Boeing 747 flies over NYC skyline with two F-16 fighters following it
A legal group is now demanding the Obama administration release footage of its jet often used as Air Force One as it terrified panic-stricken New Yorkers in last month’s alleged “photo-op.”
While the Obama administration has issued an apology for the April 27 stunt, it is refusing to release footage from the incident that cost taxpayers $328,835.
Louis E. Caldera, director of the White House Military Office, said in a statement:
Last week, I approved a mission over New York. I take responsibility for that decision. While federal authorities took the proper steps to notify state and local authorities in New York and New Jersey, it’s clear that the mission created confusion and disruption. I apologize and take responsibility for any distress that flight caused.
But White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs refused to answer reporters’ questions about the photo-op at Tuesday’s press conference.
“I’ve watched CNN … I didn’t notice a lack of archival material from that flight,” Gibbs joked, referring to witness videos of the event.
The following video was shot by witnesses on the ground:
While Gibbs said the White House would review the incident, he would not respond to questions about whether the footage would be released to the public.
“We have no plans to release them,” an unnamed Obama aide told the New York Post Tuesday, refusing to comment further.
But Freedom Watch, a public interest watchdog, has filed Freedom of Information Act requests with the Obama administration demanding that it make public government videos of the NYC flyover by President Obama’s plane.
Freedom Watch Chairman and General Counsel Larry Klayman said Obama had no qualms about releasing detailed memos last month describing interrogation techniques used by the CIA, so the administration shouldn’t have reservations about releasing the flyover video as well.
“President Obama thinks it cool to release national intelligence documents concerning American intelligence gathering techniques of terrorists,” Klayman said, “but ironically terrorizes the people of Manhattan, who have the tragedy of September 11 emblazoned in their emotional psyches, but then refuses to release benign video of his own incompetence and lack of national security common sense.”
Klayman told WND he does not believe the government’s photo-op excuse.
“There’s honestly something that we’re not being told,” he said. “Why were they flying over New York City? It’s very strange. It makes no sense. Why would you need Air Force One for a photo-op?”
Klayman said Freedom Watch will not back down until the truth about the exercise is fully exposed.
“If indeed this is just a snafu, it shows the incredible national security incompetence of the Obama administration,” he said. “But the government releases whatever it wants to release. It’s never really constrained by national security because it does whatever is in its own interest. Obviously it’s not in the Obama administration’s interest to tell the truth.”