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Expensive Hobby: UFO Might Have Been $12 Balloon

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow
The Truth Network Radio
February 17, 2023 1:11 pm

Expensive Hobby: UFO Might Have Been $12 Balloon

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow

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February 17, 2023 1:11 pm

The U.S. Military spent millions of dollars to shoot down what President Biden calls "balloons tied to private companies, recreation or research institutions." It's being reported one of these shootdowns was on a $12 balloon. Jay, Jordan, and the Sekulow team discuss this and more today on Sekulow. 


Today on Seculo, it's an expensive hobby.

The UFO might have been a $12 balloon. Keeping you informed and engaged. Now more than ever, this is Seculo. We want to hear from you.

Share and post your comments. Or call 1-800-684-3110. And now your host, Jordan Seculo.

Alright, welcome to Seculo. I believe it was February 4th, the train derailment. We'll talk about that. We've also got news on the weather balloons that have been shot down by Joe Biden. It's actually worse than weather balloons.

Because it's not even something like that, that official. It looks like one of the balloons shot down by the US, which would have cost at least $400,000 unless they had to fire twice. Which they did. Which would have cost $800,000. And that's just the cost of the missile, not the cost of getting an F-16. I think these were F-16s at that time.

Getting those in the sky. And all the factors now in the recovery effort. I mean, we've probably spent over a billion dollars easily. Well, definitely over a billion dollars easily with all that.

And they've said how difficult the recovery is. It will be really difficult if it's a $12 weather balloon or hobby balloon that has traveled extensively across the world many times. Put up by the Northern Illinois Bottle Cap Balloon Brigade, which their Pico balloon reported its last position at 38,000 feet, which is in civilian aircraft range.

Off the west coast of Alaska on Friday by Saturday. It would have been over the central part of the Yukon Territory around the same time a Lockheed Martin, this was an F-22, shot down an unidentified object of similar description. A silver coated, cylindrically shaped object you could buy for $12. And this was shot. So first of all, the Illinois Bottle Cap Balloon Brigade lost their $12 balloon, but we launched a million dollars worth of military operations. The F-22 is a billion dollar aircraft, right?

Yeah, so multi-million dollar operations. And here's the problem. You could joke about this.

And it is a... You'll tell me, Will, when you want me to use the Top Gun clip? Okay. You're going to have a little fun with this.

Nobody got hurt. So, I mean, but this is the problem. We had a... The General of NORAD said that there were these domain gaps in our intelligence. Got everybody worried that the Chinese could come in.

Remember this one? It's my responsibility to detect threats to North America. I will tell you that we did not detect those threats. And that's a domain awareness gap that we have to figure out. Yeah, well, we now know they did detect the gaps, actually.

There was not a domain awareness gap. But they knew as soon as it took off and where it was going. So that one they let traverse the entire United States of America and they take it down over Hilton Head, South Carolina. And then these other three mysterious...

They had the whole... Three of these in a row. They did a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday shoot down. Scrambling military jets. Listen, this is all dangerous operations when you're doing this.

And then what happens? Whoops. It looks like... And then Joe Biden yesterday. That was very comforting. Another comforting moment. Do we have anything from that? We got one.

Let's go ahead. But nothing right now suggests they were related to China's spy balloon program or that they were surveillance vehicles from any other country. The intelligence community's current assessment is that these three objects were most likely balloons tied to private companies, recreation, or research institutions studying weather or conducting other... I thought he was going to say balloons tied to like a string floating over, you know, and they put those weights on it and they can't go up too far. Well, evidently they did. But this is...

Okay, this is the President of the United States. They weren't connected to a vehicle. I remember he said this posed a danger to civilian aircraft.

I don't know of one port. I just don't know of one where any of these balloons, which he said now has a new commission on, has ever caused any issues with civilian aircraft at all. In fact, the F-22 pilots had a tough time even seeing these because they were so small. So to try to compare these to a massive spy balloon program that's 200 feet tall by the Chinese Communist Party is absurd. That's the balloons we care about. What we don't care about is what's set up by the weather agencies, hobbyists, and, again, institutes doing research.

It's just absurd. And this is, again, a moment where we wasted just millions, not millions, of taxpayer dollars to try and look tough when we ended up making us look even weaker as a nation. We'll take your calls on 1-800-684-3110. Give us a call on the air.

That's 1-800-684-3110 to be part of Seculo today. A little bit of fun with this. So we got a $12 balloon that gets shot down with a $450,000 missile with an F-22 that's cost – what are the costs of those? $200 million. $200 million aircraft. Is this true that we have actual – we have – oh, listen to this, folks. We've got cockpit audio.

Here you go. Actually, that's from Top Gun. I could not resist. Are you listening?

That was not an actual – No, that was not. But, I mean, this is like, we got to kill. We got to hit. I mean, this is – here's what – Does not this sum up the Biden administration? A $12 balloon taken down with a million-dollar, multimillion-dollar military operation, Colonel Smith. That's going to kind of sum it right up.

