Report: Chinese Balloon Collected US Intelligence

    Photo: US Navy/AFP/Getty Images [via The Guardian]

    The Facts

    • On Monday, NBC News — citing one former and two current senior US officials — reported the alleged Chinese spy balloon that flew across the US in February gathered real-time intelligence on several US military sites despite Pres. Joe Biden's administration's attempt to intervene.

    • According to the anonymous officials, the information allegedly collected came from electronic signals possibly generated from weapons systems and communications from personnel.

    The Spin

    Republican narrative

    The Biden administration can’t be trusted to give the American public the facts or to protect the nation from foreign adversaries. It misled the public about the balloon every step of the way after failing to shoot it down before it could become a problem. It's now continuing this trend by downplaying the severity of the balloon's consequences.

    Democratic narrative

    The Biden administration has — and continues — to share all pertinent information that it is able to. From the onset, the State Dept. acknowledged that the balloon could possibly collect intelligence, and is still investigating. The Biden administration has done everything within its ability to protect the US, including taking the balloon down when it was safe to do so.

    Pro-China narrative

    The US is incompetent in dealing with crises because of the constant fighting between its political parties. The PRC's civilian airship wasn’t a threat, yet Biden shot it down to look tough in the face of Republican criticisms. Now he continues to be attacked by his political foes, but also has put US-China relations at risk with his overreaction. China can’t trust the US as a strategic partner because of its political dysfunction.

    Political split



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