Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Wednesday, February 08, 2023

The surveillance balloon program has been operating "for several years," Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters at the Pentagon.




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"When you look at the scope of this program and the fact that we know that these balloons have been spotted ... operating over at least five continents in regions like Latin America, South America, Southeast Asia, East Asia and Europe, again, it demonstrates why, for the Department of Defense, that China remains the pacing challenge and something that we'll continue to stay focused on," Ryder said.

Sen. Jon Tester, a Democrat, will also gavel in the first public hearing on the balloon on Thursday with Pentagon officials set to testify.

Tester, whose state of Montana was traversed by the balloon, chairs the Senate panel that controls the Pentagon budget.

Sherman and the Pentagon's Asia policy chief, Ely Ratner, are also scheduled to testify at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on U.S.-China policy on Thursday.

#1 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2023-02-08 03:08 PM | Reply

Looks like China has been using the spy balloons to spy on a number of countries unbeknownst to them:

Although Chinese officials' claimed the balloon"which was first spotted over Billings, Montana, last week"was a civilian weather project that drifted astray in westerly winds, U.S. officials, speaking on background, told the Times it was actually part of a Chinese surveillance program used to evade detection by radar.

Officials say the massive balloon can drift in more irregular patterns determined by the wind, as opposed to a satellite, and can evade radar detection even though it hovered much closer to the earth, at an altitude of about 60,000 feet.

The balloon spotted last week, however, was only the latest one spotted by U.S. officials, the Washington Post reported, following a string of others that had collected surveillance information from more than 12 other countries over five continents.

#2 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2023-02-08 03:19 PM | Reply

I find it unusual that the Chinese would use balloons for spying. It's effective but crude! Very crude! A less obtrusive way would be to spy using satellites in space.

#3 | Posted by wolfdog at 2023-02-08 08:53 PM | Reply

" panel that controls the Pentagon budget" ha! nobody controls the budget. It is spend, spend, spend with no cuts and no ability to audit. "I find it unusual that the Chinese would use balloons for spying." cheap often beats complex. We launched two fighter-jets to fight a giant garbage bag.

#4 | Posted by Brennnn at 2023-02-08 09:21 PM | Reply

I find it unusual Russians would invade a sovereign country and slaughter children. Oh, wait, that's not unusual at all.

#5 | Posted by LegallyYourDead at 2023-02-08 09:47 PM | Reply

If it were as innocent as the PRC makes it out to be, all this foofaraw could have been settled with a simple phone call. The fact that such a call was not made, puts the whole weather balloon reasoning to a suspicious category. Even more suspicious when China refused to take the phone call over the incident from the US.

#6 | Posted by BBQ at 2023-02-08 10:09 PM | Reply

They want to know where the bombs are. Can you blame them?

This is a big nothing. We spy on them too. They got caught is all this is.

It's not that big a deal. Knowing where the bombs are and how secure our airspace is will make the Chinese more secure in dealing with us.

It might save lives over there. And maybe even here.

It keeps us on our toes. And gives the "intelligence" agencies a reason to exist and spend taxpayer monies.

Like a jobs program.

#7 | Posted by Effeteposer at 2023-02-09 12:45 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

Balloons are used because they are A). cheap, and
B). more maneuverable than satellites. Satellites
typically have orbits, and thus, most lack the ability
to hover over the same spot for long periods of time.

#8 | Posted by earthmuse at 2023-02-09 07:12 AM | Reply

Balloon Was Part of Wider Chinese Snooping Effort: Pentagon

You don't say?

Was her name Feng Feng?

#9 | Posted by oneironaut at 2023-02-09 09:49 AM | Reply

I blame Nixon and Kissinger.

#10 | Posted by Karabekian at 2023-02-09 10:39 AM | Reply

Naw! This is all USA capitalist propaganda. As you should know by now, spying is sneaky undercover work. Who in their right minds would send a big balloon in the atmosphere to do spying?

#11 | Posted by wolfdog at 2023-02-09 11:24 AM | Reply

Balloon Was Part of Wider Chinese Snooping Effort?

They can't count on Trump just handing over intelligence information anymore.

#12 | Posted by Sycophant at 2023-02-09 11:26 AM | Reply

The Chinese are the biggest thieves in the world.
They don't even try to be original anymore, they
just take other peoples/nations ideas

#13 | Posted by earthmuse at 2023-02-09 11:28 AM | Reply

House Votes Unanimously to Condemn China Over Balloon

...The House on Thursday issued a bipartisan condemnation of the Chinese Communist Party for flying a spy balloon over the United States last week, unanimously approving the move after Republican leaders rebuffed a right-wing faction that had pressed to rebuke President Biden personally for how the incident was handled....

#14 | Posted by LampLighter at 2023-02-09 12:33 PM | Reply

I must admit that I do not understand why China would choose to use spy balloons when they have easy access to satellite technology.

#15 | Posted by moder8 at 2023-02-09 03:00 PM | Reply

#15 $$$

#16 | Posted by snoofy at 2023-02-09 03:01 PM | Reply

And it's also an effective probe of a nation's air defenses.

#17 | Posted by snoofy at 2023-02-09 03:01 PM | Reply

China Balloon Had Western-Made Parts With English Writing, Lawmakers Told

...An alleged Chinese spy balloon that traversed the US had western-made components with English-language writing on them, members of Congress were told on Capitol Hill Thursday, people familiar with the matter said.
Biden administration officials briefed lawmakers about the writing behind closed doors, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. The officials included representatives from the State and Defense Departments as well as the intelligence community.

The presence of the components was described by several of the people, who declined to elaborate further on exactly which ones were Western-made. It wasn't immediately clear whether the writing was discovered before the balloon was shot down Saturday or found in the wreckage afterward. Recovery operations for the balloon's payload continued off the coast of South Carolina....

#18 | Posted by LampLighter at 2023-02-09 04:21 PM | Reply

It's hard to believe that Xi would run circles around this dotarded dullard.

#19 | Posted by reinheitsgebot at 2023-02-10 02:13 PM | Reply

After classified briefing, Romney backs Biden's handling of Chinese spy balloon incursion

The Utah Republican senator said he agreed with the Pentagon's decision to wait until after the balloon was over the ocean before shooting it down.

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, broke ranks with many of his party colleagues Thursday, telling reporters following a classified briefing on the Chinese balloon incursion over U.S. airspace last week that the Biden administration, the U.S. military and intelligence agencies dealt with the situation properly.

"I believe that the administration, the president, our military and intelligence agencies acted skillfully and with care. At the same time, their capabilities are extraordinarily impressive," ...

#20 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2023-02-10 02:32 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Aww, look at Mitt, trying to be Presidential.

#21 | Posted by snoofy at 2023-02-10 02:33 PM | Reply

It was the Pentagon who recommended waiting to shoot it down so they could gather intelligence of their own, which they have. And while they were examining data from the balloon they blocked its ability to transmit anything anywhere else.

Then, there's the payload that weighted 2000 lbs they preferred recovering more intact in the water than splatting into the ground.

#22 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2023-02-10 02:59 PM | Reply

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