It really does. They sort of have – they've bumbled through foreign policy. They've bumbled through energy policy.

They've bumbled through domestic policy. And now they take what is called – the F-22 Raptor is called the best air dominance fighter in the world. Well, I'll tell you one thing. It could take down a balloon. It can take down a balloon. And this is not to disparage the pilots. They're simply doing what the commander tells them to do. Oh, no, they're giving an order.

They did what they said. But it is amazing that he took a $200 million fighter plane and a $400,000 missile to take down a balloon. What's the – you know, you get those ribbons for military – what do you get for this? The balloon? Yeah, the balloon campaign.

Multicolored balloon. Operation balloon. They were laughing because – you might as well laugh because we had a general telling us that it was, you know, domain gaps in our intelligence gathering and radar. And then we had them saying, well, you know, I'm not putting anything up.

Remember the ET phone home? Here we go. Because you still haven't been able to tell us what these things are that we are shooting out of the sky, that raises the question, have you ruled out aliens or extraterrestrials?

And if so, why? Because that is what everyone is asking us right now. Thanks for the question, Helene. I'll let the intel community and the counterintelligence community figure that out.

I haven't ruled out anything at this point. We continue to assess every threat or potential threat unknown that approaches North America with an attempt to identify it. Norad, we've got an unidentified $12 balloon flying over the Yukon – and they said we'll never recover it. You know, I'm laughing because it's Friday. We need to laugh about some things here.

And this is absurd. Now, when you really think about this, you're talking about a waste of government dollars and anxiety created in the American people who think we're being invaded by China. That one balloon, by the way, that one they let fly over.

The Mylar balloon for $12 they knocked out of the air. Yeah, I mean, this to me, again, like you say, it shows the incompetence of the Biden administration, the incompetence of our leadership in the military, the intelligence community. We know they've gotten so politicized in all these branches that that's where they focus. And then when there's real issues, like the Chinese spy balloon, they botched that and then go take down a bunch of, for unnecessary purposes, hobby balloons.

And somehow we got Canada involved in that. Remember the pilots said they couldn't identify what the shapes were? How could they? They're flying, you know, mock who knows what, looking at it. You know, how big were these balloons, by the way? What are they saying? Different sizes.

Some were, they said the size of a small car, others smaller than that even. I mean, this is, you know, they had no choice. Well, Wes, what is the rule on that? They get an order.

They do. The pilot, when they launch, they don't know what they're going after. They say there's an object here, you need to go and take it out. That's national security. The pilots did a great job. What I find fascinating and disturbing is that this first Chinese spy balloon, now we know that when it took off from China and flew over Guam and Hawaii, the U.S. military and Intel were aware they were tracking it and still did not take it down, allowed it to enter the continental United States. And I'm sorry, flying over Hawaii, we have several military bases in Hawaii. Yeah, their answer though, Andy, was, well, we did that so we can find out what these spy balloons were capable of doing.

Yeah, we're going to track it and see what they can do. But meanwhile, it crosses the Pacific, as Colonel Smith says. It goes over Alaska, it comes down through Idaho, crosses the country over Montana and goes to Myrtle Beach for a little vacation.

And then it's shot down over the Atlantic Ocean. But meanwhile, I mean, I just, I just, on the other thing, I just want to, I keep thinking of Winston Churchill's statement with regard to the RAF. And I paraphrase that, never has so much been wasted on so little by such incompetence.

Yes, instead of never have so few done so much for their country. The Chinese are mocking us right now. You're worried about these three objects, but you've got toxic waste spilling into your states. Which we're going to talk about that too.

By the way, Jordan and I are going to be hosting Sean Hannity's broadcast today. It makes us look horrendous to the world. We look like, because again, you can take all the shots you want. You say, well, Joe Biden, I don't like him, I don't agree. But the world sees this as the US leaders. They don't get into like the domestic politics side of this. And they just say, this is America right now. And so it reflects poorly on every single one of us internationally to our allies who must be like, I don't know if they're as strong as they used to be. And of course, to our enemies who say this is the time to take action, which is like what the Russians have done. Which said, you know, this was the administration where we're not just going to try to end Crimea like we did under the Obama-Biden administration.

Under Biden, we're going to go for a full-scale invasion of the entire Ukrainian country. So if you just, if you joined us yesterday, you knew that we had a great victory. We had a preliminary injunction in our case representing those students at the National Archives Museum that were pro-life. They were pro-life attire. They were harassed. We have a companion case involving the Smithsonian. I'm happy to report that members of Congress have now engaged on this as well. We've got a preliminary injunction in place on the archives case. On the case involving the Smithsonian, we're in federal court on that one, too, but we do not have an injunction yet.

That's a process that's ongoing right now. But what is fascinating about all of this is we've impacted the judicial branch, which is, of course, the courts. It's action of the executive branch, which is the National Archives.

All these agencies work for the President. And then we now have, so Article 3 and Article 2 are implicated. And now Article 1 of the Constitution, which deals with the legislative branch of government, we've got engagement there.

