Air Farce One

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 Venus One Heavy is

escorted by "red tail" F-16

as New Yorkers

duck for cover









  Items on this page are in chronological order or order of discovery.



Obama Is Just Plane Stupid Monday, April 27th, 2009 -- a perfect storm of idiocy led to a frightening 9/11 flashback for thousands of New Yorkers Monday when a jumbo jet and two F-16 fighter jets buzzed lower Manhattan without warning.  (video -- flyby) (video -- panic) (video -- Ground Zero)


A "furious" Mayor Bloomberg denounced the dunces who dreamed up the stunt.

Bloomberg said, "Why the Defense Department wanted to do a photo-op right around the site of the World Trade Center catastrophe defies imagination.  Poor judgment would be a nice ways to phrase it, but they did.  I also think that once they had told us, we should have done a better job.  Had I known about it, I would have called them right away and asked them not to.  It is the federal government and they can do in the end what they please, but I would have tried to stop it.  I don’t know there’s a lot else to say other than they shouldn’t have done it."

An Obama administration official said the mission was classified "Top Secret."  "The mission was to send [the aircraft] up to get a picture of it flying around the Statue of Liberty."

By day's end, an obscure City Hall deputy named Marc Mugnos, took the hit in New York City and Louis Caldera, the director of the White House Military Office, was identified as the White House's scapegoats for the stunt.

The planes appeared on the horizon around 10 a.m. and sent a chill through the city.  Flying in as low as 500 feet above New York City, they circled the Statue of Liberty before flying over Manhattan, Staten Island and New Jersey.  Before they vanished, hundreds of frightened people had jammed emergency phone lines, and thousands of terrified people evacuated from buildings in the city and across the river in New Jersey.

At certain points, the blue-and-white Boeing, with the United States of America emblazoned on its side, flew as low as 500ft.

"People came pouring out of the buildings, the American Express Building, all the buildings in the financial district by the water," said Edward Acker, a photographer who was at the building, 3 World Financial Center.  "And even the construction guys over by 100 North End Avenue area, they all got out of their buildings.  Nobody knew about it.  Finally some guy showed up with a little megaphone to tell everyone it was a test, but the people were not happy.  The people who were here 9/11 were not happy."

Mr. Acker added: "New York City police were standing right there and they had no knowledge of it.  The evacuations were spontaneous.  Guys from the floor came out, and one guy I talked to was just shaking."

"I was crying and praying to God to forgive me my sins because I thought I was going to get killed," said Kathleen Filandro, who fled from One New York Plaza when she spotted the planes.

"It's like someone coming up to you, sticking a gun to your head for 15 seconds, walking away and hearing 20 minutes later it was an undercover cop posing for a photo," said Wall Street worker Bill Privett.  "I am still shaking," he said.

A "Top Secret" photo opportunity using Air Force One and an F-16.  This is a laugh riot.  Obama has no hesitation unclassifying and releasing the nation's "Top Secret" documents, to the benefit of our enemies during wartime, but keeps secret a photo op for the purpose of making souvenir tie-clasps.  Obama proves he is a genius with this stunt -- a first-class commander-in-chief.

One observer suggested that Obama might want to do a photo op with a Ryder rental truck in Oklahoma City next.

And who takes the hit?  Some guy nobody has ever heard of.  If you believe approval for this idiocy was made by a low-level bureaucrat, I have a bridge to sell you.  I'll bet it takes twenty-six pounds of documents to get clearance for Air Force One -- just think about it -- the White House,  the Pentagon, the Air Force, Andrews Air Force Base, the flight crew, the ground crew, the tactical fighter support, the Secret Service, the FAA, etc, etc, etc. -- when asked about the stunt,  Obama's Press Secretary lied and said, "I did not see that before I came out here." -- The AP's Jennifer Loven shot back, "Well, it's been in all the stories all day."

I wonder what the auto CEOs who got their asses chewed out by Obama for using their private jets to fly to Washington think of this stunt -- and then, there's the cost in dollars and cost to the environment.  For souvenirs, the cost was enormous.  It
costs $60,000 per hour to operate Air Force One, plus the operating costs for an F-16 escort -- we're looking at a quarter-of-a-million dollars, and up -- for a photo! -- Bloomberg reports that the total cost to the taxpayer was $328,835.

Wouldn't PhotoShop have been cheaper?  It's not like Obama isn't familiar with the popular graphics editing program.



