Friday, May 8, 2009

This STILL ticks me off.

This shot is scary!

Luis Caldera, the head of the White House Military Office officially resigned today after admitting he secretly planned the Air Force One flyover mission at Ground Zero all by himself without telling anybody. He was able to launch the President's aircraft and 2 F-16s without anyone in the White House, Department of Defense, or Homeland Security knowing anything about it. In fact, he piloted the 747 and one of the fighters himself. After his resignation was accepted by the ever gullible President Obama, Caldera remarked to reporters, "I thought it would be a great belated April Fool's prank. Those New Yorkers - they just have no sense of humor." Caldera's official last day is May 22. However, he is rumored to be in talks with the CIA counterintelligence section. As Caldera further remarked, " Well, the White House intelligence sure was easy to counter. And, oh by the way, did I say Obama knew nothing about it?"


vwatt said...

A major screwup and Caldera should have resigned. I have read the entire seven page report from the White House Counsel's Office. Hopefully, his taking the fall will save the USAF Colonel's job who heads the PAG(Pres. Airlift Group). The report is very careful not to say exactly who initiated the flyby but reading between the lines it seems obvious to me anyhow that this was aN Air Force idea, the Colonel did his job in planning and coordinating, but the White House Military Office Deputy Director dropped the ball in not asking the right questions, and THE Director, Caldera, just "assumed" that since the Air Force had filled all the squares, it was a go. Along the way , no one seemed to think of the impact of a 747 flying at 1000' AGL over Manhattan...really dumb. A pertinent exerpt:

"On Thursday, April 9, the commander of the PAG, Colonel Scott Turner, sent an email to the
Deputy Director addressing a number of issues, including a plan to conduct "a photo shoot over
the Statute of Liberty on the 27th of this month." During the same time period--either shortly
before or after the April 9 email-the Deputy Director spoke to Colonel Turner about the
proposed flight. The Deputy Director advised Colonel Turner to determine whether it was
feasible or not; if Colonel Turner encountered any problems or objections, the flyover would not
go forward. According to the Deputy Director, Colonel Turner likely contacted him because the
mission was unusual. IF it had been a TYPICAL or ROUTINE training mission, the Air Force would NOT
have notified the White House.
Several days later, Colonel Turner informed the Deputy Director that he still was working on the
plan and coordinating with federal, state, and local authorities. Otherwise, WHMO leadership
did not receive any further updates during this time period, and the Deputy Director did not
inform the Director about the proposed flight. The Director traveled with the President to
Mexico City and Trinidad-Tobago between April 16 and April 19.

vwatt said...

And now this release hot off the press(Wash. Post) from the Sec. of Defense. Of course, though, "some" will ignore the facts and insist that Obama should have known that one of his Air Force One pilots needed to fulfill his quarterly requirements for ILS approaches and wished to borrow his plane(and hey, let's do a photo shoot while we're up there-we're running out of those Mt. Rushmore/747 baseball card shots we took while Bush was President(true!) :

"Gates said in his letter that the flight included a training component for pilots to practice instrument approaches and landings at Atlantic City International Airport. He said that "with the exception of one combat photographer, a standard crew complement performed the mission. . . . There were no non-duty personnel or passengers on board."

Gates wrote that the flyover had been planned for weeks and coordinated with the Federal Aviation Administration liaisons in the region, air traffic control representatives and tower supervisors. The FAA notified the office of New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I), the U.S. Park Police, the New York Police Department and other local agencies three days before the flight.

But, Gates added, "I am concerned that this highly public and visible mission did not include an appropriate public affairs plan nor adequate review and approval by senior Air Force and [Department of Defense] officials."

Brodad Unkabuddy said...

"On Thursday, April 9, the commander of the PAG, Colonel Scott Turner, sent an email to the
Deputy Director addressing a number of issues, including a plan to conduct "a photo shoot over
the Statute of Liberty on the 27th of this month."

" The Deputy Director advised Colonel Turner to determine whether it was
feasible or not; "

Why would the COLONEL want to do a photo shoot? If a pilot is noncurrent, why not go to the simulator? You can't tell me they're still doing currency training in the airplane, especially a 747 and the President's airplane to boot! If they are, I've got a great idea to save money for the "penny pinching" Obama Administration. That's a bunch of crap. The PRIMARY mission was the photo shoot, not pilot training. I guarantee that.

This is where the "official" version stinks. In the first quote, the colonel has the plan. In the second quote, the DD advised the colonel to determine whether it was feasible or not. It's the other way around. I notice it says "During the same time period. . ." It's obvious to the most casual observer what happened. The Obama Administration wanted the photos and checks with Director, the Director checks with the DD, and the DD checks with the colonel. The colonel comes up with the plan, notifies the DD who notifies the Director who notifies the White House who gives it the go ahead. After the flyover, everyone but the nuckleheads in the WH see where it was a terrible idea. Obama CANNOT take the hit, so down goes Caldera. No matter whose fault it is, it highlights the White House's lack of executive experience. In fact it's not even a very good job of covering up. I would expect better of Chicago thugs, er, I mean politicians.

Brodad Unkabuddy said...

And that's Knuckleheads, with a "K".

vwatt said...

From a previous article I read, the Air Force One crews(officer and enlisted) and those in the 89th have carried basball cards with them to pass around as goodwill ambassadors when traveling around the world. For the last eight years or so, those baseball cards had a shot of Air Force One flying by Mt.Rushmore and they wanted to update them. I find it kind of hard to believe that the WMO director,-Caldera-or Deputy Director made it a priority during his first 60 days to update the Air Force One crew cards!! At any rate, Caldera is responsible and screwed up-kind of surprising considering he is a West Point grad and a former Secretary of the Army.
The origination of the plan sounds like a case of an Air Force colonel looking for material to put on his next OER, "Col. X was instrumental in enhancing the image of the United States and the White Office while simultaneously saving money and coordinating an 89th MAW currency training mission in conjunction with a nearby opportune photo shoot."-promote ahead of peers!
But I'm sure it all started with Obama requesting Dijon mustard for his hamburger....

Brodad Unkabuddy said...

Then why this comment, "The Deputy Director advised Colonel Turner to determine whether it was
feasible or not." if it wasn't a priority for the Administration? I'm sure if it was the colonel's idea, he would have presented the "feasibility" of the plan when he brought it up. Thus the "during the same time period" quote. The key is who approached who first. I believe the DD approached the colonel first, not the other way around. I can't believe a colonel in the Air Force would come up with an idea this stupid. I CAN believe a White House staff drunk with new found power would.