That's right. So this letter, similar to the letter that went to the Smithsonian, but it talks about, according to the lawsuit filed by the ACLJ, a group of Catholic students from Michigan, a group of pro-life students from Liberty University, and a pro-life grandmother and her grandchild were on separate occasions told to remove their pro-life attire as grounds for remaining in the museum. Most disturbingly, one plaintiff even alleges that a security guard told her to remove her pro-life pin. While within arm's reach of the Constitution, they talk about the $500 million in federal funds that the National Archives received just last year. And they've got questions for the head archivist. So that's like the head of the National Archives, and that's who this was addressed to. And again, similar to the questions to the Smithsonian, what action have you taken? What's your policy?

What about these neutral zones? Are you aware of what happened to the Smithsonian? If yes, what did you provide in light of these incidents?

And were your employees that asked the pro-life visitors to cover up their clothing acting to other instructions or policy of the National Archives? Again, Senator Cruz and Congressman Roy led this effort, but I think we've got the letter posted at Again, Senators Lee, Senators Scott, Senator Graham, Senator Hyde-Smith, Senator Rubio, Senator Braun, and a number of members of Congress as well.

I don't want to leave anybody out, but again, I appreciate their work as well. Like you said, we're holding them accountable at every turn. But it's a multi-pronged strategy. Let's talk about the injunction, Andy, because we've got what's called a preliminary injunction. Initially, we're going for a temporary restraining order, then we're able to negotiate out with the Department of Justice a preliminary injunction.

Well, let's let everybody know what that means. Okay, a temporary restraining order is only limited in time to 10, 20, 30, 40 days, depending on what the rules require or provide. But a preliminary injunction, also known as an interlocutory injunction in federal court, means you are enjoined throughout the pendency of the whole litigation. That is, during the entire time the case is pending, you are enjoined from doing the things that the court says you cannot do. Now, in the case involving the Smithsonian, we don't yet have that order. No, we don't. So that case is, they're both being actively litigated.

One goes to mediation for 90 days, the other one is an active litigation. And we're going to, you know, we'll give you updates as it goes, but it's a great win on the Smithsonian side of this. But, you know, excuse me, on the National Archives, but this goes to this whole thing we've been talking about today. National Archives, you know, they're not being able to track President Trump's documents, former President Biden's documents, Vice President Pence's documents.

Where are those top secret documents, where are the classified documents, whether they're in people's houses, National Archives doesn't know. But they could target a group of students wearing a pro-life t-shirt that says, we're the pro-life generation. That's kind of like taking a million dollars worth of military operations or multi-million dollar military operations and knocking down the balloon, possibly from the Illinois bottle cap balloon brigade who says their balloon is missing. I mean, just think about this, but they're also supposed to be, you have 10 seconds here, Wes, they're supposed to be defending our national security.

Absolutely. We have serious threats that we face every day from both our foreign enemies and terror groups and some domestic enemies, and yet they're spending time on this. As Ted Cruz said, to be fair, the Biden administration is providing a powerful deterrence for any high school science clubs that might try to invade America.

I mean, you're going to laugh. All right, coming up, remember the incident in front of the Chinese embassy. We're going to be talking with Pat Mahoney, our client in that matter.

The Chinese government said to the Secret Service, these public sidewalks are our property, the Chinese government's property, you can't have free speech activities there. Initially, the Secret Service said that was right. You know, all this work that we're doing, you support when you support the work of the ACLJ at I encourage you to do it today at Also, Jordan and I are hosting Sean Hannity's broadcast this afternoon, 3 to 6 Eastern Time.

That's right. Go to, stay updated on all these issues, and give us a call, 1-800-684-3110 to be on the broadcast. Welcome back to Sec Hill. We do want to take some of your calls too, 1-800-684-3110. Let's go to Bill in Wyoming on Line 1. Hey, Bill.

Hi, thanks for taking my call. Now, I'm really concerned, concerned, directing the question towards the gentlemen that have been working in the government. My question is, any time that the people with hot air balloon events come up, I mean, are they going to have to apply for a security clearance? Because, I mean, those mylar balloons are really tough-skinned.

And they run the risk of being shot down by an F-22. No, but this shows you how, you know, we're laughing about it a little bit because it shows you how absurd this is. But we've always spent millions of dollars of taxpayer money on this. And a friend of ours who we've represented for four decades, Pat Mahoney out of Washington, D.C., is with us on the phone right now and talking about protests and balloons. Pat, you've been protesting on and off over the Chinese Embassy, in front of the Chinese Embassy for how long? About 40 years. By the way, Jake, thanks for making me feel as old and grandfatherly as I am.

But it's been a wonderful partnership. Yes, 40 years, probably 100 demonstrations in front of peaceful demonstrations in front of the Chinese Embassy. So, what happened? Tell everybody what you had with you when you went to the Chinese Embassy. This was in the middle of the, when the actual event with the spy balloon that was for real was taking place. What did you do?

