As China’s spy balloon traversed the United States from Alaska to South Carolina at 60,000 feet last week collecting signals intel, Joe Biden–on the advice of his military leaders–refused to order the shooting down of the balloon until it had completed its spy mission and was headed out to sea. Instead, the military sent planes to observe the spy balloon while cowering below, shutting down movements and communications.
File screen image KSVI-TV
CNN reports one U-2 pilot took a selfie with the balloon, a self-own that has shamefully achieved “legendary status” within the Biden Pentagon (excerpt):
Once it was over US territory, officials have argued that the benefits of gathering additional intelligence on the balloon as it passed over far outweighed the risk of shooting it down over land.
The US sent up U-2 spy planes to track the balloon’s progress, according to US officials.
One pilot took a selfie in the cockpit that shows both the pilot and the surveillance balloon itself, these officials said – an image that has already gained legendary status in both NORAD and the Pentagon.
The selfie has not been leaked/published yet. Below is U-2 pilot Ross Franquemont’s high altitude selfie from a collection released several years ago.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke to CBS News reporter David Martin this week about how the military cowered to protect US secrets from the China spy balloon (excerpt):
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the Chinese spy balloon flew a route that took it past ballistic missile fields and a B-2 stealth bomber base. But he said the Pentagon took steps to protect “strategic assets” — the U.S. nuclear force — from the balloon’s surveillance.
“All of our strategic assets — we were, made sure that we were buttoned down and movement was limited and communications were limited so that we didn’t expose any capability unnecessarily,” Austin told CBS News, speaking publicly for the first time since the U.S. shot the balloon down Saturday over the Atlantic.
On Wednesday, U.S. intelligence officials said that the Chinese balloon that was shot down off the coast of South Carolina was part of a larger spying effort spanning years and five continents. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke exclusively to CBS News about the balloon. pic.twitter.com/OBNfNG8tts
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) February 9, 2023
The CNN article further reports the Pentagon tracked the balloon before it flew over Alaska but failed to realize the balloon’s true flight path:
A day before the suspected Chinese spy balloon entered US airspace over Alaska, the Defense Intelligence Agency quietly sent an internal report that a foreign object was headed towards US territory, military and intelligence officials familiar with the matter told CNN.
…On January 28, when the balloon entered US airspace near Alaska, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, sent up fighter jets to make a positive identification, according to defense officials, reflecting a subtle shift in urgency.
Still, officials tracking the balloon saw little reason to be alarmed. At the time, according to US officials, this balloon was expected to sail over Alaska and continue on a northern trajectory that intelligence and military officials could track and study.
Instead, shortly after the balloon crossed over land, it alarmed officials by making its unexpected turn south.
On January 31, the balloon had crossed out of Canada and into the Lower 48. And concerns that the balloon had been sent by Beijing explicitly to spy on the mainland US were confirmed when NORAD observed the balloon “loitering” over sensitive military facilities, multiple sources familiar with the intelligence told CNN.
After allowing China to send a spy balloon across the U.S., our intel agencies discovered China has posted videos of previous spy balloon flights over U.S. airspace, according to a State Department statement Thursday reported by the BBC’s Stephen MvDonell:
#US State Department has released what it says are more details on #China’s surveillance balloon programme: says China has used these balloons over 40 countries and on 5 continents; says U2 fly bys show these balloons capable of collecting signals intelligence… [cont]…(break) RE the companies which #Beijing says operate the balloons: “We’re confident the balloon manufacturer has a direct relationship with China’s military and is an approved vendor of the PLA, according to information published in an official procurement portal for the PLA” [cont]…That “The company also advertises balloon products on its website and hosts videos from past flights, which appear to have overflown #US airspace & airspace of other countries. These advertised balloon videos seemingly have similar flight patterns” to the recent balloons [cont]
#US State Department has released what it says are more details on #China’s surveillance balloon programme: says China has used these balloons over 40 countries and on 5 continents; says U2 fly bys show these balloons capable of collecting signals intelligence… [cont]
— Stephen McDonell (@StephenMcDonell) February 9, 2023
That “The company also advertises balloon products on its website and hosts videos from past flights, which appear to have overflown #US airspace & airspace of other countries. These advertised balloon videos seemingly have similar flight patterns” to the recent balloons [cont]
— Stephen McDonell (@StephenMcDonell) February 9, 2023
The post Biden’s Clown Show Military: U-2 Pilot Took “Legendary” Selfie With China Spy Balloon as Military Cowered Below appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.