It’s usually called an invasion when a military aircraft breaches national airspace without permission. America was in a world war the last known time foreign military aircraft invaded airspace over America’s homeland. Imperial Japan sent thousands of bombs on balloons over the westerly Pacific winds into the continental United States. One killed six Sunday school picnickers in Oregon.
Yet that was not the last time foreign military aircraft flew over the United States. Before last week’s military balloon from China, it had happened dozens of times before—with America’s permission.
Starting in 2002, select nations could fly unarmed spy planes over America’s military bases, including its nuclear weapons sites. Under the Open Skies Treaty, any signatory nation could begin an overflight with as little as 72-hours’ notice. The aim was to reassure parties to the treaty that none were preparing a surprise attack.
“If we’re going to attack,” the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark A. Milley, told Red China’s top general in 2020, “I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise.” China then had only Milley to reassure it because China never signed the Open Skies treaty. But Russia did. Between 2002 and 2020, Russia made dozens of flights over the United States.
President Trump pulled out of the Open Skies treaty in 2020 after Russia refused the United States flights over Russian bases in Kaliningrad and Georgia. Enter Joe Biden. Notoriously pro-China and anti-Russia along with the rest of the leftist Western regime, how would he and his administration have viewed a request by China to overfly military bases in the continental United States?
“There not bad folks, folks . . . they’re not competition for us,” said Joe Biden about China in 2019—by which time China had apparently funneled millions to him, his brother, and his beyond compromised and crack-addled son, Hunter. Yet Russia was an “enemy,” Biden wrote the year before. So why should Russia, China wondered—just as a leftist neocon did in The Atlantic mere hours after the balloon’s reveal—have had 18 years of flights over American bases but China not even one? A Biden Administration, one viewing a Chinese economy towering over Russia’s as an asset—personal if not national—could only answer in China’s favor. And, that could explain the many and varied features of last week’s bizarre balloon saga.
Take the Pentagon’s response: there was none. At first, some supposed that the balloon slipped through early-warning radars. But it didn’t. The military refused to say when, exactly, it started tracking the balloon, but admitted that it had a track on it by the time it neared American airspace over the remote Aleutian Islands off the southern tip of Alaska. Yet, the administration kept the balloon secret for days and planned to keep it secret forever.
Take the State Department’s response: none there, either. At first, some supposed that Secretary of State Antony Blinken canceled his trip to Beijing to protest China’s balloon invasion. But he didn’t. He postponed—but did not cancel—his planned meeting in Beijing with China’s dictator, Xi Jinping, only because the White House feared how bad it would look to American voters if Blinken were kowtowing to Red China while Beijing’s army airship stalked the American heartland on a red carpet. The administration told the public about the balloon as it hovered about a nuclear-missile base in Montana, but only because the Billings Gazette published a photograph of it that afternoon and the jig was up.
And then there’s the most bizarre thing of all: that the Pentagon kept calling it a “spy balloon.” Why was it so sure? All the American public could see was a huge balloon carrying a big box. That slow, simple balloon could have been the perfect way to deliver a nuclear bomb over American soil to detonate in the atmosphere before America knew it was under attack: a floating Trojan Horse that would cause an electromagnetic pulse, destroying the electrical grid and frying electronics across swaths of the American continent.
Did the Pentagon know the balloon was instead a scheduled overflight, permitted by Joe Biden himself? What else explains its irritating insouciance?
The Constitution requires agreements like the Open Skies treaty to be ratified by the Senate. Both Obama and Biden, whose administrations include many of the same officials, believe that there is little for which a president needs to ask permission from Congress to do. That includes making backdoor treaties like Obama’s Iran nuclear deal, which Biden seeks to revive.
So, how would Biden and his administration have reacted if Xi asked to fly spy balloons over America’s military bases? Biden and his drippingly pro-China administration, Milley included, probably would have said “welcome to our open skies.” And, they probably would have thought that they could open the door to China, in secret, without asking Congress.
No American should ever have to wonder whose side the president or the Pentagon is on. Congress and the press must get real answers explaining why China’s balloon made it over the American homeland. If Joe Biden committed or abetted a crime or a crime-like act to aid a Chinese military mission, he must be impeached and removed from office. The usual hot air from Joe Biden and his flacks won’t fly this time.