Retired four-star general Jack Keane blasted the Biden admininstration over the weekend for allowing a Chinese spy balloon to traverse the United States.
The balloon, which was first spotted by Montanans last week, ignited a national security scandal because President Joe Biden waited until it crossed the entire U.S. before deploying fighter jets to shoot it down.
What did Keane say?
Keane, the former vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army, said the Biden administration should have taken immediate action against the balloon, not let it fly across the entire U.S. while gathering intelligence.
"We finally did what we should have done at the beginning," he said on Fox News after the balloon was shot down.
"Remember, this was approaching the United States over water. It was approaching the Aleutian Islands over water. And we had plenty of opportunity to take it down then, and that's when it should have happened," he continued.
Explaining that U.S. officials were likely tracking the balloon as it crossed the Pacific Ocean, Keane said matter-of-factly, "We had plenty of warning to put together an operation that we are conducting now on the East Coast that should have been done there."
"And by the way: We have alert aircraft in Alaska for the principal reason of a penetration coming largely from Russia, and that's why [those] aircraft are there. And they would have been able to respond to this when it approached the United States," he explained.
"Now we're doing it in the back door when it’s leaving the United States."
Chinese spy balloon shot down over the Atlantic Oceanwww.youtube.com
The U.S. has deployed Navy divers to recover debris from the balloon, which was shot down over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of South Carolina. The recovery process, however, is proving difficult because of the extensive debris field, which means some of the equipment will be lost under the sea or drift out into the open ocean.
The Pentagon claimed last week that it took actions against the spy device to interrupt its intelligence-gathering abilities. But national security experts believe the balloon was able to collect critical information as it traversed the entire U.S.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Michael Turner (R-Ohio) unfortunately believes China was attempting to collect information on "sensitive missile defense and nuclear weapon sites."
"The Chinese didn’t go and look at the Grand Canyon," Turner said on Sunday. "They went and looked at our nuclear weapon sites and the missile defense sites throughout the country."
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