The Cover Story In an interview by Fox News' Greta Van Susteren, Sam Youngman, White House correspondent for The Hill, pushed the cover story that Louis Caldera was responsible for the overflight:

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, but I mean, it's so profoundly stupid!  Who was the idiot?

YOUNGMAN: Well, the gentleman's name is Louis Caldera, is what the White House is telling us.  He issued an apology yesterday, and we get the sense today that heads are going to roll after a very brief internal review.

Once again, it's important to understand that Caldera's role was bureaucratic. He was not the initiator of the stunt.

The question remains, who REQUESTED the mission -- not who APPROVED it.  That's the person responsible, and it wasn't Caldera.



I Know Nothing Initially, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs appeared taken aback when reporters peppered him with questions about the incident.

"I have no information beyond what I saw" on news reports, Gibbs said at his afternoon press conference.

Later, Gibbs said the flyover was "two training missions that became in the end a picture mission" and only Air Force personnel were aboard.

Obama has directed Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina to review "how the decision was made to conduct the flight," Gibbs said at the daily White House briefing.

Gibbs said the White House review of the incident probably wouldn’t take more than a couple of weeks. "And the president will look at that review and take any appropriate steps after that."



FAA Foresaw Flyover Panic Federal officials knew that sending two fighter jets and Air Force One to buzz ground zero and Lady Liberty might set off nightmarish fears of a 9/11 replay, but they still ordered the photo-op kept secret from the public.

In a memo obtained by NY's CBS Channel 2, 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 an around New York City.  But they demanded total secrecy from the NYPD, the Secret Service, the FBI and even the mayor's office and threatened federal sanctions if the secret got out.

A cryptic, classified alert -- obtained by The Post yesterday -- written by James Johnston, a high-ranking Federal Aviation Administration official in Washington, predicted the fear and confusion.

"Due to the possibility of public concern regarding DOD [Department of Defense] aircraft flying at low levels, coordination with federal, state and local law-enforcement agencies, emergency-operations centers and aviation units has been accomplished," the e-mail said.



Here are some other descriptions sent in to by witnesses:

David Frank of Jersey City wrote: "I work in 30 Hudson, which is the largest building in NJ and is right on the water facing the Statue of Liberty.  I ran out of the building after a stampede of people began running out of the building as they saw the jumbo jet being followed by two fighter planes veer sharply towards our building and climb right over it.  By the time I got outside, it was coming around for its THIRD pass, and I watched it level off below building height over the water and then once again veer sharply towards the building.  Several hundred of us began to run away fearing for our lives before it climbed steeply and flew over our building.  Whoever thought that this 'photo op' was a good idea should be removed from command...why couldn't this simply be done with Photo Shop?  Hollywood can create an entire armageddon on film but the US military can't photo shop a plane by the Statue of Liberty?"

Patrick Kennell of NYC wrote: "We saw a low-flying 747 buzz the Southwest edge of Manhattan, at Battery Park City, with a fighter jet appearing to chase it on its left wing.  At about Rector Street or so, it took a hard left and looked to be headed straight for Jersey City.  It flew over J.C., turned south, and continued to climb over Newark.  It left our sight, only to return on the same path a second time about five minutes later.  It was confusing and panicked the office.  We dialed 9-1-1 and considered whether to evacuate.  We were told by 9-1-1 that it was 'authorized' to be there.  We later learned, from your website, that it was part of a DOD 'photo op.'  NotifyNYC advises it was 'part of an approved federal activity.'  To conduct a 'photo op,' unwarned in advance to Lower Manhattan residents and workers, in that manner was completely irresponsible."

Nancy in Lower Manhattan wrote: "Our building, One New York Plaza, was evacuated, as were most of the high rises in this area.  How could the US MILITARY think that NYers wouldn't be alarmed by low-flying jets?  Why was the city not notified beforehand?"
Nancy, it wasn't the military -- they military knows better --  it was the Obamamessiah.

Amy in Jersey City wrote: "I work in the 30 Hudson building in Jersey City, on the side that faces the Statue of Liberty.  Our group is on one of the top floors and needless to say we probably had some of the best views of this incident.  We were conducting work as normal when all of a sudden we see this huge commercial plane coming at us.  People were ducking and on the floor because it came so close.  The plane flew right over us and couldn't have missed the building by more than 100 feet.  Then we heard people scream it was coming back.  The plane literally looked like it was going to barrel into our building coming straight at us until it turned upwards at the last minute.  I can't believe I saw the underbelly of a plane fly over me.  When it started coming back a 3rd time, we ran for the stairs.  It's safe to say we are pretty angry about having to evacuate and go down 30+ flights of stairs for a 'photo shoot.'  What a start to the week."

