Republican Lawmakers are demanding the Biden administration provide more information about the shooting down of multiple unidentified flying objects in recent days over North America. The lack of communication from the White House is causing concern that the U.S. is facing national security threats but is not equipped to deal with the situation appropriately.
In addition, members of Congress are frustrated with the limited information available, which makes it challenging to engage in oversight work and determine how to deal with these mysterious incidents as we advance.
The first unidentified object was detected on February 10 above Alaska and was shot down. The next day, a second object flew near the U.S. and Canadian border, triggering a joint operation to destroy it. Then, on February 12, a third object was spotted over Lake Huron and was shot down at the White House’s direction. The incidents triggered great concern across the nation as airspace over several states was closed so military planes could destroy the objects.
Republicans recognize Communist China as the enemy and threat that it is to our American way of life.
Joe Biden would rather play footsy with Xi Jinping. pic.twitter.com/uhI9N7NMpx
— Jim Banks (@Jim_Banks) February 12, 2023
Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), a House Armed Services Committee member, said, “The Biden DOD has said that these three objects threatened our national security, and if they did, it’s unacceptable for Congress to be kept in the dark.”
Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL), also a House Armed Services Committee member, questioned why the Chinese spy balloon was allowed to traverse most of the country, yet smaller objects were shot down. Waltz also called on President Biden to be truthful with the American people about what is known and what is not known about the incidents.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the North American Aerospace Defense Command has been asked to immediately brief the committee on the multiple incidents by Congressional leaders on the House Homeland Security Committee. The lawmakers said, “Congress deserves candid answers as to why these incursions have taken place and understand the steps the Executive Branch is taking to mitigate these threats in the future.”
A briefing bulletin issued by the DOD for lawmakers includes virtually no information about what was shot down during the three operations. Instead, it states, “We have no further details about the object at this time, including the full scope of its capabilities, purpose, or origin.” However, the information provided to lawmakers does indicate that the objects may have been surveilling American military installations.
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that the Biden administration is being “very careful and very thoughtful” about what details it discloses. Much of it cannot be made public because it is classified or “on the edge of classified,” according to Schumer.
Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), whose district was subject to airspace closures due to the weekend operations, said that the Biden administration’s military secrecy is unwarranted. He said, “when our fighter pilots are shooting down presumably hostile aerial objects all across America, it’s long past time for transparency.”
Gallagher is disturbed by reports that the objects were only detected after the U.S. altered its radar systems’ filters to spot slower-moving objects like those detected over the weekend more easily. He said, “We are potentially looking at one of the most staggering intelligence failures since 9/11.”
He added that Congress has urgent and vital oversight interests in all these questions. Most importantly, Americans deserve to know what’s happening in the skies above their homes.