Obama Administration Reportedly Block Release of Controversial Pictures of Backup Air Force One

120px-air-force-one-cph-2005The White House has reportedly barred the release of the photographs from the infamous flight of the backup Air Force One plane over lower Manhattan. Despite the fact that the White House approved the flight at the cost of $328,835, it appears to have little hesitation to withhold the photographs to avoid further embarrassment.

The Post quotes an Obama official as saying that “[w]e have no plans to release them.” Yet, while the military classified the entire operation, the White House admitted that this was simply a photo op. The Administration has barred release, even though videos of the flight can be found on the Internet.

This is precisely the type of conduct that led to the criticism of the Bush Administration for barring photos of the coffins of fallen soldiers. If one believes in transparency in government, the withholding of pictures to quell criticism is hardly a promising start.

For the full story, click here.

17 thoughts on “Obama Administration Reportedly Block Release of Controversial Pictures of Backup Air Force One”

  1. Yes!

    White House aide resigns over NYC flyover

    WASHINGTON – The White House official who authorized a $328,835 photo-op of Air Force One soaring above New York City resigned Friday just weeks after the flyover sparked panicked workers to rush into the streets and flashbacks to Sept. 11. Louis Caldera said the controversy had “made it impossible for me to effectively lead the White House Military Office,” which is responsible for presidential aircraft.

  2. bdaman

    Say that they are creditors, they have a general claim on the assets of the business as a whole. Chapter 11 like 13 for individuals the Trustee can cram down terms that the creditors don’t like.

    They want more than the 55% they were being offered.

  3. Former Dem

    How can a secured creditor have standing to take on the identity of the UAW. The UAW and Chrysler came to an agreement. It was unsecured creditors that were the hold out that forced the Chapter 11.

    If they were secured creditors then they would have nothing to worry about. They just take their collateral and go unless it is reaffirmed. So, the question magician, is how can they step in the shoes of the UAW?

  4. Anon thats not for me to decide, the court will rule in Obamas favor. This administration is out of control. I will tell you that I did not vote. I was not going to vote just to vote because it would of been the provebial flip of the coin. There is now a second source to back up Lurias claim.


    You really don’t have a clear do you? They are SECURED CREDITORS. Sheese.

  6. Bdaman,

    How do they have standing to represent or be in the shoes of the UAW?

  7. Here you go former Dem

    If Obama expected the senior creditors of Chrysler to fold their tents under political pressure, they may have gotten a rude shock today. Thomas Lauria, who accused the White House of threatening the creditors withn humiliation at the hands of the White House press corps, has filed a motion to halt the administration’s machinations on behalf of the UAW in the Chrysler bankruptcy. Lauria and his allies claim that the Obama administration has violated the Constitution in their bid to devalue the senior creditors’ holdings on behalf of junior creditors, and have some precedent to support the allegation.

    The heart of the argument starts on page 8 (via HA commenter Outlander):

    III. The Taking of Collateral through a Direct or Indirect Use of TARP Authority is Unconstitutional.

    13. The Treasury Department relies on TARP as the purported authority to justify the disparate treatment under the 363 Sale, even though TARP was enacted after the Senior Lenders’ liens on the Debtors’ property were already in place. The Supreme Court long ago recognized, however, that a secured creditor’s interest in specific property is protected in bankruptcy under the Fifth Amendment. Louisville Joint Stock Land Bank v. Radford, 295 U.S. 555, 594 (1935). That case involved a Depression-era statute that was intended to help bankrupt farmers avoid losing their land in mortgage foreclosure. The statute in Radford provided that the bankrupt debtor could achieve a release of the security interests either (i) with the lender’s consent, purchasing the property at its then appraised value by making deferred payments for two to six years at statutorily-set interest rates; or (ii) by seeking from the bankruptcy court a stay of the proceedings for up to five years during which time the debtor could use the property by paying a rent set by the court, which payments would be for the benefit of all creditors, with a purchase option at the end of that period. Id. at 856-57.

    14. Justice Brandeis noted that the “essence of a mortgage” is the right of the secured party “to insist upon full payment before giving up his security [i.e., the property pledged].” Radford, 295 U.S. at 580. In invalidating the statute, the Court stated that “[t]he bankruptcy power . . . is subject to the Fifth Amendment,” and that the pernicious aspect of this law was its “taking of substantive rights in specific property acquired by the bank prior to the act.” Id. at 589-90 (emphasis added). Thus, Congress could not pass a law that could be used to deny to secured creditors their rights to realize upon the specific property pledged to them or “the right to control meanwhile the property during the period of default.” Id. at 594. That is precisely what the Treasury Department would have Chrysler do here, with respect to the Chrysler Non-TARP Lenders’ property rights that were acquired prior to the enactment of TARP.

