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Official quits after flyover flap

Sat., May 9, 2009

WASHINGTON – An Obama administration official who took the blame for the Air Force One flyover in lower Manhattan last month resigned Friday, following a White House investigation into a botched photo op that frightened New Yorkers with its echo of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Louis Caldera wrote to the president that he could no longer perform effectively as head of the White House Military Office.

The April 27 flight was intended to get a picture of the blue and white plane above the Statue of Liberty – a shot that was to be used for publicity. President Barack Obama was not aboard the plane at the time. The public had not been forewarned, leaving some New Yorkers to worry that the plane, flying at an altitude of 1,000 feet, might be targeting a skyscraper.

After the flight, White House officials described Obama as “furious.” Caldera, a former secretary of the Army in the Clinton administration, quickly issued an apology and took responsibility for “any distress that flight caused.”


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