White House aide loses job over Manhattan flyover fiasco

May 9th, 2009 - 1:12 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, May 9 (ANI): The White House aide who authorized the controversial Air Force One photo-op flight last week around the Statue of Liberty is out of a job.

President Obama has accepted the resignation of Louis Caldera, the director of the White House Military Office, the Daily News learned Friday.

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 dollars.

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.

Federal officials notified Mayor Bloomberg’s office and NYPD officials in advance, but Bloomberg was not informed, infuriating the mayor.

Caldera shoulders the blame in deputy White House chief of staff Jim Messina’s review into how the decision was made to go ahead with the photo mission.

Many White House officials were angry at Caldera over the stunt. Defense Secretary Robert Gates apologized for the flyover in a letter Tuesday to Senator John McCain, who posted the memo on his Senate Web site Friday. (ANI)

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