Following Lawmaker's Cryptic Request, 'No Need for Alarm'

Congressman calls on Biden to declassify info regarding 'serious national security threat'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2024 1:30 AM CST
Following Lawmaker's Cryptic Request, 'No Need for Alarm'
Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, speaks during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 20, 2019.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Rep. Mike Turner on Wednesday called on President Biden to declassify all information related to a "serious national security threat" so that Congress, the White House, and US allies can openly discuss the threat—a cryptic request that led to House Speaker Mike Johnson later assuring reporters there is "no need for public alarm" on the matter. Two Democrat representatives also said there's no "imminent danger right now" and that "people should not panic," Axios reports. As for what, exactly, they're all talking about, sources later explained to ABC News, CNN, NBC News, and the Washington Post that Congress has been briefed on new intelligence regarding Russia's space-based military plans and capabilities.

Russia is reportedly developing a space-based nuclear weapon to target the US satellite network, the sources say, though it's not clear how far along the development is (but nothing is yet in orbit). The sources stress that the weapon would not be used to target people. NBC explains that an anti-satellite weapon "could take out satellites that serve as a crucial backbone for US civilian communications, navigation, military operations, and intelligence gathering," and one expert tells CNN it could also "pose a significant danger to US nuclear command and control satellites," which the US uses to control its nuclear arsenal. A congressional aide expressed "annoyance" to the Post that Turner chose to make his vague statement publicly, while Biden's national security adviser said he was "surprised" Turner decided to do so prior to a meeting planned for Thursday. (More Russia stories.)

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