Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Could it be a bad case of red eye??

Here’s a quick question: What’s worse than the government spending almost $329,000 to shoot photos of Air Force One flying very low over lower Manhattan?

I can only think of one thing: the government spending almost $329,000 to shoot photos of Air Force One flying very low over lower Manhattan and then deciding the photos would not be released.

You can’t make this stuff up. According to The New York Post, The White House has confirmed that the now infamous outcome of that photo shoot will not be shown to the public. (That means us; the American people who fund Air Force One as well as the fighter jets that trailed it that day.)

Quote: "We have no plans to release them," an aide to President Obama told The Post, refusing to comment further.

Well, that aide may have no further comment but I do. Why did you take them if you aren’t going to use them? And if you aren’t going to use them, tell us why. How is it that you can get away with issuing a statement like this, after all the uproar over the incident itself, and simply end the discussion by “refusing further comment?”

The White House has stopped short of calling the photos “classified.” They are however, “being kept from public view.” What is the difference? Information or documents the government withholds from the public at large are "classified" documents, available for review only by selected and "cleared" people. Doesn't this story meet that definition?

Maybe it's much simpler than that. Maybe the photos are terrible. Maybe whoever shot the images is a rotten photographer. Maybe he or she is a friend of someone in Washington and took the opportunity to fly on or near Air Force One under the guise of shooting publicity shots. That would be a reason to keep them from public view.

Maybe once they were released people would mock them endlessly and start asking who shot them. Someone in the administration would then have to come clean with an explanation that sounded something like this: “My niece shot them. She’s taking a photography course in her high school.”

This all sounds incredibly murky to me. The truth is, I’m not sure many people would have been clamoring to view these photos anyway … until now that is. I’ve learned that when something doesn’t sound right; when it doesn’t quite hang together; when you find yourself unsure of the story, it’s because you don’t have all the facts. Then, once you do, it all makes enormous sense.

I’m feeling that way about this story. It didn’t make sense to shoot them; it doesn’t make sense to now withhold them. We’ll probably never learn about the missing bit of fact that will clear this up – but it’s out there. And if I had to guess, I'd say the people who know the answers have all been appropriately rewarded for keeping them to themselves.

1 comment:

Allie said...


Thanks for responding to my first comment.

It's amazing to me what the media and others are doing to protect this administration. Bush would've been crucified for being so "insensitive." I was truly waiting for an outcry by the American public, but saw none. There was more sweeping under the rug here than anything else.

I came across a political cartoon drawn about the incident. It depicted Obama in Air Force One flying past a large skyscraper gazing out the window. If you looked closely, you could see people jumping out of the windows, just as they did on 9/11 as the towers burned. In the cartoon, however, Obama is thinks they are responding to his "celebrity" and the speech bubble above his head says "They love me."

Don't get me wrong, I found this cartoon incredibly disturbing and I couldn't believe someone had the gall to even draw it. But I truly feel it embodies how the entire situation was managed. It's so sad to see how easily we've forgotten and the general lack of respect.

Glad to know I'm not the only one left out there!