(TheRedAlertNews.com) – The Chinese spy balloon, which hovered over the United States for a week on President Joe Biden’s watch in early February, gathered important intelligence from US military facilities, a report reveals.
The surveillance airship managed to collect “intelligence from several sensitive American military sites,” two current senior US officials and one former senior official told NBC News.
The three officials made it clear the Biden administration’s efforts to block the balloon from gathering intelligence failed to a certain degree, as Communist China could control the device so it would pass numerous times over some of the military sites.
According to the three unnamed sources, the spy balloon was sending the information back to Beijing in real time.
They revealed that the intelligence the Chinese gathered came primarily from electronic signals from weapons systems or base personnel communications – rather than from images.
The three officials noted that the Biden administration’s efforts, which included obscuring the airship’s ability to pick up signals and moving around potential targets, prevented the Chinese from collecting “much more intelligence from sensitive sites.”
The Defense Department responded to a request to comment by pointing to remarks from February that the balloon had “limited additive value” for Chinese intelligence collection “over and above what [China] is likely able to collect through things like satellites in low earth orbit.”
A Pentagon spokeswoman reiterated on Monday that any intelligence collected had “limited additive value” for Beijing and was unable to confirm that the balloon had sent information to China in “real time.”
“Knowing it was going to enter US airspace we took action to limit the ability of this balloon to garner anything of additive or especially useful content. So again, I won’t get ahead of what we’re learning off this thing,” commented White House National Security spokesman John Kirby.
However, Republican US lawmakers were critical of the actions of the Biden administration to tackle the Chinese spy balloon.
“The administration’s explanation that the balloon had ‘limited additive value’ is little comfort to Montanans and the American people and weak spin on an issue the administration mishandled from start to finish,” declared GOP US Senator Steve Daines of Montana.
“We have consistently learned more from press reports about the Chinese surveillance balloon than we have from administration officials. … I intend to hold this administration accountable,” said Republican US Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi, ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The Chinese espionage airship entered American airspace over Alaska on January 28, four days later reaching Montana, specifically Malmstrom Air Force Base, where some of the US nuclear arsenal is stored. The US military shot it down over South Carolina’s coast on February 4.
The three sources cited in the report said the balloon had a self-destruct mechanism, but it was unclear whether China decided not to use it or whether it malfunctioned.
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