It’s a story straight out of a spy thriller: a balloon suspected of being a Chinese spy is hovering over the United States. Now, a Senate Democrat has joined Republican colleagues in calling for an investigation into the incident. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) has announced that he will hold a hearing to get answers to questions about the balloon spotted over his home state.
The news of the balloon has caused outrage from multiple Republican senators from states over the balloon’s current flight path. Senator Tester has issued a statement blasting the news of the balloon and calling for answers. He has also been in contact with Department of Defense and Intelligence officials to get real answers on how this happened and what steps the Administration took to protect our country.
Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) has sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin demanding a briefing on national security concerns. He is concerned that the balloon was occupying Montana airspace and that Malmstrom Air Force Base (AFB) and the United States’ intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) fields are the target of this intelligence gathering mission.
Other senators have also issued statements on Twitter demanding answers and calling for the balloon to be shot down. Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) wrote that China’s actions are a clear threat to freedom and privacy and that the Biden Administration needs to take action to address this situation. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) called for the Senate Homeland Security Committee to investigate and both Hawley and Senator Eric Schmitt (R-MO) called for the balloon to be shot down.
Senator Tester’s announcement to hold a hearing to get answers is a step in the right direction. It is vital to establish the flight path of this balloon, any compromised U.S. national security assets, and all telecom or IT infrastructure on the ground within the U.S. that this spy-balloon was utilizing. The United States must protect its sovereignty and take action to prevent this from ever happening again.