Chinese spy balloon DID send back data to Beijing on US military sites despite mitigation claims: report

Two current senior US officials and one former senior administration official are asserting the Chinese spy balloon collected intelligence from sensitive military sites as it traversed the country and sent it back to Beijing in “real-time.”

At the time of the incident, the Biden administration claimed that it was trying to block it from doing so but many believed that could not be done. Knowing that it was occurring, it is beyond baffling that they allowed the balloon to travel all the way across the US before shooting it down. In fact, it could reportedly have been taken out when it first entered US airspace on Jan. 28 over the Aleutian Islands but the Pentagon decided not to. The balloon was reportedly tracked by the US from the time it left China.

The communist Chinese were allowed to retain full control of the balloon and it made multiple passes over some of the military sites. NBC News reports that, at the time, the balloon was flying figure-eight formations to do so. The intelligence gathered was primarily from electronic signals, which can be picked up from weapons systems or include communications from base personnel, rather than images, according to the officials.

The officials claim that more would have been gathered if the administration hadn’t moved around potential targets in an effort to block the balloon’s ability to pick up electronic signals by stopping them from broadcasting or emitting signals. Regardless, the damage was done because no action was taken to fully stop the country’s biggest enemy from spying on our military installations.

The Defense Department is still parroting the same line from February claiming that the balloon had “limited additive value” for intelligence collection by the Chinese government “over and above what [China] is likely able to collect through things like satellites in low earth orbit,” according to NBC News.

China claimed from the beginning that it was a weather balloon that had blown 5,000 miles off course. Most experts believed that was a lie. Another balloon was spotted over South America. It was hardly the first time it had happened either and similar balloons have been spotted over Europe.

State Department officials claim that Beijing has deployed similar balloons in more than 40 countries recently and that the balloon shot down off the US coast “was clearly for intelligence surveillance and inconsistent with the equipment onboard weather balloons,” according to the New York Post.

The Chinese predictably accused the US of overreacting by shooting the spy balloon down and mocked President Biden for doing so… although belatedly.

The Biden administration acknowledged in February after the balloon was shot down that it was capable of collecting signals intelligence.

NBC reports that the “balloon had a self-destruct mechanism that could have been activated remotely by China, but the officials said it’s not clear if that didn’t happen because the mechanism malfunctioned or because China decided not to trigger it.”

The balloon floated over the US and then entered airspace over Montana where Malmstrom Air Force Base is located which houses a nuclear missile silo field.

General Glen VanHerck, Commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and the United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) said that the balloon was up to 200 feet tall and weighed “in excess of a couple thousand pounds,” according to the Daily Wire. It was allegedly the size of three school buses.

The Biden administration claims it did not shoot down the balloon until it floated off the coast of South Carolina because they feared hurting Americans. But the balloon flew over mostly wide open spaces in Montana and other areas and could have been brought down with minimal damage or danger to life.

“US military commanders had determined downing the balloon while over land posed an undue risk to people across a wide area due to the size and altitude of the balloon and its surveillance payload,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a written statement following the downing of the balloon.

Once China became aware the balloon had been spotted, they sped it up, according to officials. It was shot down on Feb. 4 using an F-22 Raptor to down the object with a single air-to-air AIM-9X Sidewinder missile and officials are still ostensibly examining the debris. They are attempting to reconstruct the balloon from what’s left of it according to NBC News.


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