Senators Float Disturbing Possibility After Classified Briefing On Chinese Balloon

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

The massive Chinese balloon holding instruments inside that would fill three school busses traveled across the United States at its will, followed by United States military forces, and as it neared the east coast on its diagonal path to the Atlantic was watched by Americans on new and social media.
Entering U.S. airspace, the balloon was first spotted by the public in Montana. The sighting swiftly drew the attention of the national media. The balloon was ultimately shot down just as it passed the coastline of South Carolina in Myrtle Beach, over the United States territorial waters – a decision made to prevent risks to civilians on the ground of a potential crash site. Traffic stopped and crowds gathered up to the beach at the Carolina coastline, which was blocked by the military, and Navy ships waited in the waters close by to retrieve the falling parts of the balloon after it was shot down.

Now that those retrieved parts have been scrutinized, facts are coming to light about the balloon’s construction and the origin of that construction.

A source familiar with the briefing told Fox News that western-made parts with English-language branding had been recovered at the balloon’s crash site.

The State Department indicated that the balloon’s manufacturer was already known as a supplier of the Chinese military in a Thursday statement. “We are confident that the balloon manufacturer has a direct relationship with China’s military and is an approved vendor of the [People’s Liberation Army,] according to information published in an official procurement portal for the PLA.”

And Senior U.S. government officials aren’t ruling out the disturbing possibility that there are U.S, connections to the parts of the balloon, Western Journal reports.

Two Republican senators told reporters that officials from three different agencies declined to rule out the possibility that the aircraft was manufactured with the help of American companies, according to Fox News. Sens. Josh Hawley and Dan Sullivan say they asked officials about the prospect in a Thursday classified briefing — only for the briefing staff not to provide a “definitive answer.”

The two senators spoke to reporters after the classified briefing and acknowledged some disturbing possibilities. “American companies shouldn’t be helping build spy satellites that are used against their own citizens,” Sullivan said. “Maybe there’s nothing to be said about that, but somebody asked about it, and nobody, nobody in that briefing said, ‘oh, it’s not a problem.’” Officials from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the State Department, and the Department of Defense briefed the two senators, according to Fox.

Sullivan is calling for national security officials to make the details of the classified briefing public. “What we were just briefed on there, I think it should just be made public, right. Let the American people know the extent of the challenges,” he said.

Western Journal noted that Hawley’s attention, meanwhile, was drawn to national security officials, whom he accused of negligence over the balloon’s traversal. “Obviously, the other thing that it made was crystal clear from this briefing was how unprepared, totally unprepared the administration and frankly, the Pentagon was for this to happen,” the Missouri senator said the situation.

The balloon clearly travelled from China across the entire Pacific Ocean to the west coast of the United States, entered American airspace, and travelled unmolested across land where it was spotted in Montana by the public, giving way to hundreds of phots and videos on social media. The question of how this could happen has not been answered. Americans go about their daily lives with confidence that any aircraft approaching the U.S. borders would be of course noticed and dealt with, which did not happen in this case. Now that the parts have brought more questions to light about the origin of the manufacture of the balloon, that fact is even more disturbing.

Western Journal further notes an interesting detail in today’s State Dept. statement about the Chinese balloon: Some of the US’s info about the balloon’s origins and uses came from a PLA online portal and from the website of the company that made the balloon

The FBI is studying the remains of the spy balloon, according to NBC News.

As more balloons are appearing and being delt with over South America, Alaska, Canada, and again Montana today, Beijing has insisted that it drifted off course and could not be maneuvered, but the Pentagon refuted that, Conservative Brief reports.

“The balloon is maneuverable,” Pentagon spokesman Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters last week. “It violated the law. We communicated that to China.” He said that shooting down the new balloon over Montana “was taken into consideration” earlier, but “because we assessed that currently, it does not pose a psychical or military risk to people on the ground, for now, we are continuing to monitor and review options.”


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