What did you have? So we had two large balloons, two feet in diameter, each one. And we scheduled an event in front of the Chinese Embassy, and it was called No to Spying, Yes to Freedom, where we wanted to challenge the Chinese government not to encroach on American sovereignty in airspace.

But the real purpose, the main focus of the demonstration, was to stress the human rights abuses by the Chinese government and call on them to respect freedom, not to crush their own people, not to crush Christians and religious dissidents and Uyghur Muslims in Hong Kong. And so I applied for a special assembly notification plan application, which I do all the time. We had a group of people.

I brought the two balloons and something, Jay, happened to me at the Embassy just two days ago that has never happened to me before. Before you get to that, Andy, we're talking about, we've been litigating these kind of cases for literally four decades. Pat's on a sidewalk. It's called a traditional public forum, which means it's open for free speech. Quintessential public forum, the park, the street. Sidewalk.

Sidewalk adjacent to a street, rather. These are places where First Amendment expressive activity has always been permitted and has always been allowed. That has been stated by the Supreme Court over and over again.

Including about five cases of ours, I mean, at the Supreme Court. Now, Pat, so you go there, and this time what happens? So I get out of my car, and as I always do, I respect law enforcement.

I honor them as a Christian and as an American. I introduced myself, they knew who I was, and I said, I'm going over to the public sidewalk in front of the Chinese Embassy to conduct my peaceful protest. And for the first time ever, they said, Reverend Mahoney, if you demonstrate on that sidewalk, you will be arrested because that's not a public sidewalk.

And Jay, I'm quoting right now. It's Chinese property. Well, I want to stop right there, because here's the problem. The Chinese government and the CCP is buying every piece of property they can buy all over the country, but Jordan, they don't get to buy a public sidewalk. No, they don't. And whether or not they had called in, I'm sure they did call in security because of the incident involving their spy balloon. Like you said, this overreaction, the immediate action by the State Department is to believe the Chinese.

Which, Pat, let's talk about that for a minute. The initial, I mean, that was the Secret Service that told you this, correct? They actually, Jay and Jordan, they actually brought in, they said, Reverend Mahoney, we talked with the Chinese Embassy officials, and because of what happened with the balloon, they are very tense, and they told us that that's Chinese property.

And I was stunned. I said, I've been coming here for years. That's public property. We had a cordial but direct discussion. And I said, I am going over there to peacefully demonstrate.

Stop right there. This idea that the Chinese government can self-describe property for themselves as if they're engaged in eminent domain is ridiculous. But it shows you what the Chinese, and the fact that the Secret Service initially agreed with them. I mean, the government, instead of supporting the expressive activity of one of its citizens, takes side with the Chinese. Incredible.

Hard to believe that. All right, so Pat, you tell them you're going over there, then what? So it's kind of a funny moment.

My life sometimes is so crazy. I go, oh, wait a minute, I have my car parked here, and if I get arrested, they'll definitely tow my car. So I tell the Secret Service agents, just a minute, I'm going to move my car down on the street and come back. So I come back, I tell them, you should get a supervisor.

But I just want to add this. I understand the Chinese government saying it's their property. The fact that the Secret Service agreed with them and threatened an American citizen with arrest is one of the most stunning and disturbing things I've ever seen in 46 years of public ministry. So I go down onto the sidewalk. There by now are about 10 or 11 officers. There are four Secret Service cars, two motorcycle metropolitan police department, DC police department there. And finally, a captain comes out. We're 20 minutes later. And Jay, what I want to say, and I'm not trying to sort of lift myself up, but 99.99% of Americans when they saw armed Secret Service agents and said, don't go on that sidewalk, it's Chinese property, you'll be arrested. They would have said, okay, we'll go.

But I said, I'm not going to be bullied. And Jay, I love, by the way, I love the ACLJ. So who's the first person I call?

I'm out there on the sidewalk getting arrested. I call Jay. We were on air when you called and I had two of my colleagues. I sent them a note while Jordan was talking. Now here's the end result. As of it is right now, we've got a letter going out to them saying, hey, look, this is not Chinese property. And we were serious about this. This is areas open for freedom of speech. And the Chinese do not get to dictate in the United States of America what the protests and first amendment rights of American citizens are.

But the fact that the Secret Service initially thought that was okay is scary enough. Pat, if people want information about your organization, what's the best place for them to go? Actually, we're very live and vibrant on Facebook. So just go and Twitter. So just do Reverend Pat Mahoney on Facebook, on Twitter and Instagram.

And that's the best place to get us because we move every day on different events. Great. Thanks, Pat.

We appreciate it. You know, the good news is we got it resolved. The bad news is that the Chinese government also thinks they can say that. Again, this is part of his ministry. So if he gets arrested, he gets arrested. He's not worried about that. But like what he said is that to most Americans, if that was the day you decide, hey, you know, I've had enough of them.

I'm going to step out and actually do a peaceful protest. If Secret Service approached you, that would have been it. You saw how many, we put it back on the screen, how many Secret Service there was.

