Monday, April 27, 2009

Air Force One Photo Op Gone Wrong

This is not rocket science or brain surgery. After 9/11, I think it is safe to say that you should not stage a photo op of a jumbo jet flying at low altitudes across the Manhattan skyline. The fact that the airliner happens to be one of the planes that carries the president, also known as Air Force One only when he is on board, makes this a double no-no. The low-flying presidential aircraft is said to have caused near panic in the city which saw two of them crash into the World Trade Center towers that September morning in 2001.

The photo op was staged by the Defense Department which was trying to update its file photos. For his part, President Obama was said to be "furious" about the incident. The director of the White House Military Office, Louis Caldera, took the blame: "Last week, I approved a mission over New York. I take responsibility for that decision. While federal authorities took the proper steps to notify state and local authorities in New York and New Jersey, it's clear that the mission created confusion and disruption."

It is amazing that no one in the White House or DOD thought this might be a bit traumatic for the residents of New York City and put the brakes on the operation. Oh, and it's not as if the plane changed it's colors or design after January 20. Same old plane. I'm pretty sure the old pictures were good enough. Besides the sheer stupidity of the event, I wonder how much this escapade cost taxpayers...

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