A government memo shows the Federal Aviation Agency predicted "public concern" over fighter jets flying near downtown Manhattan — and yet demanded that New York officials not explain the planes' terrifying presence.

In the memo, a copy of which was obtained by WCBS-TV in New York, FAA official James Johnston acknowledged "the possibility of public concern regarding DOD (Department of Defense) aircraft flying at low altitudes." Instead of proposing a public-awareness campaign to salve New Yorkers' lingering 9/11 fears, however, Johnston threatened federal sanctions if the purpose of the flyover — staged to create a White House publicity photo of Air Force One flying past the Statue of Liberty — leaked out.

This just gets stupider and stupider and stupider, doesn't it?

(Photo by Christopher Talbot via WCBS-AM)