So just in case you haven’t heard by now, yesterday, one of the planes that serves the President did a little flyover of Manhattan and the Hudson River, including Ellis Island. This plane is a Boeing 747 and from the ground looks like any other large commercial airplane. All of that might be OK except that this plane is flying at just over a few hundred FEET! It looks a lot like this:
Oh yeah, and it was being chased by an F-16 fighter jet! As I watched that video, I was struck by the palpable fear that I could hear in the screams of panic from ordinary New Yorkers out enjoying the first days of Spring. It wasn’t enough that New York, up to that point, was the only city in the US who had confirmed cases of swine flu. Now they have to deal with being buzzed by Obama. It was eerily similar to those frightening images from you know when.
This leaves us with many questions. Who’s idea was this? Why weren’t we notified ahead of time? Why fly so low? Of course, since the Obama administration has promised a new level of transparancy, I’m sure we’ll get all the answers we need. So let’s hear what Obama’s press secretary said to reporters when he was asked about this yesterday:
I’m sorry. Did I just hear the President’s mouthpiece say that he didn’t know?!? How in the world could the White House not know that one of the President’s planes was buzzing Manhattan?!?
Well, as the day progressed, we got an official response that this was a photo-op so the White House could have new photos of Air Force One with Lady Liberty. Because the old photos are so out of date, right? I mean what with the Statue of Liberty not having moved in around 120 years, and Air Force One getting retrofitted like the Soul Plane
All right, I’m making fun of a very serious subject because that’s how I deal with things, with humor. Let me be serious now. This event is an absolute outrage. But not nearly as outrageous as the disrespect we have received from those who are supposed to be protecting us. The idea that this was some sort of photo-op is an outrageous lie. It’s the kind of thing you say to someone when you want them to stop asking questions. The same pictures could be obtained by shooting Air Force One anywhere else in the world and then Photoshopped with the Statue or Manhattan in the same shot. No panic, no $300,000 price tag. Not only is Gibbs’ response disrespectful, it’s dismissive. I have not yet been able to find video of Obama’s response, but it is no less disrespectful. Fox News characterized him as being furious but what I saw was a man with a slight smile on his face reciting words that he seemed put out to HAVE to say. If you want to see furious, take a look at Mayor Bloomberg in this report for the AP:
I have many disagreements with Sen. Schumer and Mayor Bloomberg, but they are dead on here. What I find interesting is the tenor of the report though. Listen to how this is described, words like, “confusion,” “poor judgment,” and “boneheaded.” What we have to remember (I know I’ve said this before but I have to keep reminding myself, so I know I have to remind you too) is that nothing the Obama White House is doing is “boneheaded.” They are doing exactly what they want to do and everyone else be damned! Well we now know that this wasn’t a mistake. This was INTENTIONAL! WCBS in New York has obtained the memo warning the NYPD, the Secret Service and the FBI that the flight was going to take place. In the memo, the Federal Aviation Administration’s James Johnston said the agency was aware of “the possibility of public concern regarding DOD (Department of Defense) aircraft flying at low altitudes” in and around Manhattan. AWARE?!? CONCERN?!? GIVE ME A BREAK!! There was all out panic! People evacuated buildings, ran screaming through the streets!
I remember a couple of years ago when they were shooting a scene for “I Am Legend” with Will Smith. I live in Connecticut but listen to New York radio stations. There were constant news stories in advance of the shooting of this scene because it was going to involve a hoard of emergency vehicles down on the west side of Manhattan. One of my friends has some photos of that night. That was a MOVIE!! For some reason, the FAA didn’t want this to get out. This was a premeditated event which NYPD was informed about and they were “THREATENED” by the FAA not to release the information or federal sanctions would be taken against them. This according to the memo.
Excuse me but I really hope the federal government is not theatening our cities over a photo-op. I hope it was some super-secret exercise designed to save us from a potential terror attack. I’ve been to ground zero and I’ve seen the hole in the ground and I can only imagine the horror felt by the people who live there. Although this was clearly not punctuated by tragedy as was 9-11, how can we say it is not a terror attack if it elicits the same terror!