So effectively, the ability to silence speech, the Chinese almost got what they wanted because most people would have turned around. Yeah, I mean, look at that. I mean, in that picture alone, for a radio audience. Right, the figure out who's right. We've got a sergeant, a captain, Secret Service. They are and they are dressed like this is a serious engagement here. It looks like some Metro police as well. They don't defer to American rights. They mostly Secret Service.

They defer to the Chinese government initially. It tells you something right there. All right. We've got another half hour of the broadcast coming. Don't forget Jordan and I are hosting Sean Hannity's broadcast this afternoon, three to six Eastern Time. So we're excited about that.

We've got more in store for you. If you're on the lines right now, stand by and we're going to get to you right after the break. You want to talk to us 800-684-3110.

Support the work of the ACLJ at Back with the next half hour in just a moment. Keeping you informed and engaged. Now more than ever, this is Seculo. And now your host, Jordan Seculo. Hey, welcome back to Seculo. We are taking your calls to 800-684-3110.

That's 1-800-684-3110. Let's go right to the phones as we come back for the second half hour of the broadcast. There's a lot to talk about. We talked about the balloons.

We talked about the National Archives and we've got a call-in coming on that on Pro-Life Speech. Daniel in California online too. Hey, Daniel. Hello, hello. My name is Daniel.

I'm from California. Thank you guys for all your work everywhere. My question is for the kids that were discriminated and harassed at the Smithsonian for their conservative views and beliefs. I want to ask, if these kids had their futures protected, if their futures weren't derailed, ironically like the Ohio Peter Buttigieg's derailment, and if in the future they can apply to any college they want to go to, or work for any big company in the future without them being harassed. It's very interesting you say that, Daniel, because some of the kids, when I say and their parents, did not want to participate in the litigation for exactly that reason. They were afraid it was going to mark them. They thought they needed to participate in the litigation because they were threatened that they were being reported.

They were being threatened that they were being reported by the security personnel at the Smithsonian and that that would be on their record and they were concerned about that. We're very happy to report that we've got the preliminary injunction in the case involving the museum at the National Archives. And our colleague, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, just tweeted out minutes ago, I am proud at ACLJ stood up for the young pro-life activists at the National Archives. Getting the archives to apologize shows the power of the at ACLJ. We appreciate Secretary Pompeo sending that out, our Senior Counsel for Global Affairs, but also shows you the power of what happens when you go to work. Now, that case is still in court. We do have the injunction. So the students can go back.

There's no problem. In fact, one's going back today. Students there today. So that's interesting. They'll see. I'm sure that's going to go fine. We got the court order. And interestingly, in the case involving the Smithsonian, we're not at the injunction stage yet. We may be there as early as Monday.

So we will let you know how that develops. But we are in federal court on that one as well. And then, of course, you know, we've got the situation with Pat Mahoney that we just had on. And we're going to take Lynn's call in just a moment here where he was in front of the Chinese Embassy and they started claiming that the public sidewalks, traditional areas for free speech, were now owned by the Chinese government.

And the Secret Service initially said, yes, that's right. Let's go ahead and take Lynn's call. Hey, Lynn, calling from Washington State on Line 3. Hey, Wade, welcome to Seculo. You are on the air.

Hi, guys. I was wondering, and have been for quite some time, why does America sell property in America to China? Here's what happens. It's not like the United States is selling the property to China. It's citizens. You know, businesses are selling their real estate and some of it abuts military installations. Localities. And localities. Local governments need to sell it for tax revenue.

So here's what's happening. Governors like Kristi Noem, who we represent, she worked on this very aggressively and they're not allowing it. And Rhonda Santas in Florida, same thing. They're getting legislation to her. A lot of states are doing this because the Chinese government are buying these properties. A lot of states with resources, like West Virginia has done that.

North Dakota, there was an issue there near a base and they have said, though they already sold the property, they just won't give any permits out. So they won't be able to build on it and eventually they'll just need to sell it. So they're even taking reactive, not just proactive, but reactive to the fact that you cannot just treat a Chinese business as a regular foreign business that could do business in the United States as just normal practice, go through the normal processes. These businesses go through it. Get approval.

You have to do that. Oh yeah. They're getting approval from our federal government. Listen, they own a lot of agricultural land.

All over the world, including here. Now, the embassy setup is different. The embassy, you know, we provide, but at any moment we can take back. We've done that with the Iranians.

We have an embassy in Beijing, obviously, too. They have a responsibility to protect our, to an extent, as well. Protecting is one thing. Suppressing freedom of speech, they don't get to do.

And the Chinese do not get to dictate what property is the United States and the American people and what property is China. So we've got that working. Support the work of the ACLJ at Coming up, Rick Rinnell is going to be coming, talking about a whole lot of issues, including we're going to get into this disaster in Ohio. Pete Buttigieg. I mean, don't put a small town mayor in charge of transportation, because this is what you get. Trains derailing, airplanes hitting each other. It's horrific. He needs to go. Back with more in a moment.

