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 Photo op terrifies NY and rest of country

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March Mellow



Join date : 2009-04-26
Posts : 209
Location : Char-Meck

PostSubject: Photo op terrifies NY and rest of country   Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:54 pm

Obama plane's photo-op triggers NY panic
6 hours ago

NEW YORK (AFP) — New Yorkers evacuated offices in panic Monday when an unexpected overflight by one of President Barack Obama's Boeing 747s triggered fears of a new 9/11.

The jumbo, escorted by low-flying fighter jets, roared over southern Manhattan and the Hudson River for about 30 minutes on what officials later described as a photo op.

A livid New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he had not been warned and called the lack of notice "ridiculous and poor judgement."

Stunned office workers who failed to spot the presidential markings feared facing a repeat of the September 11, 2001, attacks in which two hijacked airliners smashed into the World Trade Center, killing almost 3,000 people.

"I saw everybody running and I ran out too. My heart is still pounding," said commodities trader Jurgens Bauer.

Bauer said that his room had no window so he had not seen the plane -- which is painted white with a blue nose and blue stripe -- but that the terror was real.

"I was there on 9/11, I saw thousands of people die. I don't like when I am not aware of a military photo op," he said.

Police confirmed that some offices were evacuated, but did not specify how many. "I guess people panicked," a spokesman said.

Officials explained the confusion after saying that the commander in chief's aircraft had merely been conducting an exercise. Obama himself was not aboard.

"The presidential airlift group conducted an aerial photo in the New York city area today," said US Air Force spokesman Major Richard Johnson.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) called the maneuver a "photo op."

"The Defense Department is conducting a photo op that involves deploying two F-16s and escorting a military version of the Boeing 747" close to lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty, FAA spokesman Jim Peters told AFP.

"The maneuver was not an emergency and was coordinated in advance with the FAA and state and local officials," he added.

But Bloomberg said no one had told him of the visitors to New York's skies.

The mayor, who is running for a third term later this year, said in televised comments that he was "annoyed -- furious is a better word -- that I wasn't told."

"Why the Defense Department wanted to do a photo op right around the site of the World Trade Center catastrophe defies imagination," he said. "It didn't have the normal language of saying that this is sensitive information."

Hijackers slammed two planes into the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center in 2001, destroying the complex on the southern tip of Manhattan in what was the worst terrorist attack on American soil.

A reconstruction project has been hampered by financial and planning delays, but the foundations of new towers are now rising at Ground Zero.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090427/ts_alt_afp/usmilitaryaviationexercise
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