Senators After 'Classified Briefing': Biden White House Had No Concrete Answers on Origin, Ownership or Intended Purpose of Downed 'Unidentified Objects'

“The first shot missed, but the second shot hit,” said Joint Chiefs leader Gen. Milley of the Sidewinder missiles that cost some $400,000 each

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Texas Insider Report) — “They don’t know whose it is, and they don’t know what it is. They can’t even tell you what it looks like,” said Florida Senator Marco Rubio, the top Republican on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

“The most important questions we have to answer now is, ‘What are these things’? Who sent them here? And, what are they doing here?' And the only way you’re going to get answers to that is to retrieve whatever is left over.” said Sen. Rubio.

As Senators emerged from a "Classified Briefing" provided by Biden White House representatives Tuesday, they said they had little or no concrete answers about the origin, ownership or intended purpose of the three unidentified objects that have been shot down since the original Chinese spy balloon.

U.S. Senators said the briefing raised as many questions as it answered, and they remained confounded by how or why the Biden Administration had been shooting things out of the sky.

And, the White House's official spokespeople have even – in somewhat serious manner – actually talked about ruling out the possibility the objects were of extraterrestrial origin.
On Tuesday, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby also told reporters that there are no indications the more recently shot down objects were part of a Chinese spy program – or an intelligence operation by any other country.

“We haven’t seen any indication – or anything that points specifically to the idea – that these three objects were part of the People’s Republic of China’s spy balloon program, or that they were definitively involved in external intelligence collection efforts,” Kirby told reporters.

Kirby did say that the “leading explanation” for the origin of the latest three objects to be shot down was that they belonged to a "private company or research institutions."

However, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre later confirmed on Tuesday that no private companies or research groups had come forward to report one of their flying objects had gone missing.

Tuesday’s classified briefing on Capitol Hill was the second in as many weeks following the shootdown of a Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina on Feb. 4th.

Mr. Rubio and Sen. Mark R. Warner, Virginia Democrat and chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said it was clear from the briefing that the latest objects to be shot down were nothing like the Chinese surveillance balloon.
Regarding Sunday’s takedown of an "object" over Lake Huron, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley, told reporters that the first AIM-9X Sidewinder Missile fired from an F-16 fighter jet did miss its target.
“The first shot missed, but the second shot hit,” said Gen. Milley following a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group in Brussels, Belgium.

Each AIM-9X Sidewinder missile costs about $400,000, meaning the U.S. Military spent close to $1 million to shoot down what has been described in press accounts as a “small, metallic balloon with a tethered payload below it.”

Despite the lack of clear information about who is behind the latest objects or why they had violated U.S. airspace, several senators leaving Tuesday’s classified briefing called on Mr. Biden to address the nation personally in order to more directly calm the public’s fears.
“The American people need and deserve to know more,” said Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, who is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“There's a lot of information presented to us this morning that could be told to the American people without any harm to sources or methods or our national security, and the American people need to know more so that they’ll have more confidence in our national security.”

“I think there is a need for greater transparency and more facts to the American people,” Blumenthal said.

Those facts should come directly from the Commander-In-Chief, said Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican who serves on the both the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“Americans are worried. They’re concerned,” Cotton said upon leaving the briefing, “and they have the right to know why President Biden directed the actions he did over the last week.

"I urge, once again, President Biden to come today, to speak directly on camera to the American people just as past presidents have in similar moments.”

Still, Mr. Rubio, said the situation warrants a more concerted effort by the administration to calm fears.
“I do think that when you shoot things down over the airspace of this country – for the first time in the 65-year history of NORAD – you owe the American people more than some hurriedly called press conference in the middle of the Super Bowl,” he said.

NORAD is the acronym for the North American Aerospace Defense Command, whose official and long-standing mission is to "conduct aerospace warning, aerospace control, and maritime warning in the defense of North America."

Aerospace warning includes the detection, validation, and warning of attack against North America whether by aircraft, missiles, or space vehicles, through mutual support arrangements with other commands.

Asked to respond to the bi-partisan concerns expressed by Senators after their briefing, Biden spokeswoman Ms. Jean-Pierre said the administration is “sharing as much information” as possible and is receiving regular briefings from his national security advisers.

“The president is taking this very seriously,” she said.