We know that the Biden administration intended to keep the latest Chinese spy balloon incursion secret from the public. But it appears that the culture of secrecy involving China’s espionage dates back further.
Last month, the Director of National Intelligence released a report on “unidentified aerial phenomena”, especially those in “restricted or sensitive airspace”. The report characterized 26 reports as “Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)” and 163 as “balloon or balloon-like entities.”
And yet not only the general public, but even Trump administration officials, weren’t told about this.
The Defense Department has notified Congress of several previous incursions of U.S. airspace by Chinese surveillance balloons, with earlier sightings near Texas, Florida, Hawaii and Guam, U.S. officials said Sunday, as Republicans criticized the Biden administration for allowing a suspected surveillance balloon to track across much of the United States over the last week…
Two such incidents were reported near Florida, while there was at least one each in the other three locations, Waltz said.
The defense officials said that several of those events occurred during the Trump administration, Waltz said. Officials had also said that during a news briefing with reporters on Saturday…
Several former Trump administration officials, including former defense secretary Mark T. Esper, said they do not recall reports of such balloons reaching their level, raising questions about how they were handled at the time.
A senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said Sunday that the previous occurrences were discovered after the Trump administration left office.
They were apparently kept under wraps. Why? That’s something I also discuss.
Contrary to the liberal stereotype of top defense officials as gung-ho warmongers in movies like Dr. Strangelove, top generals are much more likely to dissuade presidents from military action. Gen. Milley’s phone calls with China, which shocked many conservatives, were not an aberration. Top defense officials have taken on diplomatic roles, reaching out to foreign enemies to provide personal assurances and “defuse” tensions in ways far outside their mission.
It is in this spirit that not only the White House and top Democrats, but military brass were willing to put up with close Chinese surveillance, even when it risks costing thousands of lives and losing a war, to avoid escalating tensions with Communist China. The appeasement is coming out of the Pentagon. And it amounts to a national security crisis and a preemptive surrender.