10 Things for The GOP House Majority To Do: #6 Investigate Biden’s Response to Red China Spy Balloon
The revelation to Red China has made as many as four spy balloon overflights of the United States disappeared from the front page of the establishment media as soon as Biden
administration sources planted the claim that such spy missions also occurred during the Trump years, conveniently derailing the narrative that Joe Biden is weak on the Communist Chinese threat.
But that doesn’t mean nothing is going on.
Off the front pages of the Left-leaning establishment media, reporters at the Epoch Times and other outlets have been chasing the story of the Navy’s efforts to recover the spy balloon’s payload and what the search has revealed confirms some of our worst fears about the Red Chinese spy balloon missions.
Writing for The Epoch Times, Zachary Stieber reported the Red Chinese spy balloon that flew over the United States for days before being shot down could monitor communications signals, a U.S. official said.
“High resolution imagery from U-2 flybys revealed that the high-altitude balloon was capable of conducting signals intelligence collection operations,” an official with the State Department, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Epoch Times.
“The high altitude balloon’s equipment was clearly for intelligence surveillance and inconsistent with the equipment onboard weather balloons. It had multiple antennas to include an array likely capable of collecting and geo-locating communications. It was equipped with solar panels large enough to produce the requisite power to operate multiple active intelligence collection sensors,” the official added, according to Mr. Stieber’s reporting.
The balloon is believed to be part of communist China’s fleet of balloons developed to conduct surveillance operations, which are typically undertaken at the direction of the People’s Liberation Army. The program has been in operation “for several years,” a Pentagon spokesman said Wednesday. U.S. officials have since learned that China has flown the surveillance balloons over more than 40 countries across 5 continents, Mr. Stieber reported the State Department official said.
The balloon entering the United States “is part of the broader suite of operations that China is undertaking to try and get better understanding of U.S.,” Jedidiah Royal, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, told members before being interrupted by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), who asked whether U.S. officials know what intelligence the Chinese were trying to collect.
“We have some very good guesses about that, and we are learning more as we exploit the contents of the balloon and the payload itself,” Royal said.
We don’t think “guesses” about the balloon’s intelligence collection capabilities are good enough.
The BBC reported that high resolution images revealed the balloon - which was about 200 ft (60 metres) tall - had large solar panels capable of operating "multiple active intelligence collection sensors. "The types of antennas are meant for surveillance technology and this is not something you would expect for any type of scientific mission," said Gregory Falco, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University's Department of Civil and Systems Engineering.
Most of the balloon's "payload" - which would likely include surveillance gear and other items of interest to investigators - remains underwater off the South Carolina coast. Officials warn that processing the wreckage could take a long time, which could be prolonged by poor weather conditions.
It's still not possible to glean exactly what type of data China might have been trying to gather on the balloon mission, experts said, but it may have intercepted radio, cell phone and other communications from the military bases it flew over, said Matt Kroenig, the senior director of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council.
The balloon's large solar panels - as well as the fact that it was able to hover over US airspace for long periods of time - is concerning, Dr Falco said.
"They have a high-powered system that can do a lot of data relay," said Dr Falco. "I don't know exactly what they were collecting, but all the mechanics are there for getting a lot of data back to their satellites."
The US may have taken countermeasures to prevent China from gathering data, including jamming equipment, Dr Kroenig said.
But it could have been "too little too late", Dr Falco said, adding that there was likely a gap in time before the US was aware of the craft and could take action.
The Capitol Switchboard is (202) 224-3121 we urge CHQ readers and friends to call House Republicans to demand that they conduct oversight hearings on the Biden administration’s response to the Red Chinese spy balloon overflights, including a thorough investigation of the timeline of the Biden response and whether there was a gap between the American detection and response, including jamming signals to and from the balloon’s payload.
China spy ballon
American foreign policy
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Chinese spy balloon payload
Chinese spy satellites
Donald Trump administration
Gen. Mark Milley
electromagnetic pulse attacks
Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell
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