Monday, May 11, 2009

Mike Williams' Obama Watch - May 11, 2009

The Air Force One flyby is starting to percolate up to the blogosphere’s heavy hitters.

The reason? After classifying what were reportedly PR pictures to update AF1 and Lady Liberty, the White House eventually released this one photo. Blogger Ann Althouse comments:

But look at the picture. Why would people going to all this trouble and expense to get a photograph that looked so awful?
Louis Caldera, the White House official putatively in charge of this fiasco, dutifully fell on his sword and resigned. But it seems unlikely that the mission originated at his level.

And there’s more. Spook86 at In From The Cold:
In our latest article for, we note that "official" accounts haven't explained several details, such as how an Alabama Guard unit was selected for the flight (despite the presence of other F-16 units closer to New York), and how much the mission actually cost.

By our calculations, the official price tag doesn't seem to include deployment costs associated with sending the Alabama jet to Andrews AFB, Maryland, the staging point for the photo mission.

And, there's the added expense of flying an Air Force photographer from South Carolina to Andrews to participate in the mission, and the disposition of images he recorded from the backseat of the F-16….
If you follow Spook’s Examiner link, you’ll read this: has confirmed that the F-16 that served as the photographic platform deployed from Dannelly Field in Montgomery, Alabama, home of the Air National Guard’s 187th Fighter Wing. Initial reports suggested that both F-16s came from the Washington, D.C. ANG, based at Andrews AFB in suburban Maryland.

But an Air Force spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Tadd Sholtis, said that the Alabama guard was tasked to provide a two-seat F-16 because a similar “D” model from the D.C. unit was unavailable. The F-16D from Alabama deployed to Andrews before the flight.

At the Maryland base, the Alabama pilot was joined by another member of the team, a military photographer from the 1st Combat Camera Squadron at Charleston AFB, South Carolina. The only active-duty photographic unit of its type in the USAF, the Charleston combat camera is charged with acquiring still and visual images in support of various air, sea and ground military operations….
My professional instincts [ Mike's a retired pilot. -- JinC ] tell me that the two-seat F-16 was the photo bird, and that the single-seater was part of the photo-op. Carmichael’s Position has a possible explanation for this here (and I stress the word “possible”).

Whatever, Obama seems to think he has put this one to bed. We’ll see.

In other news, you golfers are probably familiar with CBS Sports commentator David Feherty, who reportedly finds himself in the crosshairs of Media Matters for this little zinger:
From my own experience visiting the troops in the Middle East, I can tell you this though: despite how the conflict has been portrayed by our glorious media, if you gave any U.S. soldier a gun with two bullets in it, and he found himself in an elevator with Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Osama bin Laden, there's a good chance that Nancy Pelosi would get shot twice, and Harry Reid and bin Laden would be strangled to death.
I know, I know – It’s undeniably in poor taste. But so was this.



Anonymous said...

I have heard the comment about Bin Laden, Reid, and Pelosi in the elevator from military personnel. There is not much love for the Speaker or the Senate Majority Leader.

Anonymous said...

Confederate Yankee blogs that Air Force officials claim the following:

…the flight in question occurred as part of a scheduled training mission, so there were no passengers on board….

Here’s the link:

Mike Williams

Anonymous said...

Actually I laughed my ass off at that one.