The AP reports on the Chinese spy balloon spotted over Montana. The AP story reads like satire. This is the Age of Biden:
The U.S. is tracking a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that has been spotted over U.S. airspace for a couple days, but the Pentagon decided not to shoot it down over concerns of hurting people on the ground, officials said Thursday. The discovery of the balloon puts a further strain on U.S.-China relations at a time of heightened tensions.
A senior defense official told Pentagon reporters that the U.S. has “very high confidence” it is a Chinese high-altitude balloon and it was flying over sensitive sites to collect information. One of the places the balloon was spotted was Montana, which is home to one of the nation’s three nuclear missile silo fields at Malmstrom Air Force Base. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information.
Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, Pentagon press secretary, provided a brief statement on the issue, saying the government continues to track the balloon. He said it is “currently traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic and does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground.”
He said similar balloon activity has been seen in the past several years. He added that the U.S. took steps to ensure it did not collect sensitive information.
A senior administration official, who was also not authorized to publicly discuss sensitive information, said President Joe Biden was briefed and asked the military to present options. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, advised against taking “kinetic action” because of risks to the safety of people on the ground. Biden accepted that recommendation.
The defense official said the U.S. has “engaged” Chinese officials through multiple channels and communicated the seriousness of the matter.
You have got to be kidding me. The Biden somnolence must not be disturbed. We can’t risk balloon debris falling over densely populated Montana. And hop to it! Throw some blankets over Malmstrom Air Force Base.
General Turgidson, call your office.
UPDATE: China’s foreign ministry has released a statement acknowledging: “The airship is from China.” However: “It is a civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological, purposes. Affected by the Westerlies and with limited self-steering capability, the airship deviated far from its planned course.”
MORE: In a that’ll show ’em gesture, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has postponed his planned weekend visit to Beijing.
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