$328,835 For this Pic of Air Force One Flying over Statue of Liberty … WH Military Office Director Louis Caldera Resigns


Would you pay $328,835 for this picture? Guess what, you did. Your hard earned tax dollars at work.

The White House Photo-op pic is released and so is official blamed for the flyover fiasco.


Say hello and goodbye to Louis Caldera, Barack Obama’s former director of the White House Military Office and the latest to be thrown under the bus, or was it the plane. In the wake of the Scare Force One debacle, the brilliant notion to fly a 747 over Manhattan ala September 11 and scared the living daylights out of NY’ers all in the name of a photo-op, Louis Caldera has resigned.


H/T Michelle Malkin for the Hope & Change Bus

A secretary of the Army in the Clinton administration, Caldera took the fall for the public relations fiasco arising from the April 27 flyover, which was designed to replace a publicity photo of Air Force One flying past Mount Rushmore with a similar shot of Obama’s 747 jumbo jet over the Statue of Liberty.

The photo session cost taxpayers $329,000.

Caldera’s office insisted the flyover was a “classified” mission and should not be disclosed to the public, ensuring that thousands of New Yorkers would be blindsided by an event eerily reminiscent of the 9/11 terror attacks against the Twin Towers.

 This is what it looked like from the ground as New Yorkers ran from their office building in horror as flashbacks of September 11 ran through their mind.

The official review of the incident can be read HERE.

Some analysis from Michelle Malkin points out the following:

It does not cover DoD or FAA involvement. The report says “Initial planning” began in “March 2009 or earlier” without specifying who exactly initiated the planning and why. Caldera blames “severe back muscle spasms” and his recent return from a trip to Mexico for his failure to read e-mail concerning the mission. Also: He had a grand total of two email accounts. You can’t expect a crony paper-pusher to keep track of all that!

The White House report blamed “organizational” and “structural ambiguities” for the crony paper-pusher’s incompetence.

Exit question: Who has confidence in an Administration that cannot properly conduct a flyover of Air Force One over a US city in America as opposed to to defending the United States against terrorism? Seriously folks, if something as simple as this gets screwed up and becomes a complete and total fiasco, what happens when the Obama Administration actually has to do and plan something of a more serious nature?

If you liked this post, you may also like these:

  • Is the Air Force One Flight over Manhattan Controversy Over for Obama … May Be Not … Where’s the Manifest?
  • What Every Happened to Lady Liberty … Obama Change & Slight of Hand = Socialism and Government Control
  • Another Democrat Politician Bites the Dust … Louis Magazzu Resigns After Posting his Package On the Web
  • Obama Administration: Air Force One Photo Op Over Manhattan Triggers Panic … How Ignorant Can They Be?
  • Daily Commentary – Tuesday, August 16, 2011- 20 Man Police Force Resigns in Mexico

  • Comments

    34 Responses to “$328,835 For this Pic of Air Force One Flying over Statue of Liberty … WH Military Office Director Louis Caldera Resigns”

    1. IP on May 8th, 2009 9:27 pm

      $328,835 for 1 pic, what a bargain we have been given by the Obama admin.

      Clowns, complete clowns.

    2. Marc on May 8th, 2009 11:05 pm

      I honestly hope and pray that the people that make insanely partisan republican comments on here are being paid to do so. Otherwise, I have a really hard time believing that you people are serious. So thats the thought process that I have to come up with to explain hateful comments I read on here about Obama. Being critical or disagreeing on policy is one thing, saying he can’t speak without a teleprompter, is not American and is an elitist for eating mustard, and any other negative asinine rumor you can get your hands on is just plain unfathomable to me. WHERE DO YOU PEOPLE LIVE AND BREED?

    3. rightknight on May 8th, 2009 11:14 pm

      From a professional’s point of view, the pic
      appears to be a casual one from the enclosed
      cockpit of the fighter (hardly the way the
      pros do something like this). Probably a personal
      digital camera as well. Note the reflection in the
      canopy and part of the fighter fuselage at the bottom
      right edge. Flop job from the start. Probably not
      the main reason for the flight IMHO.

