OUR OPINION: E-mail peril

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Arriving at work and facing a plethora of e-mails is something many people face every day on the job.

E-mails can be fun, bogus, routine, essential to a job, and even of the type that if they are overlooked will lead to grief.

Sometimes the sheer volume of e-mail buries an important message which probably should have been sent by a more reliable form of communication.

The story of the White House official who resigned after the ill-conceived flyover of Air Force One over the Statue of Liberty for a photo-op is as much about e-mail as it is about the understandable trauma the unannounced flight caused in New York City.

In offering his resignation, which was accepted by President Barrack Obama, White House Military Office Director Louis Caldera said that the incident had become a distraction to the important work of the president and he was resigning because of it.

The President called upon no less than Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and White House Chief of Staff Jim Messina to review the Oval Office military office and make sure such an incident never occurs again.

According to the official report of the incident, the flyover operation began back in March, but Mr. Caldera first learned of the operation peripherally on April 20, although he did not read an April 20 e-mail that described the photo shoot operation until after the flyover on April 27. The reason for this, according to the report,  was because the e-mail went to a White House Military e-mail account that Caldera did not check as often as his White House account. Mr. Caldera was also taking back spasm medication and went home early a couple of times during that period.

Presumably, if Mr. Caldera had read the e-mail, he would have known the details of the flyover and would have notified the White House Chief of Staff, or White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. Such notification might have prevented White House officials and President Obama the embarrassment of learning about the flyover and its frightening effect on New Yorkers through the media.

President Obama, Caldera and residents of New York City who were affected would surely like to forget the incident ever happened.