"Everybody panicked," said Daisy Cooper, a Merrill Lynch worker in Jersey City, who lost a nephew on 9/11.  "Everybody was screaming and we all ran downstairs.  I’m devastated.  Everybody was running, we didn’t know why we were running.  We just knew it was a plane, there we go, 9/11 again."



Terror One wag asked, "If this 'plane stunt' created terror in New York City, does that qualify the Obama administration as terrorists?



Recording of the conversations between New York approach controllers and pilots of the presidential VC-25 (Boeing 747-200) that performed what can best be described as an airshow routine over Lower Manhattan.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Control (TRACON) was using the call sign "Venus One Heavy" to identify the backup Air Force One during the Manhattan overflight.

Here is a link to a transcript of the TRACON/Venus One communications.



Who Sent Venus
The first civilian to ever occupy the White House Military Office was identified as the White House's scapegoat for the stunt.  This poor chap "approved" the request for the flight and was promptly thrown under the bus, just like grandmother Dunham, Rev. Wright and an endless list of others who have transgressed the anointed One.

However, approving the flight is the final bureaucratic task in a long, well documented process.  The first of many questions that need to be asked is "who requested the flight?"  It is the "requested by" block on the "Flight Mission Request" document that needs to be seen by the American People.

A hint to the identity of the unknown "requestor" may be found in the White House's cover story.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Federal Aviation Administration sent an email to New York City Hall that described a "flying photo op" -- government-speak for a publicity photo -- to include two or possibly three passes over the area.  The email, sent by an FAA official and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, lists flight patterns and specifies a photo-op altitude of 1,000 to 1,500 feet.

The email specifies that the information "only be shared with persons with a need to know" and "shall not be released to the public."  It also says that, "Due to the possibility of public concern regarding [Department of Defense] aircraft flying at low levels, coordination with Federal, State and Local law enforcement agencies...has been accomplished."

The email's author, James J. Johnston, of FAA air traffic, declined to comment.

An Obama administration official said the mission was "classified" by the military and that the FAA, which controls much of the airspace over Manhattan, did what the military asked.  "The mission was to send [the aircraft] up to get a picture of it flying around the Statue of Liberty," this person said.  "They said they needed to update their photo files."

OK!  Who is the person in charge of the White House publicity, and who has enough "juice" to schedule an Air Force One flight?

Well, I like David Axelrod, Senior Advisor to Obama.  Prior to that, he served as Senior Advisor to the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition and Senior Strategist to Barack Obama's campaign for the presidency.

Why do I like Axelrod?

He is a communications specialist.  Since 1988, Axelrod has been Senior Partner at the consulting firm AKP&D Message and Media, based in Chicago.  In that capacity, he managed media strategy and communications for more than 150 local, state, and national campaigns, with a focus on progressive candidates and causes.

Axelrod is the publicity guy -- the media guy -- the guy in charge of "photo ops."  And, he's definitely got the "juice."

I put the odds on Axelrod's name in the "Requested by:" block on the Flight Mission Request form at better than 90%.



Obama and his Democratic cronies have made it abundantly clear in the last few weeks that they don't give a hoot for state secrets.

Regardless of the damage to the country, they'll declassify even the most sensitive national security secrets if it supports their political agendas.

So, one must ask, "why was this flight classified as 'Top Secret'"?

It certainly wasn't a military secret.  It certainly wasn't a national security secret.  It most definitely was a political secret.

If I remember correctly, something is classified as Confidential, Secret or Top Secret by the local, responsible commander.  The local, responsible commander in the White House is, yup, the usurper-in-chief, Barack Hussein Obama.



What is the rational behind making a publicity flight Top Secret?

What kind of secret would it be to have a 747, escorted by F-16s, making simulated bombing runs on America's most densely populated city.  Hell, it would be all over TV in minutes.  Why would such a stunt be classified?

Why, to bury the flight and passenger manifests, of course.

The American People need to pressure the White House to reveal who was on that aircraft, and it's real mission.

Was the plane full of high level foreign and domestic Obama campaign contributors?  Was it full of Hollywood celebrities?  Inquiring minds want to know.



Callsigns It appears that this probably wasn't a "VIP Flight."