      Pass the family photo album, thanks.

    4. Earl on May 8th, 2009 11:15 pm

      Yes, this was a bad idea. But in regard to the cost of the “photop”, as a retired USAF, member I can say that the flying time used for these aircraft was already budgeted and would have been flown, i.e. money spent, even if this event had never happened. So I am really tired of the media pundits talking about wasted money.

    5. Jason on May 8th, 2009 11:22 pm

      My Gawd!!! Why are we Wasting time with this when it is clear that President Obama uses Mustard on his hamburger. How can we be Americans who are freedom loving liberty seakers when our President uses mustard on a hamburger. My children are in danger and all you people can do is point fingers about who flew what over where.
      Please stick to what matters and address the socialistical nature of using the wrong condiments on the wrong foods.

    6. HOPE on May 8th, 2009 11:30 pm

      As for flying over Manhattan, unannounced:

      Bad Idea…

      As for Director Louis Caldera resigning:



      Give us Liberty…

      Not expensive pictures depicting a landmark given as a gift to represent it. We want the REAL thing! Liberty and Justice for All. Don’t market it… Practice it!

    7. Nicole on May 8th, 2009 11:32 pm

      How much did it cost to fly the dry drunk Shrub to that carrier for the “Mission Accomplished” moment?

      They could fly air force 1 to and from the mall every single day and never come anywhere near the price tag of a war fought to inflate one man’s ego

    8. HOPE on May 8th, 2009 11:59 pm


      Someone needs to insist on a refund!

      Not good to let the President look like the type of person who would, deliberately, strike fear in the hearts of his own people. Accidents happen but in the world of politics, someone has to pay the piper.

      IMO = There’s alot of change to be done but it’s not going to happen without the love of your People. Love is kind, understanding, long-suffering but, most of all, forgiving. It’s time to stop the celebrating and get on with your job of making this country a better place to be. Just like slaves, we are waiting to be set free from the broken down state of affairs that came to be called our government. The change has to come from within.

      Have a wonderful weekend and, please, take the time to thank those mothers out there that do all they can to care for their families in a world that has become filled with violence. God bless the families who’s loved ones are absent in an effort to protect our Constitution and everything this country has come to represent. But most of all, find a way to return them safely to the families they miss so much.


    9. Justen on May 9th, 2009 2:20 am

      Kind of a crappy picture, eh? Obama’s going for king of faux pas the way Bush went for king of d’oh.

    10. Mae Westside on May 9th, 2009 4:37 am

      As a New Yorker who ran for cover on September 11th and in April 2009 when this fighter jet flew WAY TOO LOW over my noggin, let me tell you folks – - – the feelings of terror and panic came right back, thanks to this low-cruising aircraft.
      Seriously, couldn’t some one just PHOTO-SHOP a new picture into being and spare the scare???
      [The picture shown above looks pretty lousy. I personally, would not pay $10 for it much less $300,000!!]
      Come up and see Mae . . .

    11. caesu on May 9th, 2009 7:13 am

      #5 Jason

      it’s even worse than that.
      it wasn’t just regular mustard but Dijon mustard.
      the horror!!!
      consumption of Dijon mustard should be banned.
      it’s elists, unamerican, if you put it on your burger the terrorists have won!

    12. William Reid on May 9th, 2009 9:16 am

      I heard a radio show caller describe the fact that when this happened (the flyover of NYC)that SOMEONE had to know that this left the president with a potential problme if there were an emergency and that events such as the flyover could not take place without the proper organization of the entire event. In other words, was the president notified in advance and did he personally approve the flyover?

