SEN. MARSHA BLACKBURN: The Spy Balloon Was A Test — Biden Failed It

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Once again, the Biden administration’s response to a serious national security threat has proved to be too little, too late.

The Pentagon first detected the Chinese Communist Party’s now-infamous surveillance balloon over U.S. airspace in Alaska on Saturday, Jan. 28, but failed to inform the American people of its existence until Thursday, Feb. 2.

The announcement caused an uproar – and immediate action here on Capitol Hill – but by that point, the damage was done. President Biden had allowed the balloon to potentially collect intelligence and spy on American military assets for a whole week. In typical Biden administration fashion, officials praised the president before launching a full-scale, media-abetted cover up.

President Biden’s national security “experts” sprinted for the cameras and assured us that it posed no risk to the United States, despite knowing that the spy balloon was capable of launching remote-controlled drones or dropping listening devices over sensitive military installations.

The spy balloon is only the tip of the iceberg in Beijing’s lengthy quest for control over the United States and our freedom-loving partners, and it’s high time the Biden administration realized that. The CCP is not our friend.

While Democrats are eager to swallow Beijing’s lies about weather research balloons that “accidentally” strayed off course, the CCP has been working behind the scenes to expand its power through the extortionate programs under Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative, by planting Confucius Institutes on college campuses, and by purchasing farmland and other property in the U.S. Their use of TikTok will go down in history as one of the world’s most terrifying propaganda operations.

Internally, the CCP is a hostile force against their own people. In full view of their global audience, they destroyed Hong Kong’s autonomy and are openly seeking to take control of Taiwan. Xi Jinping and his tyrannical puppets view any culture that is different from theirs as a threat to the ruling party.

The CCP is openly committing crimes against humanity in Xinjiang province. More than one million Uyghurs currently languish in prisons and forced labor camps simply because they are Muslim. Those fortunate enough not to be jailed are targeted, harassed, and surveilled 24/7.

The Biden administration cannot be so naive as to think that multiple Chinese-controlled spycraft just happened to stray into U.S. airspace. Their choice to de-emphasize the threat, then, should make you wonder: What kind of message does their indecisiveness send our adversaries? What actions is the administration taking to prevent further acts of espionage within our airspace?

It seems they’re in no hurry to reassure us. Had the public not found out about the balloon, President Biden would have let it fly all the way back to Beijing. And you can be certain that Secretary of State Antony Blinken would have traveled to China as planned to shake hands with President Xi. 

After Blinken canceled his trip, he told his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, that he is “prepared to visit Beijing as soon as conditions allow.” What conditions? This isn’t a vacation that got canceled because it wasn’t sunny and 75. And yet, Secretary Blinken is practically apologizing to the CCP because the American reaction to their surveillance operation forced him to delay his trip. Our bad, China.

The Biden administration’s entire response was unacceptable and dangerous. Beijing is watching the United States very closely, and how we respond matters.

In this situation, we must rebuild our nuclear stockpile and rapidly modernize our military to ensure our service members have the resources they need to adequately combat the New Axis of Evil.

And still, resources mean very little without a formidable Commander-in-Chief—a standard that Joe Biden has once again failed to live up to on the world stage. This isn’t hard, Mr. President: when a Chinese spy balloon appears over U.S. airspace, shoot it down. Immediately.

Senator Marsha Blackburn represents Tennessee in the United States Senate.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.