Joe Biden claimed the spy balloon gathering intel over US military bases was “not a major breach.”
In late January and early February, a China spy balloon crossed over Alaska and the continental United States.
The Biden regime was aware of the Chinese spy balloon in US air space since Saturday, January 28th.
The Biden administration initially ignored the threat hoping the balloon would not be detected. But after amateur photographers captured the balloon flying over Montana the Biden White House had to admit they knew about the balloon.
The balloon crossed over major US military bases and missile silos.
The Gateway Pundit put together this graphic to show how many military bases were in the balloon’s path as it maneuvered across the United States.
Here is a list of the US Military bases in the path of the China Spy Balloon.
** Malstrom Air Force Base – Montana – home of 341st Military Wing
** Ellsworth Air Force Base – South Dakota – home of 28th bomb wing
** Joe Foss Field ANG – South Dakota – home of 114th fighter wing
** Sioux City ANG – Iowa – national gard base
** Offutt Air Force Base -Nebraska – headquarters US strategic command
** Camp Ashland – Nebraska –
** Lincoln ANG – Nebraska
** Whiteman Air Force Base – Missouri – home of B52 bombers
** Fort Leonard Wood – Missouri – Army training installation
** St. Louis Army Human Resources – St. Louis, MO
** Scott Air Force Base – Illinois – home of the Air Mobility Command
** Fort Campbell – Tennessee – home fo Screaming eagles, the 101st Airborne
** Nashville ANG – Tennessee
** Smyrna ANG – Tennessee
** Houston Barracks – Tennessee
** McGhee Tyson ANG – Tennessee
** Pope Air Force Base – North Carolina – Air mobility command
** Fort Bragg – North Carolina – one of the largest military installations in the world
** MCAS New River – North Carolina
** Camp Lejeune – North Carolina – military training facility
** US Coast Guard Station Fort Macon
This was an unprecedented national security threat.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said the U.S. military had to shut down communications and movements last week as the China spy balloon flew over strategic military bases during its week-long flyover of the United States from Alaska to South Carolina. The balloon was only shot down after it went offshore. Joe Biden claimed the spy balloon gathering intel over US military bases was “not a major breach.”
| National Security
‘That’s A Blatant Lie’: Rubio Slams NSC’s Kirby For Claiming Spy Balloon Was For Weather
Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio slammed White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby on Monday for having previously claimed the Chinese spy balloon was not conducting surveillance.
The Chinese spy balloon that floated for several days across the U.S. in February gathered information from U.S. military sites, despite assurances from U.S. officials the balloon was not doing so, NBC News reported, citing officials.
The Biden administration continually said steps were taken to protect sensitive sites, though the balloon picked up the data from the bases and transmitted it back to Beijing in real time.
Host Brian Kilmeade brought up the balloon.
“As you projected, that spy balloon that flew across the country was an active spy balloon that the Chinese were getting realtime intelligence from,” Kilmeade said. “Three officials says over military sites, we didn’t shoot it down and they were going over it, it would have been worse had we not obstructed its view. What can you tell us about the spy balloon that we mysteriously allowed to cross our country before shooting it down?”
“I can tell you without getting in trouble by revealing classified information, I can tell you what common sense already tells all of us, you don’t spend all this money and do something as daring as that, I’ll tell you, these spy balloons, I don’t know what people thought these were, these are not for some aerial episode of the Smithsonian, you know, taking pictures of the heartland, there is a reason why these things fly. They fly over the country to collect signals, intelligence. Part of it is a test to see whether they can penetrate our airspace and part of it is, frankly, collecting intelligence in realtime, video, signals, intelligence, still pictures fed back in realtime. That is what this was,” Rubio said.
Kilmeade then played footage of Kirby, who said the administration had “no specific reason” to believe the balloon was “conducting surveillance” and suggested the balloon was “probably for benign purposes” like “weather.”
“That is a blatant out right lie,” Rubio quipped.
Hunter Biden’s link to disgraced ex-FBI official Charles McGonigal
The FBI’s reputation problems have accelerated with the arrest on corruption charges of Charles McGonigal, the former chief of counterintelligence for the FBI’s New York field office, one of the most powerful spy-hunters in the country — who also happened to be connected to Hunter Biden.
