How weak is the cognitively declining US President Joe Biden?
The compromised 80-year-old is allowing a Chinese spy balloon to slowly drift across our sovereign nation, collecting data that could be used to conduct various nefarious activities in the near future.
Communist China’s Foreign Ministry denied any knowledge of the huge surveillance balloon floating through American airspace, but on Friday claimed it was a weather research “airship.”
Photo from KSVI-TV shows a massive Chinese spy balloon over Montana. The U.S. military is tracking it pic.twitter.com/BWUBERWO1J
— BNO News Live (@BNODesk) February 2, 2023
“I have noted relevant reports. We are gathering and verifying the facts,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said when asked about the balloon.
“China is a responsible country and we always act in accordance with international law. We have no intention to violate the territory or airspace of any sovereign country,” she insisted.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry released a statement that claimed the balloon was a “civilian airship” conducting meteorological research that “deviated far from its planned course” due to strong winds.
“The Chinese side regrets the unintended entry of the airship into U.S. airspace due to force majeure,” the Foreign Ministry said, indicating the flight path of the balloon was beyond the control of its operators.
The Pentagon finally responded to questions about why the most powerful, technologically superior U.S. military did not detect, or destroy the balloon by claiming that attacking it could jeopardize people on the ground in Montana.
The Pentagon said on Thursday it was “confident” the large white balloon drifting over Montana with a hefty payload of electronics suspended beneath it was a surveillance craft of Chinese origin.
Pentagon officials said they had “urgently” contacted Chinese officials about the balloon and alerted President Joe Biden. On Friday, a U.S. official said the administration was in direct contact with Beijing at “multiple levels,” and the State Department summoned a Chinese official to file a formal complaint.
According to CBS News, President Biden wanted to shoot the balloon down, but advisers, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley, recommended against “kinetic action” because the balloon seemed to pose no immediate threat, and debris from an interception could endanger people on the ground.
Another senior official told Fox News that the weight of the equipment hanging from beneath the balloon raised concerns that shooting it down would create a large debris field.
Senior US official tells me biggest consideration for not shooting down the Chinese spy balloon over continental US is the potential for civilian (American) casualties on the ground. Heavy equipment hanging from underneath the balloon could create a large debris field. MORE
— Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) February 3, 2023
CBS’s sources said shooting the balloon down might still be an option when it reaches a safe area. The balloon is apparently capable of maneuvering itself but is largely at the mercy of high-altitude winds. As of Friday morning, it was holding an altitude of about 66,000 feet.
“Instances of this activity have been observed over the past several years, including prior to this administration. We acted immediately to protect against the collection of sensitive information,” a senior administration official told NBC News, without producing any supporting accounts of American citizens watching giant Chinese spy balloons float over their heads during the Trump administration.
“Currently we assess that this balloon has limited additive value from an intelligence collection perspective over and above what the PRC can do through other means. Nevertheless, we are taking all necessary steps to protect against foreign intelligence collection of sensitive information,” the official said.
“We are tracking it in minute detail in real-time and we will constantly update our assessment. We are in constant surveillance of this thing through a bunch of different means,” the official promised.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) assessed the balloon “does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground at this time,” and said it is “currently traveling at an altitude well above commercial traffic.”
NORAD said the Canadian Armed Forces and “other partners” are monitoring the flight of the balloon, and Canada is “ taking steps to ensure the security of its airspace, including the monitoring of a potential second incident.”
In response, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has postponed his trip to China following the controversy over a Chinese surveillance balloon detected over the northern United States.
Senior State Department officials said Friday that Blinken’s trip, which was never formally announced, has been indefinitely postponed and that the presence of a Chinese surveillance balloon in U.S. airspace is “a clear violation of our sovereignty, as well as international law.”
“It is unacceptable that this has occurred. After consultations with our interagency partners, as well as with Congress, we have concluded that the conditions are not right at this moment for Secretary Blinken to travel to China,” a senior official said.
A second “Spy Ballon” appears to be a second balloon detected by the Canadians that is on course for U.S. airspace:
? BREAKING: Canada has detected a second Chinese spy balloon that is heading toward the United States. pic.twitter.com/efIYZh48FA
— Upward News (@UpwardNewsHQ) February 3, 2023
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