The Chinese spy balloon drifted into the news again

The Chinese spy balloon that floated across the United States for a week in February disappeared from headlines quickly after the US shot down two other “objects” that turned out not to be spy balloons. Back when the Chinese spy balloon floated over the US, it hovered over sensitive US military sites. The Biden White House and the Pentagon insisted there was nothing to worry about. I recall hearing the Pentagon kept saying the balloon posed “no kinetic threat.” They also blabbed about how they took action and blocked that Chinese spy balloon from transmitting information, along with defending the decision not to shoot it down until it was off the east coast.

As a reminder, this is the same Pentagon that defended the decision to turn over Bagram Air Base to the Afghan military in early July of 2021, which tied the hands of the US military during the withdrawal from Afghanistan in August of 2021. The US military was forced to rely on the Kabul airport for the withdrawal and the Taliban for security outside the airport. Almost every single detail the Biden White House and Pentagon told us during that chaotic withdrawal was flat out wrong or a deliberate lie. They admit the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan happened much faster than they anticipated, but mostly they glossed over the chaos and lied.

It’s taken until now for a report to come out about that 2021 withdrawal and as expected: Biden Afghanistan report mostly blames Trump for chaotic US withdrawal. The report offers up zero accountability and the Pentagon was even trying to take a victory lap for this being such a massive evacuation of refugees, whom the Biden WH insisted were being completely vetted at the Kabul airport. In reality many weren’t vetted, we later found out. Here’s a news report from September 2022: Inspector general: Feds didn’t properly vet all Afghans who entered U.S. Never fear though – the real threat to national security, according to the Biden administration, is “MAGA Republicans.”

I bring this up, because the Chinese spy balloon incident from February of this year has been back in the news recently with reports that, contrary to Pentagon assertions at the time, that Chinese spy balloon was able to transmit information back to China as it hovered over sensitive US military sites. Here’s a quote from an April 4, 2023 Reuters report that cites a NBC report:

“NBC News on Monday reported that the Chinese balloon was able to transmit data back to Beijing in real time despite the U.S. government’s efforts to prevent it from doing so – a disclosure that could deepen Republican criticism of Biden for waiting for the balloon to reach a safe location before shooting it down.”

It bothers me a great deal that I no longer trust anything coming from the Austin Pentagon – nothing. The bigger concern though is we still don’t know what information China gathered or what their objectives were for that mission. Somehow, I feel sure that the Biden administration will just try to shift blame to the Trump administration for this Chinese spy balloon fiasco, but here’s the truth – the US military could have shot down that balloon before it ever hovered over any sensitive US military sites, but President Biden chose not to act.

I hate to go with my gut instincts, without any vetted and sourced information to back this up, but I felt that there was more to this Chinese spy balloon mission than just some routine information-gathering and I still feel that way. There’s a metaphor about signals and noise, where what you’re trying to hear are the signals, but the noise, that’s just random sounds filling up the space, can make it harder to hear the signals. With our crowded information ecosystems between 24/7 news media as entertainment and social media, where everyone on the planet can jump in with hot takes, I feel like we’re probably missing a lot of signals, as we race down rabbit holes after noise disguised as carrots (signals). I hope I’m wrong, but I expect this Chinese spy balloon incident will likely turn out to be a signal we should have paid more attention to.

1 Comment

Filed under General Interest, Military, Politics

One response to “The Chinese spy balloon drifted into the news again

  1. Sam Topeka

    C’mon, man! The Chinese were not spying over sensitive military bases or facilities. No, they were just chcecking out their agricultural and manufacturing holdings. No different than Zelle or Redfin.

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