Monday, February 06, 2023

The Big Balloon Blow-Up

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Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Saturday that the United States shouldn’t be “hyperventilating” over a Chinese spy balloon.

This was after President Biden finally gave the order to shoot down the balloon as it completed its spy assignment over our nuclear weapons facilities in Montana, and was leaving US territory.

Clapper said, "I think the bigger issue here … is, you know, we don’t expend too much crisis energy, if you will, on hyperventilating over an air balloon.” 

Clapper told CNN, “When you think about the crisis spectrum, the invasion of Taiwan or, God forbid, a nuclear confrontation, so I think we need to sort of put this in perspective."

Yes, please; let's, by all means, put this in the perspective of a nuclear confrontation. Or even Taiwan.

Be informed, not misled.

Clapper's response was an echo of the far Left's agenda for America. Be weak. Be woke.

The Department of Defense (DOD) announced Thursday that it had tracked the Chinese balloon as it crossed over Alaskan waters on January 28, but the White House Press Sectary claimed Biden was not briefed until  Jan. 31---as the balloon continued its mission across Alaska, BC., Idaho, and into Montana.

After hovering over the base in Montana, it proceeded to the Eastern seaboard, finally over the Atlantic where after days of not taking any action, Biden finally ordered it shot down, which our military did on Saturday.

Would the president have even told the American people had Larry Mayer not noticed it in the Montana sky?

Larry Mayer, a newspaper photographer, pointed his camera to the sky on Wednesday and began snapping pictures of what appeared to be a mysterious white orb hanging in the sky over Billings, Montana.

He didn’t know what he was looking at, but he knew something was up — way up, like 60,000 feet up.

“They shut down the airport and wouldn’t let anyone land or take off, but wouldn’t say why,” said Mr. Mayer, who works for The Billings Gazette and is also a pilot.

By the next day, his photographs were being published around the world, and everyone in town was talking about what he had captured through his lens: a Chinese spy balloon, according to the Pentagon.

So while Clapper and other leftists didn't think this was a big deal, almost everyone in America did think it was a big deal.

The big blow-up.

Once the public knew there was a Chinese spy balloon up in the sky over our country---specifically one of our nuclear installations---they blew up at the Biden Administration. Specifically the president himself.

The first response was that the president had been advised by military leaders not to shoot it down for fear of hurting someone on the ground.

When that wasn't accepted by most citizens, a story was floated that the Chinese had sent a balloon over America while Trump was president and he didn't blow it up. 

The message: Trump was no better than Biden. The story was based on an anonymous tip.

Trump and many of his administration said that was not true. 

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton (who would sell Trump down the river in a red hot minute if he could) said it didn’t happen, he had never heard of any such thing under his tenure.

“I don’t know of any balloon flights by any power over the United States during my tenure, and I’d never heard of any of that occurring before I joined in 2018,” Bolton said. “I haven’t heard of anything that occurred after I left either.”

Yesterday afternoon Fox News reported that a senior Biden official told them the previous balloon had "been discovered" after Trump left office and he and his administration had not been briefed on it.

So, why did "Intelligence" keep this from President Trump?  And his advisors? You can fill in the blank.

Clearly, this whole matter has become politicized, and it is not in the best interest of our country.

Sen. Marco Rubio blows up the political balloon.

Many ask, "Is this the best we can do to protect our country?"

Yesterday Florida Senator Marco Rubio said, "China flew the balloon over the US to send a message: They think America is in decline."

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that despite China's claims otherwise, they sent a balloon into the U.S. to send a message about the country's sway across the globe.

"The key part here is they knew exactly what they were doing and there was a message behind it," Rubio told ABC "This Week" co-anchor Jonathan Karl.

"They understood that it [the balloon] was going to be spotted, they knew the U.S. government would have to reveal it, that people were gonna see it over the sky. And the message they were trying to send is what they believe internally, and that is that the United States is a once-great superpower that's hollowed out, it's in decline," Rubio said.

The balloon's presence over Montana caused the Federal Aviation Administration to issue a ground stop for the Billings airport on Wednesday. But U.S. officials only announced the vessel was over the country late Thursday after it had already flown down from Alaska. Defense officials have said that the military chose to wait to strike the balloon until the risk to civilians was minimized.

"China saw value in that delay," Rubio told ABC. 

"The message they're trying to send the world is, 'Look, these guys can't even do anything about a balloon flying over U.S. airspace. How can you possibly count on them if something were to happen in the Indo-Pacific region?... How are they going to come to the aid of Taiwan or stand with the Philippines or Japan or India when the Chinese move on their territory?'" he said.

Rubio's comments come after bipartisan outrage over what the Biden administration described as a Chinese surveillance balloon that was first detected on Jan. 28 crossing Alaska, Canada, and then the continental U.S., including flying over sensitive military sites that house intercontinental ballistic missiles.

As vice chairman of the Senate's intelligence panel, Rubio will be one of eight lawmakers who will be briefed sometime this week behind closed doors on the circumstances around the balloon.

The takeaway

Rubio said on "This Week" that "first and foremost," he wanted to know what information the balloon was able to collect. 

Whether the Pentagon would now glean useful intelligence from the balloon "depends [on] what they're able to retrieve," Rubio said. "When you shoot something out of the sky and it goes into the ocean, you don't always get it back in a neat package," he added.

Mike Mullen, who served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, concurred with Rubio in a separate interview on "This Week."

"I think I know enough about the system that you actually can navigate this system," Mullen said. "It has propellers on it, if you will. So, this was not an accident. This was deliberate. It was intelligence." obviously,  look, countries spy on countries. ... What was the value of this platform? Because it's one we've seen them use now for a handful of years here. But what's the value of it?" he said, adding, "What are we going to do about it in the future?"

The bigger question is, "What are the American voters going to do about this in the future?"

It is entirely possible that Rubio is right. Under current leadership, America is in decline.

Pray for our country.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Sober. Be Vigilant. Be Engaged. Be Prayerful.