I’ve waited to write about the Chinese balloons for several reasons, including the fact that I really didn’t want to post a mass of invective in place of reasoned thought. The invective is still there, but I have it on a leash for now. Sort of.
I will start by saying that right now I don’t believe a word of what is being said by any branch, part, or employee of the Federal government — nor should you. Until it is confirmed by a reliable and reputable source, don’t trust it or them.
Have balloons been used for intelligence work before? Yes, pretty much since those wacky French brothers got things going on this side of the world. Did the Chinese float three across the U.S. under Trump? No. That story is deflating fast, but not fast enough.
Are balloons being researched for a range of options including aimed delivery of precision weapons, drones, or even chemical/biological payloads? Smart money says yes. Are they the optimal platform for such? Magic Eight Ball says maybe. There are a host of factors that go into such an assessment, and for a number of reasons I will just stick with maybe for now.
Anyone telling you that balloons are no different that satellites and it’s no big deal is a liar and a complete and total idiot to boot. Satellites are moving, and moving fast. There are limits to what they can observe, when they can observe, and on the data they collect. A balloon can be a remarkably steady platform, especially if it can be steered and controlled. Using modern optics, hyperspectral and multispectral imaging, and other sensing systems (and you can pack a lot on a truss that size), you would be amazed at the data that can be collected. Especially if you have nuclear thermocouples or other systems for the real power hogs so that solar can go to other systems including steering.
An amazing amount of data. Data that was collected and transmitted back to China.
Notice also that corporate media, and far too many others, have pretty much dropped coverage of the fact that there was at least one other balloon acknowledged. If you can find any coverage, go back and note just how carefully the government didn’t say where it had been, much less exactly where it was located at that time other than Latin America — which could be anywhere from Mexico to Tierra del Fuego. There were “unconfirmed” reports from non-governmental sources that indicate it was possible that balloon had travelled down the West Coast. You know, where all the military bases that would be responding to actions by China are located.
As it is, the government and corporate media are dropping like a hot potato any mention that the balloon we did finally shoot down may have spent three days loitering over Malmstrom AFB, which happens to house the majority of our Minuteman missiles. Among other things. Look at all the bases and such along the flight path of the balloon. Want to place a bet that if the data is not already being shared with Moscow, it soon will be?
And let’s not forget that the balloon(s) were allegedly not picked up before they were over the Aleutian Islands. If that is true, that would indicate that multiple systems failed in their job. No one, not two, but multiple systems. Also, note that neither was shot down right then either over ocean or in a remote area, despite the violation of American airspace and international law. Instead, they were allowed to continue on and complete their mission.
Dereliction of Duty is the politest term I can use for what has happened. This applies to our military and our civilian leadership. The alleged reason for trying to cover up the incursion is beyond belief in terms of competent, professional, and honest leadership. For the Biden Regency, par for the course. Hey, this is an unprecedented and catastrophic intelligence breach, but better that than embarrassing the Chinese. You know how sensitive they are.
There are no good words to describe how bad the damage is to our military and national defense. As bad as we think it is, I suspect it is even worse than we realize at this time.
The military leadership that failed to detect or take action to prevent the unprecedented overflight should all suck-start their sidearms and apologize to their ancestors in person. The civil leadership that did the same should also go apologize to theirs in person as well.
That said, if the key people involved in this had been acting in the best interest of the United States of America, in full honor of the oath sworn to the Constitution and the Republic, this would not have happened. That it did happen makes it rather clear that one or more people in positions of power were not working for or in the best interest of the United States. If they are not working for us, then for whom are they working? The answer seems pretty clear to me.
The termites are in the woodwork, and the cockroaches are in the walls. The gates all open from the inside, and we have allowed the horse inside the walls.