New York Air Force One Fly-Past 'Felony Stupidity'
The sight of an Air Force One plane flying over the New York skyline on Monday in a photo-op authorised by the White House has critics calling for answers.
Just before the working day began on Monday an airliner and a fighter jet were seen flying over Manhattan in scenes that sparked fears among New Yorkers of a replay of the 9/11 terror attacks.
Fran Townsend, a former Homeland Security adviser who worked in the Bush administration has questioned whether Louis Caldera, the man who approved the photo-op, should stay in office.
"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," Townsend said Tuesday on CNN's "American Morning."
Mr Caldera, director of the White House Military Office, has already apologised for the incident which caused panicked workers and residents to evacuate buildings.
"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. I apologize and take responsibility for any distress that flight caused."
President Obama acknowledged on Tuesday that the flyby had been a mistake and would not happen again.
The Federal Aviation Administration had notified the New York Police Department about the flyover but the information was classified and not allowed to be released to the media or public.
There were other calls for Louis Caldera's resignation:
Caldera "should resign, to be quite frank," GOP consultant and former Bush administration official Bradley Blakeman told FOX News.
"This is more than a lapse of judgment. This is complete stupidity in a time of economic crisis, wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars for publicity photos for Air Force One when you could have put that on your PC at home and done the same thing without that cost and disruption," Blakeman said.