“For most of us, memories of the terrorist attacks perpetrated on Sept. 11, 2001 are tucked away in an intensely emotional spot in our minds. While the wounds have began to heal memories of the event can easily provoke a heightened sense of alert in many people.””
For most of us, memories of the terrorist attacks perpetrated on Sept. 11, 2001 are tucked away in an intensely emotional spot in our minds. While the wounds have began to heal memories of the event can easily provoke a heightened sense of alert in many people.
Monday, a military version of a Boeing 747 and two F-16 fighter jets screamed toward the Manhattan skyline at 2000 feet. This image has the capacity to bring back bad memories.
When New Yorkers caught a glimpse of the large aircraft in the distance, there were no curious stares as there may have been on Sept. 11. People working in Manhattan and Staten Island needed no coercion from security as they evacuated sky scrapers and large office buildings in anticipation of another attack. By this time I’m sure they can run those evacuation drills in their sleep.
It is unclear at the moment exactly who’s infinite wisdom allowed a low level flyby in panic-stricken New York, but FAA spokesman Jim Peters went on record after the event saying 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.
A freaking photo op? Are you kidding me? Who really believes that the military was out taking snap shots with the Statue of Liberty using the reckless disregard of a drunken college girl at a frat party? Am I going to see some pictures of the pilot of the F-16 mooning the Statue of Liberty on Facebook? And if indeed some kind of photo op was taking place, why did they need to circle the city several times at rooftop level? Were they using a Polaroid camera?
I’m not really convinced that a photo op was the true nature of this mission. I’m not suggesting that there is some kind of sinister conspiracy going on here, perhaps it was an exercise to test the reaction of the public to a possible threat. I am not advocating for such a test, but it certainly makes more sense to me than a high speed photo shoot with the Statue of Liberty.
There are an infinite number of things wrong with what happened yesterday, but I am going to focus on the two that I think are the most salient: why wasn’t the public notified of this mission and why is our military concerned with a publicity stunt like this.
Only after giving the Big Apple an aneurism did the military and FAA come out and say publicly that the fly bys were preconceived and that the plans were made known to state and local officials. Why didn’t anyone tell the public? Did they think our little minds couldn’t handle the complex notion of the military taking pictures of the Statue of Liberty?
Well I think the answer is yes and no. Yes, they think our minds are little, but that’s not the reason why they didn’t tell us. The success of the true mission being conducted (not the photo shoot) hinged upon catching the city by surprise.
Let’s touch on the other most significant question regarding this mission, why is our military taking pictures with the Statue of Liberty? Shouldn’t they be out practicing maneuvers or stay on the ground and not waste taxpayer money in enormous fuel costs taking pictures in an instrument intended for war?
Don’t get me wrong though, I love the rumbling sound of freedom an F-16 makes when it booms past at mach 2; I just don’t think it should be booming at low levels around New York City for no good reason. Remember a few months back when a fighter jet crashed outside of Mirimar in San Diego, Calif. and killed some people living in the house it landed on? Imagine how much more devastating an accident could be in the densely populated area of Manhattan.
Here’s the bottom line, the people of New York don’t deserve to have the crap scared out of them again. The unnecessary tension and panic that followed the sighting of the unknown aircraft could have easily been avoided had there been some kind of thorough public announcement of the mission, no matter how harmless a simple military grade 747 and F-16 Fighting Falcon photo op is.