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Here... take my hand
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It was supposed to be a photo opportunity that captured images of an Air Force One plane with a majestic Statue of Liberty in the background. Instead, it turned into a public relations nightmare that led to recriminations from the president and mayor and prompted thousands to ask, "What were they thinking?"

Just before the workday began yesterday, an airliner and supersonic fighter jet zoomed past the lower Manhattan skyline. Within minutes, startled financial workers streamed out of their offices, fearing a nightmarish replay of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

For a half-hour, the Boeing 747 and F-16 jet circled the Statue of Liberty and the Financial District near the site of the destroyed World Trade Center. Offices evacuated. Dispatchers were inundated with calls. Witnesses thought the planes were flying dangerously low.

But the flyover was nothing but a photo op, apparently one of a series of flights to get pictures of the plane in front of national landmarks.

It was carried out by the Defense Department with little warning, infuriating New York officials and putting the White House on the defense. Even Mayor Michael Bloomberg didn't know about it, and he later called it "insensitive" to fly so near the site of the attacks.

The director of the White House military office, Louis Caldera, took the blame a few hours later. One of the planes was a 747 that is called Air Force One when used by the president.

"Last week, I approved a mission over New York. I take responsibility for that decision," Caldera said. "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."

When told of the flight, President Barack Obama was furious, a White House official said on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

Still, federal officials provided few details and wouldn't say why the public and area building security managers weren't notified. They also wouldn't address why someone thought it was a wise decision to send two jets into New York City, all for a few photos with the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop.

An administration official said the purpose of the photo op was to update file photos of the president's plane near Lady Liberty.

This official said the White House military office told the Federal Aviation Administration that it was updating file photos of Air Force One near national landmarks. The official requested anonymity to give more details than the official White House announcement.

An Air Force combat photographer took pictures from one of the fighter jets, administration officials said.

The photo op was combined with a training exercise to save money, according to another administration official who also spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak publicly about the behind-the-scenes discussions about the flight.

The FAA notified the New York Police Department of the flyover, telling them photos of the Air Force One jet would be taken about 1,500 feet above the Statue of Liberty around 10 a.m. Monday. It had a classified footnote that said, "Information in this document shall not be released to the public or the media."

"Why the Defense Department wanted to do a photo op right around the site of the World Trade Center catastrophe defies the imagination," Bloomberg said. "Poor judgment would be a nice way to phrase it. ... Had I known about it, I would have called them right away and asked them not to."

Workers in lower Manhattan were stunned by what they saw.

John Leitner, a floor trader at the New York Mercantile Exchange Building, said about 1,000 people "went into a total panic" and ran out of the building around 10 a.m. after seeing the planes whiz by.

"We were informed after we cleared out of there," Leitner said. "I kind of think heads should roll a little bit on that."


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LOOOL,

I think either way they are screwed. If they stick to the lame story, whether it's true or not, the government will look even more like an idiot than it already does sometimes.... and if there's more to it, then they are hiding something which again either makes them even more stupid or it's top secret....
 

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Banned
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23,263 Posts
this just reinstates my belief, that americans are pussies.
 

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UnCool
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59 Posts
I don't get it, Why don't they use Photoshop or something? that would be way more convenient than flying planes in the middle of the city.
 

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Banned
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23,263 Posts
the army isn't good at creating stuff.

just destroying it.
 

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UnCool
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59 Posts
Well they sometimes help out, when help is needed.Even if it's once and awhile.
They just need to be more creative.
 

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Opensource-spice
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1,503 Posts
The American government only helps to promote itself. It wouldn't save a kitten without a dime going into it's pocket for the newsfeed the next day. Just like Kuwait, say all you want about saving the poor little campy country; our armies were there to get George Senior his oil drums; junior was no different, neither is Obama with his stimulus bill to stimulate his own economy.

People can't pay their taxes, so stimulate the economy with a bill then let the money come strait back via taxes. People won't realize it happened but it sure as hell will make us look better.

**** you, America. One big country sucking it's own **** for nutrition.
 

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Heroes Might& Magic Champ
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4,713 Posts
The American government only helps to promote itself. It wouldn't save a kitten without a dime going into it's pocket for the newsfeed the next day. Just like Kuwait, say all you want about saving the poor little campy country; our armies were there to get George Senior his oil drums; junior was no different, neither is Obama with his stimulus bill to stimulate his own economy.

People can't pay their taxes, so stimulate the economy with a bill then let the money come strait back via taxes. People won't realize it happened but it sure as hell will make us look better.

**** you, America. One big country sucking it's own **** for nutrition.
And you think any other nation is different?
 

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UnCool
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59 Posts
Yup my country is different.
We're too busy screwing ourselves.
 
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