(TheRedWire.com) – Leon Panetta, a former defense secretary in the Obama administration, during an appearance on “CNN Newsroom” with host Jim Acosta, questioned whether the Biden administration’s response to the suspected Chinese spy balloon was correct.
President Biden had first been briefed about the balloon on Wednesday, but the balloon was allowed to traverse across the U.S. before being shot down on Saturday off the coast of South Carolina.
Panetta has argued that action against the balloon should have been taken sooner and that the President should not have allowed the balloon to “simply cross over the country.” The balloon during its course over the U.S. traveled over sensitive military sites.
He further argued that the administration should have been more transparent and released more information to the American public about the situation. He continued stating he understood the debris risks the Pentagon had been cautious about, but he still believed that actions should have been taken faster, especially if the balloon was indeed believed to be part of an intelligence mission.
Biden had ordered for the balloon to be shot down as soon as possible on Wednesday, but those orders were not carried out until the balloon was above the ocean on Saturday.
Panetta argued that this information regarding the procedures followed should have been published earlier as it could have helped mitigate the criticisms that the administration has had to face over this case. In Panetta’s view, greater transparency could have only helped the White House.
The U.S. military is currently gathering up the debris from the balloon in order to gain insight into the purpose of the spy balloon.
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