Actually, no. In a moment, we’ll return to that foolishness.
Austin started off by implying that the “commander in chief”—I use quotation marks since Biden is hardly the commander of anything—was in control right away.
“The high-altitude surveillance balloon launched and owned by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was effectively shot down this afternoon by American fighter aircraft from U.S. Northern Command at the instruction of President Biden above the sea off the coast of South Carolina. The PRC-operated balloon that was being deployed to spy on important locations on American soil was brought down over American territorial seas.”
However, as we previously reported, Biden informed reporters that although he had instructed the Pentagon to deflate the balloon on Wednesday, U.S. military officials had in fact overridden him.
Austin backed Biden’s assertion.
“President Biden granted the go-ahead to deflate the surveillance balloon on Wednesday, as soon as the mission could be completed without putting American lives in jeopardy along its path. After careful consideration, U.S. military officials decided that the balloon’s size, height, and surveillance payload made downing it while it was above land an unnecessary risk to civilians in a large region.”
“The Defense Department created alternatives to deflate the balloon over our territorial seas safely in compliance with the President’s directives, closely monitoring its course and intelligence-gathering activities.”
Joe is having yet another “Profile in Courage” moment.
And keeping track of intelligence activity on the surveillance balloon? Then what? What difference did it make if the U.S. was watching its intelligence-gathering activities, to quote Hillary Clinton, if the balloon was unquestionably transferring data to Chinese satellites in real-time? America, they believe you are foolish.