A ceremony skipped

Marine One Davos

Marine One heading to Davos

Tyler Rogoway at The Drive provides some intriguing detail on presidential transportation that sheds light on a recent controversy:

President Trump is taking a serious shellacking in the media and on social media for the cancelation of a planned trip to Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in Belleau, France to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I. The site is located roughly 55 miles outside of Paris. The optics of missing such an important event are undeniably bad and they play into other narratives about the President that are unflattering, but these types of decisions are not usually up to the President. The Secret Service and the White House Military Office who arrange presidential airlift with HMX-1 are the ones that decide to cancel helicopter or ground transportation for the President due to a wide variety of contingencies. […]

The massive footprint of the security and administrative apparatus that follows the American President around dwarfs anything else like it on the planet, much of which isn’t even visible to the casual onlooker. […]

Usually, a ground transportation option via the Presidential Motorcade (the anatomy of which you can read all about here) is available in the case that Marine One and its accompanying decoy helicopter and staff and press corps airlift aircraft cannot safely make it to the landing zone as planned. But a 55-mile trip is a long way for the sprawling Presidential Motorcade in a foreign country and there are a slew of issues that could slow or even stop such a motorcade from happening even if it was prepared as a contingency option.

There’s more at the link. It’s rather remarkable that any education person would think that the president skipped a high-profile, planned ceremony because “he didn’t want to get his hair wet.” How does that even make sense? The official reason cited by the White House was “scheduling and logistical difficulties caused by the weather,” which could include, or cover up, a range of potential issues, including a terrorist threat. A lot of people have a tough time accepting that there are things they cannot know.

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