Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Scare Force One Photos Wont Be Made Public

After claiming last week that the flyby of the VC-25 aircraft that is designated Air Force One when the President is on board was meant to upgrade the file photos of the airplane over national landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, the US Air Force now says that they wont make the photos public.

Are you kidding me? After spending $328,835 [ed: corrected the figure] to make the effort and causing quite the scare and stir in the NY metro area because of the low flying aircraft that no one except a chosen few in the FAA and a few people that the FAA informed, the Air Force and White House owe it to the taxpayers and the New York metro area residents to see what they got for the trouble.
The $328,835 snapshots of an Air Force One backup plane buzzing lower Manhattan last week will not be shown to the public, the White House said yesterday.

"We have no plans to release them," an aide to President Obama told The Post, refusing to comment further.

The sole purpose of the secret photo-op, which sent thousands of New Yorkers running for cover, was to take new publicity shots of the presidential jet over the city.

"The photos . . . are classified -- that's ridiculous," Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., said.

New Yorkers said they could not understand how a president who shares intimate snapshots from the White House could justify classifying these.

"So we're not gonna see the fruits of this cruel joke?" said Frank Antonelli, 39, one of the Wall Street traders spooked by last week's flyover.
Also, after claiming he was angry that the photo op caused such a stir, the President must make the photos available.

This only adds an unnecessary diversion to the White House (which could be precisely why they're going this route?).

Don Surber links. Thanks! Don also notes that the White House is hell-bent on releasing hundreds of photos showing alleged abuse of detainees. So, it's real easy to find reason to criticize the US (and particularly the prior administration), but if you find reason to criticize the current occupant of the White House, those photos remain classified (although not for long as Michelle Malkin has filed FOIA requests to release the photos and other information stemming from the overflights).

This is top quality snark, courtesy of Ace of Spades reader C.Jordan:
Perhaps the photos were ruined by people running for their lives in the background?
Let's see if he was right.

Like Ace, I'm wondering why the Administration is stonewalling on this minor issue, particularly because everyone knows that it was a screwup, including by the President's own admission. What does he stand to benefit by maintaining the secrecy of the photos unless there are none to be released at all, and he and his staffers were lying about the purpose of the flyover? Occam's Razor is starting to get the tingles on that front, and unless the Administration can come up with a better answer, this is going to needlessly simmer.

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