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. Tim

    He should have known better. and unlike previous administrations, people are held accountable for their actions.

    To the death of American by Obama, you are an idiot. Had no idea till you opened your mouth. Thanks for clearing that up. I suppose by your logic, Bush knew that the torture was illegal and should be prosecuted. Again, thanks for letting us know for sure you are not playing with a full deck.

    May 8, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  2. Nichole, Tulsa, OK

    It's amazing how some of you can call this a silly, little mistake. It was pretty dumb to fly a plane that low over a city that has experienced the most horrific act to take place in the U.S. just under 8 years ago. I don't think New Yorkers considered it a "little mistake" while they were running to find safety. Someone deserved to take the fall for this and I'm glad he was smart enough to turn in his resignation.

    May 8, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  3. Pragmatic

    ... and all those who would not resign ... Rummy, Alberto, Wolfie ... and they made much bigger messes ...

    and then there are the sad, pathetic people who have nothing else to add to the discussion but post "But then,any body that voted for obama is a very stupid person." That's President Obama, and you are going to find it a very long 8 years ...

    Guess what! No one is listening to the 20% ers who just hate and hate and hate ... all sound and fury – signifying nothing ....

    May 8, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  4. Jack

    It's about time.

    May 8, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. Some Republican Guy

    The Obamabot screwed up royally this time!!! This is the worst thing a president has ever done!!! Let's impeach him!!!
    Have a nice day!

    May 8, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  6. Kimmie

    I am a die hard Democrat, and I find it wonderful that see have a president who says what he means. None of this George Bush stuff who said "Anyone in my administrtation who is involved with things...etc. I will fire" No body was fired, ever. He protected them all. Now we have a man of his word....great! Way to go Obama! The repubes can't have a heydey on this one. They will run like dogs with their tails between their legs.

    Lincoln, Kennedy, and now Obama. Great Presidents.......

    May 8, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  7. Dave in Illinois

    I guess somebody had to take the fall for this mistake although I'll bet a lot of other people knew about it and didn't think twice about its likely impact on New Yorkers.

    May 8, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  8. Tulsa

    @Bill ~ Down on the Bayou May 8th, 2009 4:44 pm ET
    No doubt Louis Caldera was instructed to make it look like it was all his fault and a big mistake.
    Whoa there, billy bubba, that was the LAST ADMINISTRATION, not this one.
    The days of "Doin' a heck of a job Brownie" are over. Screw up and you better take responsibility.
    On the other hand, if someone does a good job, he's commended..... like when Pres. Obama singled out the Bush administration for laying the groudwork for better control of epidemics. It was a good piece of work and as we all should, Mr. Obama applauded it.

    May 8, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  9. ced

    I really like the photo! Though I'm glad the guy resigned...if he had just communicated what was being done that would have been fine. But again...very nice photo!

    May 8, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  10. George W. Bush

    This picture didn't cost nearly as much as our "mission accomplished" photo shoot on that aircraft carrier.

    Heckuva job, Brownie!

    May 8, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  11. The Other Michael in Houston

    Good because dude is an idiot!

    May 8, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  12. Steph

    bj, Texas: why you dont you resign?

    May 8, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  13. NJ

    @The Death of America by Obama
    you are one very ignorant, sorry fella. I am really sorry for you and folks like you. Just open your mind for once and realize how hard this president is working to restore economy and repair image of US in the eyes of international community. Dont be afraid!
    Obama didn't break any of his promises he outlined during his campaign. He's holding his administration accountable for all actions they made. This act, while not properly handled and coordinated by Louie, is not enough of a reason for resignation. Remember Scooter Libby? He lied to federal agents and never spent a day in jail. There are hundreds of issues that someone with Bush administration should be held accountable.

    May 8, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  14. deb0155

    Did we expect anything else out of this administration? Remember, this was the admistration that said it was going to be different. Yeah, right! I think the whole lot of them should resign including the "glorious one" Obama! They don't know what they're doing.

    They're all full of themselves!

    May 8, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  15. What?

    A $300,000 mistake? Say what? Does CNN think Air Force One sits on the ground until tasked for a Presidential flight? Nope. It flies regularly to keep its crews current and ready to go. What does it matter if it burns its $300,000 flight meandering out to the Dakotas and back, or flying a photo op over NY? The cost is the same. It was going to fly anyway.

    May 8, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  16. coolkid

    Good job Obama for the transparency, accountability and actually doing an investigation before firing the guy ( someone was asking, what took so long. well the answer is it's no monarchy, we do some investigation in this administration ).

    As for the pic, we spend $300,000 for this ? Any high-school kid with good photoshop skills could come up with this in no time!

    May 8, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. Dave in Illinois

    I'm eager for the day when every defense of Obama's actions and policies isn't the same tired old "but look at what Bush did".

    May 8, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  18. JT

    Umm Lincoln was a Republican....

    May 8, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  19. Melissa

    Good for Obama. He's doing whats needed. The man that pulled this is being held accountable for his actions. I like this President.

    May 8, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  20. GuyInVA


    If you want to talk about sad and pathetic, how about everybody on here that has to bring up Bush, Cheney, etc. anytime anything is said about the president? This goes for Democrats and Republicans alike. Or is it Dummocrats, Rethugs, etc.? Wow, you folks are a clever lot.

    May 8, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  21. Conservative

    I think people have just chosen to have selective memories. If this had happened during Bush's administration the person would have resigned. Sure the top officials stuck around longer than most people wanted, but Bush had people at this level resign as well when the made mistakes. I think the person should have resigned. It was more than a simple mistake. I think there have been many worse decision made in the past 100 days, but you can tell by the reaction that day of the people of NYC that this isn't somethihng you just get a letter of reprimand for and move on. For what it's worth, its a really good picture though.

    May 8, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  22. FreeNLovIt

    Awesome!!!! I saved that picture of AOne flying over Miss Liberty. It is an AWESOME picture. AONE should fly over every important landmarks in America. You never know what is going to happen to them in the future.....Muah..Muah.. that was a beauty!!

    May 8, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |

    Where is the mission accomplish banner????

    May 8, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  24. Brook E. Mantia

    Well, it IS a pretty cool picture.

    May 8, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  25. Tim

    To Lotta Muni "Whatever happened to the notion of 'the buck stops here.' at the office of the presidency?"

    That is exactly what we've been saying about Bush for eight years.

    May 8, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
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