Welcome back to Secular. We are joined by our senior advisor for national security and foreign policy, talking about a couple of issues. First, I want to talk to Rick Rinnell about the President's speech. You know, Rick, we heard from a lot of members of Congress, some who received classified briefings, some who received a non-classified briefing. But all came out basically saying, listen, what we heard in this, the American people can hear, and by the way, didn't have any answers.

And then President Biden finally does address the nation on why we shot down three additional objects. I mean, there was speculation of aliens. There was speculations of UFOs. And now it looks like they were weather balloons.

In fact, there's some weather balloon clubs tracking the loss of their balloons to the same time that these were shot down. Just your reaction to the President's address to the nation, because it left people, I think, with even more questions and concern about the judgment of American leadership. Look, I'm very concerned about what's happening with the intelligence community right now. They have a credibility problem. They certainly have a plethora of money.

They have enough money to be able to get their act together. If they are briefing on partial information, if they are briefing on pretending the information is classified when it's open source and unclassified, this is a big concern because it means that they're not getting the right information or the people aren't focused on the right programs. So I think we've got a crisis right now with the intelligence community.

It's a credibility crisis. Avril Haines, who's the director of national intelligence, needs to come forward and be very transparent. I heard last night from several Republican senators who reached out to me to say, I am very concerned at what I'm hearing from the classified briefings and from the intelligence community.

These are career intelligence officials assigned to brief members of Congress and senators. And the politicians are walking away saying, this is not very good information. This is a crisis. It's a crisis and it's also a crisis of confidence because we had the general in charge of NORAD say that there were domain gaps in our ability to track the spy balloon that came from the Chinese government, which we know now is incorrect, that they were tracking it the entire time. Now, you were the director of national intelligence. Did he not know from his own staff that they had it tracked before he went to the American people and said, oh, there's a domain gap in our ability to track this and we're going to have to get on top of that? I've got to believe and maybe just hope that he wasn't properly briefed because if he had full access to the information and the information is what he said it is, I'm very concerned. The whole thing, it is bizarre that they sit by it and out knowing with the questions and his response is that we shot down hobby balloons or independent. They've never caused any issues with civil aviation that we've got to open up an entire new federal working group on weather balloons and flying in the sky and how we convinced the Canadians that this was a need to shoot down either over the Yukon. Retrieving these are almost nearly impossible to ever get answers on. And when they said they couldn't retrieve them, Rick, of course they couldn't retrieve them. They were a balloon that you could buy apparently for somewhere between $12 and $180. The balloons themselves are about 12 bucks.

If you want the whole package, about $600. Okay. That's included like a camera. So, Rick, the concern that I have, and this is what the American people want to know and our listeners want to know, do we have these gaps or are they not communicating them clearly? Because they tried that line where they tried to blame you all, your administration, for, hey, this happened under the previous administration and at least we caught it. And what I'm wondering is, same thing with this general who got stuck out there to make the statement, they may have been doing this to the Chinese government and they just, you know, the deep state just doesn't bother telling, I don't know, the director of national intelligence. So this is, this is a concern because the answer, the real answer is we don't know.

We don't know what's going on. And the director of national intelligence, Avril Haines, has an opportunity and a responsibility to come forward and to at least come clean and be transparent with the oversight committees. I think that she should come clean with the American public because when the American public doesn't believe that the intelligence community has its act together or is acting in partisan ways or, you know, selectively leaking, then that is going to absolutely impact funding on Capitol Hill because the public will complain. The public will say, I don't want my congressman, my representative voting for budget increases. This is a real problem for her.

She needs to come forward and be very transparent. Transparency is not political. Rick, we also have a horrific situation in East Palestine, Ohio, and the FEMA response is, you know, this is way too big for FEMA, which is really scary. And Pete Buttigieg, who under his leadership at the Department of Transportation, we've had, you know, airplanes on the ground running into each other and they're missing on landing, trains derailing. And, you know, and this is, and he's in charge of this, which maybe don't put a small town mayor in charge of one of your biggest cabinet departments and cabinet posts and you were on the cabinet.

What's your sense of all of this right now? Look, you know, it's very clear that Pete Buttigieg got his job because he was the highest ranking gay Democrat, and they wanted to play party politics. He ran for President.

So he had this identity politics checkmark. And I think it's real dangerous. It's not good for the gay community.

It's not good for the Democrats, and it's certainly not good for America. He's not qualified. He clearly is more interested in irrelevant characteristics about people rather than transportation issues. He tried to make the excuse in Ohio that, hey, look, we have train derailments, thousands of them all the time. Well, we don't have thousands of train derailments with this type of chemical spills, which is toxic and detrimental to people's health. And he didn't speak about this for 10 days, and the first thing that he did was just a tweet and still took a long time to get on camera.

Think about that. If this would have been the Trump administration and the Department of Transportation secretary didn't speak for 10 days about a disaster, this person would be already impeached because the media would have focused on it. The political class in Washington would have completely focused on it nonstop.

