Apr 28 2009

Doesn’t Anyone At The White House Know About Photoshop?

Published by at 6:13 pm under All General Discussions

In a follow up to my earlier post on that insane PR stunt of flying ‘Scare Force One’ over New York City it turns out someone in the White House knew damn well that this stunt was going to cause a lot of panic and fear:

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 CBS 2 HD 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.

The flyover — apparently ordered by the White House Office of Military Affairs so it would have souvenir photos of Air Force One with the Statue of Liberty in the background — had President Obama seeing red. He ordered a probe and apologized. 

President Obama appears to be rightfully outraged, and has apologized for the incident. Good for him. I refuse to set a toe into the conservative fever swamps who think this was sanctioned by Obama. Not without hard evidence to support any such claims.

My guess is some ego-tripping White House newbie decided to flex his power and push through this idiotic stunt. And the memo referenced above seems to indicate that there were concerns raised, which is why this little tin bureaucratic dictator felt that a memo was required to squash the opposition – including the threat of reprisals. It is a classic right of passage with DC power transitions. You get knuckleheads coming who thin working for the White House gives special powers  to them, including the right to indulge in their dumbest whims.

There needs to be a very public and transparent investigation into this stunt. Because there are some really serious questions, as posed by two of our readers on the previous post. First, reader Owl asks some good questions:

Questions: Who was on board?

Did Rumbo (President Obama) know?

Then reader TomAnon makes another interesting observation:

Something is clearly not right here. They could photoshop Air Force One into any background necessary and saved all kinds of money doing so. I bet this was done to help some Hollywood types produce a major film or documentary. The tape will be used in the future to show how Obama saved the world or something like that.

Both of these really drive to the heart of the question: what was this all about? Why spend the money and scare the daylights out our largest city? None of this was necessary given computer graphics capabilities. So where are all the memos on this stunt, what was its purpose (photo-op is not a sufficient answer), what was this supposed to provide? Why waste money like this? When you compare the price of Photoshop to the cost of flying these planes and the salaries of everyone involved this was a mind numbing waste of taxpayer dollars.

The cost of the frivolous flight was about $60,000 an hour and that was just for Air Force One. That doesn’t include the cost of the two F-16s that came along. 

And there are crimes on the books about wasting taxpayer money.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Doesn’t Anyone At The White House Know About Photoshop?”

  1. Redteam says:

    President Obama appears to be rightfully outraged, and has apologized for the incident.

    he said it won’t happen again, he says that about all his screw ups.

    I don’t think he even knew about it, but that’s just a mark of the quality of the people he surrounds himself with.

    This is at least as serious as who ordered the people to get water poured over their heads. I think a special prosecutor should be appointed and heads should roll.

  2. UglyinLA says:


    I haven’t visited much since you started baggin on Palin, however, I wanted to see your take on the photoshoot debacle. To tell you the truth, I am astounded at your naitivity on this matter.

    It is my understanding that AirForceOne exists for one single purpose, to exclusively transport the President of the United States. No one else uses the plane (actually Air Force One is two planes that fly simultaneously). Wherever the president flies, both planes fly, the second being a real time backup. Without getting into technical details, let me just say that these planes are sophisticated command centers where the commander in chief can control and direct the entire military. These two planes are always on stand-by. Always ready to go on a moments notice.

    These two planes are part of an emergency contingency plan. If one of the planes is not available for whatever reason, there are all sorts of alternate contingency plans in place in case the president needs to be evacuated from DC — maybe a dirty bomb or biological weapons or nuclear attacks or anything.that would require an immediate evacuation. (Think the movie Independence Day).

    Having only one plane ready to go would be an unacceptable risk, even for a short durantion. The authorization to remove one of the planes, even temporarily would require the approval of the president and he would then have to approve of the contingency plans.

    For Obama to stand before the cameras and appear to be outraged and maintain that he had no prior knowledge of the incident is an outright lie. Its Bill Clinton wagging his finger to the American people all over again. Obama, unlike Bill, will most like dodge and weave his way out of this lie because of a complicit media and by those who want to believe that Obama had no knowledge of the photo shoot prior.

    I’ve noticed you’ve moderated your stance on several issues. I refuse to do so. Opposing the murder of babies might put me in the minority, but that’s fine with me. Watching a budget deficit balloon into TRILLIONS makes me sick to my stomach. Watching $787 BILLION flushed down the stimulus drain without knowing what was in it makes me sick to my stomach. I refuse to go with the flow.

  3. jwb says:

    Much of what Ugly wrote about the President’s 747’s have been verified by several different sources. For the President to claim no knowledge of this is just an outright lie.

    Perhaps Obama was just misreading TOTUS when he made that statement?

    One can only wonder how this would have been reported if someone had gotten injured or killed due to the panic this event precipitated. Who would Obama have thrown under the fabled bus to cover responsibility for such an occurrence?

  4. […] AJ Strata’s commenter Ugly in LA believes that any mission by AF1 and its backup would need the highest clearance. Do any of my […]