We’ve been covering Joe Biden allowing the Chinese spy balloon to fly over the U.S. for more than a week before shooting it down over the Atlantic.
There were of course some problems with the timeline of the story as I’ve noted and my colleague Susie Moore covers in her “Moore to the Point.” The balloon reportedly first entered U.S. airspace on Jan. 28, but the Biden team claimed Biden wasn’t briefed on it until Jan. 31, then didn’t order it shot down until Feb. 1, then didn’t shoot it down until over the Atlantic until February 4 after it was discovered by the public on Feb. 2 and after it had traversed the entire country and likely completed whatever mission it had.
Biden claimed that they wanted to wait until it was over water to shoot it down for safety. But it started out over Alaskan waters on Jan. 28, went over a lot of sparsely populated areas through Alaska, Canada, and Montana, and they did nothing. They only acted after the public discovered it and started creating a stink.
The Biden Pentagon claimed that it “acted immediately to protect against the collection of sensitive information.” But foreign policy experts said there is little reason to believe that was successful and the balloon was likely able to send data back to China before it was shot down.
Brandon Weichert, author of Winning Space, said he believes China successfully gathered U.S. military and technological information through its spy balloon.
“With all due respect to the Pentagon I think that’s B.S. — they’re saying that to protect their ego and image,” Weichert told Fox News Digital. “This was a long-ranged surveillance mission prompted partly by comments from the Pentagon about the possibility of going to war.”
Gordon Chang, a senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute, said it is all but confirmed China’s mission was successful. The most scandalous aspect, he said, was that Biden was not briefed on the balloon until days after it was discovered by his military.
“If President Biden was not informed as he claims, then he has cause to dismiss the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff,” Chang told Fox News Digital. “This failure could have grave consequences for the United States.”
That’s one of the big things that is glaring here — assuming anything that the Biden team says is true — why wasn’t he told right away?
Rebekah Koffler, a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer specializing in foreign aerospace, said there is a “high probability that the Chinese government exfiltrated sensitive US data” through its spy balloon.
“This brazen intelligence operation mounted by Beijing, targeting the US homeland, almost certainly enabled the Chinese military to glean critical insights into the Biden Administration’s policy and posture towards China, and President Biden’s ‘red lines,’ when it comes to foreign aerospace assets, breaching of US sovereign airspace,” Koffler told Fox News Digital. “These insights are very useful for China in developing deterrence strategies for dissuading the United States from intervening in China’s future aggressive operations against Taiwan.”
The Pentagon said it waited to destroy the Chinese balloon over concerns the debris could harm civilians and destroy property. Weichert said there may be more at play, as Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was set to visit China on an official trip this week before it was suspended after media backlash over the balloon, leading to a public debacle that “made us look weak.”
“This was a political decision — they didn’t want to upset China before the event,” Weichert told Fox News Digital. “Biden is willing to sell out our national security to get a piece of paper with China on global warming.”
As we reported, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg did an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper to talk about how awesome Joe Biden was. But Tapper put him on the spot and queried him about the intelligence the balloon was likely able to get.
"The presumption has got to be that the Chinese were able to gather intelligence hovering over the United States for day after day, especially over these sensitive sites?"
PETE BUTTIGIEG: "That is well outside of my lane." pic.twitter.com/aERGM1HWPe
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) February 5, 2023
Buttigieg’s response is the Biden team all wrapped up in one answer: “That is well outside of my lane.” He also compared it to a Chinese spy satellite seemingly acting like “Eh, they can get info anyway.”
Yes, unfortunately so much is “outside of their lane” and that’s the problem. Supply chains and airline problems seem “outside his lane” as well, even though those are the things he’s supposed to address.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) responded with a “chef’s kiss.”
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 5, 2023
Why would CNN even look to Pete for any kind of an answer on anything, much less this subject?
What we’ve seen from the Biden team has been a complete mess. They had ample opportunities over its path to take the balloon down safely before it passed over sensitive installations. They even had senior officials anonymously throwing shade at President Donald Trump claiming that there were prior balloons during the Trump era (as well as one prior one four months ago under Biden), a story that they then had to backpedal, modifying it to say they were “undetected” and not discovered at the time. That raised a lot of questions about being gaslighted by the Biden team and/or that there are some serious issues that need to be addressed about our national security if the military isn’t picking up slow-moving ballons that are encroaching on our airspace.
Congress needs to pursue answers about all of this to ensure our national security.