There should be no doubt that the Chinese weather balloon incident is the Biden Administration’s biggest scandal thus far. With Republicans in control of the House, they’ll likely commence investigations into every dimension of what just happened, both in innocent pursuit of the truth as well as to pursue their self-interested political agenda ahead of next year’s elections. Against this context, it’ll be extremely difficult – if not impossible – to salvage the New Détente.
The Chinese weather balloon incident is shaping up to be the biggest scandal of the Biden Administration by far. His team claims that the aerial object that entered American airspace from Canada is really a clandestine reconnaissance vehicle while China insists that it’s a civilian airship that’s researching the weather but was accidentally blown far off course. Regardless of whatever it truly is, the incident served to postpone Blinken’s trip to Beijing and thus impede progress on their New Détente.
1. Why Wasn’t The Public Informed Shortly After Biden Was Initially Briefed On Tuesday?
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed on Friday that Biden was initially briefed about the Chinese weather balloon on Tuesday, but it wasn’t until two days later on Thursday that the public was officially informed about this, which raises the question of why they weren’t told sooner.
2. Why Did US Officials Earlier Tell The Wall Street Journal That A Civilian Airliner Saw It First?
Jean-Pierre’s revelation on Friday adds confusion to what unnamed US officials told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) a day prior in claiming that “The balloon was first spotted on Wednesday by civilians in a commercial airliner”, with it now being obvious that one of those two is lying.
3. Who In The Biden Administration Is Trying To Cover This Up & Why?
From the preceding two questions, it’s clear that either the unnamed US officials cited by the WSJ lied about who first saw this balloon and when or Jean-Pierre’s the one who isn’t telling the truth, with it being imperative that Americans find out which one is trying to cover this incident up and why.
4. Why Wasn’t The Balloon Intercepted Or Shot Down Before Entering US Airspace?
Military officials claim that they declined to shoot down the balloon after it entered US airspace due to the risk that the resultant debris field could pose, yet that doesn’t answer the question of why it wasn’t intercepted or shot down before entering its airspace in the first place.
5. Could It Be That The US Truly Didn’t Detect This Ahead Of Time And/Or Really Can’t Shoot It Down…
Another question that must be answered is whether the US might truly lack the capabilities to identify small airborne objects such as weather balloons and/or can’t confidently shoot them down, which in either case would expose serious shortcomings with far-reaching national security implications.
6. …Or Did The Pentagon Want This To Become A Scandal In Order To Derail The New Détente?
The flipside of the abovementioned question is that the US does indeed have the capabilities to identify and shoot down small airborne objects such as this one but purposely wanted this to become a scandal in order to create the political conditions for derailing further progress on the planned New Détente.
7. Why Did Blinken Wait Until The Eve Of His Trip To Beijing To Postpone His Visit?
It’s suspicious that Blinken waited until Friday to postpone his visit to Beijing after Jean-Pierre confirmed that Biden was briefed about the balloon incident on Tuesday, which suggests either an attempt to cover it up and keep the trip on track until this became impossible or serious infighting within his team.
8. How Did The Pentagon Determine That The Balloon Can’t Collect Sensitive Info Or Carry Weapons?
The Chinese weather balloon passed over some of the US’ most sensitive military/nuclear sites, which is why everyone must learn (even at least vaguely in order to safeguard national security secrets) how the Pentagon so quickly determined that the balloon can’t collect sensitive info or carry weapons.
9. Under What Conditions Might Blinken Reschedule His Trip To Beijing?
The Secretary of State said that he’ll reschedule his trip to Beijing “when conditions allow”, which naturally raises the question of exactly who’ll determines these conditions (diplomats, military officials, etc.) and what they’ll be, not to mention how the Biden Administration would sell this to the public.
10. Could Kevin McCarthy Deal A Deathblow To The New Détente?
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s reported plans to follow in his Democrat predecessor’s footsteps by visiting Taiwan sometime soon could deal a deathblow to the New Détente in the aftermath of the balloon incident, which he might even do at the behest of an anti-Chinese hardliner faction at home.
Considering these ten legitimate questions, there should be no doubt that the Chinese weather balloon incident is the Biden Administration’s biggest scandal thus far. With Republicans in control of the House, they’ll likely commence investigations into every dimension of what just happened, both in innocent pursuit of the truth as well as to pursue their self-interested political agenda ahead of next year’s elections. Against this context, it’ll be extremely difficult – if not impossible – to salvage the New Détente.
Source: the author’s blog