Smart power: White House freaks out New York with low altitude fly-by; Video: Panicked NYers run in the streets; Update: Obama "furious"

I didn’t hear it this morning but I used to work in lower Manhattan and can assure you that workers these days are highly attuned to unusual air traffic in the area. Not a day has passed in seven-plus years, I think, that an airplane has flown low enough overhead that I could hear it, even just barely, and I didn’t look up. Just watching the video, I could feel the blood drain from my face.


Good work, Pentagon.

An Air Force One lookalike and two F-16s buzzed the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor this morning, halting work on nearby construction sites, causing resident and office workers to flee their high-rises and giving thousands of people in downtown Manhattan and New Jersey a major fright. At least two people were treated for minor injuries at Jersey City Medical Center after falling during the rush to exit their high-rises.

“Everybody panicked,” said Daisy Cooper, a Merrill Lynch worker in Jersey City, who lost a nephew on 9/11. “Everybody was screaming and we all ran downstairs. I’m devastated…Everybody was running, we didn’t know why we were running. We just knew it was a plane, there we go, 9/11 again.”…

A Pentagon official confirmed that while the Presidential Airlift Group, which is based out of Andrews Air Force Base, did inform the FAA and New York City officials about this morning’s aerial photo op. But they also told both agencies not to inform the public about it. The NYPD confirmed this.

Not sure how or why The One would be responsible for this, but since the left’s being extra-jerky with its fingerpointing today, feel free to put forth your theory in the comments of What This Tells Us About How Obama Views the World. Evidence of his pre-9/11 mentality? Proof of a narcissism so profound as to blind him to American fears? Suggestive of a military that’s out of control under his weak command? Go crazy!


Update: Looks like this did come from the White House after all.

White House Military Office director Louis Caldera issued a brief statement.

“Last week, I approved a mission over New York. I take responsibility for that decision,” he said. “While federal authorities took the proper steps to notify state and local authorities in New York and New Jersey, its clear that the mission created confusion and disruption. I apologize and take responsibility for any distress that flight caused.”…

An administration official said the Federal Aviation Administration was informed this would be taking places, and notified Mr. Bloomberg’s office on April 22.

The problem was the FAA was told the information was classified and did not alert the press to warn the public.

Follow the link for obligatory outrage from Bloomberg and Schumer, who’s blaming the FAA in order to cover Obama’s ass.

Update: Here’s the best clip yet of how horrifying this looked and sounded from the ground. Unbelievable.

Update: Changed the headline to emphasize that it was Team Barry, not the Pentagon, that blew this. He’s not happy about it, either:


When President Obama was told about the incident, he was “furious,” a White House official says.

Caldera was called into a meeting with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and deputy chief of staff Jim Messina.

“It didn’t sound like a fun meeting,” the White House official says.

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