    13. SteveDinMD on May 9th, 2009 9:41 am

      Louis Caldera is the perfect fall-guy for this fiasco since he’s the perfect example of a Leftist political hack. After serving briefly as a junior officer in the U.S. Army, he embarked upon a similarly brief (4 years) and undistinguished legal career. He then served 5 years as a California Assemblyman. Next, he served a year as the Chief Operating Officer for the Corporation for National & Community Service before being appointed Secretary of the Army as the Clinton Administration wound down. He then served a 2-year stint as President of the University of New Mexico. Prior to being appointed Director of the White House Office of Military Affairs by Barack Obama, Caldera’s most significant professional experience was his service on the Board of Directors of Indymac Bank for 6 years — until that institution COLLAPSED in the third largest bank failure in U.S. history, costing taxpayer BILLIONS. I guess that REALLY must have impressed Obama. This guy is a perfect example of what’s wrong with the Democrat Party. On the basis of political patronage alone, they take a man with a paper thin resume and absolutely NO record of success in any area of human endeavor and keep appointing him to ever more significant positions of public trust and allow him to leave ever greater disasters in his wake. I suppose that’s what passes for “change” in the Obama Administration.

    14. Vote Present For the Stimulus on May 9th, 2009 9:54 am

      This is all a head fake…….

      Look at the picture. Taken from a jet fighter. You can seen the reflections of the cockpit. Not a quality shot.

      They are overdisclosing and firing someone to run cover for what was really going on.

      Who was on the plane? Note that their documents do not address this. My guess is some well-heeled campaign contributors were getting the ride of their life as a thank you for their support.

      They are diverting attention away from the fact that our government spent $400,000 to thank those who contributed money to the campaign.

      The White House needs to fully disclose.

    15. Scared Monkeys on May 9th, 2009 10:25 am

      Oh #2,Marc

      You sad delusional liberal fool, people do not have to be paid to know BS when they see it.

      Hey Libs, stop changing the story to Dijon-gate, there is a post all unto itself. The flying of Air Farce One over NYC was about as stupid & clueless an act as has ever been done. Yes, greater than spelling potato wrong.

      People are allowed to have a sane, factual opinion Marc that does not follow your liberal agenda.

      And to answer your question as to who gets paid to make comments about Obama … that would be the propagandist MSM.


    16. Scared Monkeys on May 9th, 2009 10:44 am

      Why is it that liberals do not understand the impact of September 11, 2001? Is it because you don’t want to or are you just clueless?

      Any right thinking person would know that flying a plane low over NYC would cause panic. If you didn’t, you are a fool. If you knew and you did it any how, you are a hateful SOB.

      No one has to take anyone’s opinion as to the stupidity of the actions of this photo-op, you merely need to watch the You Tube video of the panic of the NYC workers running from their buildings.

      BTW, those people probably 80-20 voted for Obama.

      Now the difference between me and the Libs who want to comment here, besides the obvious, is if this had happened under a GWB Administration I would have wrote the same post.

      However, the fact of the matter is that in all the Bush years after 9-11-01, GWB nor anyone in his Administration authorized such a stupid stunt as flying a plane over NYC, especially Air Force One.

      What it tell me is that either the Obama Admin does not care about 9-11 or they fell that the impact and the war of terror that hit NYC that fateful day is irrelevant.

      Like it or not Libs, Obama can throw all the people he wants under the bus … eventually in an election the buck will stop with him and there will be hell to pay for all of what he is doing.


    17. Ryanlax on May 9th, 2009 11:00 am

      This guy can’t even speak without a teleprompter, it’s no wonder it cost $328,835in taxpayer’s cash…

      My honest thoughts

      Ryanlax 12 years old

    18. Tracy on May 9th, 2009 11:30 am

      LOL Some folks act as if President Obama reached in his jacket pocket and gave his buddy the keys to the jet and told him to take it for a spin! The Air Force 1 decoy was used in a stupid photo op for the stupid purpose of post cards and other soveiners(sp?) last I heard The President of The United States is not in charge of The White House Gift Shop

    19. rightknight on May 9th, 2009 12:56 pm

      ACORN is passing the responsibility buck down
      to it’s ‘employees’ for the criminal investigations
      and charges incurred for voter fraud. Obowma is
      passing the responsibility buck to anyone but himself.
      A pattern is emerging. We really need to select servants
      that are personally responsible beings! What to do?

