Via JWF, I’m almost comforted by the revelation. The possibility that they’d be so stupid as not to know that buzzing lower Manhattan with a jumbo jet might freak people out is too terrible to contemplate.

Now all we have to do is figure out why a “photo op” would be such a terrifically big secret that not even the mayor of New York was in on it. Does that make any sense at all? “We need a new stock shot of Air Force One near the Statue of Liberty. Don’t tell a soul.

Federal officials knew that sending two fighter jets and Air Force One to buzz ground zero and Lady Liberty might set off nightmarish fears of a 9/11 replay, but they still ordered the photo-op kept secret from the public.

In a memo obtained by CBS 2 HD the Federal Aviation Administration’s James Johnston said the agency was aware of “the possibility of public concern regarding DOD (Department of Defense) aircraft flying at low altitudes” in an around New York City. But they demanded total secrecy from the NYPD, the Secret Service, the FBI and even the mayor’s office and threatened federal sanctions if the secret got out…

The NYPD was so upset about the demand for secrecy that Police Commissioner Ray Kelly vowed never to follow such a directive again and he accused the feds of inciting fears of a 9/11 replay.

The cost of this debacle, by the way? Just shy of $329,000. Think of it as a stimulus: The amount of booze, smokes, and anti-anxiety meds alone that New Yorkers must have consumed in the aftermath of this mass panic attack was probably worth $10-20 mil to the city.

I just got this info sent to me about the photo op / flyover yesterday with Air Force One ….the one that sent people running in NYC…yes, scared them to death! They now say it was a training mission…hhm….they needed training? and the cost? see (by the way, how much flu vaccination can you get for $325,000+? )

Follow the link for a breakdown of the cost. Question for Air Force vets: Is “training mission” military jargon for “photo op”? What were they “training” to do here precisely, besides killing people on the ground from fright?

Tags: New York