NYC Flyover: ‘What Were They Thinking?’


A photo op to capture images of Air Force One with a majestic Statue of Liberty in the background turned into a public relations nightmare Monday, prompting New Yorkers to ask, “What were they thinking?” The Boeing 747 and F-16 jet circled lower Manhattan for a half-hour, startling financial workers who feared a replay of Sept. 11, 2001, reports the Associated Press. It was carried out by the Defense Department with little warning, infuriating New York officials and putting the White House on the defense. Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the episode “insensitive.”

The director of the White House military office, Louis Caldera, took the blame for approving the photo shoot. The FAA notified the New York Police Department of the flyover, but the document had a classified footnote that said, “Information in this document shall not be released to the public or the media.” Bloomberg said, “Why the Defense Department wanted to do a photo op right around the site of the World Trade Center catastrophe defies the imagination.”

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