      Tea anyone?

    20. Vote Present For the Stimulus on May 9th, 2009 1:04 pm

      Lincoln Bedroom sleepovers….

      Some happy fundraisers and people who donated a lot of money get to jump on the bed in the Lincoln Bedroom. Who can’t forget the Clinton era and the perks given to those from Hollywood and elsewhere who paid for the Clintons.

      Joyrides around New York in AF1….

      Even money says that some high rollers and fundraisers were given a gift to fly around NYC.

      They would have taken professional photo’s, not a cockpit photo from a jet pilot.

      The ‘investigation’ and the firing/resignation of the fall guy is all done to minimize and distract from what really was going down.

    21. Maggie on May 9th, 2009 1:28 pm

      Does anyone believe this is the only picture taken that day? I have a friend in NY, that said people were really scared the day this happened. For the people who don’t mind pay tax dollars for such.. I hope the govt. takes it out of their money and not mine.

    22. Michelle Smith on May 9th, 2009 2:10 pm

      @#2 Disagreeing with what Obama is doing to this country is not hateful it is American. We care about what is happening to our Country at the hands of this clown. He does not have a clue what he is doing and his inexperience is costing us taxpayers a crap load of money.

      @#5 Please get a clue. You are missing the point entirely.

      @#7 If you really think that the war was to inflate one mans ego as you stated then you need to do a little research before you post. If that’s the case then I guess Obama needs his ego stroked also because in case you haven’t checked lately, we are still in Iraq and now in Afghanistan. Why is that? I don’t suppose it could be war on terror now, could it?

      @#18 Do you honestly think that Obama was not aware of what was happening? You honestly think that this was all for a lousy photo-op? You people really are delusional if you think he didn’t know what was going on.

      Wake up people before it’s too late.

    23. dennisintn on May 9th, 2009 3:04 pm

      caldera is just the latest obama supporter “bus casualties” in an everlenthening list.
      it was a training mission, but the air force would have never planned for it to violate the new york airspace without orders from the white house and caldera would have not made a decision to order it done without authorization from higher up. as anal retentive as obama is, nothing is decided without his knowledge and consent.

    24. Brenda in Virginia on May 9th, 2009 4:20 pm

      Jason/Caseau…don’t forget the koolaide they were drinking with that mustard. Obama is nothing more than a socialist/marxist sociopath….period.

      Call me what you want…I love this country and it is clear obama and his minions are hell bent on destroying everything it was founded on.

    25. Brenda in Virginia on May 9th, 2009 4:21 pm

      yes Michelle, Obama is 100% aware what he is doing…

    26. Tracy on May 9th, 2009 7:56 pm

      Hes a sociopath now?Oh boy Brenda.thaaaaaaats strechin it.Look up the definition of a sociopath before you yap your big mouth.

    27. katablog.com on May 9th, 2009 9:20 pm

      #2 Marc on May 8th, 2009 11:05 pm: Did you also think that those that made fun of Bush’s pronunciation of nuclear were paid and silly?

      As Red has already said, you simply don’t understand the impact of 9/11 on New Yorkers if you think this is just a made up way to bash O.

      If you don’t want to talk about Djon and Arugula, perhaps you do want to talk about $3.7 trillion budgets, raises to congress, raises for congressional offices, trying to pay off Specter for selling out the people who he represents; ACORN fraud; bashing and threatening secured creditors for not agreeing to become lower than O’s pals the non-secured union creditors; rabid campaign fraud; lies, lies and more lies; trying to turn public against AIG when it was Chris Dodd (on a call from the WH according to him) who approved those bonuses; bailouts, bailouts and more bailouts for banks, auto companies and AIG; debt, debt, and more debt; criminals as his appointees to the cabinet; ah well the list could go on and on and only 100 days has pasted – but pick a topic.

