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Old 12-05-2003, 09:59 AM   #1
Happy Monkey
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What is going on here?

First, the story was that a British Airways pilot spotted Air Force One on Thanksgiving, and requested confirmation. AF1 responded "Gulfstream 5" in that classic Hollywood tongue-in-cheek/dare you to contradict me style. Cute story to add a little color to Bush's Thanksgiving visit.

But it turned out that no British Airways pilots could seem to remember the exchange.

White House spokesmen replied that they had misspoke. Nobody had contacted AF1 itself, but BA pilots had contacted the tower to get the confirmation, and the tower had replied "Gulfstream 5", based on AF1's security-falsified flight plan.

Apparently there was no evidence of that, so it became a British-based carrier (sorry, not a news link) instead of a British Airways pilot.

Now it is a non-UK airline with a British accent (scroll down about 2/3, or search for "non"). Apparently the mistake was made because there was a BA plane near AF1 for a good portion of the flight, and AF1 assumed it was them. But AF1 travels considerably faster than commercial airlines, which makes that suspect.

What is going on here? It hardly seems worth lying about, so is it just incompetence? One would think that if they could confirm that a "non-UK operator" radioed the control center in Swanwick, England, at "0930 Zulu" time to ask if the aircraft behind it was Air Force One (see last link), they could get the identification of the plane.

Thanks to Atrios for following this story
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Old 12-05-2003, 10:53 AM   #2
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Somebody made up a cute story not expecting to be called on it, and now they're furiously backpedaling.
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Old 12-05-2003, 09:42 PM   #3
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C'mon Happy, just think Monte Python.
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Old 12-06-2003, 08:35 AM   #4
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I prefer to associate Monty Python with the UK government. When it happens here it's just hitting too close to home.

Besides, Monty Python may just be too upscale. I'm thinking Jon Lovitz's "Liar" character - "Yeah, that's the ticket!"
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Old 12-06-2003, 11:56 AM   #5
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Re: What is going on here?

Quote:
Originally posted by Happy Monkey
It hardly seems worth lying about
That's what I can't figure out--who the hell cares? Why does it matter?

Unless you want to make the argument that the sighting of the plane should have been enough of a leak that they should have turned back. But I don't believe I've heard anybody suggest that.
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Old 12-06-2003, 09:32 PM   #6
Happy Monkey
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The subject of the lie is completely irrrelevant. It doesn't matter to me in the least who may or may not have seen Air Force One midflight. But the administration has had at least three different stories. The idea that they are willing to spice up a perfectly good photo-op with made-up stories in order to make the flight seem more 007ish is disturbing. Alternately, the thought that they have no idea what planes are flying near Air Force One is also disturbing - and less likely, in my opinion.
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Old 05-08-2006, 04:30 PM   #7
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Heh, I was trying to find my first Cellar post a couple weeks ago, and found this thread (Note- It's really hard to find your first post, unless I'm missing something). So that's why a 2.5 year old thread came to mind when I saw this story.
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Old 05-08-2006, 04:36 PM   #8
Happy Monkey
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Of course, as soon as I post that, I hear a rumor that it may have been a translation error from German, and he may have caught a 7.5lb bass instead of a perch.

The highlight of his presidency. Ain't he just so folksy.
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Old 05-09-2006, 06:58 PM   #9
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Old 05-10-2006, 09:21 PM   #10
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So Bush either doubled the world record, and didn't report it, or he's a liar.
Fisherman - fish story. Nuff said.
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