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Official who OK'd Air Force One jet flyover resigns

Posted by on May. 8, 2009 at 5:08 PM
  • 6 Replies

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Obama has accepted the resignation of Louis Caldera, the director of the White House Military Office responsible for the controversial low-altitude flyover of New York by a 747 plane used as Air Force One, the White House said Friday.

The photo shoot, which President Obama said he was "furious" with, happened on April 27. The image of a low-flying plane accompanied by an F-16 fighter jet sent some New Yorkers into the streets and into a panic -- reminding them of the tragic 9/11 attacks on the city.

Building evacuations also took place across the Hudson River in Jersey City, New Jersey. Read more of Obama's reaction

Caldera later apologized for the flyover.

The White House also released a photo of the flyover and a report on the incident on Friday.

In the report, the White House said Caldera, who had been traveling with President Obama when the flyover plans were initially discussed, did not remember a conversation in which his deputy, George Mulligan, informed him of the flyover.

Caldera did not open an e-mail about final plans for the flyover until after it had happened, the report said, noting Caldera had been suffering from severe muscle spasms and had left the officer early on several days.

Although recommendations by several parties involved in the flyover had been made that White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina be informed of the plans, the report said, that job was left to Caldera, who did not pass the information along.

The flyover, officials said, was a training mission -- it was also a government-sanctioned photo shoot.

Military officials estimate the mission and the photo shoot, aimed at updating file photos of Air Force One -- cost $328,835 in taxpayer money.

But they said "the hours would have been flown regardless, and the expenses would have been accrued on a different mission."

Witnesses reported seeing the plane circle over the Upper New York Bay near the Statue of Liberty before flying up the Hudson River. Video Watch the plane fly over Manhattan »

A YouTube video showed people standing in a parking lot, watching the plane approach. As it nears, they begin to run. "Run, run!" said one person. "Oh my God," cried another.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg was visibly angry last week. "I'm annoyed -- furious is a better word -- that I wasn't told," he said, adding that the decision by the White House Military Office and Federal Aviation Administration to withhold details about the flight were "ridiculous" and "poor judgment."

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But according to Air Force Capt. Anna Carpenter, local law enforcement agencies and the FAA had been notified of the exercise.

New York Police Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne confirmed that department had been alerted about the flight "with directives to local authorities not to disclose information about it."

by on May. 8, 2009 at 5:08 PM
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Replies (1-6):
sweetie00
by on May. 8, 2009 at 5:11 PM

Well someone had to go. It was a dumb thing to do. Too bad Caldera lost his job, though. Hope he learns from it and finds another one soon.

tericared
by on May. 8, 2009 at 5:16 PM


Quoting sweetie00:

Well someone had to go. It was a dumb thing to do. Too bad Caldera lost his job, though. Hope he learns from it and finds another one soon.


 Not directed at you sweetie00 just wondering in general and I quoted you because I happen to agree with you...

Why wasnt this guy let go instead?  Mulligan,   

Palestinian People are defending themselves and their Land and their Homes against Israeli war crimes and Israeli war criminals, both military and civilian.

sweetie00
by on May. 8, 2009 at 5:19 PM


Quoting tericared:

 

Quoting sweetie00:

Well someone had to go. It was a dumb thing to do. Too bad Caldera lost his job, though. Hope he learns from it and finds another one soon.


 Not directed at you sweetie00 just wondering in general and I quoted you because I happen to agree with you...

Why wasnt this guy let go instead?  Mulligan,   

He was probably given a choice. Resigning looks better on a resume! Obama prob gave him a `choice`LOL

stormcris
by Christy on May. 8, 2009 at 5:20 PM

Nice scape goat...one person does not decide the itenarary 

sweetie00
by on May. 8, 2009 at 5:23 PM


Quoting stormcris:

Nice scape goat...one person does not decide the itenarary 


I'm guessing they felt alot of pressure to do this. It is sad, IMO.

sweetie00
by on May. 11, 2009 at 7:12 PM

Did anyone get sacked for failing to protect us on 9/11?????

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