Earlier this year, a Chinese spy balloon traversed over the United States, sparking controversy. Reports now indicate that the balloon gathered sensitive information about American military sites, despite the Biden administration’s efforts to block it, according to officials. NBC News reports:
China was able to control the balloon so it could make multiple passes over some of the sites (at times flying figure eight formations) and transmit the information it collected back to Beijing in real time, the three officials said. The intelligence China collected was mostly from electronic signals, which can be picked up from weapons systems or include communications from base personnel, rather than images, the officials said.
“The intelligence China collected was mostly from electronic signals, which can be picked up from weapons systems or include communications from base personnel, rather than images,” one official said. China has repeatedly maintained that the balloon is a civilian aircraft that accidentally strayed into the United States airspace. However, when the balloon was shot down in February, the Biden administration confirmed it could collect intelligence and transmit it to China.
Former president Donald Trump spoke about the incident earlier this year, claiming this never would have happened under his administration and that it would have been shot down immediately. Trump said, “This never happened. It would have never happened. It never happened with us under the Trump administration, and if it did, we would have shot it down immediately. It’s disinformation.” The former president also slammed the Biden administration for allowing this to happen, “they look so bad, as usual. They are incompetent.” Fox News reported on the recent news that the balloon had collected sensitive intelligence:
The Pentagon has said it “acted immediately to protect against the collection of sensitive information” from the balloon. However, geopolitical experts said there is little reason to believe those efforts were successful, as the balloon almost certainly transferred surveillance data over to China as it flew over several military bases.
Americans are voicing their frustration with the Biden administration for allowing the balloon to travel in the U.S. as long as it did. Many felt the balloon should have been shot down much quicker. However, it floated across the continental United States for days. Joshua Niday tweeted, “And instead of shooting it down as it approached Alaska, Biden allowed it to fly from sea to shining sea. He’s a weak president and has placed our security at risk to sell out to China.” Another Twitter user said, “Biden admin thinks a Chinese spy balloon gathering information while hovering over U.S. military bases is no big deal & nothing happens to him Pres Trump thinks a Chinese spy balloon gathering information while hovering over U.S. military bases is a huge deal, so they indict him”
And instead of shooting it down as it approached Alaska, Biden allowed it to fly from sea to shining sea. He’s a weak president and has placed our security at risk to sell out to China.
— Joshua Niday ↗️ (@JoshuaNiday_) April 3, 2023
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