The White House stenographers in the mainstream media were working overtime on Saturday night doing damage control for the Biden administration’s mishandling of the Chinese spy balloon.
The aerial oddity entered Alaskan air space on January 28 and continued to drift easterly across Idaho and then Montana and all the way to the Carolinas before the military gave Biden permission to down the CCP spycraft.
"I told them to shoot it down… on Wednesday… they said to me let's wait til the safest place to do it"
Biden on Saturday claimed that he wanted to shoot down the Chinese spy balloon on Wednesday but was overruled by the military's top brass. pic.twitter.com/AlslarnNYZ
— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) February 5, 2023
A Pentagon official claimed to Fox News that they couldn’t “take the shot” while it was over water off the coast of Alaska.
Along the way across North America, the “weather satellite,” later confirmed to be a Chinese spy balloon, trolled for sensitive data about ‘strategic sites in the continental United States,’ according to the Department of Defense. There were widespread reports about people’s mobile phones acting up as the CCP spy balloon swept up military, commercial, and personal cell and wifi data.
Donald Trump on Friday had a simple message about the predicament: “SHOOT DOWN THE BALLOON!”
The spy balloon was eventually shot down, but only after it passed over all of U.S. territory. It was finally blasted over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. An F-22 brought down the balloon at 58,000 feet with a single A9X missile, a senior defense official told Fox News.
According to Republican House Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA), former President Donald Trump slammed current President Joe Biden for his weak handling of the situation.
I just spoke with our GREAT America First President Trump.
He would have never allowed China to fly a spy balloon over our country and our military bases and assets.
Pres Trump would have shot it down before it entered the US.
And so would I.
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) February 5, 2023
“I just spoke with our GREAT America First President Trump,” Taylor Greene said on Twitter. “He would have never allowed China to fly a spy balloon over our country and our military bases and assets. Pres Trump would have shot it down before it entered the US. And so would I.”
This provoked extremely dishonest responses from the perpetually Trump-deranged critics on Twitter.
You are blatantly lying.
Chinese spy balloons also flew over the US when Trump was president—unlike Biden, Trump did not shoot them down. https://t.co/wMlxTLSslb
— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) February 5, 2023
“You are blatantly lying,” left-wing extremist talk show host Brian Tyler Cohen replied. “Chinese spy balloons also flew over the US when Trump was president—unlike Biden, Trump did not shoot them down.”
A closer analysis of the Forbes article shows that this is highly misleading, however.
“The Pentagon was quick to point out on Thursday that this kind of thing has happened before, though it didn’t get into specifics,” Forbes said.
“Instances of this kind of balloon activity have been observed previously over the past several years,” Pentagon Press Secretary Pat Ryder said in a statement online.
Here is the thrust of the reports provided in the article.
“The Associated Press also has a new report that quotes a defense expert who said that Chinese spy balloons have been detected near sensitive sites in Hawaii, home to a large U.S. military presence, during the past five years,” Forbes said (emphasis added).
“Craig Singleton, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, said Chinese surveillance balloons have been sighted on numerous occasions over the past five years in different parts of the Pacific, including near sensitive U.S. military installations in Hawaii,” Forbes added, citing an AP report on Saturday.
“Near sensitive sites in Hawaii.” That’s it. That’s all they’ve got.
Other Trump haters were less subtle.
Thank you for taking down the Chinese balloon. Trump never would have done it.
— Dash Dobrofsky (@DashDobrofsky) February 5, 2023
“Thank you for taking down the Chinese balloon,” Dash Dobrofsky gushed to Biden. ” Trump never would have done it.”
There were reports the U.S. military had scrambled fighter jets to “jam” transmissions from the spy balloon, but there is currently no detailed public confirmation about the effectiveness of such operations.
More critics pointed to reports of Russian spy planes flying over U.S. air space during the Trump administration, but these were flight operations under the long-standing “Open Skies” treaty. Russia is a party to the “Open Skies” initiative, while China is not.
The real issue is a matter of timing. Joe Biden let the Chinese spy balloon cross over the U.S. sweeping up an unknown quantity of intelligence information, while China made no such incursions under former President Donald Trump. Just like Russia waited until Biden was president to invade Ukraine, it is another case of “weakness begets mischief.”
Follow Kyle Becker on Twitter @kylenabecker.