Thursday, February 9, 2023

Biden's Story About the Spy Balloon Doesn't Add Up; Here's What Most Likely Happened

Biden's Story About the Spy Balloon Doesn't Add Up; Here's What Most Likely Happened

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

As Joe Biden faces the fallout of his poor handling of the Chinese spy balloon, the effort to rewrite history is already underway.

Soon after the balloon was shot down on Saturday, Biden claimed the order to shoot it down was given on Wednesday.

“I ordered the Pentagon to shoot it down on Wednesday as soon as possible,” Biden told reporters. “They decided without doing any damage to people on the ground, they decided that the best time to do that was when it got over water outside within a 12 mile limit.”

“I told them to shoot it down on Wednesday,” Biden later added, clearly wanting to make sure that this factoid wasn’t missed. “They said to me let’s wait for the safest place to do it.”

For our VIP Subscribers: The Real Reason Biden Shot Down the Chinese Spy Balloon

But is this true? Did Biden really authorize the balloon to be shot down on Wednesday? I have my doubts. The Biden administration has long pointed to the size of the balloon’s payload and the potential debris field shooting it down over land might cause. But, when Pentagon spokesperson Air Force Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder was asked on Friday if there were plans to shoot it down once it was over water again, and he didn’t rule it out, but it sure sounded like no decision had been made at that point.

“And once it’s over a body of water, will you shoot it down?” a reporter asked.

“Again, right now, we’re monitoring the situation closely, reviewing options,” Ryder replied. “But beyond that, I’m not going to have any additional information.”

The other problem with this story is that we know the Pentagon had been monitoring the balloon since it left China, and it had previous opportunities to shoot it down while it was over U.S. territorial waters when it crossed over the Aleutian Islands. The Biden administration most certainly knew what it was and where it might go, and the opportunity to shoot it down safely over the water was not taken.

So when did Biden actually authorize the spy balloon to be shot down?

The most likely story is that the decision to shoot down the balloon once it was back over the water was made on Friday morning, shortly before Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s planned trip to Beijing was postponed.

It is highly unlikely that the Biden administration would have planned to send Blinken to Beijing while they’d been planning to shoot down the balloon. Considering the administration had long known about the balloon, the abrupt change of Blinken’s plans is the most obvious signal that there’d been a change in how the administration would handle the situation.

So Biden’s story doesn’t add up, yet he’ll forever claim he’d authorized the spy balloon to be shot down on Wednesday. But the facts suggest the authorization was two days later. Naturally, to help spin the situation as a positive for Biden, Democrats are now “celebrating” the balloon’s destruction as if Biden’s actions were heroic and decisive when we know they were not.

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