When the VC-25 is carrying the President, its callsign -- as we all know -- is Air Force One.

When the VC-25 is carrying VIPs (Cabinet officers, senators and the like) its callsign is SAM [for Special Air Mission] 28000 and SAM 29000, depending on the tail code of the aircraft being flown.

When they are carrying relatives of VIPs, the callsign will be Executive [tail code].  And finally, when they are just doing the day-to-day proficiency and currency flights, the front-office callsign will be Venus 1 (for aircraft 28000) and Venus 2 (for aircraft 29000).

Venus, incidentally, is the "house" callsign for 89th Airlift Wing.

Plenty of other aircraft types also use that callsign: the C-20s use Venus 2x, the C-37As use Venus 4x, the (now retired) C-9A used Venus 8x, and the C-32As use Venus 9x.

Finally, because the VC-25's gross take-off weight is over 255,000 lbs, they will have the "Heavy" suffix appended to the callsigns.  And because the front office that day was using "Venus 1" (as opposed to "SAM 28000"), we can assume there were no VIPs or relatives of VIPs aboard.

Now that we know this, I assume the Air Force will change these designations.



Here is a more plausible scenario.   The fly-by over Manhattan was to aid in the production of the film, "Red Tails," about the Tuskegee Airman?



According to the Air Force, the F-16 painted with the distinctive red tail of the 187th Fighter Group of the Alabama Air National Guard was provided by the Alabama Air National Guard, on loan to the Washington DC Air National Guard.

In a May 5 letter to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., released by McCain's office today, Secretary Gates wrote that he is "concerned that this highly public and visible mission did not include an appropriate public affairs plan nor adequate review and approval" by senior Air Force and Department of Defense officials.

Gates also asserted that he was "concerned about the use of an Air National Guard aircraft operating in Title 32 status as a participant in this event."

Title 32 is the status under which National Guard units are activated by their state governor.  Under Title 10 the President can federalize national guard units.

Presumably, Gates would rather have had an active duty U.S. Air Force aircraft and pilot to be flying the F-16, not a plane and pilot from the Air National Guard.  

This raises an interesting theory about yesterdays fly-by of Manhattan.  Were they were putting together some footage which would be useful to George Lucas' upcoming film about the Tuskegee Airmen of WWII, known as the "Red Tails."

Well, this will never be admitted.  It would be part of some epilogue saluting the proud legacy of the WWII heroes to have a Red Tail escorting Air Force One?  On the other hand, some cinematic post script linking the current office holder with the men who blazed his trail would not exactly be unheard of as a Hollywood ending.  Manhattan has got to be more visually interesting that the backwoods of Alabama.  (Apparently there was also a similar strafing scheduled for Washington DC which has since been scrapped.)

Not so far fetched if one considers George Lucas' contributions to Obama ($33,100) on July 25th, 2008.



The Filming Of
Red Tails
This is a great video.  It shows the three aircraft orbiting over the Statue of Liberty during the Air Farce One incident.  (The money shot is near the end)

The "Red Tail F-16" is clearly a prop.

If the George Lucas' film "Red Tails" has, as is likely, a 3D IMAX version, and this sequence were to be used as an epilogue, the camera plane would likely have an external camera mount to attach an IMAX camera.  Publicity stills would have been photographed by an air combat photographer during the flight.

According to this Wall Street Journal article, the camera plane was also an F-16, with a combat photographer on board.  While the F-16s were flown by guard pilots, the photographs were taken by Master Sgt. Andrew N. Dunaway, a specially trained Air Force photographer based with a combat camera squadron at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C.

Could that "special training" have been in the operation of an IMAX camera?

Check out Dunaway's work.  This guy is definitely a "pro from Dover."

And here is a photo of Lucas, lady-friend Mellody Hobson, Michelle Obama, "Red Tails" cast-member Sidney Poitier, Barack Obama, and Ford Theater's Paul Tetreault.  George Lucas contributed $33,100 to the Obama Victory Fund, an additional $28,500 to the DNC Services Corp (D), and another $4,600 to Obama, Barack (D) -- that's a total of $66,200.  Just friends helping friends, no doubt.

Lucas was quoted as saying, "We have a hero in the making back in the United States today because we have a new candidate for president of the United States, Barack Obama," when asked who his childhood heroes were.

Obama, "for all of us that have dreams and hope, is a hero," Lucas said.

