The Biden administration was aware of a Chinese spy balloon last week, but chose to keep it from the public due to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s upcoming trip to China, which has since been postponed. On January 28th, the administration was informed of the balloon, but it wasn’t until February 2nd that the news was made public through an article and photo published by the Billings Gazette.
The Biden administration was considering shooting down the Chinese spy balloon and eventually decided to wait until it was over water in order to avoid causing harm on the ground. The balloon flew at an altitude between 60,000 to 110,000 feet, passing over Montana, parts of Canada, Idaho, and moving eastward until it finally exited over North Carolina into the Atlantic Ocean.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reported that the balloon was shot down safely in the shallow waters six miles off the coast of North Carolina, making it easy for the Department of Defense to recover the debris. Meanwhile, intelligence agencies took advantage of the opportunity to study the balloon while it was still in the air and gather data from it.
China has denounced the U.S.’s decision to shoot down the balloon, claiming that it was simply a weather balloon that had gone astray. However, the U.S. maintains that it was a surveillance balloon, citing information gathered during its flight. Records show that Chinese balloons have previously entered U.S. airspace briefly on at least three occasions during the presidency of former President Donald Trump.
The Biden administration’s decision to wait until the balloon flew over water before shooting it down has been met with criticism as some feel that he looks weak for letting it fly all the way across the U.S. and directly over some of our missile sites, and trying to keep it a secret for as long as possible. This has raised questions about who is really in charge of the country, as many feel that Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. is not in control of his own administration.
The preceding article is a summary of an article that originally appeared on Conservative Institute