Not a spy balloon, but the propaganda sticks

U.S. F-22s and the balloon. Photos: Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald of F-22s / of balloon

On Feb. 4, the U.S. Air Force carried out an elaborate operation to shoot down a Chinese weather balloon. 

At 2:39 p.m. Eastern time, an F-22 Raptor from the 1st Fighter Wing at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, fired an AIM-9X Sidewinder into the approximately 90-foot-wide balloon, causing it to fall towards the Atlantic Ocean, according to U.S. military officials.

At the time, war tensions were rising. The Pentagon managed the daily news reports. The generals were in charge. 

But it was all propaganda. All the news coverage in the U.S. called it a spy craft, never a weather research balloon, as China said.

Nothing the Pentagon and White House said at the time was true, and they knew it. But the purpose wasn’t to speak truth; the purpose was to justify the Pentagon’s war buildup against China.

Now, the Pentagon admits that the balloon was not a spy balloon. Reuters reported on June 29 that the Pentagon now says that the Chinese balloon wasn’t a spy craft and it did not collect any information while in U.S. airspace. This is exactly opposite from what they said back in February, claiming it was a spy balloon that had collected intelligence on U.S. military sites.

The Pentagon says that after a reassessment based on an analysis of the balloon’s components and flight path, the balloon did not have the necessary equipment to collect intelligence and was not flying in a pattern that would have allowed it to do so.

Also, President Biden acknowledged that the balloon had been blown off course. He said the U.S. government knows the balloon was originally intended to fly over the Pacific Ocean but had been caught in a strong wind current that carried it over land. Biden also said that China had no intention of letting the balloon cross Canada and the United States.

Of course, this news hasn’t made it to any front pages or top stories in the big business media. That’s because the war propaganda against China isn’t over.

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