May 8th, 2009
04:24 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama official resigns over photo flap


The White House has released a photo taken during the controversial flyover of New York City last week.

(CNN) - Louis Caldera, the director of the White House Military Office who authorized the controversial Air Force One photo-op over New York City last week has resigned, the White House announced Thursday.

The White House has also released a photograph taken during the unannounced flyover that caused a brief panic in the city.

Full story

Full White House statement after the jump

Statement from White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs:

The President has accepted the resignation of Louis Caldera as Director of the White House Military Office. Attached is Mr. Caldera's resignation letter. Also attached is a report sought by the President and conducted by Jim Messina, deputy chief of staff, and a photo.

The President has asked his Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina and Defense Secretary Gates or his designee to jointly review the organizational structure of the White House Military Office and the reporting relationship of its components to the White House and the Air Force, and to make recommendations to him to ensure that such an incident never occurs again.

Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (234 Responses)
  1. PaulMoATX

    Jill American"What took him so long?"

    Remember that we have a President, an introverted President, who actually thinks before he speaks or acts, unlike the last President, who is an extrovert who people didn't care to listen to.

    May 8, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  2. Kwesoe

    Demonstrates true leadership that has been missing in this country for eight years. You don't ride on Obama's coattail to protect you job. You fail, you fry. Radiance, my president.

    May 8, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  3. Angelo

    This is definitely petty. New Yorkers know they are thick skinned so for them to whine over this is a disgrace.

    Your previous president let two planes hit your buildings and you are tripping over this?

    It's purely divisive and political. Get over it. No one cares about New Yorkers. Not to the rest of us Americans

    May 8, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. jude

    this i applaud for the simple fact; don't test this president and his resolve. and his staff is also sharp as a tack. in spite of a full plate dealing w/ world wide issues this should be a message to all those who want to test this man's resolve. he ain't no joke neither him or VP joe biden. caldera fell on the sword, if i had my way a whole lot more people that were invovled would get their security credintals deactivated. no one takes them planes out when all hell is breaking loose our the world. word to the wise; this is a no-nonsense prez. i speak for myself. to the people of new york hang on in there.

    May 8, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. Ann Lettis

    To the person who felt this low flying plane over NYC was a "simple mistake", obviously you do not live in NYC, nor did you have friends and/or family die on 9/11. Amazing how insensitive people are and how easily they forget the tragedy of that horrible day that some of us have to live with the rest of our lives and without our loved ones.

    May 8, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. Matt

    Gotta admit it's a nice shot. I suppose it should be for $300k; though I find it sad that the issue of $300k Air Force One photos would never have been questioned had it not been over NYC. It was a bad decison to fly over NYC but it didn't hurt anyone. Now if there was only accountability for actions that actually cause harm...

    May 8, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  7. Ray Fisher

    Hey, we gave Caldera to Obama with a no return agreement so we won't take him back!!!

    May 8, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  8. Ryan

    BJ from Texas. Shut up. He's not resigning, he's working on fixing what your boy Bush and the Republicans have done to us.

    May 8, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  9. ~~ July ~~

    bj, Texas May 8th, 2009 4:30 pm ET

    When is Obama going to resign?

    In 8 yrs ..................... loser

    May 8, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  10. Joaquin

    Who are all these losers whining on about Obama? What happened to all the literate, thoughtful people who used to respond to these CNN stories. Really. I enjoyed a fairly engaged and intelligent debate waged in email responses on this site during the primary season. And this was from both sides of the political issues. These folks seem, well– simple, even a little ignorant.

    May 8, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  11. Nelson

    I am glad Mr. Caldera elected or was asked to resign to account for an error in judgement that caused fear to people for whom the events of 9-11-2001 are a real source of worry.

    Although he should fallen or been trust on his sword sooner, one at least gets the sense that this administration will hold people accountable.

    To the sad individuals who have nothing constructive to say, I simply say, like it or nor Barack Obama is our President (yours too). Get over yourselves.

    May 8, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  12. Salas

    Some people are incurable haters,always finding fault where none exist.Has this got anything to do with pres O.

    May 8, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |

    Dave Wow, what a change from the Bush years —--------–

    I agree Bush protected his people while Obama seems happy enough to throw them under the bus. Obama is responsible for this and he is making this fellow pay.
    Great change!

    May 8, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  14. G NO P

    The Death of America by Obama May 8th, 2009 4:29 pm ET

    July 4th the crown of the Statue of Liberty will be open.The democrats say this is a gift to the American people from nitwit obama.
    Anyone who thinks obama didn't know about this fly over for pictures with the statue in the background is really,really stupid and in denial.
    But then,any body that voted for obama is a very stupid person.

    Get over it, you lost

    May 8, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. oz

    ok this guy caused a mild panic, which was a stupid mistake..but again a mistake–no real consequences. and he resigns. 'Brownie' was in part responsible for letting a whole city drown and he got 'heck of job' praises– what did i miss??

    AND this is ONE nice pic

    May 8, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  16. ~~ July ~~

    No More Incumbents May 8th, 2009 4:38 pm ET

    1 down, about 600 to go.

    Wow ................. you sure enjoy being a loser don't you. jajaaa

    May 8, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    WOW, that is a great picture!! But it really good have been done in Photoshop and it probably would have been sunnier there :-). Well it did create a chaos in NY so someone definitely should have been "punished" for it.

    May 8, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. Oregon calling

    A White House official taking responsibility?!?!?!? Stop the presses!!!!
    Now, when was the last time that we seen this happen?

    Peace 🙂

    May 8, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  19. dina levine

    Just another victim of Obama messing up and someone else taking the blame. I truly believe Obama knew about it and because it had to do with him he thought it was ok. His ego is bigger than any amount of murders that happened on 911.

    If he thinks we would believe that he didn't know about it, he's crazy. That man wants to know everything that goes on, which he should. Now if he could only take the blame for it.

    May 8, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  20. revolution

    Obama should resign, and pay back the tax payers the $400,000.

    May 8, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  21. Steve Gee

    It's about time he resigned or got fired! What a moron for authorizing the photo opp that panicked NYC, not to mention the huge waste of taxpayers' money.

    Just another example of our inept Federal Government ...

    May 8, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  22. jimmy-ohio

    my my you right wingers are out today,,,,obamas should resign over this? should bush have resigned over mission accomplished?katrina?cheney shooting a guy then obstructing?libby?if you say no then you are a hypocrite

    May 8, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  23. Terry

    John Smythe wrote: "Taking a bullet for our incompetent President who supposedly didn't know that his plane was in the air flying around NY City. Get real people, our President is as crooked as they come."

    A mean-spirited comment, John. It seems very plausible to me that Obama was caught by surprise. There usually seems to be a few days of lag time between the time Obama learns of something and action is taken. I presume he was gathering the facts. I like a guy who does NOT shoot from the hip.

    I also think that Obama allowed the man who made the dumb decision to resign rather than be fired. That is a courtesy that most decent bosses would give to an employee who had to go due to a bad decision. It would be different if the guy had stolen government money or taken a bribe. What he did was make a dumb decision. I would have done it too. It would have never occurred to me that New Yorkers are afraid of planes still.

    May 8, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    i think its absurd that people are being fired for this. what's the big deal? so what – a plane is in the air – cameras are taking pictures. i was at 9/11 – this didn't 'freak me out.' people need to grow a sack.

    May 8, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  25. tjaman

    And for everyone who's using this as an excuse to be truly awful about his Majesty, what's your bilious hatred taste like? It's gotta be killing you slowly. Enjoy your ulcers! 😀

    May 8, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
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