In twin indictments last month, McGonigal was charged with taking secret cash payments from a former Albanian intelligence officer, holding secret meetings with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, and attempting to remove top Kremlin oligarch Oleg Deripaska from a US sanctions list.
The Albanians cited by prosecutors tie this scandal to Hunter Biden and the Chinese energy company CEFC that paid him and uncle Jim Biden millions of dollars in a deal which Joe Biden was slated to join after his vice presidency ended.
According to prosecutors, McGonigal received $225,000 in cash in the fall of 2017 while he was the FBI’s counterintelligence chief in New York, from an Albanian former intelligence official, identified in the Albanian and European media as Agron Neza.
In turn, Neza introduced McGonigal to another well-connected Albanian, Dorian Ducka, who was an adviser to Rama and also worked for CEFC.
A photograph published last month in Albanian media sourced from China Daily in May 2017 shows Ducka standing with CEFC chairman Ye Jianming, who famously gave Hunter a 3.16-carat diamond estimated to be worth $80,000 in February 2017.
Ye also put Hunter on a $1 million legal retainer in mid-2017, which ultimately was paid to assist CEFC colleague Patrick Ho after his arrest.
Someone with the same unusual first name as Ducka appears in Hunter’s abandoned laptop in an email discussion about CEFC between Hunter and associates James Gilliar and Rob Walker.
“Dorian was a real help early on so we should consider how we include him,” Gilliar wrote in the May 13, 2017, email.
“No way we don’t do it,” replies Hunter, “and if majority says no I’ll take it out of my salary.”
This was uncharacteristic generosity from Hunter, who at the time was crying poor to his business partners and demanding a larger cut of the profits.
“Hunter wouldn’t give up a penny,” says a source, who believes that the “Dorian” mentioned could be Ducka, as Gilliar had been doing business for CEFC in Albania. “So Hunter saying he would pay [Dorian] is a demonstration of strong ties.”
Why were the Albanians paying McGonigal?
According to Belind Kellici, the Opposition Democratic Party candidate for May’s mayoral election in Tirana, Albania, McGonigal opened FBI investigations into political opponents of Albanian Socialist Party PM Rama, probes used to declare them personae non gratae, unable to do business or open a bank account in the US.
Hunter’s connections with the FBI also were a topic of discussion among his business partners. One source recalls being told about a conversation that occurred sometime between July and September 2017, in which Hunter was asked by Chairman Ye of CEFC if he could discover through his FBI or DOJ contacts if Ye or Ho were targets of an FBI probe.
Hunter then reported back to Ye that the two were in the clear and were not being investigated.
Soon after, in November, Ho arrived back in the US and was arrested by FBI agents at JFK Airport.
“Chairman Ye was livid” that Hunter’s intelligence was wrong, recalls the source.
“He specifically asked Hunter to look into whether Patrick Ho or he was a target. [Hunter] goes back to Chairman Ye and says no. Ho then flies into the US and is detained at JFK.
People went apes–t … Whoever Hunter talked to at the FBI lied to him and said Ye and Ho were not targets.”
We know Hunter had at least one mole in the FBI because New York lawyer Edward Kim, to whom Hunter offloaded the legal work to assist Ho after his arrest, asked Hunter in an email if he could lean on his FBI contacts.
“If you’re able to find the names of the FBI agents you spoke with, that would be helpful,” Kim wrote to Hunter on Nov. 18, 2017, in response to Hunter’s request that his firm act for Ho.
At that time, McGonigal was in charge of the FBI ‘s Counterintelligence Division in the New York field office that conducted the arrest.
Who Is Charles McGonigal? Ex-FBI Agent Charged Over Russia Links
McGonigal was arrested after touching back down at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport
Former top FBI agent is facing criminal charges for alleged money laundering and violating U.S. Treasury sanctions on a Russian oligarch, prosecutors said on Monday.
Charles McGonigal, who previously served as the head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division in New York, is accused of accepting and concealing money from Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska to investigate a rival oligarch in 2021. Deripaska, a known associate of Russian president Vladimir Putin, was named in a sanctions list by the Treasury in 2018.
