Caldera Resigns White House Post
By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson
Louis Caldera, the director of the White House Military Office who scared New Yorkers witless last month, has resigned.
In a report ordered by President Obama Caldera said he does not remember a conversation in which he was told of a planned a photo shoot intended to show Air Force One with the Statue of Liberty in the background.
On March 27 a 747 jet, painted to resemble the presidential plane, swooped low over Manhattan trailed by a military fighter plane. To many it looked like the fighter was chasing the president’s jet. The overflight caused widespread panic among New Yorkers for whom September 11, 2001 happened the day before yesterday. Panicked workers evacuated office buildings in lower Manhattan and across the Hudson River in Jersey City, NJ.
Part of the plan was that information about the flyover be released only on a “need to know” basis. Manhattanites were kept in the dark. Not even New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was informed.
The flight cost taxpayers an estimated $328,835, according to CNN. It also cost Caldera his job.
In his resignation letter, Caldera said
I have concluded that the controversy surrounding the Presidential Airlift Group’s aerial photo shoot over New York City has made it impossible for me to effectively lead the White House Military Office. Moreover, it has become a distraction to the important work you are doing as president. After much reflection, I believe it is incumbent on me to tender my resignation and step down as director of the White House Military Office.
Caldera, whose resignation takes effect May 22, will have nothing more to do with operation of the military office. Instead, he will spend the next two weeks completing “the necessary out-processing.” After that, presumably, he will get himself on the list for a brain transplant.