the U.S. because I spent a lot of time in that country and my
children were also born there," Mr. Pramote said.

"I cannot believe the U.S. Embassy was so foolhardy as to do such a
thing," a former Thai diplomat, Surapong Chaiyanam, reportedly said.

By then, Internet was peppered with countless posts citing the
Embassy's handling of the invitation.

Hours later on June 23, Mr. Murphy's apologetic tweet appeared,
sparking a fresh round of commentary.

Meanwhile, French Bangkok-based editorial cartoonist Stephane Peray,
whose pen name is "Stephff," drew a picture of himself receiving an
American Embassy invitation addressed to:

"Mr. Stephff. Fascist, insensitive, sexist, racist, low-skilled, crude
misogynistic, blatantly biased & pro-dictatorship cartoonist."

The return address on the cartoon envelope appeared as:

"American Embassy. Pro-civil war in Thailand, pro-New World Order,
pro-Anglo-Saxon capitalism, pro-oil, anti-environment, pro-warmonging
in the Middle East, pro-autocratic regimes if they accept to play our
dirty games, etc."

Stephff's cartoon almost resulted in a fist fight.

"I'd love to meet you man to man and settle there, but being French
I'm sure you wouldn't show up," tweeted "Marcus Aurelius" condemning
the cartoonist.

A 1974 cable from the American Embassy in Bangkok -- to the U.S. State
Department, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Command and other
officials -- described Mr. Pramote as "a professor of political
science at Thammasat University and a political activist.

"He was appointed to the Constitution Drafting Committee following the
change of government in October 1973.  He studied at Cornell
University," said the "confidential" cable which was "declassified" in
2005 and later published by the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

In October 1973, student-led protests overthrew a military
dictatorship which was headed by Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn.