The State Department has revealed that the infamous Chinese spy balloon that captivated the attention of the general public in the United States after it was spotted floating across the country for eight straight days, had the capability to pick up signal intelligence through antennas. If you recall, the Chinese government attempted to pass the device off as a weather balloon that was blown off course. Yeah, I don’t think weather balloons have antennas designed to pick up signal intel, do you?
“That news came from a senior State Department official on Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported, adding that the official revealed the balloon had large solar panels that could power collection sensors and that the balloon’s manufacturer is involved with China’s military. Information about the balloon — which flew over Montana, where a nuclear missile silo field at Malmstrom Air Force Base is located — was obtained by using high-altitude U-2 aircraft as well as debris left by the balloon after it was shot down on Saturday,” the Daily Wire said.
“Although the U.S. military has no authority to gather intelligence within the U.S., Gen. Glen VanHerck, the commander of the U.S. Northern Command, revealed, ‘specific authorities were granted to collect intelligence against the balloon specifically, and we utilized specific capabilities to do that,'” the report continued.
A senior official, speaking on the manufacturer of the balloon, said, “The company also advertises balloon products on its website and hosts videos from past flights, which appear to have overflown at least U.S. airspace and airspace of other countries. These advertised balloon videos seemingly have similar flight patterns as the balloons we have been discussing this week.”
Citizens in Montana identified the balloon last Thursday. The following day the Pentagon stated it was tracking a potential Chinese spy balloon. The foreign ministry in China responded, “The airship is from China. It is a civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological, purposes. Affected by the Westerlies and with limited self-steering capability, the airship deviated far from its planned course.”
Over the course of the weekend, Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, ripped into President Joe Biden during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
“What began as a spy balloon has become a trial balloon, testing President Biden’s strength and resolve. And unfortunately, the president failed that test. And that’s dangerous for the American people. The president was paralyzed for entire week by a balloon,” Cotton remarked. . “We should have shot this balloon down over the Aleutian Islands. We should have never allowed it to transit the entire continental United States. And I think there’s a lot of open questions that the administration needs to answer to Congress on behalf of the American people about why they didn’t.”
“Democratic presidents only take action like shooting down this balloon once their hand is forced,” the Arkansas Republican said. “And I think on Thursday, when civilians in Montana identified this balloon, it — well, it forced the president’s hand.”
We all knew this already, but now that we have the official confirmation this equipment was indeed being used for the purposes of collecting intelligence on the U.S., what are we going to do about it? Every step we take concerning this situation needs to be carefully measured so as not to start a third world war. Still, we must do something to send the message to China this will not be tolerated.
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