Just another coincidence -- an old name and a famous paint scheme is returning to the skies above central Alabama.  The commanding general of the Air Force is reactivating the 100th Fighter Squadron as part of Montgomery's 187th Air National Guard Wing.

Tip of the hat to FReeper Plutarch



Rahmbo Investigates This morning, at least one news organization and one citizen advocacy group was mulling filing a Freedom of Information Act request seeking the release of the manifest for the Air Force One New York flyover to determine if any Obama donors or other interested parties were on board the flight.

According to White House sources, Rahm Emanuel's office has launched an "investigation" into the use of Air Force One for publicity purposes and a low flyover.  The investigation's instigation began in the White House Counsel's Office, run by Gregory Craig.

The White House is already on record as saying that only Air Force personnel were on Air Force One.  Yesterday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters: "I'm told that -- keep in mind this was a -- this was two training missions that, in the end, became a picture mission, which the President having quite clearly called today a mistake and one that he will ensure doesn't happen again.  Because this was a training mission, the only people on that plane were Air Force personnel."

But there are suspicions there is more to it.  "This is a bigger deal than the White House is letting on, and there are some nervous people there, and I'm not clear why," says the former transition team member.  "If I were still advising them, I'd say live up to the transparency pledge and release all the documents.  But from the get-go, this was a top secret operation, which raises a whole bunch of red flags."



From Someone Who Knows An Air Force officer who served in the Clinton White House and for two years carried the "nuclear football" briefcase of codes says it's almost certain that the "highest levels" of the Obama administration knew about and approved this week's stunt in which Air Force One buzzed New York City.

Retired Lt. Col. Buzz Patterson served in Clinton's White House from 1996 to 1998 and was responsible for the president's "emergency satchel," the black bag of nuclear codes that accompanies the president at all times.

During an interview on "The Andrea Shea King Show" last night, he said, "I can't imagine that anyone who works in the Air Force thought that was a good idea.  I have worked in the White House and having worked for the Military Office, with the guys at Andrews Air Force Base and the ground crews, that (decision) had to come down from on high."

Among the procedures with which he became familiar during his work with Clinton were those involving the preparation of the president's 747 jet for flight.

"It defies my belief that the White House staff did not know they were launching the 747 to go up and do this.  So it had to come down from the White House.  It wouldn't have been done on behalf of the folks at Andrews (Air Force Base).  It would have been done at the direction of the White House," he said.

Patterson said the low-flying escapade over Manhattan clearly was not an oversight.

"The White House Military Office director is the Obama appointee -- Caldera in this particular situation.  So, he got the notification, he got the direction from somebody -– I'm guessing Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff would probably be the person behind this."

Does that mean the president also knew?

"I'm guessing he probably did.  Did Emanuel know about it?  I guarantee you he did.  It did not come from the Andrews folks.  It came from on high," Patterson said.

He said the stunt reveals the judgment level in the Obama White House.

"I think that it shows you… quite clearly the lack of knowledge, the lack of focus or the understanding the Obama White House has toward the military, much like my former boss President Bill Clinton.  I think it also shows a kind of arrogance to using toys -- I'm sure that would be a phrase President Obama might use, his 'toys' -- to get photo op shots around New York City and not recall or remember what happened on 9/11 and the fact that it might have caused some alarm.  And I think really, it shows again a hundred days, a hundred mistakes with the Obama administration."

Patterson explained the process that would have had to take place to get the jumbo jet in the air.

"The White House Military Office would have called the presidential pilot office at Andrews and said, 'We want to get this airplane airborne.  We want to get some photo ops over New York City.  We want to get some photos with the statue of Liberty in the background or the Empire State Building or whatever, and we'll have a couple of aircraft with it taking pictures of the airplane with the background of New York City.  And that’s what happened," he said.

"No doubt Caldera is taking the hit for this… that's kind of how the Obama administration works, much like the Clinton administration -- they have to push this down to the lowest level that it'll actually stick.  So they had to push this down to 'Who can we cut loose?'  And I guarantee you he’ll be fired within the next week or two.  This façade of an investigation and a review of what happened will end up on his desktop and he'll be fired.  … But it probably wasn't his fault.  It probably came from above, and he was the person, the lackey, executing the orders to do this.  He called Andrews and the Andrews Wing Commander got involved and the president's pilot squadron got involved and so this thing happened.  So he'll probably be the guy that's the scapegoat."

