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

Obama official resigns over photo flap

ALT TEXT

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. bluedawn

    Amazing. There is a huge judgement error made by someone in the upper ranks of our government, a report is ordered by our president, the report is completed forthwith and a resignation is tendered. We haven't seen accountability like this in at least a couple of decades. Humans err, as we saw shining examples of during the last administration, but now people are actually being held to account for their errors! Amazing. And just a word to the vitriolic Obama-haters: this country is in a crisis caused by 8 years of your party's rule, if you can say the same 8 years from now, then you will have a voice, but until then your rabid rants are too partisanly transparent to be taken seriously.

    May 8, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  2. Kyle W

    Alright, one more Obama of admin out of the white house. One by one they will all fall as we will all come to find out they have no freaken clue as to what they are doing. The first clue should of been when they can't pay their taxes and we trust them to run the country...? HA!!!

    May 8, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  3. Shari, NY

    I don't usually applaud when someone loses a job but – THREE CHEERS on this one! How could anyone in his right mind mastermind such an operation without the mayor of NY being privy to the idea? When you think of it, people could have died of heart attacks or from being trampled upon during a stampede, not to mention the utter waste of taxpayers' money when all the ambulances, police and fire trucks are mobilized in response to this FALSE ALARM. Adios, senor!

    May 8, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. rockturner

    To BJ in Texas.

    Obama will Resign,

    WHEN BUSH BABY
    pays back all the Money he spent in IRAQ.!!!!

    May 8, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  5. geecee

    The real idiots on here are those who just wanted someone's head to roll and they got their wish. Obama did not know anything about this and if he had, he wouldn't have allowed it to go forward. Why don't you find out who in the FAA and the Dept. of Defense allowed it to go forward but didn't want it publicized. They were probably Republicans. Why not publicize it? They didn't want to scare anyone?That sure backfired didn't it. You Obama haters want to blame everything on him and can't stand the fact that he is doing an outstanding job running this country and making us safe again. There are still a lot of stupid Bush leftovers in the federal government who have yet to be replaced. Once they are, this administration will run even better than it has been doing thus far.

    May 8, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  6. George in TN

    This just goes to show how much fear is still rampert in the aftermath of 9/11.

    A million tons of concrete , steel and fire falling down would give must PTSD.

    May 8, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Death of America by Obama - How sad you are. Your "stupid" comments reflect poorly on you as an American. Lighten up and support your country!

    May 8, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. nwatcher

    are we sure Obama wasn't flying this thing himself ?

    May 8, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. AndyL

    Should not have to resign, Obama should have fired him.

    May 8, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  10. Sally

    I'm sure a very similar photo could have been achieved in the photo shop without all the folderal!

    May 8, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. Melinda

    I'm sure Obama knew about the photo shoot, even if it wasn't him who authorized it. A photo shoot isn't that big of a deal, nothing to fuss over, and if it had been any other city people probably wouldn't have cared nearly as much. However, the broken link in the chain, the thing that really made this into such a huge deal, is that they didn't tell the people of New York City. If they had just let people know, "hey there's going to be a huge jet flying over the city tomorrow so don't freak out, it's supposed to be there", there wouldn't have been wide-spread panic and outrage over the incident. Now whoever authorized the secrecy of the photo shoot should be in some trouble. It just shows a complete lack of consideration for the people of Manhattan, who bear the deepest scars from 9/11. Caldera's taking the fall for this one, though, so who knows if we'll ever know who was actually responsible.

    May 8, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  12. gary davis

    it probably wasn't a good idea to fly over a restricted area with a government plane . so why are we still making such a big deal over what the Bush adm. created over the last eight years and a man looses his job ..over making a mistake .. mistakes will continue to be made .thats life we are not machines we are human.
    time to settle down and become productive and not jump on every ones ass everytime something happens
    having someone get fired or quite over things that didn't injure or cause harm .isnot good ..people will stop making decisions on a day to day job hence every thing slows down to a crawl and the finger pointing goes over board

    get a grip and lets become more pos in our every day lives

    May 8, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  13. Tell the Truth

    Obama knew !!! Air Force one is his aircraft. For him not to know is dumb. I guess he didn't have to be anywhere to appologize for America. He lent it out. Those pictures are for condolence cards to other Countries.

    May 8, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  14. John M in CA

    I voted for Obama and am a professional Hollywood Photoshop expert.

