ICYMI – There was a tricky twist to the spy balloon controversy. It seems that we were watching the craft from the moment it was launched. It also turns out that China’s plausible deniability story is more “plausible” than anyone thought. Then, there are all those other ones. There’s more than a good chance that they belonged to civilian researchers. There are also a bunch of holes in the stories which haven’t been sufficiently plugged.
Watching as balloon lifted off
Washington Post reported on February 15, that “by the time a Chinese spy balloon crossed into American airspace late last month, U.S. military and intelligence agencies had been tracking it for nearly a week.”
Apparently they didn’t bother telling anyone that our spy satellites were “watching as it lifted off from its home base on Hainan Island near China’s south coast.” They might have picked exactly the right time and place to let it go, for it to “accidentally” get carried off course. To one much more convenient to Beijing.
American agents were glued to the screens as “the balloon settled into a flight path that would appear to have taken it over the U.S. territory of Guam.” That’s bad enough. “But somewhere along that easterly route, the craft took an unexpected northern turn, according to several U.S. officials.”
BREAKING: CBS News has learned that U.S. intelligence watched the Chinese spy balloon as it lifted off near China's south coast, meaning the U.S. military had been tracking it for nearly a week before it entered U.S. airspace. pic.twitter.com/oaR5yZIRwm
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) February 15, 2023
They’re backtracking to sheepishly explain that “analysts are now examining the possibility that China didn’t intend to penetrate the American heartland with its airborne surveillance device.” That doesn’t mean they’re off the hook.
As everyone knows, the first big one “floated over Alaska’s Aleutian Islands thousands of miles away from Guam, then drifted over Canada, where it encountered strong winds that appear to have pushed the balloon south into the continental United States,” the officials leaked. It wasn’t shot down until February 4, a week after it entered CONUS airspace in Alaska.
That makes us look like a bunch of trigger happy morons Washington Post implied. “This new account suggests that the ensuing international crisis that has ratcheted up tensions between Washington and Beijing may have been at least partly the result of a mistake.”
KIRBY: The Chinese spy balloon "could perhaps get a better fidelity of imagery…can maneuver…left, right, slow down, speed up…can loiter…can soak in a little bit more…" pic.twitter.com/KsktZBclgk
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) February 13, 2023
Other three no ‘threat’
Biden officials were scrambling to explain that after the first spy balloon was blasted, “three other objects shot down over North America in the last week may have posed no national security threat.” Better safe than sorry.
According to John Kirby, coordinator for strategic propaganda at the National Security Council, The spooks “will not dismiss as a possibility” that “the three craft instead belonged to a commercial organization or research entity and were therefore ‘benign.‘” They won’t rule it out, yet. That doesn’t mean they’re convinced, either.
One balloon after another has been sent spying over Guam before. They also use them against Hawaii “to monitor U.S. military installations” officials admit. Nobody ever cared about them until now. “But the days-long flyover of the continental United States was novel.” It also caught China by surprise because they weren’t expecting the armed response.
This just in from the Chinese spy balloon 🤣 pic.twitter.com/seZBJ38JLd
— Miranda Devine (@mirandadevine) February 13, 2023
The incident “sparked confusion inside the Chinese government as diplomats scrambled to disseminate a cover story that the balloon had been blown off course while it was collecting innocuous meteorological data.” It was. Along with the spy data. It also seems “planned” to have gone off course.
After they realized we had their hardware in hand to study in depth, they went from “regrets” over the wayward weather balloon to “criticizing Washington for what it said was overreacting.” Then, they overreacted by accusing “United States of sending 10 spy balloons over China.” Of course, we denied that.
“We are not flying surveillance balloons over China. I’m not aware of any other craft that we’re flying over — into Chinese airspace,” Kirby declared. The big problem with China’s accident story is that “it was partly directed by air currents and partly piloted remotely, they said. With propellers and a rudder, it has the capability to be maneuvered.” They have no doubt it was built to spy.