On Saturday, an F-22 U.S. Air Force fighter jet shot down a suspect Chinese spy balloon off the South Carolina coast using a single AIM-9X supersonic, heat-seeking, air-to-air missile, according to reports.
The presence of the Chinese spy balloon as it made its way over the continental United States prompted questions and criticisms about the Biden administration's handling of the situation as it had been aware of the aircraft's approach to the U.S. mainland nearly a week ago.
Among those with questions are two members of Alabama's congressional delegation, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks) and Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville).
Rogers, the House Armed Services Committee chairman, issued a statement alleging the Biden administration "had hoped to hide" what he deemed a "national security failure."
China challenged Biden, and Biden failed. https://t.co/08DI555f7p— Mike Rogers (@RepMikeRogersAL) February 5, 2023
"I applaud our servicemembers for completing a successful mission to neutralize a spy balloon sent by the Chinese Communist Party," he said. "I remain deeply concerned by the Biden administration's decision to allow the spy balloon to traverse the United States. The Biden administration reportedly learned of the CCP spy balloon on January 28th – nearly a week before residents in Montana spotted the balloon loitering over their state. It's clear the Biden administration had hoped to hide this national security failure from Congress and the American people. Now, the White House must provide answers about why they decided to allow a CCP spy balloon to cross the United States and what damage to our national security occurred from this decision. The United States must project strength to deter China – this failure is another example of weakness by the Biden administration."
"China challenged Biden, and Biden failed," Rogers added on his congressional Twitter account late Saturday.
Aderholt responded on Twitter on Saturday afternoon, saying more questions needed to be answered.
I’m glad the United States military has shot down this balloon. But there are more questions that need to be answered. Like why was this not detected over the Pacific and shot down there? And we must make sure the Chinese stop violating our sovereignty and airspace. https://t.co/bVH8Z5Dfec— Robert Aderholt (@Robert_Aderholt) February 4, 2023
"I'm glad the United States military has shot down this balloon," he said. "But there are more questions that need to be answered. Like why was this not detected over the Pacific and shot down there? And we must make sure the Chinese stop violating our sovereignty and airspace."
Jeff Poor is the executive editor of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.
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