And yet the Democrats get away with it. You don't see John Carl, who is the ABC correspondent in Washington, D.C., for ABC News. As of this morning, John Carl had not mentioned the train disaster or Pete Buttigieg, and the only criticism of politicians that he had been doing is of Donald Trump in the previous administration. This one, to me, is the ultimate head-scratcher because they talk so much about infrastructure, rebuilding, and if they want to do that, and again, those other derailments, and yes, a problem, but like you said, all those derailments, it's like all these weather balloons aren't necessarily causing the same kind of disaster. And when we do have a disaster, instead of being at the front lines, FEMA's response today is literally, they finally did issue a response, is that they can only be on the front lines of a hurricane or tornado.

This situation is different and more expansive than what FEMA can provide. There's got to be a federal agency that we're paying for with our taxpayer dollars that could do more to help the people in East Palestine. I hate to say it, but it appears that the reason why the Biden administration isn't jumping to help these people is because it's in a red state of Ohio, and it doesn't give them any political chips. This is an administration that only acts in partisan political ways, and we see it time and time again, and if this happened in a blue state, you would see them moving a lot faster.

Yes, they're putting all the blame, but have Mike DeWine have to run this. Again, there's a state role, but there's certainly a role for the federal government. It's why we pay taxpayer dollars to keep us safe from big events. With FEMA, as I said, it's too big, too much to handle. You know what, they don't want to send their own people into risk lawsuits. We know that's an issue with one of these bird situations. Any time they do these controlled birds, they go out of control, saw what happened on 9-11 when the first came in and did all of the work. Yeah, the first responders. Yeah, came in and did the cancer issues there.

I saw Camp Lejeune. Yeah, they had to do a federal fund for that. How many decades it took for that to even get to that process to help people. Forty years, four decades. Yeah.

So, I mean, that's the problem. Rick, we appreciate it as always. Folks, I will tell you this, one of the jobs at the ACLJ is holding your government accountable and also finding out what your government's doing or not doing in this particular case. And as I said, Jordan and I are going to be hosting Sean Hannity's broadcast today, 3 to 6 Eastern Time. We encourage you to listen in there. I think we're going to take some calls on that one probably, too. We usually do that during the last hour of the broadcast on Hannity.

We'll see how Linda, his producer, wants to set that up. But we're looking forward to doing that. And again, I want to say as we go into the – we're going to talk more about the situation in Ohio because it's a disaster and the people there are really suffering. And it's a rough area to begin with. When I say rough, it's been hit hard since the steel shutdowns in the 1970s and 80s. And it's an area that never quite got back, but there's a lot of people living in that area.

And we've got staff that are from there, senior lawyers here at the ACLJ that know the area. And this is going to just make it more – life is difficult enough for these people, and this is going to make it even more difficult. And then when FEMA says they can't do it – They have to be worthless. So anything they have been able to invest or purchase, they'll never be able to sell.

I mean, for decades. This is why we pay for federal government programs to help where there's a real crisis. So we have that kind of safety net they always talk about.

This is when it's supposed to work, and yet they are acting as if they've got nothing to do here, washing their hands clean. No, it's bad. I think it's just – it is so – like Rick said, it's played politics with people's lives, American lives.

No, it's as bad of a situation as you've got to deal with on the federal government level. We'll be back more to talk about it in a minute. All right, welcome back. We are taking your phone calls as well, 1-800-684-3110. I do want to remind folks as well, we will be hosting Sean Hannity's radio broadcast this afternoon, 3 to 6 p.m. Eastern time.

And we can walk through with people who have got lined up for that in a minute. I do also want to let you know ACLJ Action has sent 12,478 letters from you, members of ACLJ Action, and you don't have to join to send the letter. You can go to to Congress saying to hold Secretary Buttigieg accountable for the East Palestine-Ohio disaster. We've got Senator Rubio who has called for him to resign. So that is, again, not a reactive-type senator, but a very serious senator.

With a statement like that is made, I mean, they are quickly losing the confidence of not just the American people and the people of East Palestine, but also our elected officials as well. I think, again, small-town mayor, just not up for this job. It's just not the right person to lead the Department of Transportation. If you are to believe all the infrastructure issues we do have, you don't put someone with no experience in leading even a major city, which he doesn't have, involved in leading a federal department and all the difficulties that come with that. I think that it's horrific, and I think the people of East Palestine are going to be, are suffering already, and this is just going to aggravate it.

Harry Hutchinson, our director of policy, is here. FEMA says this is, you know, basically much more expansive than what FEMA can handle. You've got people that were in a distressed, financially distressed area for decades.

That's going to make it worse. What's your sense of, first of all, the proportionality and the consequences here? Well, the crash, the derailment, and the knock-on effects are of huge consequences to the people, but more importantly, they're of huge consequence to all American people. Because the reality of this situation demonstrates complete incompetence on the part of the Biden administration. We can no longer count on the Biden administration to deal with a simple disaster, let alone a much larger disaster.

