White House officials knew that the flyover New York City would cause a panic but did it anyway. The White House officials also ordered the flyover be kept secret.
The flyover caused a panic in the streets of New York City:
Federal officials knew that sending two fighter jets and Air Force One to buzz ground zero and Lady Liberty might set off nightmarish fears of a 9/11 replay, but they still ordered the photo-op kept secret from the public.
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In a memo obtained by CBS 2 HD the Federal Aviation Administration’s James Johnston said the agency was aware of “the possibility of public concern regarding DOD (Department of Defense) aircraft flying at low altitudes” in an around New York City. But they demanded total secrecy from the NYPD, the Secret Service, the FBI and even the mayor’s office and threatened federal sanctions if the secret got out.
“To say that it should not be made public knowing that it might scare people it’s just confounding,” Sen. Charles Schumer said. “It’s what gives Washington and government a bad name. It’s sheer stupidity.”
The flyover — apparently ordered by the White House Office of Military Affairs so it would have souvenir photos of Air Force One with the Statue of Liberty in the background — had President Obama seeing red. He ordered a probe and apologized.
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Hat Tip Larwyn