    15. Relying on purported authority provided by TARP, the Treasury Department is demanding that Chrysler’s assets be stripped away from the coverage of the Senior Lenders’ liens — thereby impairing the rights of the Senior Lenders to realize upon those assets — so that those assets may be put in New Chrysler and used to the benefit of unsecured creditors in this proceeding, who will then be paid much more than the Senior Lenders. But, even assuming that TARP provides the Treasury Department with authority to provide funding to the Debtors and impose the transfer of collateral away from the Senior Lenders, TARP was enacted long after the Senior Lenders contracted with the Debtors and received senior liens on the Debtors’ property. Radford specifically disallowed the use of a law to retroactively alter existing liens on property.

    16. Here, the proposed sale of the Debtors’ assets will leave the Senior Lenders with a diluted pool of assets and no further interests in the operating assets covered by their specific liens. The Constitution forbids this application of a law retroactively to undercut the Senior Lenders’ pre-existing property rights in favor or inferior creditors.

    17. Finally, that the Treasury Department would take these unconstitutional actions to help the United States address difficult economic times is not an answer. Indeed, the same justification was expressly rejected in Radford, where Justice Brandeis noted that a statute which violated secured creditors’ rights, but which was passed for sound public purposes relating to the Great Depression, could not be saved because “the Fifth Amendment commands that, however great the nation’s need, private property shall not be thus taken even for a wholly public use without just compensation.” Id. at 602.

    18. What is really striking here is that what is being proposed by the Sale Motion would strip the Collateral away and allow it to be put to use as new capital in New Chrysler for the benefit of existing and other creditors — even though the Chrysler Non-TARP Lenders have been given no opportunity to realize upon that Collateral to the point of full repayment ahead of at least $14 billion of selectively identified unsecured creditors.

    One might think that a Constitutional scholar like Barack Obama would have already known that, but either this precedent escaped him or he doesn’t care about it at all. Brandeis acted to uphold contract law, especially in the face of a government interest in paying off politically-connected unsecured creditors ahead of the senior creditors. There is no other reason for Brandeis to make that decision, as only government could insert itself into the contractual relationship during a bankruptcy proceeding — just as Obama has done with Chrysler.

    Lauria’s argument seems very compelling here, especially given Brandeis’ rather clear assertion that bankruptcy proceedings have to fall within the 5th Amendment — and that government can’t implement a taking to satisfy its own arbitrary aims by ignoring the relationship of the creditors to the default. We’ll see whether the court rebukes Obama.

  8. They just don’t want anybody to see exactly where the Bird Flu.

  9. Former Dem, you will notice that I said what I had to say only once, did not need to resort to CAPITALS and found it completely unnecessary to rely on someone else spoonfeeding me. See? Thinking your own thoughts and expressing them with your own words can be fun. If you try it some time, you may find you can actually do it.

  10. Gee whiz, if “Scott” said it, it’s got to be true. As far as CIA morale is concerned, what we’re hearing is behind the scenes maneuvering to head off investigations and potential prosecutions. The impact on “morale” is a typical bogeyman, much like “unit cohesion” is on arguments regarding gays in the military. The real truth is that the CIA has never had any recruitment problems. In addition, the training is so thorough and intense that it is laughable to suggest that CIA operatives were uncertain or confused over the legality of the Bush administration’s implementation of torture. Cowardice is a fact of life in any agency, and people will do many things to preserve their paychecks and their careers. We all understand that; we just don’t regard it as justification for lawbreaking. Besides, getting rid of the ethically challenged will encourage those who are not and will actually strengthen the agency in the long run.

  11. Former Dem,

    Do you or can you respect the request to only post the same article on one listing (Thread) and hopefully germane to the subject.

    This is annoying, sometime you do post something that I like to read, did not say I agree with it. Please. I did not know until last night that Turley can Block users. Check it out he said it himself.

  12. Uh, the near BANKRUPT Washington Post? What did they do, copy an article of the BANKRUPT New York Times!

    Obama must be in some trouble today so they need to run interference for the ONE from any one of these or others:
    Al-Marri’s sweetheart deal
    May 5, 2009 Posted by Scott at 7:08 AM
    Al-Marri, the terrorist sent to the United States by al-Qaeda to carry out a second wave of mass-murder attacks, was permitted by the Justice Department to plead guilty to a single count of material support to terrorism, maximum sentence 15 years’ imprisonment with the possibility that al-Marri may simply be given credit for time served and released.