So the residents of East Palestine, Ohio, they've been pleading for help and answers for the last two weeks. They have now filed litigation alleging negligence by the railroad, and with respect to the actual misconduct that caused this particular disaster, Pete Buttigieg, the transportation secretary, has simply minimized the pain and the suffering incurred by the people of East Palestine, Ohio. Indeed, Mayor Pete has now blamed Donald Trump. He's claimed that Donald Trump failed to enforce, if you will, an electronically controlled pneumatic brake rule, and this caused the disaster. But there are problems for Transportation Secretary Pete in that the National Transportation Board has claimed that Pete Buttigieg is fueling misinformation. In other words, he was fibbing with respect to blaming Donald Trump. So I think we've got to a situation where the Transportation Secretary doesn't know what's going on, the EPA director doesn't really know what's going on, and I think we need to convene, if you will, a commission to look into Biden administration incompetence. But this whole idea of trying to blame Trump for this, you know, we said this with other administrations, you don't get to do that, you know, 30 months out.

No, let's say you didn't like the policies they had. Why did he change it? He's been the head of the Secretary of the Department of Trade. And the Democrats have controlled Congress.

Yeah, it's been easy changes. I mean, so again, and you're trying to say, well, there's other derailments. Again, derailments, it's not good, and we know we need infrastructure, real infrastructure done, but they don't want to invest in trains.

No. Even though we've got to use them. It's like what Joe Biden said, we only need gas for 10 years.

Yeah, and then you're not going to need it anymore. Yeah, I mean, no one's created an electric plane that can actually fly people. There might be like little drones and things like that.

But this idea, again, they just do not live in reality. Mayor Pete is all politics, and the truth is you need really strong actors. Has he been there?

Has he been to the site? No, they sent the EPA administrator talking about water. I mean, you know, and even that is just one of the issues facing the people. They say you go in there, it's the area, and immediately headaches, immediately you can't talk, like your throat closes up. So, I mean, there's a lot of junk in the air. And so the question is, is the junk in the air bad enough? Is it going to kill you? Is it going to kill your kid? Should we play that sound?

Yeah, let's play. This is a reporter asking a question about Pete Buttigieg. Secretary Buttigieg has gotten some criticism, some of it, much of it in Ohio, some of it from Democrats and Republicans who argue that he waited too long to respond, and then he seemed to be fixated on trying to deflect blame to the previous administration. So does the President, is he satisfied with the government's response to this derailment, and does he have confidence?

Yes, absolutely. I can answer that very quickly and very with confidence from here that we do have absolute confidence in Mayor Pete. I always say that, Secretary Buttigieg. By the way, the whole Mayor Pete thing, which is his dick.

They call him that because that's what he really is. Small town mayor, that was his thing. He's a little town mayor, Pete, kid, running a huge federal agency that he's not qualified to run. We know how difficult these agencies are to run. Talk to Mike Pompeo, talk to Rick about just dealing with running these size entities.

That alone is difficult. Coming at it with no experience at all, but from a small town that's never had a crisis like this scale, this is what you get. Because he's talking about, you know what, those construction workers, they're too many are white.

That's what he said. I mean, it's hard to get construction workers these days. I don't care what color their skin is, you're happy if you can get some working. You know, people to work at those jobs right now, and then he talks to you, racist roads. But instead of... And that's during this crisis. This is all going on at the time when this is... So the lack of focus here is incredible, Harry. You are absolutely correct, and it's important to realize that today, of all days, President Biden issued an executive order suggesting that the real problems in America are tied to what? Systemic racism. So part of the issue that is so frustrating for the people of East Palestine is the federal government cannot focus on the real issue, the real harm. Keep in mind, people are suffering. Their animals are dying.

They can't really drink the water. And what is the government telling us? The government is saying we need to focus on equity. We need to focus on systemic racism. Meanwhile, it's very likely that in the long term, the East Palestine residents, some of them will suffer from cancer because vinyl chloride, which was burned, is a cancer-causing chemical.

And it also produces something called phosgene that was used in World War I to kill soldiers. So I think at the end of the day, there's a lack of proportionality in the federal government and with respect to its response to a real disaster. A real humanitarian disaster, too. All right, we're going to have more on this because Jordan and I are hosting Sean Hannity's broadcast this afternoon, 3 to 6 Eastern Time. You can go to to find out where it is on your local station and listen. We encourage you to do that. We'll have updates on a lot of issues. We encourage you to listen in when we're doing that.

Don't forget to support the work of the ACLJ at That's right. Another issue, JFK had to shut down their terminal. Terminal 1 is still shut down over.

These are all things that follow our DOT. And there was a plane from New Zealand already seven hours into a very long journey that had to turn around. Couldn't find another airport and they had to turn around.

Why? Because of this one terminal being closed to JFK. I mean, these are the issues that the DOT and Mayor Pete is supposed to be handling.

But they're not. They're failing America. We're holding them accountable at You can sign that letter there. To Congress, support the work of the ACLJ,
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-21 19:31:13 / 2023-02-21 19:51:42 / 20

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