Who OK’d the New York City Flyby?

CNN is reporting that a former Homeland Security adviser blasted the White House Military Office’s photo shoot that sent a low-flying Boeing 747 over Manhattan, accusing the office’s director of “felony stupidity.”

What was he thinking? Did he not realize that this would cause panic in the streets of New York?

From CNN:

Fran Townsend, who advised President George W. Bush for more than three years, spoke the day after a YouTube video showed panicked New Yorkers scrambling as the plane, tailed by its F-16 escort, screamed overhead.

“It was crass insensitivity,” Townsend said of the Monday flyby. “I’d call this felony stupidity. This is probably not the right job for Mr. Caldera to be in if he didn’t understand the likely reaction of New Yorkers, of the mayor.”

Louis Caldera, director of the White House Military Office, quickly apologized for the incident after the planes prompted workers and residents to evacuate buildings in New York and New Jersey.

“Last week, I approved a mission over New York. I take responsibility for that decision,” Caldera said. “While federal authorities took the proper steps to notify state and local authorities in New York and New Jersey, it’s clear that the mission created confusion and disruption.”

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