Thanks to Schumer We Know Why They Didn't Take Out Balloon Instantly - It's What We All Feared
China’s intelligence capability may be even greater than we’ve feared.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer claimed that the spy balloon that crossed the continental United States this month was redundant from an intelligence perspective, speaking on ABC News’ This Week Sunday.
CHUCK SCHUMER: “We got enormous intelligence information from surveilling the [Chinese spy] balloon as it went over the U.S.”
Q: “Didn’t get the Chinese get enormous intelligence as well?”
SCHUMER: “Well they could’ve been getting it anyway.” pic.twitter.com/mQfkejWApr
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) February 12, 2023
Schumer claimed that U.S surveillance of the balloon was itself an intelligence coup.
“We got enormous intelligence information from surveilling the balloon as it went over the U.S,” Schumer said.
Schumer dismissed the intelligence threat the aircraft posed to the nation in response to a question from anchor George Stephanopoulos.
“Didn’t the Chinese get enormous intelligence as well?” Stephanopoulos pushed back against Schumer’s claims of a U.S. intelligence success.
“Well, they could’ve been getting it anyway,” Schumer said.
He didn’t explain the statement and Stephanopoulos didn’t press it, according to an ABC News transcript.
But taking the words at face value, the majority leader of the United States Senate just went on national television to tell the country that American national security secrets are so compromised that an overflight of the continental U.S. by a rival nation’s spy balloon was not a uniquely threatening situation.
In fact, in Schumer’s telling, the U.S. gained more from the incident by being able to study the ballon for insight into China’s intelligence operations.
“But we have to know what they’re doing,” he said. “And we don’t know exactly.”
If Schumer is incorrect, or being deliberately deceitful, it would mean the U.S. gave away a week’s worth of potentially vital intelligence to the Chinese by allowing the balloon to cross American skies unmolested until shooting it down over the Atlantic on Feb. 4.
The balloon first entered U.S. airspace over Alaska’s Aleutian Islands Jan. 28, according to ABC News.
The Biden administration has been criticized for its treatment of the balloon.
The aircraft came to public attention after being spotted in Montana, and crossed the continental United States before being shot down and collected for analysis. The federal government declined to immediately shoot down the craft on the basis of the safety threat to civilians on the ground.
The Democratic senator didn’t explain why he viewed the balloon as potentially collecting information the Chinese government already has.
Schumer admitted that it was “wild” the U.S government wasn’t aware of China’s balloon capabilities until a few months ago, according to Axios.
The balloon’s flight over the American heartland is the latest escalation in a pattern of surveillance and espionage on the part of China.
China has one of the most advanced intelligence capabilities in the world, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
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