I take pride in who I am for many reasons. One of those reasons is because of where I come from. One of the past chapters in my life includes the University of New Mexico where I received my bachelor’s degree. Living on the east coast, it’s not often that UNM comes up in casual conversation, but yesterday was a notable exception.
Louis Caldera is currently on sabbatical from the University of New Mexico School of Law. He is working in Obama’s White House where he was appointed the White House Military Office Director. Yesterday, Caldera earned a new title as a 9/11 Reenactment Enthusiast after approving a low level fly over Manhattan by Air Force One and an escort fighter. “How Dumb Was This!" is the headline on today's NY Daily News front page photo of the Air Force One flyover.
Louis Caldera’s office issued a statement in which he said he was very sorry. “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.”
That is one of those "I take responsibility" statements in which the person taking responsibility doesn't actually know what that term means. It is sort of New York's fault, because apparently everyone did know about it, but they didn't tell anyone about it. But that is because the Defense Department made them promise not to!
The Police Department confirmed that it had been notified about the event but said it had been barred from alerting the public. "The flight of a VC-25 aircraft and F-16 fighters this morning was authorized by the F.A.A. for the vicinity of the Statue of Liberty with directives to local authorities not to disclose information about it but to direct any inquiries to the F.A.A. Air Traffic Security Coordinator," the Police Department said in a statement.
What a hilarious military/bureaucratic f-up, unless you were one of those people who was shaking and crying, yesterday morning, as you evacuated your building, baffled and scared.