BY Jack Gist, The Western JournalFebruary 3, 2023
1 year ago

Montana GOP Sen. Daines Unleashes on Biden Admin Over Spy Balloon - He Wants Answers Now

Like national borders, some information needs to be guarded, especially military information concerning U.S. nuclear weapons.

So why is the Biden administration allowing a Chinese balloon spotted floating over Montana to stay in the air?

Montana is home to Malmstrom Air Force Base and intercontinental ballistic missile fields.

The Pentagon said Thursday the floating object is a Chinese spy balloon. China acknowledged Friday it is responsible for the balloon but claimed it is "a civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological, purposes," according to The Washington Post.

The situation has some people very worried, and rightly so.

Take Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana. In a letter to President Joe Biden's defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, dated Thursday, Daines demanded answers about the Chinese balloon flying over his home state.

Daines shared the letter on Twitter, saying the Biden administration has "failed to protect our border and now has failed to protect our skies."

In the letter, Daines characterized the high-altitude Chinese balloon as a "concerning event" and warned that the "fact that this balloon was occupying Montana airspace creates significant concern that Malmstrom Air Force Base (AFB) and the United State’s intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) fields are the targets of this intelligence gathering mission."

[firefly_poll]

The senator requested "a full security briefing from the administration on this situation" due to the "serious nature of the event."

"It is vital to establish the flight path of this balloon, any compromised U.S. national security assets, and all telecom or IT infrastructure on the ground within the U.S. that this spy balloon was utilizing," Daines wrote.

"As you know, Montana plays a vital national security role by housing nuclear missile silos at Malmstrom AFB," he said. "Given the increased hostility and destabilization around the globe aimed at the United States and our allies, I am alarmed by the fact that this spy balloon was able to infiltrate the airspace of our country and Montana."

The letter went on to remind Austin, "There is no higher priority for your administration than the safety and security of the American people and it is imperative that your administration reassure them of that fact at this time."

Daines was not alone in his concern about China's motivations.

"It’s unacceptable to allow communist China to invade our airspace — this is another clear example of Chinese aggression," Montana Republican Rep. Matt Rosendale said Thursday on Twitter. "President Biden must start putting the American people first and recognize that China is a threat to our freedom, values, and way of life."

Rosendale followed up Friday by saying, "There must be some safe way to bring this balloon down, stop the CCP from spying on us, and analyze what information they have already collected."

Montana's GOP governor, Greg Gianforte, also issued a statement on the incident.

“I received an informational briefing yesterday on the situation involving a suspected Chinese spy balloon flying over Montana," he said Thursday. "From the spy balloon to the Chinese Communist Party spying on Americans through TikTok to CCP-linked companies buying American farmland, I’m deeply troubled by the constant stream of alarming developments for our national security.”

In a statement read during a briefing Thursday afternoon, Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said the U.S. government had detected and was tracking "a high-altitude surveillance balloon" over the United States.

"The U.S. government, to include NORAD, continues to track and monitor it closely," Ryder said. "The balloon is currently traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic, and does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground.

"Instances of this kind of balloon activity have been observed previously over the past several years. Once the balloon was detected, the U.S. government acted immediately to protect against the collection of sensitive information."

Ryder did not relate how the "sensitive information" was being protected.

NBC News reported on Friday that a senior administration official said Biden had been briefed and received a “strong recommendation” that the balloon not be shot down.

The official said China has flown balloons like the one over Montana before, but this one has been over the U.S. longer than usual.

That alone should give cause for concern.

The Biden administration, however, does not appear very worried.

It hasn't seemed too concerned with the fentanyl, illegal immigrants and who knows what else flowing over our southern border with Mexico either. So why worry about a Chinese balloon over Montana? It's just a weather balloon, right? Nothing to see here.

Biden and company are naïve, reckless or incompetent when it comes to borders, land, sea or sky.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Jack Gist, The Western Journal

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