    28. ANewGirl on May 9th, 2009 11:37 pm

      #27-Kat-Another great post as usual. When it is all neatly summized as you do, one should really continue to keep questioning all of these issues…then press 1 for the panic button.

      Holy Crap! & we have anywhere from 3.90 to possibly 8 more years of this type of leadership??? Can be very frightening if you really think about it. I fear for my children’s uncertain financial/global future, and their children as well. I truly do & I’m not in to the fear-mongering BS either. Just very concerned.

    29. Larry Holmes on May 10th, 2009 9:50 am

      #2 (Marc) & #5 (Jason):

      Ahh . . . take a deep breath, guys, then look up the definition of “tongue-in-cheek.” You’ll feel better.

      As for the teleprompter king, search your past presidential press conference and You-Tube libraries for examples of virtually any presidents who relied upon the teleprompter to make cabinet appointments, opening remarks to the press, and so forth. Obama’s heavy reliance upon that device is unprecedented. The need is obvious, when one counts the “uhhs” and other dislocations in his extemporaneous remarks.

      That said, I don’t know why he is so concerned about obtaining perfect verbal delivery considering Dubya’s tortured speech patterns. His over-reliance on the TP only calls attention to his off-prompter gaffs.

    30. Susan on May 10th, 2009 12:27 pm

      The Obama adminstration should plan an unannounced repeat flight over the Pentagon or the White House (or is it the Kenyan House?). Any guesses on how long Air Force One would remain airborne?

    31. ANewGirl on May 10th, 2009 1:16 pm

      Hmmmn…. know what I was just thinking?….I really could give a Rat’s Arse what kind of condiments any President prefers…(but of course, that was not the point of that other post, it’s called satire, Folks right?)

      .(but)…For me, it’s always been what type of job the person elected into office does at running our Country. How capable is he ?? Is he effective?? Upfront? Can I trust him to protect me, my family and continue to prosper under his guidance….continue to help us achieve everything as Americans that have made us the great Country we were in the past, are in the present and will be again in the future?? You know, the good ‘ol US of A that everyone loves to hate??? The good Ol US of A that SOME Foriegners/Foriegn Countries still hate to love but depend on and use anyway??? (envy) Come on People! You know what I am saying!

      Think back to 9/11 and remember (for the rest of our lives) the shock, horror and disbelief—it was completely surreal. Remember how for months and months and months after—every where you went- you saw bumper stickers, pins, signs, ribbons post and American Flags proudly displayed EVERYWHERE AGAIN….everywhere you looked????? It was ALL ABOUT AMERICA PULLING TOGETHER AGAIN and saying—we WILL UNITE. WE WILL OVERCOME and WE WILL NOT TOLERATE TERRORISTS ACTS IN THIS COUNTRY. We looked to other Nations for help, few responded. (Love you forever Tony Blair!!!!)

      Listen, we all argue and pontificate on here back and forth- Left vs. Right- REP vs. DEM ..this is just yet another minute liberty we take for granted as Americans…but we literally would not even have this right or the ability to do so in other Countries.

      I did not vote for Obama, for many reasons ( I was mesmerized at first)- first and foremost–his inexperience! I am going to say this though, on just this small topic—this was a case of the left hand not telling the right hand what it was going….big embarrassment and big snafu over what was just started out to be a minor task at hand…a damn photo op gone wrong!

      (Story also is immediately after …like that evening in “after hours” meeting (there is no 9-5 in the White House) Obama pulled in those responsible and his cabinet for this HUGE MISTAKE and reemed them all a new one. I will give him credit for one thing only here—he took action. Say what you want, the Chief has to take the axe when one of his little Indians fails… Imagine….Bloomberg not even officially notified beforehand –ARE YOU SERIOUS ?!!? He was livind and had every right to be! Yep, you knew the sh*t was going to hit the fan right there! )…so there you have it….

