After a week of unfettered access to American airspace, the Biden administration finally targeted the alleged Chinese spy balloon for destruction on Saturday and took it out of the sky. Unfortunately, those actions came a week to late for some members of the GOP.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer (R-KY) made an appearance this weekend on Harris Faulkner’s Fox News program and reiterated that it was “very concerning” Biden granted the Chinese access to our country’s skies for several days.
Faulkner got right to the point asking Representative Comer what he felt was one of the bigger problems with this whole story. “What is your greatest concern as we track something that is the size of three busses now that China says was taken by wind – wind that we can’t substantiate?” she asked.
“Well, I have concerns this is going to be another example of the Biden administration’s weakness on the national scale,” the Kentucky rep began. “I mean, you look at what happened in Afghanistan that hurt the reputation of America’s military strength. That hurt the reputation of our commander-in-chief. And now we have China clearly playing games with the United States. This balloon never should have been allowed to cross over into the – past the Pacific Coast into the continental United States — never should have happened.”
“My concern is that the federal government obviously doesn’t know what’s in that balloon. Is that bioweapons, weapons in that balloon? Did that balloon take off from Wuhan? We don’t know anything about that balloon,” he said.
“But the fact that this balloon was slowly making its way to the United States for several days and this administration never alerted anyone about the possibility of this balloon coming up, I think it is very concerning. It’s very concerning. They didn’t shoot it out of the air before it even reached the continental United States,” he concluded.
Millions of people took to news outlets and social media to watch the gigantic balloon finally get removed from the skies on Saturday.
— Michael Steinberg (@MichaelWX18) February 4, 2023
Former president Donald Trump succinctly but emphatically said the balloon should have been shot down right away. “SHOOT DOWN THE BALLOON!” he wrote on Truth Social earlier in the week.
The Department of Defense wrote about the final moments of the balloon’s flight as well as the history of its observation.
“U.S. officials first detected the balloon and its payload on January 28 when it entered U.S. airspace near the Aleutian Islands,” the DoD wrote. “The balloon traversed Alaska, Canada and re-entered U.S. airspace over Idaho.”
After it was shot down by a single fighter jet, the Defense Department concluded that it fell into shallow ocean waters a few miles off the Atlantic coast.
“An F-22 Raptor fighter from the 1st Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, fired one AIM-9X Sidewinder missile at the balloon. The balloon fell approximately six miles off the coast in about 47 feet of water. No one was hurt,” the post read.
Woke Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin openly admitted the balloon was being used for a Chinese surveillance operation.
“The balloon, which was being used by the PRC in an attempt to surveil strategic sites in the continental United States, was brought down above U.S. territorial waters,” he said.
Austin went on to thank various entities for their support in the monitoring, tracking, and ultimately successful shoot down of the balloon before ending with misplaced ire toward China.
“We thank Canada for its contribution to tracking and analysis of the balloon through [North American Aerospace Defense Command] as it transited North America,” Austin said. “Today’s deliberate and lawful action demonstrates that President Biden and his national security team will always put the safety and security of the American people first while responding effectively to the PRC’s unacceptable violation of our sovereignty,” he concluded.
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