Also named in the indictment from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York was Sergey Shestakov, a former Russian diplomat who worked as an interpreter in the federal courts.
McGonigal was arrested after touching back down at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport on Saturday. He then appeared in federal court in Manhattan on Monday, where he pleaded not guilty through his lawyer to four criminal counts, including money laundering and violating sanctions, as well as conspiracy counts. Shestakov has also been charged with an additional count of making false statements.
How Prosecutors Say a Top F.B.I. Agent Sold His Services Overseas
As the counterintelligence chief in New York, Charles McGonigal had access to sensitive American secrets
When Charles McGonigal, a former counterintelligence chief with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was accused of using his position to benefit an associate’s business in Eastern Europe, it represented a startling turn for a high-ranking official who had been entrusted with access to some of the most sensitive secrets held by the American intelligence community.
But it also set off a scramble within the bureau to assess the potential damage and determine whether any counterintelligence or law enforcement operations were compromised, according to two people familiar with the review, with the F.B.I.’s director, Christopher A. Wray, treating the case as a top priority.
“It puts a question mark next to everything he was involved in,” said Holden Triplett, a former F.B.I. counterintelligence official who left in 2020 and co-founded Trenchcoat Advisors, a risk management consultancy.
“You’d be trying to figure out, ‘OK, when did this start and what did he touch after it started?’” said Mr. Triplett, who does not have direct knowledge about the review of Mr. McGonigal’s career. “Going back and thinking about what the damage could be is painful.”
Inside the F.B.I., where he spent 22 years, Mr. McGonigal was so trusted that he was tapped to run the investigation into a devastating breach that led to the imprisonment, execution or disappearance of more than a dozen Central Intelligence Agency informants in China, one of the F.B.I.’s most sensitive assignments.
The episodes described in a pair of indictments unsealed last week by federal prosecutors in Washington and New York paint Mr. McGonigal, 54, as aggressively entrepreneurial in seeking to generate business through the contacts and power his position afforded him, operating almost in plain sight without being detected despite the danger that someone with his knowledge could pose if corrupted.
While still at the F.B.I., he developed a relationship with Prime Minister Edi Rama of Albania and took steps to benefit the politician, according to the prosecutors in Washington. Mr. Rama has portrayed himself as a reformer and as opposed to Russia’s war in Ukraine. But after his 2018 retirement, Mr. McGonigal worked the other side, on the payroll of a sanctioned Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, once seen as a member of President Vladimir V. Putin’s inner circle, according to the indictment of Mr. McGonigal and another man, Sergey Shestakov, in New York.
Mr. McGonigal’s high-ranking role would have given him a wide view of what was happening across the agency and intelligence community, and involvement in strategic decisions like where to point squads of ground-level special agents, former officials said. It would not generally require extensive international travel, involve meeting with heads of state or entail direct involvement in ongoing investigations, all of which Mr. McGonigal is accused of doing.
“You’re talking about four levels above the actual investigators,” said Clayt Lemme, a former F.B.I. official who oversaw counterintelligence at the bureau’s Washington office. “Under normal circumstances, he wouldn’t be involved in the day-to-day decision of opening a case or closing a case.”
Mr. McGonigal’s willingness to meet with the head of state in Albania, a country that has an American diplomatic presence, suggests he was not keeping his involvement there a secret from colleagues, former officials said. He also used his F.B.I. email address and phone for Albania-related matters, a person with insight into the investigation said.
But whatever official pretext Mr. McGonigal might have for those trips and associations could also have served as a cover for more questionable activities, others said.
That the suspected crimes occurred shortly before his retirement suggests Mr. McGonigal might have started or increased illicit activities after taking the last of his required polygraph tests, which are supposed to be administered every five years. Mr. Triplett said the betrayal of the agency by someone of Mr. McGonigal’s stature for $225,000, if proved, would be surprising given that former officials can earn significant sums as consultants after retirement, on top of hefty pensions.
But it would not be unprecedented. Robert P. Hanssen, the F.B.I. agent turned spy who fed classified information to Russia for two decades and is serving a life sentence, began cooperating with the Russians in the late 1970s while in a counterintelligence unit in New York.