Photoshoot Official Resigns
The White House official who authorized the photo shoot of one of the presidential Boeing 747s over New York last month -- and then didn't tell President Barack Obama or other top officials about it -- has resigned. Louis Caldera, the director of the White House Military Office, said in his resignation letter that the controversy made it impossible for him to continue. "Moreover, it has become a distraction to the important work you are doing as president," Caldera wrote in the letter to Obama. Caldera OK'd the flight and told New York police and city officials but also told them the information was classified. He did not, however, tell key Obama officials so Obama was unaware of the flight, presumably until his Blackberry started ringing.
Meanwhile, on the ground in New York, buildings were evacuated and people panicked at the specter of a large airliner flying at about 1,000 feet over the city with an F-16 in tow. Mayor Michael Bloomberg apparently wasn't notified, although members of his staff were aware of it. The NYPD obeyed the White House order to keep the mission a secret. The result of all this is a nice but unremarkable photo of the 747 with Miss Liberty well in the background that cost more than $300,000 to orchestrate. Military officials argue the money would have been spent, anyway, on another training mission.