(Mark Pellin, Headline USA) National security insiders and House Republicans ripped the Biden administration Thursday for its tepid response to what they called a national security threat, after reports that a suspected spy balloon likely launched by China’s communist government was spotted this week hovering over Montana, the home of America’s three nuclear missile silo fields.
“China’s brazen disregard for U.S. sovereignty is a destabilizing action that must be addressed, and President Biden cannot be silent,” said House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. “I am requesting a Gang of Eight briefing.”
The so-called Gang of Eight are members of Congress who can be briefed on classified intelligence and national security issues, to include the leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. Excluded from that group would be recently-booted Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., but it does include a bipartisan mix of McCarthy and Republicans Rep. Mike Turner and Sens. Marco Rubio, Mark Warner and Mitch McConnell and Democrat Reps. Hakeen Jeffries and Jim Hines.
A Chinese spy balloon over the U.S. is alarming but not surprising
The level of espionage aimed at our country by Beijing has grown dramatically more intense & brazen over the last 5 years
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 2, 2023
Despite fighter jets being deployed to the region in response to the sightings, which had reportedly been ongoing for days across a wide range of U.S. territory, the Biden administration failed to notify Congress and the regime’s Defense Department recommended against taking “kinetic action” because of the allegedly possible dangers from falling debris in the wide open western plains.
Biden had reportedly been briefed on the developments and senior administration officials have been in “urgent” contact with Chinese officials.
Republican lawmakers were far from satisfied, with Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton calling for Biden’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken to cancel a planned meeting with Chinese henchman Xi Jinping until Biden had provided satisfactory answers about “why he has not secured U.S. airspace.”
The presence of a Chinese spy balloon hovering over the country’s heartland comes after a Russian spy ship was caught last month patrolling off the coast of Hawaii.
“I can’t speak to why the Russians are sailing the ship right now, it’s kind of precarious timing,” Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said at the time.
The Biden administration’s inadequate response to the latest overt foreign spy mission drew a strong rebuke from Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., who called Biden “a feckless commander in chief.”
How on Earth is Beijing Biden allowing a CCP military balloon to fly freely over Montana?
Biden is a feckless commander in chief.
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) February 3, 2023
“Communist China hypocritically lectures the U.S. about respect for sovereignty & territorial integrity,” tweeted Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn. “If it’s true that China is behind this loitering high-altitude provocation over our homeland, the Biden Admin must respond strongly & decisively.”
Biden wasn’t alone receiving criticism for his tepid response to Chinese spying, with questions and concerns being raised about why Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau didn’t provide the U.S. with an advanced alert after the balloon reportedly was detected over Canada.
“What’s up with Trudeau? Is he spaced out?” asked Fox News host Jesse Watters. “He didn’t give us a little warning that the Chinese were flying spy balloons across his territory?”
Lt. Col. Danny Davis was equally surprised and concerned.
“A little surprised by that too,” he said. “I hope it’s that they did, and that wasn’t reported, as opposed to them not knowing or saying anything.”
Davis also ripped the Biden administration for its floundering response and dismissed the dissembling that officials provided for not taking action.
“If we were worried about any ground clutter, we could’ve tracked it and cleared the ground there and knocked it down, if we wanted to,” Davis said. “I probably would have popped it.”
Pentagon tracks Chinese Spy Balloon for days over US & does NOT shoot it down.
Abandons Americans & $85 billion in US military equipment & arms in Afghanistan.
Won’t secure our border- 5+ million people invade.
The Biden admin is impotent.https://t.co/QUIDAUfOzx
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) February 3, 2023