      Barack is doing his job there, Cadera was canned and you can bet he’s not the only one that lost his job over this. This was not just done for PR purposes or because of egg on the face, it was done because it was the right thing to do.

      This is the job Obama wanted, he wanted to run for the highest office in the land, to be our Commander-in-Chief and he inherited one, hot mess. I want to give him credit so far for (not much, sorry) but–for at least (so far) keeping his nose to the grindstone and taking on many, many serious problems. He has done waaaay too much finger pointing and blaming former Administration, true- but what I am seeing now is some progress. Congrats Barry and welcome to the world of truly being held accountable for ALL. He stuck by Giethner when he was being pressured to let him go for that whole AIG fiasco and we all knew what went down there …..President Obama still thinks Giethner is brilliant and tough (he is) and that he is the best man for the job. (We’ll see). I don’t like what Geithner did along with millions of other Americans either….but I have to go with what Obama sees in him, too and give this man a chance. He walked in to perhaps the most difficult job in the Administration besides the job of the President himself, in all fairness (regarding the current state of our economy, anyway).

      Sorry for long rant but is any of this rambling making sense?? I’m going to sit back here for a long while now (since it’s just over the first 100 days of Obama’s Administration (again- so far not overly imppressed…concerned would still be by adjective of choice) IMO, I’ve also seen some encouraging signs as well. Not vascillating or waffling, merely trying to observe what I just saw happen in this isolated incident.

      President Obama did the right thing in taking swift action in delivering the consequences of this minor snafu that TURNED into a big deal b/c somewhere, people did not do their jobs and follow through on a routine photo op scheduling. As my Grandfather used to say,

      K I S S = Keep it Simple Stupid

      Again sorry for long winded post…but I feel strongly we have to stop all the trivial nitpicking and let the man get on with the business of running this Country. He’s got a long, long way to go here. Agree with everything he does or not, more of us should get behind me and at least give him our support. When he makes ridiculous, COSTLY (in more ways than one) decisions though—he’s going to hear it from us too! So many of us are fed up- but let’s cross the aisles as they say–work together to find solutions and stop giving everything lip service? What have we done for our Country recently or for our fellow Americans if were/are able? Remember JFK’s words…. Ask not ….you know the rest!

      Happy Mother’s Day to all…this was my 20 minute indulgence to log on with no one bother me to use the computer …after breakfast in bed, flowers, nice cards and a Manicure & Pedicure Gift Cert. from the Hubster and Kiddies ?!?!? (And no work today, either- not even cooking??!?!? )… Now that’s my definition of a little slice of HEAVEN right there!

      Peace! NG from Boston

    32. Alan Keyes Arrested: Notre Dame Protests » Blue Star Chronicles on May 10th, 2009 5:54 pm

      [...] House Military Office Director Louis Caldera is having to take the fall for that. Scared Monkeys is reporting on it. One wonders if anyone is actually in control at the White House. No seriously, this is what [...]

    33. Is the Air Force One Flight over Manhattan Controversy Over for Obama … May Be Not … Where’s the Manifest? | Scared Monkeys on May 11th, 2009 12:17 am

      [...] the picture of Air Force One flying low over the Statue of Liberty really look like a $328,835 photo? With the resignation of Louis Caldera, Barack Obama’s former director of the White House [...]

    34. The Prez Skips Town « Get Off Your Butts on November 3rd, 2010 4:45 pm

      [...] terrorist rampage in 2008) but also several other nearby hotel rooms, and 2 jumbo jets along with Air Force One (& it’s decoy twin) plus 3 Marine One choppers which will be completely disassembled for [...]

    Leave a Reply

    Support Scared Monkeys! make a donation.

    • NEWS (breaking news alerts or news tips)
    • Red (comments)
    • Dugga (technical issues)
    • Dana (radio show comments)
    • Klaasend (blog and forum issues)
    E-mail It