Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A dumb maneuver

OK, while it may not be the worst thing ever, it was shockingly stupid.

Last week, Louis Caldera, director of the White House Military Office, approved a mission for the 747 that carries the president to fly around New York City to be photographed for updated file photos. The plane is properly known as "Air Force One" only when the president is aboard; if Obama decided to go for a sightseeing flight in an Air Force-owned Cessna 172, the Air Traffic Controllers would refer to that plane as "Air Force One".

They decided that the mission should be somewhat "secret" for security purposes. New York Police Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne said the department had been alerted to the flight by the federal agency "with directives to local authorities not to disclose information about it."

So, people in lower Manhattan were treated to the spectacle of a low-flying Jumbo jet(!), closely followed by two F-16 fighters(!)

Gee, I wonder how people reacted?

From CNN.Com:
"I was here on 9/11," said iReporter Tom Kruk, who spotted the plane as he was getting coffee Monday morning and snapped a photo. Kruk called the sight of the aircraft low in the sky "unsettling."

Linda Garcia-Rose, a social worker who counsels post-traumatic stress disorder patients in an office just three blocks from where the World Trade Center towers once stood, called the flight an "absolute travesty."

"There was no warning. It looked like the plane was about to come into us," she said. "I'm a therapist, and I actually had a panic attack."

Garcia-Rose, who works with nearly two dozen post-traumatic stress disorder patients ages 15 to 47, said she was inundated with phone calls from patients Monday morning.

"They're traumatized. They're asking 'How could this happen?' They're nervous. Their anxiety levels are high," she said.
President Obama and New York Mayor Bloomberg are reportedly furious about the incident.

Actually, that wasn't a "dumb" maneuver; that's too weak to describe it...more accurately, it was an "assholish" maneuver!


West Haven Bob said...

Maybe they thought no one would notice....

CT Bob said...

I think it was more a case of under-estimating the reaction. My guess is they thought the security concerns (I dunno, maybe some terrists can get to test their new hi-tech targeting system on the plane if they knew when it was gonna fly by?) outweighed any public outcry.

Obviously, they were wrong. But it was just plain dumb to choose NYC in any case. How about fly it over the Capitol Building and the Washington Monument instead if they wanted some nice photos?

Anonymous said...

If it were the last administration the more fitting word would be. ARROGANCE. JC Sr

CT Bob said...

Yeah, Dick Cheney probably would have ordered the plane to buzz the entire island a few times, just to rattle them damn lib'rals!

matthew.from.san.francisco said...

I think in this day and age of CGI (or PhotoShop for those on an even bigger budget), this 'photo op' was beyond unnecessary...

Charles said...

Bob, if this news item is correct, the Feds knew the flyover would cause panic. I'd like to think they just didn't care, the alternate explanation would require a tinfoil hat.

FAA Memo: Feds Knew NYC Flyover Would Cause Panic


Charles said...

An explanation for the flyover that actually makes sense - George Lucas needed film footage!