Saturday, November 6, 2010

One-term to be President spends tax money like water - " not since the days of the Pharaohs has a head of state travelled in such expensive grandeur"

All Presidents go on Foreign Trips overseas but REALLY? Did he have to act like this right after the DEMS got a message from the Voters that their EXCESSIVE SPENDING was NOT what we need.....must be nice to be POTUS and not care what the voters think....Can you say ONE-TERM PRESIDENT???

You might like to think this kind of article was from FOX News.....nope - The BRITS wrote this one.

Bomb-proof tunnel with air conditioning: Obama's security go to extraordinary measures for his tour of the Gandhi museum

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 3:08 PM on 6th November 2010

250 U.S. business executives with Obama on 'biggest ever trade mission'
$200million Asia trip cost denied but the President will have huge entourage

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle arrived in India's commercial hub of Mumbai on Saturday, days after voters punished his Democrats in mid-term elections.

Probably not since the days of the Pharaohs or the more ludicrous Roman Emperors has a head of state travelled in such pomp and expensive grandeur as the President of the United States of America.

While lesser mortals – the Pope, Queen Elizabeth and so on – are usually happy to let their hosts handle most of the security and transport arrangements when they venture beyond their home shores, the United States creates a mini-America on the move to ensure that nothing is left to chance.

Obama arrives in India at the start of a ten-day tour of Asia. At the heart of the White House caravan is ‘The Beast’, a gigantic, ‘pimped-up’ General Motors Cadillac which security experts say is, short of an actual battle tank, probably the safest road vehicle on the planet.

But an outlandish car is only the start. Mr Obama will fly, of course, on Air Force One, the presidential private jumbo jet, which, boasting double beds and suites, is fitted out more like a luxury yacht. Some reports suggest it costs around $50,000 (£31,000) an hour to operate.

Of course threats can come from any direction, so a squadron of U.S. naval ships will patrol offshore. Some reports have claimed that 34 ships, including two aircraft carriers, will be involved (not far off the size of the Royal Navy’s entire Surface Fleet) but the White House has denied this.

The pair were greeted wtih flowers and gifts as they stepped off the plane

On land, as well as The Beast, Mr Obama’s entourage will travel in a fleet of 45 U.S.-built armoured limousines, half of which will be decoys. He will also travel with 30 elite sniffer dogs, mostly German Shepherds.

The White House has, according to some reports, booked the entire Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai, the city’s most luxurious. It is not uncommon for the grander heads of state to reserve a floor or two, but a whole hotel is unprecedented. This hotel was the main target of the 2008 attacks by Pakistani militants which left 166 dead.

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As to the cost of all this, the White House will not reveal details – which has allowed Mr Obama’s political foes to bandy about sums including a widely-quoted $200 million (£123million) a day. Whatever the figure, it makes the costs associated with the Royal Train and the late Royal Yacht Britannia seem like small change.

It is also reported that a bomb-proof tunnel will be erected for Mr Obama ahead of his visit to Mani Bhavan - the Gandhi museum - on Saturday.

According to Daily News & Analysis, U.S. secret service agents visited the museum on Monday to plan Mr Obama's security during his tour.

They were accompanied by Mumbai Police officers and civic officials of the D ward where Mani Bhavan is located.

While they were inspecting the route and the buildings lining the path to the museum, U.S. security officers noticed a nearby skyscraper in the highly populated area that could pose a threat.

To the amazement of the Indians accompanying the U.S. agents, it was apparently decided to erect a bomb-proof over-ground tunnel, which will be installed by U.S. military engineers in just an hour.

The kilometre-long tunnel will measure 12ft by 12ft and will have air-conditioning, close-circuit television cameras, and will be heavily guarded at every point.

It's being built so it is large enough for Mr Obama's cavalcade to pass through and will be manned at its entry and exit points.

Security measures: A kilometer long bomb-proof tunnel will reportedly be erected on the route to Mani Bhavan - the Gandhi Museum - ahead of President Obama's tour of the building on Saturday

The material that the tunnel would be made of has not been released but officials said that the structure would be dismantled immediately after Mr Obama and his party leaves the area.

Meanwhile the furore over reports that his Asia trip is going to cost taxpayers $200million a day has been dismissed by the Obama administration who called the figure 'wildly inflated'.

Last week an Indian government source told the NDTV channel: 'The huge amount of around $200million would be spent on security, stay and other aspects of the Presidential visit.'

The claim was immediately seized upon by talk show hosts and rights wing politicians who relished the opportunity to rub salt into Mr Obama's wounds saying the trip was a waste of government funds during the country's recession.

But the White House have refused to reveal the true cost of the three-day trip to Mumbai and Delhi.

'The numbers reported in this article have no basis in reality', White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

He added: 'Due to security concerns, we are unable to outline details associated with security procedures and costs, but it's safe to say these numbers are wildly inflated'.

The White House have said these claims are exaggerated but with any presidential trip, Mr Obama travels with a large number of staff and security detail includes his own aircraft and fleet of secure vehicles.

There will also be tens of thousands of Indian police and members of the military protecting the US delegation.

Secret Service agents travelled to India last week to address security concerns at locations the president is likely to visit.

Mr Obama will visit India, Indonesia, South Korea, Japan and China as part of a 10-day state tour of Asia.

Indian policemen await deployment orders outside the Taj Mahal hotel. President Obama is scheduled to stay at the hotel this weekend

The trip has sparked some criticism in the U.S., which is battling high unemployment and stagnant economic growth.

Mr Obama will spend three days in India, and will also visit New Delhi.

The White House will be hoping to secure more than $10 billion in new business for American firms in what is the biggest trade mission in US history.

Mr Obama is bringing 250 U.S. executives including GE chief Jeffrey Immelt and Honeywell's David Cote, which the U.S. India Business Council says is the largest such delegation to ever accompany a president on a foreign visit.

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