New York to White House: Are You %$#&*^& Nuts?
No, make that the entire country to the White House.
Monday's flyover of New York for a photo op of the 747 that serves as Air Force One was the most stunningly stupid decision by a group of adults authorized to use government airplanes that it's possible to imagine. On a scale of 10 for utter idiocy, it's a 13. It makes those clueless guys who busted the Washington ADIZ in a Cessna 150 a couple of years ago look like Lindbergh finding Paris with a compass and a watch.
The most disgusting part of it—it's damn near evil—is that the FAA and the White House notified the NYPD of the flyover ahead of time but classified it, preventing its release to the public. There is no other way to described it than this: These agencies engaged in negligent terrorizing of a public still traumatized by the September 11, 2001 attacks. While we're talking about resetting relations with Cuba and Venezuela, what we really need to be doing is resetting our own government, or at least the part of it that deals with the highly charged relationship between airplanes and the national security apparatus. And surprise!...it applies to Air Force One, too.
Somewhere, I'm sure a few people are saying, "Oh, New York, get over it." I wasn't in New York on September 11th, but I know many people who were. I can't look deep enough to get over it. When I saw the pictures of Monday's fiasco, I had the same gut wrenching dread that we all had on that awful day almost eight years ago. It still seems like yesterday to me. I don't think the country is anywhere near being able to tough it out when an airplane as big as a 747 flies that low over New York or any other major city. Nor should anybody be testing the premise.
And this was done by the same people who have the unmitigated gall to frisk the citizenry before boarding airliners, to bar general aviation aircraft from ever more airspace and to generally make life miserable for the rest of us while they do they very thing that scares the hell out of all of us.
It's hard to know how even to respond to this sort of lunacy. I for one expect President Obama on the tube today explaining himself and illuminating us on who he has fired. I don't care if he knew about it or not. It's his watch. We just loaned him the airplane.
Meanwhile, to whomever originated this stunt, how about this: A 12-year-old with a copy of Photoshop could have gotten your photo op with a lot less grief than this mess will create.