White House Mum on NY Flyby Pics

By Justin Rood

May 5, 2009 4:31pm

The Obama White House doesn’t seem inclined to share its new pictures of a Boeing 747 used as Air Force One buzzing the lower Manhattan skyline. At a press briefing Tuesday, Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs dodged reporters’ questions about last week’s photo-op, which cost over $325,000 in taxpayer dollars and frightened a broad swath of lower Manhattan. “I’ve watched CNN. . . I didn't notice a lack of archival material from that flight,” Gibbs cracked, an apparent reference to the prevalence of shaky video shot by witnesses on the ground. The New York Post reported Tuesday morning that an unnamed White House official said the White House had “no plans” to release pictures from the event. Gibbs said the White House anticipates completing a review of the incident this week, but did not answer questions about why it would not release the pictures or when it might do so. The White House Military Office had reportedly organized the event, but made no arrangements to alert Manhattanites that a large plane would fly very close to their tall buildings. As a result, many fled the area at the sight of the plane, believing it could be another 9/11-style attack. President Obama reportedly had not been told of the flyby, and was reportedly furious at the oversight.  The Military Office head, Louis Caldera, apologized publicly. He is still on the job, despite calls for his dismissal. A similar photo op scheduled for Washington, D.C. this week was reportedly cancelled.

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