    I could make that image in half an hour from a photo shoot of Air Force One at 35,000 feet and a stock photo of the Statue of Liberty. And I could make it sing.

    I understand how you don't want to advertise the 747's low flight for Stinger-Missile range dangers. But I also know, as a pilot, that the 1,000-foot level flight around the city was about what 9/11's flights became.

    Bad judgment. But I quickly forgive you because Fox News and its sheep are so upset.

    Photoshop would've saved them tens of thousands of dollars... and I would've made it look better.

    May 8, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  15. indy

    The accountability didn't come until after the outrage in New York. I can't believe this wasn't seen as a potential $300K savings. I'm to believe the President didn't know, come on. If everyone wants to claim President Bush knew everything, then President Obama knew about this befor ethe flight ever happened. Sorry to see the man lose his job, but it was a pretty dumb thing to do.

    May 8, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  16. Lotta Muni

    Whatever happened to the notion of 'the buck stops here.' at the office of the presidency? This photo-op thing was idiotic, but Obama should be a man about it and bear full blame rather than having some poor stooge take the fall. Every day he drops further in my estimation. This was one $300K blunder which should stand as a testement that the Republican party has no monopoly on incompetence the the executive branch of government.

    May 8, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  17. RWE

    another one thrown under the bus. if you think that one person has control over AF1 then you are oblivous. They all know when that airplane is flying and for what reason. Clinton kept it waiting for him so he could get a haircut. This was an expensive photo-op that backfired on them and Cladera took the fall. BTW it costs around $17,000 per hour of flying to operate AF1.

    defend that sniffit.

    May 8, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  18. George

    Come on folks....when are we going to stop coddling our citizens?
    "Help, Help, there's an airplane over New York!" Really....OMG! Why must we make a national stink over this. It's an airplane.....get a life! Nope...we must scream in outrage! Great now you got someone fired. Are you happy now? Of course not....you're quivering in your basement waiting to be frightened again....Honestly...

    May 8, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  19. Is it 2013 yet?

    The latest in a string of people that get tossed under the bus by "No drama Obama".

    We should just call him teflon Obama, nothing sticks to him because he is the selected and now protected one.

    NONE of you bleating Obama sheep can rightfully say that if this were done during W's reign, you would not be hammering the stupidity of it, and guess what sheep, RIGHTFULLY SO. I would to.

    The only time he uh, uh, uh pops in front of the camera is to apologize for his Country (while never saying the GREAT things we have done) or to take CREDIT for doing something that means nothing (Bush asked for 35 BILLION in cuts last year INCLUDING THIS 17 BILLION and the Democrats shot him down) FACT.

    One and done Barry.

    May 8, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  20. Kim

    bj, Texas – "When is Obama going to resign?"

    After he served 8 years!

    May 8, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  21. Lotta Muni

    Whatever happened to the notion of 'the buck stops here.' at the office of the presidency? This photo-op thing was idiotic, but Obama should be a man about it and bear full blame rather than having some poor stooge take the fall. Every day he drops further in my estimation. This was one $300K blunder which should stand as a testement that the Republican party has no monopoly on incompetence in the executive branch of government.

    May 8, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  22. PaulMoATX

    JOHN H,"300k from washington to NY for Airforce One.
    think how much it costs Obama to fly across country in "his new toy" for a photo op at some struggling factory in these trying economic times."

    It goes both ways buddy. It's important for many blue-collar workers, especially from a morale standpoint, to see the President going to these factories to listen and talk to these workers. It's money well spent, trust me, and I like that Obama is getting out of Washington so that he stays in touch with the American people and not just the politicians of Washington.

    What's not money well spent, was Bush utilizing AFO to fly back and forth from Washington to Crawford, TX, and Washington to Camp David, in which he vacationed in those two spots 3 out of the 8 years of his presidency. Add up those costs and get back to us. Thanks.

    May 8, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  23. Jayson

    bj in Texas...interesting name...you should be using your mouth to give one instead of commenting

    May 8, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  24. matt

    This is just a ploy so Obama's godly image is not tarnished. I am sure that old Emanuel told him he HAD to take it for the team.

    You Obama pole riders are idiots!

    May 8, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  25. NC828

    Please, New York Needs to get off their own...... It happen almost eight years ago. New York get over yourselves. Everytime something out of wack happens all attention is turned back to New York. That is so stupid. Why hit the same again. Oh my bad, I guess the 3rd time will be a charm!

    May 8, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
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