May 7th, 2009
Despite earning the fury of President Obama, Mayor Bloomberg and the citizenry of New York, the White House plans to release a photo from the Air Force One flyover that took place last week. The photo op took place after White House Military Office Director Louis Caldera authorized a misson to fly Air Force One (a Boeing 747) and two accompanying fighter jets over lower Manhattan in order to update the file photo of Air Force One.
As if flying a 747 at low altitude over Manhattan wasn’t a bad enough idea already, the Military Office took it that extra mile by not informing Mayor Bloomberg or the citizens of New York of their plan.
It’s been reported that the photo op cost the taxpayers $328,835, although Air Force officials stated that “the hours would have been flown regardless, and the expenses would have been accrued on a different mission.”
The excuse as to the expenditure seems to raise more questions than it answers, most notably whether Air Force one is like a horse that has to be ridden to keep it happy and in shape.
In any case, since the photo apparently cost the taxpayers over $300K perhaps it’s only fitting that the White House will release it for our enjoyment. Although, given the amount of coverage of the incident, we’re not exactly lacking for photos or video.
The biggest question of all, of course, is why the White House Military Office didn’t look into a $100 program called Photoshop. Not only can it prevent widespread panic in the streets of New York from a secretive and ill-advised low-altitude flyover, it also saves on gas. And that’s just good for the environment.
Wear it wisely, sir.