"I fly an airplane out of Los Angeles into New York City all the time.  I fly a large airplane.  In NYC airspace at any point in time, especially during the day during normal waking hours to fly over the city like at that low level, it's almost impossible to coordinate with the FAA.  So there was a lot of coordination done on this, a lot of advance legwork and groundwork done on this."

"It boggles my mind because when I fly into New York City, we have to stay on this straight and narrow path that you cannot deviate virtually by feet, and here's a 747 that's got the approval to fly all over the city at low level and again, scare the people of New York.  It just defies description," he said.

"I can't imagine as a pilot, and an Air Force officer and a former Clinton administration official, I can't imagine who thought that was a good idea!"

It's just the latest evidence of mistaken judgment, he said.

"The fact that they would fly a large airplane over a city that was attacked on 9/11 and the response of the people of New York was obviously 180 from what the Obama people thought.  They just assumed there'd be no reaction because they don't feel there's a threat out there?  They don't understand that this country is still at war with terrorists and with the people who want to change our way of life.  Instead, we're shaking hands with Hugo Chavez; we're shaking hands and brushing up with Hamas and Iran.  We're doing all these things that the Bush administration never would have even considered imaginable.  So I think it shows not only arrogance, but more importantly, more troublingly to me, it shows that they're just out of touch.

"I find it incredible with our current economic situation that we're flying 747s empty anywhere in the country, much less for a photo op.  And again, they're so wantonly careless about this," he said.



Obama has set off on the important task of finding someone to blame.  Chairing the internal White House investigation will be Jim Messina, (not the singer) the president's deputy chief of staff.

While Messina is investigating the flight, we have a question he might want to throw into his query.  Why the hell are we taking publicity photos of Air Force One when we're in the midst of the largest economic crisis in eight decades?

You can bet the investigation will be complete and above board.  After all, why else would Obama appoint one of his own staff, rather than an independent investigator?



Photos To Remain Hidden The $328,835 snapshots of an Air Force One backup plane buzzing lower Manhattan last week will not be shown to the public, the White House said yesterday.

"We have no plans to release them," an aide to Obama told The Post, refusing to comment further.

The sole purpose of the secret photo-op, which sent thousands of New Yorkers running for cover, was to take new publicity shots of the presidential jet over the city.

"The photos . . . are classified -- that's ridiculous," New York Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., said.

The photos have not technically been "classified," a White House aide said, but they are being kept from public view.  It's the flight that is classified.

New Yorkers said they could not understand how a president who shares intimate snapshots from the White House could justify classifying these.

"So we're not gonna see the fruits of this cruel joke," said Frank Antonelli, 39, one of the Wall Street traders spooked by last week's flyover.

"I'm not surprised.  Obama . . . wouldn't further all the bad publicity by putting out those pictures."

Maybe the reason, to deep-six these very expensive pics, is that some of the photos showed people on the ground running for their lives.

At any rate, they're now filed away with other Obama state secrets -- Obama’s birth certificate and college and medical records.



FOIA Requests
Filed asks, isn't it just a laugh riot!  We keep asking the White House for information about the Air Force One flyover incident by Lower Manhattan and they keep responding with evasions.

hey keep referring us to the Air Force which keeps bouncing the questions back to the White House which, in turn, refers us back to the Air Force again!

NewsBusters also reference an article in Time, that writes:

Sometimes, even the most straightforward question can create evasion and denial in Washington's corridors of power -- a question like "Why does Air Force One need publicity photos?"

A call to the Air Force on Wednesday seeking an answer to that simple question was referred to the White House Military Office, just across the Potomac River.

"That's a question for the White House, and I understand that they may be bouncing you back here," Air Force Lieut. Colonel Tadd Sholtis explained.  But the Air Force, which knows how to employ stealth technology and evasive maneuvers when warranted, wasn't going to allow the media to lock on.  "The purpose of the flight, why did it happen, all those kinds of things," Sholtis said, "need to be addressed to the White House Military Office."

On another call to the White House Military Office, headed by Clinton-era Army Secretary Louis Caldera, the reporter explained how the Air Force was answering only questions about the cost of the flight and not anything else.  Cornered, the WHMO official punted: "You'll have to call the White House press office."  But White House press secretary Robert Gibbs couldn't shed any light on the matter either.

NewsBusters has filed two FOIA requests with the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Joint Staff FOIA Requester Service Center seeking more info, including the flight manifests; communications that would shed light on the origin of the "mission," and copies of any and all photos taken on the taxpayer-subsidized journey. 

