Air Force One photo op panics NYC - finger-pointing begins
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"In coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Presidential Airlift Group conducted a aerial photo mission in the New York City area on 27 Apr 2009. This mission, involving the VC-25 and an F-16, was conducted in conjunction with normally scheduled continuation training for assigned aircrew members. This mission was coordinated for the Upper New York Bay, south of the Holland Tunnel and in the Newark Bay north of the Staten Island Expressway between the hours of 1000L and 1030L."Skip to next paragraph
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"Information in this document shall not be released to the public or media," the memo instructed. "Public affairs posture for this effort is passive."
And, not for nothing, the City sent out a statement after the event informing the media that the photo op was "part of an approved federal activity."
Although part of the City was aware of it, the guy in charge was apparently kept in the dark. Mayor Bloomberg said he was "furious" that he wasn't told about it.
"Why the Defense department wanted to do a photo op right around the World Trade Center catastrophe defies imagination," he said.
New York Senator Chuck Shumer agreed. "This was a photo shoot. There was no need for surprise. There was no need to scare thousands of New Yorkers who still have the vivid memory of 9/11," he said.
The president's Press Secretary seemed to be taken off-guard when asked about the incident at his press briefing. Stammering through a response where he told reporters to call the FAA, Air Force, or the White House Military Office, MSNBC's Chuck Todd told him it was "odd that he didn't have a response as it was the president's aircraft."
"You might be surprised to know that I don't know every movement of Air Force One, but I will ask..."
If you think New Yorkers are upset about it, you'd be correct. Look at some of the reaction on Twitter...
RositaCortez isn't happy: This is not funny: We still remember 911 & this is not acceptable.
Jonsamsel wants some accountability. Air Force One Photo Opp Triggers Panic in Manhattan - Seem Terribly Irresponsible - Who Made This Stupid Decision?
Kevindepew asks: DoD surprised that two F-16s chasing Air Force One around Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan might startle us?
citycynic wonders: So why does Air Force One need to do a photoshoot anyway?
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