Opinion: White House declines to release scary photos of N.Y. flyover


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You know those family photos that someone snapped at the lake and they really show your unwanted gut hanging out over the swimsuit and so somehow those pictures don’t end up in the family scrapbook?

Well, that’s the same deal with those expensive publicity shots of the Air Force One backup plane flying low over lower Manhattan the other day. The ones that caused 9/11-style panic, many downtown Gotham buildings to evacuate and two injuries.


According to the N.Y. Post today, those photos have been classified and will not be released by the transparent Obama White House. Not really classified as in ‘top secret’ classified. But classified as in those are going in the file cabinet. Maybe mis-filed with the Obama birth certificate.

These snapshots involving a fighter plane and chase plane cost taxpayers $328,635 and reportedly enraged Obama aides. Well, duh!

Not so much because they were taken most likely. But because they created such an open public stir.

The reality, of course, is that these kinds of public relations efforts are done all the time. (See above shot over South Dakota’s Mt. Rushmore). You don’t get anywhere in the keen competition for government funds in our nation’s capitol without extensive public relations efforts.

And what better gift for the office of a congressperson whose vote you might need than a personally autographed photo of your presidential plane flying over a famous place or his city or whatever?

(UPDATE: Today, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs maintained there’s no need to release the photos. He said he’d seen ample TV footage of the flight and added, ‘I didn’t notice a lack of archival material from that flight.’ He also said he didn’t know where the photos were, which wasn’t the question but successfully changed the subject just fine)


Now, someone please start the clock on how long till someone files a Freedom of Information Act request.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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