NORAD Pleads Incompetence Over Failure To Spot Trump-Era Chinese Spy Balloons
As the Biden administration came under fire last week for allowing a Chinese spy balloon to cross the entire United States before shooting it down off the coast of South Carolina, an anonymous US Defense Department official said over the weekend that spy balloons transited over US territory during the Trump administration.
Trump, and his former administration officials, collectively called bullshit on the report - saying it 'never happened.'
"Now they are putting out that a Balloon was put up by China during the Trump Administration, in order to take the ‘heat’ off" the Biden administration, Trump wrote Sunday. "China had too much respect for ‘TRUMP’ for this to have happened, and it NEVER did."
In response to the entire Trump administration's lack of knowledge of these alleged incursions, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) on Monday called for a congressional investigation into why the US intelligence community failed to inform the sitting administration of foreign spy craft transiting over US airspace.
"If it’s true the Pentagon purposely did NOT tell President Trump of Chinese Spy Balloons during his administration then we had a serious breach in command during the Trump admin," Greene tweeted. "The POTUS is the Commander in Chief. We must investigate and hold accountable those who broke rank."
"Defense officials now claim that Chinese Spy Balloons briefly flew over the U.S. during the Trump admin, but if true, WHY is this just now being reported?" she asked earlier in the day.
Former Trump national security adviser John Bolton told CNN on Monday that it would be a "serious problem" if there was "any actual knowledge that these balloons were over the United States and higher authority wasn’t told."
"As far as I know, every Trump administration official who has been asked, has said they didn’t know anything about it," Bolton continued.
Other members of Congress also had questions;
"Allowing a spy balloon from the Communist Party of China to travel across the entire continental United States before contesting its presence is a disastrous projection of weakness by the White House," said Senate Armed Services ranking member Roger Wicker (R-MI). "It is clear that standard protocol for defense of U.S. airspace was ignored."
And so, with their back up against the wall - the 'deep state' is now suggesting that they're simply incompetent when it comes to detecting foreign spy balloons in real time.
On Monday, NORAD commander Gen. Glen VanHereck told reporters that spy balloons entered US airspace three times during the Trump administration, but "that we did not detect those threats," calling it a "domain awareness gap."
"Every day as a NORAD commander, it’s my responsibility to detect threats to North America. I will tell you that we did not detect those threats," VanHereck said. "And that’s a domain awareness gap that we have to figure out, but I don’t want to go into further detail."
VanHereck then said that the US intelligence community was able to determine the Trump-era transits after the fact "from additional means that made us aware of those balloons that were previously approaching North America or transited North America."
Meanwhile, CNN (who else?) has seen an alleged April 2022 report, titled "People’s Republic of China High-Altitude Balloon," which found that a Chinese spy balloon "circumnavigated the globe" in 2019 at an altitude of around 65,000 feet, and "drifted past Hawaii and across Florida before continuing its journey."
The Air Force assessment obtained by CNN states that a spy balloon was “launched and controlled” by China in 2019, showing the country was capable of navigating a high-altitude balloon across the globe as far back as the Trump administration.
China has “deployed multiple HABs [high altitude balloons] that can operate at 65,000ft – 328,000 ft and for months at a time,” the assessment adds. -CNN
And of course; "it is not clear from the documents when US officials first became aware of the Chinese flights or what they assessed regarding their purpose."