An example of cluelessness
In fact, I spoke with a friend today that used to work for the FAA,and he says that Manhattan is a "no-fly zone" over New York City. This is due to the many high rise buildings in Manhattan, and the environment -- updrafts, heat rises, etc. -- that could play havoc with a plane in the area. Jets are brought in from the East, and aren't permitted any flyovers over Manhattan.
Why is this clueless?
Well, let's see .... DHS had no knowledge of this. When asked about it, Secretary Napolitano stated that she hadn't been informed of the flight.
The FAA pointed fingers at DHS, and claimed they were unaware of the flight until it was already in Manhattan airspace. (This is dangerous, given the airports int he area, and the circus that's caused by unauthorized flights. News and police choppers are the ONLY aircraft allowed to fly over Manhattan.
This was a photo-op, supposedly approved by Louis Caldera. Caldera is the White House Military Office director, who assumed responsibility for it yesterday after the finger-pointing was all said and done, and Barry got done chewing him a new @$$.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg was never briefed on this. Supposedly, according to Caldera, NYPD was informed, but the police commissioner said he never received word. Bloomberg's deputy was said to have received word, and he claims he "forgot" about it. You don't forget things like this, and his deputy, if he's telling the truth, deserves to be fired.
The Oval Office was "furious" over this flyover. The meeting between Barry, Rahm, and Caldera was "heated," and afterwords, Caldera assumed responsibility for it. But this doesn't clear the Oval Office of the charges of incompetence. Why do I say that?
Air Force One is under the control of the president, and he is the ultimate authority in it's use. He's the only one who can sign off on it's use. If he was briefed on this photo-op by Caldera, and forgot, it's incompetence. If he was unaware of it, and Caldera used it anyway, it's incompetence. Barry can't sweep his responsibility, be it direct or indirect, under the rug, and put the blame elsewhere. It's his jet. The buck stops with the president.
I can't tell you folks how dangerous this stunt was. Toss in the panicked New Yorkers witnessing this yesterday -- giving way to the fear they believed they were going to be the victims of another 9/11-style attack, and you get the picture. Again. I urge readers to head over to Hot Air and watch those videos if you haven't seen them already. This was stupid, reckless, and completely beyond the pale. New Yorkers haven't forgotten 9/11, even if many people in this country have. They were there. They endured those attacks. And they lost friends, family, and loved ones in those attacks.
Regardless of who made the call, the buck stops with Barry. If he literally had no idea about the photo-op, then his incompetence is doubled because it sends a message that anyone in his administration can co-opt his plane for whatever reason they want. That's not good in anyone's book, especially in this day and age.
If Barry were smart, he'd man up and accept responsibility for this, even if he didn't make the call. Furthermore, that plane can't just leave the tarmac on a whim. The pilot would have to have orders in hand it was permitted for take-off. If there wasn't any orders, why didn't he call the White House to confirm? And even if he did have orders in hand, again, where was the call to confirm it. If the president's on board, then I could see him bypassing that. But Barry wasn't on board.
One final note to e-mailers. I didn't comment on this yesterday because I was busy at work (and Marcie's at school during the day, guys). I didn't comment on it first thing this morning because I had to confirm a few things about this. But I'd warn people not to refer to the plane as "Air Force One." That designation is only used when the president is on board the plane, and he wasn't. If the Vice President is using it (and we sincerely doubt Captain Gaffe-tastic was given the keys to take the plane out for a joyride) it's designation is Air Force Two. I understand those identifying the plane as such, but without the President or Vice President on board (according to my friend from the FAA) the plane's designations are "SAM 28000" or "SAM 29000." That's in reference to the tail numbers on the planes.