Let’s have some of that vaunted transparency Barack Obama is always talking about.



White House Press Secretary "Gibbles" -- a name-play on Goebbels -- said, "I mentioned yesterday and I can assure you, had he (Obama) had any knowledge of the stupid idea to go take pictures of the plane in New York, I can assure you that wouldn't have happened."

Gibbles referred to it again when someone asked about U.S. senators traveling on Air Force One this morning. Apparently, Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri was on board -- and taking pictures.  The TV talking heads have been hammering on $300,000+ cost of the Caldera-approved photo op, even though it was part of an official Air Force training mission.

Previously, Gibbles said the flyover was "two training missions that became in the end a picture mission" and only Air Force personnel were aboard.

"...even though it was part of an official Air Force training mission."  Since when has the Air Force conducted "scare-the-crap-out-of-the-citizenry" missions?  I smell bullsh!t.



Freedom Watch, a public interest watchdog, has filed Freedom of Information Act requests with the Obama administration demanding that it make public government videos of the NYC flyover by President Obama's plane.

Freedom Watch Chairman and General Counsel Larry Klayman said Obama had no qualms about releasing detailed memos last month describing interrogation techniques used by the CIA, so the administration shouldn't have reservations about releasing the flyover video as well.

"President Obama thinks it cool to release national intelligence documents concerning American intelligence gathering techniques of terrorists," Klayman said, "but ironically terrorizes the people of Manhattan, who have the tragedy of September 11 emblazoned in their emotional psyches, but then refuses to release benign video of his own incompetence and lack of national security common sense."

Klayman said, "There's honestly something that we're not being told," he said.  "Why were they flying over New York City?  It's very strange.  It makes no sense.  Why would you need Air Force One for a photo-op?"

Klayman said Freedom Watch will not back down until the truth about the exercise is fully exposed.

"If indeed this is just a snafu, it shows the incredible national security incompetence of the Obama administration," he said.  "But the government releases whatever it wants to release.  It's never really constrained by national security because it does whatever is in its own interest.  Obviously it's not in the Obama administration's interest to tell the truth."



Obama To Release Air Farce One Photo Got that -- PHOTO -- singular! -- $328,835 for a single photograph of the backup Air Force One that buzzed lower Manhattan last week.  If you Google, "Air Force One," Google returns 1,520,000 images of the aircraft.  The last thing the world needs is another one.

Fox News is now reporting that the White House plans to soon release a photo from the controversial Air Force One-style flyover of Manhattan last week, despite claiming earlier that there was no need to release any official images from the incident.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbles told reporters Wednesday that an internal report will probably be completed this week.

"We'll release its findings and release a photo," he said.

That was after Gibbles indicated Tuesday that the White House would not release any images.

"I've watched CNN," he said at the time, noting the considerable coverage from amateur footage.  "I didn't notice a lack of archival material from that flight."

Screw the photo!  I want to see the flight and passenger manifests.  I want to know the names of Obama's financial contributors and sycophants that were likely on board.



A Classic Example Of Misdirection A White House military aide who authorized an Air Force flyover of New York that caused panic among some people in the city resigned on Friday (evolving story here).

Louis Caldera said in a resignation letter to Obama that the controversy over the mission -- a photo shoot of a jumbo jet used as Air Force One with the Statue of Liberty in the background -- made it impossible for him to lead the White House Military Office (WHMO).

White House officials said the flight was designed to update the official photo of the plane, known as Air Force One when the president is aboard.

The $375,000 Photo

The flight over lower Manhattan for a photo shoot scared some New Yorkers who remembered the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001 involving hijacked airliners that destroyed the World Trade Center.  Many people panicked and evacuated office buildings when the planes flew over -- as low as 150 feet.

Caldera had approved the mission.  His resignation came on the same day Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in a letter to Senator John McCain that the photo shoot cost U.S. taxpayers as much as $357,000.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs (Gibbels) said Obama had accepted the resignation.  Obama had been described as furious when the incident occurred on April 27 and demanded a review.

Isn't that tidy -- Louis Caldera is responsible -- but responsible for what?

Louis Caldera is responsible for "approving" the flight.  No need to look any further.  Caldera is responsible -- off with his head -- move on!

However, none of this answers the key question -- WHO REQUESTED THE FLIGHT?

