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What Do the Dalai Lama and the F-22 Have in Common?

4:13 PM, Dec 2, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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Answer: Obama won't pose for a picture with either of them:

When President Obama spoke to troops at Alaska's Elmendorf Air Force Base last month, the unit there parked a shiny new F-22 fighter plane in the hangar. But according to multiple sources, White House aides demanded the plane be changed to an older F-15 fighter because they didn't want Obama speaking in front of the F-22, a controversial program he fought hard to end.

"White House aides actually made them remove the F-22-said they would not allow POTUS to be pictured with the F-22 in any way, shape, or form," one source close to the unit relayed.

Stephen Lee, a public affairs officer at Elmendorf, confirmed to The Cable that the F-22 was parked in the hangar and then was replaced by an F-15 at the White House's behest.

The airmen there took offense to the Obama aides' demand, sources told The Cable, seeing it as a slight to the folks who are operating the F-22 proudly every day. They also expressed bewilderment that the White House staff would even care so much as to make an issue out of the fact that the F-22 was placed in the hangar with the president.

Go read the rest of Rogin's report. It's really unbelievable how nuts this is -- and how nuts this administration is. What possible damage could have been done by the President of the United States standing in front of the nation's most advanced aircraft -- a feat of American technology -- while speaking to Air Force personnel. It suggests that this administration's opposition to the F-22 program was not entirely rational, and that American national security may have suffered as a result of some bizarre hostility within this administration toward...a fighter plane.

And keep in mind, Obama was happy to have his picture taken with Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega, but the F-22 -- a plane that Americans can and should be proud of...Obama had them move it out of the shot. If such a picture had been snapped, would the White House have airbrushed the F-22 out of it?