Gen. VanHerck Admits NORAD Missed Former Chinese Spy Balloon Incursions During Trump Admin

 February 9, 2023

On Monday, in an unusually candid statement, United Sates Air Force General Glen VanHerck, Commander of United States Northern Command (NORAD) and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORTHCOM), admitted that the joint U.S.-Canada organization, missed previous incursions of Chinese spy balloons, including during the Trump administration.

During a press briefing, when asked whether NORTHCOM was involved in tracking previous Chinese spy balloon that flew into the U.S. airspace during the Biden and Trump administrations, VanHerck replied-

So those balloons, so every day as a NORAD commander it’s my responsibility to detect threats to North America. I will tell you that we did not detect those threats. And that’s a domain awareness gap that we have to figure out. But I don’t want to go in further detail.” indicating that the intelligence community tracked those previous balloons through]  “additional means.” Adding… “The intel community, after the fact, I believe has been briefed already, assess those threats to additional means of collection, from additional means and made us aware of those balloons, that were previously approaching North America or transited North America,”

-General Glen VanHerck , U.S. Air Force Commander NORAD and NORTHCOM

Last week, the Biden administration tried to deflect their reluctance to act on this issue, by revealing that China had sent spy balloons into U.S. airspace, during the Trump administration. This was implying that the most recent incursion was not a new occurrence, and further that the Trump administration did nothing about it in the past.

It’s like not telling the whole truth, but accusing someone of participating badly, when you know they are innocent. It’s called using twisted facts to your advantage to insinuate that someone else is guilty.

However, this statement by VanHerck deflates that insinuation against the Trump administration , that they acted poorly, in response to what was assumed they knew to be a threat. Van Herck disclosure also raises questions as to how NORAD missed the previous incursions. It is not clear how large the previous spy balloons were, and why the U.S. military or Canada’s military missed them.

VanHerck went on to discuss that that the Chinese spy balloon, that entered U.S. airspace on January 28th, as more than 200 feet tall. He described the “payload”, that the balloon was carrying, to be the size of a regional jet liner, probably weighing over a couple thousand pounds. This was a large object that could be seen in the atmosphere without binoculars.

As it loitered overhead, and traversed across the continental U.S., the craft was easily spotted by residents in Montana and by other states’ residents. The balloon exited near the South Carolina coast, where the U.S. military finally shot it down.

In discussing the craft, VanHerck suggested that the size of the most recent balloon, was a factor in deciding not to shoot it down earlier. He reasoned-

“From a safety standpoint, picture yourself with large debris weighing hundreds if not thousands of pounds falling out of the sky. That’s really what we’re kind of talking about. So, glass off of solar panels, potentially hazardous material, such as material that is required for batteries to operate in such an environment as this and even the potential for explosives to detonate and destroy the balloon that could have been present,” adding “So, I think that would give you an idea of the perspective of the balloon and the decision-making process along the way,”

-General Glen VanHerck , U.S. Air Force Commander NORAD and NORTHCOM

He also said, that he had no reason to believe the balloon carried explosives, yet had to assume it did, out of an abundance of caution. The General added that since the balloon did not present a “physical military threat” to North America, that-

“I could not take immediate action because it was not demonstrating hostile act or hostile intent.” Adding that NORAD had “good indication” [from the beginning it was a spy balloon and not a weather balloon, as China claims.]

-General Glen VanHerck , U.S. Air Force Commander NORAD and NORTHCOM

To ensure that sensitive military sites ,under the balloon’s path were “covered”, and that it “minimized any collection.” the general said the U.S. military “took every precaution”. When VanHerck was asked when he would brief Congress, he stated-

“All of that’s being worked, and I’m, ….I’m going to preserve their decision space, the department’s decision space, the president’s decision space,”

-General Glen VanHerck , U.S. Air Force Commander NORAD and NORTHCOM

That NORAD and NORTHCOM both missed this intelligence information, needs to be researched. The fact that VanHerck has formally vindicated Trump, in Biden’s’ recent statements - shows the depths of deceit that Biden’s administration will stoop to, in casting blame elsewhere – especially at Trump. This 2024 election cycle should include for all to remember, the insinuations and outright lies that these people have been caught in. Where is the integrity that should be there? Sadly, gone with Biden’s’ mind likely.

“Half a truth is often a great lie.”

-Benjamin Franklin
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