Well that was the brilliant idea of Louis Caldera of the White House military office. Guess it never occurred to him, or anyone else for that matter, that this might cause a panic. That this might in some slight way remind people of say 9/11. Oh yes one more thing this was on a need to know basis the media and public were not to be informed about it. That way you could guarantee some sort of panic.
The Mayor of New York was pissed:
"Why the Defense Department wanted to do a photo op right around the site of the World Trade Center catastrophe defies the imagination," Bloomberg said. "Poor judgment would be a nice way to phrase it. ... Had I known about it, I would have called them right away and asked them not to."
You could make a great many jokes on military intelligence but I'm not going to go there. The real question didn't anyone think this might not be the best of ideas especially the part about not letting anyone know about it.
There's a perfect contrast to what happened in DC. A TV show was being filmed. They were going to set up some sort of stunt near Key Bridge that would involve some sort of an explosion. Well it was on the TV news as well as in the newspapers. Turns out they decided not to go ahead with it but at least people knew about it.
I just had to shake my head on this one.