Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Blaine Holt told Newsmax Monday that the recent incident involving a high-altitude Chinese balloon traversing the continental United States before being shot down this weekend is just another “weakness” milestone shown by President Joe Biden and his administration.
“On the whole, and at the highest level, it's just another big weakness milestone that imperils our national security,” Holt said during “American Agenda” Monday. “This began with this [Biden] administration, with the Chinese in Alaska, and then handing it to us publicly. Troops massing on the Ukraine border. Then we see the disaster that is Kabul. And here we are with a massive war that's from [weakness] before it started in Ukraine, and now this.”
China claimed the suspected spy balloon, carrying a payload the size of three school buses, was a civilian scientific aircraft collecting weather data, and is upset the United States finally shot it down off the South Carolina coast over the Atlantic Ocean Saturday after several days crossing the country, Reuters reported.
"China had clearly asked the U.S. to handle this properly in a calm, professional and restrained manner," Reuters reported China's foreign ministry said in a statement. "The U.S. had insisted on using force, obviously overreacting."
According to the report, the balloon entered United States airspace in Alaska Jan. 28, but the incident remained unreported publicly until Thursday.
Military officials said action was not taken prior to Saturday out of concern for injuries on the ground from falling debris.
“Don't make any mistake. If this was reversed, I would even be worried about civilians in an airliner that had strayed off course into Chinese airspace,” Holt said. So, there's suppositions and all of this is nonsense. It should have been knocked down well, before it hit the Alaskan landmass.”
Former CIA operative Mike Baker, who joined Holt on the broadcast, said that he also believes action should have been taken against the trespassing balloon much earlier.
“If it had been a U.S. surveillance platform disguised, as the Chinese regime claims, as a civilian use weather device, they would have taken immediate action to remove it from their space, knowing that we wouldn't have escalated the issue,” Baker said. “And frankly, we should have done the same thing. This idea that we wanted to be careful about not injuring anybody on the ground. We had plenty of time to shoot this down when it was over very remote territory.”
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