Tuesday, 28 April 2009

747 Skims New York Skyline

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Why would Louis Caldera, a member of the White House military office, okay a plan to have the 747 that's used as Air Force One, the president’s plane (the president was not on board), fly low over New York’s skyline on April 27, followed by a fighter jet, considering New Yorkers’ experiences with 9/11? Because image is important.

For half an hour the planes swooped near Manhattan as panicked New Yorkers streamed out of office buildings, fearing a replay of the September 11 attacks. But there wasn’t an attack. The 747 and its fighter accompaniment (and a third plane carrying a military photographer) were merely doing laps past the Statue of Liberty so that some publicity photos could be taken. Though New York cops were forewarned about the flyover, they were not allowed to inform the public about the photo shoot. Even the mayor didn’t know (his office was contacted, but apparently a staffer didn’t inform him).

When asked about the incident, President Obama said, according to AP: “It was a mistake. It was something we found out about along with all of you. And it will not happen again.” But why would Obama functionaries allow it to happen in the first place, especially since President Obama promotes himself as the “green” president and a 747 burns approximately a gallon of fuel per second (An F-16 uses somewhere around one-third that much)? Again the answer is, “Because image is important.”

The president’s subordinate was just following Obama’s lead. On Earth Day, president Obama flew to Des Moines, Iowa, to give a speech about green energy. White House correspondent Mark Knoller did the fuel-math. To give a speech about making the United States more energy efficient, Obama’s plane and helicopter burned approximately 9,116 gallons of fuel. That’s not including the fuel burned in the planes carrying reporters to cover the event.

It has been said that actions speak louder than words. I know what these actions tell me. What do they tell you?

Photo: AP Images

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