Start with Caldera's boss.  Who does Caldera work for -- and who does that guy work for -- and who does that guy work for.  Somewhere up that food chain is the genius whose brainstorm is responsible for this clusterflop -- that person is the "Requestor" or "Initiator" -- that's the guy that is really responsible.

When the flight was a "Go," the WHMO Deputy Director sent an email to the Director, saying the flight would receive some "local press," but the White House shouldn't catch any questions about it.  The email also suggested notifying Jim Messina and Robert Gibbels.

The flight then flew into history.

The White House (read Rhambo) investigated the flight and The White House Counsel's Office (Gregory Craig) produced a report, "Internal Review Concerning April 27, 2009 Air Force One Flight."  (It's interesting this report uses the "Air Force One" designation, as the aircraft is only referred to in this way when POTUS is on board.  Is Craig suggesting that Obama was on the flight?)

The report (I could access only the first 3 pages of the .pdf file for some reason) says that the Deputy Director of the WHMO "suggested that when the plan was finalized, the Director MAY want to inform White House Deputy Chief of Staff, Jim Messina (not the singer). The Deputy Director believed that Mr. Messina would want notice because the plan involved the use of the Presidential aircraft and because it was unusual."

I'll say!

Note, the focus of this report is on the WHMO, the initial flight planning and the subsequent processes and reviews that resulted in the flight.  Nowhere in the "official" report is there any mention of the person or persons who initiated the request for the flight mission that was ultimately "approved" by Caldera.

And, it doesn't answer the secondary question -- WHO WAS ON BOARD?  Any honest investigation would provide the flight and passenger manifests.  Neither of these are addressed in the report (whitewash).

And what were those touchdowns in Atlantic City about?  Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the photo shoot was only part of the planes' mission, which also included practice instrument approaches and landings at Atlantic City International Airport.  Who got off?  Who got on?

A Reuters news article said the report of the review, mentioned above, said ultimately Caldera did not notify relevant White House officials about the flyover in advance. 

"When asked why he failed to do so, he did not offer a coherent explanation.  He stated that it was not a conscious decision -- he did not intend not to notify them," it said. "Instead, he suggested that it may have been an oversight."

An oversight?  I just find that statement to be unbelievable.

Caldera had previously apologized for the April 27 incident, saying, "Last week, I approved a mission over New York.  I take responsibility for that decision (approving the flight).  While federal authorities took the proper steps to notify state and local authorities in New York and New Jersey, it's clear that the mission created confusion and disruption.  I apologize and take responsibility for any distress that flight caused."

And like a good little Obot, Caldera fell on his sword.

The White House Military Office (2,300 managers and staff) knew about the flight, and so did the Department of Defense, and Andrews Air Force Base, and the Air Mobility Command, and the Presidential Airlift Group, and the 89th Airlift Wing, and the Federal Aviation Administration and air traffic control representatives in the New York are, and "federal, state and local authorities."

It seems everyone in the government knew about the "secret flight" except Obama and his senior White House advisers.  Sgt. Schultz ("I know nothing") would be proud.

Of course Obama was furious when the incident occurred.  It hit the fan the day before his 100th day's celebration and victory speech, dramatically affecting the news.

But he knew nothing about it -- nor did any other "responsible" person in and around the White House -- just Caldera, even though the report contains several mentions of Jim Messina, whose boss is Rhambo -- and Rhambo's boss is Obama -- that's two degrees of separation.

We don't know who requested the mission, but we know the chain of command -- Obama, Rhambo, Messina and Caldera.

I find it hard to believe that Caldera, a political appointee, kept this "unusual plan" to himself -- don't you?



Was Air Farce One Pic Photoshopped A sharp-eyed reader of the Texas Darling blog has submitted a series of photographs that she believes provides evidence that the Air Farce One photograph released by the White House has been Photoshopped.

Take a look at her evidence and decide for yourself.

The photo released by the White House was unusually dark.  I had to "fix" it by brightening the image shown here.



Air Farce One Photo Shopped Yesterday's item about the Photoshopping of the Air Farce One photo released by the White House continues to raise questions.

According to all of the file photos of the Statue of Liberty and the island around her, there is only one flagpole shown and only one American flag flying on it.

Looking at the image released by the White House under magnification, one can clearly see that there are two flags shown but only one is on a flagpole (the one on the right).  The flag and flagpole should be there: the flag without a flagpole below it should not.

This photo was taken on an overcast day, so much so that not even the Statue herself is casting one.

But the flagpole is and in the direction of the second flag.

Curiouser and curiouser . . .

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