    The Obama administration has already outright released, with no trial, Binyam Mohammed, an al-Qaeda operative who, like al-Marri, was assigned by KSM to carry out mass-murder attacks in the United States after 9/11. Now, al-Marri has been given a plea agreement that grossly undersells the grave seriousness of his war crimes.

    If Holder’s objective was to demonstrate that George W. Bush was wrong to detain al-Marri as an enemy combatant and that the criminal-justice system “works,” this sweetheart deal suggests the opposite.

    Jihadists were not impressed by our strategy of fighting them in the courtroom through the 1990s.

    Wonder what they’re thinking now.
    Just heard on the news that after 12 billion dollars in taxpayer money, another 25 billion that financial firms are being forced to write off and after all that the Union being given 55% ownership of Chrysler; the Union just announced they are going to SELL THEIR 55% and put the proceeds into a Union Trust Fund!

    What a con JOB! What a rip off of the American Taxpayer! What a rip off of the creditors that funded Chrysler!

    House Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey said he was “very dubious” about the chances of success in the region and wants a “fish or cut bait” assessment in a year’s time that will determine how long the U.S. continues on this path. “It gives the president one year to demonstrate what he can do.” said the Wisconsin Democrat.



    May 5, 2009

    The $328,835 snapshots of an Air Force One backup plane buzzing lower Manhattan last week will not be shown to the public, the White House said yesterday.

    “We have no plans to release them,” an aide to President Obama told The Post, refusing to comment further.

    The sole purpose of the secret photo-op, which sent thousands of New Yorkers running for cover, was to take new publicity shots of the presidential jet over the city.

    “The photos . . . are classified — that’s ridiculous,” Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., said.

    New Yorkers said they could not understand how a president who shares intimate snapshots from the White House could justify classifying these.

    “So we’re not gonna see the fruits of this cruel joke?” said Frank Antonelli, 39, one of the Wall Street traders spooked by last week’s flyover.
    The CIA’s war against President Bush was motivated by ass covering, or by political partisanship. But with President Obama, it’s personal.

    Many are furious about Obama’s disclosure of explicit details of the interrogation methods used on some al Qaida bigwigs, and his waffling on whether or not those who employed them will be subject to prosecution.

    Others are incensed by his decision to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, and to let some of those incarcerated there loose in the United States.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held two hush hush meetings with CIA Director Leon Panetta and Democratic members of the Intelligence Committee last week.

    “Her fear and frustration have apparently given way to panic after word reached her of the CIA’s reaction to the damage she, President Obama and other Democrats have done to the spy agency in the last three months, wrote Jed Babbin, a former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense, in Human Events May 1. “Pelosi learned that her actions and those of President Obama have so damaged CIA morale that the agency’s ability to function could be in danger.”

    The upshot of the meetings was an unprecedented letter from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-Tex) to Mr. Panetta, making a quasi-apology. Rep. Reyes asked the CIA director to “disseminate it to the CIA workforce as soon as possible.”

    But the CYA nature of the letter, and Mr. Reyes’ pledge of more oversight are unlikely to mollify many at Langley. Other Western intelligence services regard the Obama administration with contempt and rising concern as an officer of the DGSE, France’s military intelligence agency, informed the CIA last week.

    “All of us in our little community are worried — us, our friends in Berlin, London, Tel Aviv,” the DGSE officer said. “It is not like the barbarians at the gates. It is every barbarian horde in the world being told there are no gates.”


  13. I think photos should be released and the names reacted unless, they, the WhiteHouse is conducting an investigation. The after the investigation is complete then, damn the torpedo’s ahead.

  14. I think the photos should be released. The plane was flying in an unusual manner that mimicked the 9/11 planes with the wings almost up and down instead of level in addition to flying low to/around the buildings. Further, despite being warned of the obvious, that it would scare the bejesus out of people on the ground, this “photo-op” was kept secret from the public. As LindyLou pointed out previously, why not use photoshop? There’s many strange things about this action and I hope it is investigated. I also think MAS is right to point out that we still don’t know who ordered the operation in the first place. That is an important part of what the public should know. The WH said it was doing an internal investigation. I’m certain they must have found that out by now.

  15. Trying to get any kind of PR out of those pictures now would only continue to draw fire from critics (fairly or not). The lack of transparency is that they have not admitted whose harebrained scheme this was to begin with. Frankly that concerns me more than the contents of the photos.

  16. then why won’t they release them?

    taxpayers paid $328,835 + the cost of the panic for those pictures.

    If it’s really a photo op, why don’t we get to see them?

    Did they even take any pictures?

    Was this just a fear-op?

  17. To be fair this is not an issue where we don’t know what’s on the pictures.

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