BSG FX artist Mojo makes the point that the military could use CGI for all their photo-op needs:
If you wanted pictures of Air Force One and some F16s flying over NY, why not just pick up the phone and call Hollywood? I hear the governor has a few ties with people who make special effects movies. I’m sure they would have helped you out. When most people want images of something impossible, or just too expensive to do for real, they turn to the magic of visual effects. You guys didn’t think a movie like Independence Day used real UFOs, did you?
...Especially now, with computers, you can do FX really cheap! That’s right, the same computers you use to erase people’s identities and put your old math teacher on the no-fly list can be used to create UFOs and airplanes and anything else you can dream up. In fact, I used one to create this picture:
And guess what? I whipped that image up in just about an hour. See? I bet for less than the cost of the fuel you spent on that little stunt yesterday I could have computer-generated all the pictures you needed - all without a single Hail Mary or evacuated building. Hell, for a few extra bucks I would have even thrown in some HD video.