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The acting defense secretary is making a renewed pitch to Congress for authority to create a Space Force as a separate branch of the military. (April 11)
AP, AP

Sen. Ted Cruz lashed out at Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Wednesday for what he felt was a biased response from “snarky leftists” to his assertion in a Senate hearing that a U.S. Space Force is needed to help combat potential space pirates. 

“Hey @jack how come Twitter’s ‘moment’ quotes all the snarky leftists making fun of my comments, but doesn’t include my tweets in response explaining the real point that NATIONS like China have already developed & tested weapons to destroy satellites?” Cruz asked

The “snarky” tweets came in response to a quote from Cruz during a hearing on Tuesday on the challenges created by the “emerging space environment.” In his opening remarks, Cruz – who chairs the Subcommittee on Aviation and Space – said the “space domain is more active than ever” a “serious, sober look” is needed at the threats on the horizon of the “space landscape.” 

“Since the ancient Greeks first put to sea, nations have recognized the necessity of naval forces and maintaining a superior capability to protect waterborne travel and commerce from bad actors,” Cruz said. 

“Pirates threaten the open seas, and the same is possible in space. In this same way, I believe we too must now recognize the necessity of a Space Force to defend the nation and to protect space commerce and civil space exploration.” 

In February, President Donald Trump signed a directive establishing a Space Force to “deter and counter threats in space.” The order called for the new military organization to be under the Air Force with a call for it to eventually become its own independent branch under its own department. 

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Cruz explained that, unlike when the space race began, the U.S. and Russia are no longer the only players and, with the rise of satellite technology, “space has become an integral part of our economy and everyday lives.” 

“It is also my belief that the world’s first trillionaire will be made in space,” he said. 

The Texas Republican also said that space has become a zone of military competition, citing the development of anti-satellite missiles and the “possible deployment of space-based weapon systems.”

“The threats we face to our burgeoning commercial space sector, our civil space exploration effort and our national defense are real,” he said. He said a Space Force was needed to protect against such threats. 

But it was the hypothetical space pirates that got Twitter users’ attention. 

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Cruz responded to the mockery, admitting in a tweet that “a frigate w/ skull & crossbones in space is unlikely anytime soon” but “the threat of piracy, espionage & violence from rogue & rival NATIONS is very real. Indeed, China has already developed & tested weapons to destroy satellites in space.” 

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., mocked Cruz’s complaint about Twitter only highlighting the “snarky” comments. 

MSNBC host Chris Hayes also commented on Cruz’s complaint to Dorsey, calling it “the saddest tweet I’ve ever seen.” 

“May Space Pirates devour your liver,” Cruz replied.

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