America loves spying by balloon, just like China
America loves spying by balloon, just like China
#America #loves #spying #balloon #China Welcome to InNewCL, here is the new story we have for you today:
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It’s a bird! It’s an airplane! It’s a helium fueled nightmare here, stealing all of our national security secrets!
Yes, the Chinese balloon scandal has eaten up a lot of bandwidth over the past few weeks. Other, arguably more important, stories (like the Norfolk Southern mushroom cloud) haven’t gotten nearly as much media attention as the floating white spot the government decided to shoot down earlier this month. News of the balloon’s entry into US airspace shattered a promising diplomatic mission by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who “indefinitely postponed” his flight to Beijing after the balloon raised its head. Instead of de-escalation and diplomacy, America chose to lose its shit completely and for good.
In addition to the military shooting down a number of other unidentified objects in recent weeks, America’s national security fanatics have fully embraced the dreaded balloon, with a Fox News guest recently implying that the balloon had “everything.” can wear. and that it was “extremely dangerous”. Blinken himself has described the balloon expedition as an “irresponsible act and a clear violation of US sovereignty and international law”.
Critics of America’s Great National Balloon Freakout have pointed out that this really isn’t such a big deal that it’s not clear the balloon is actually gathering actionable intelligence. China’s Foreign Ministry has also claimed that the US has used balloons to invade Chinese airspace “more than 10 times” in the past year, although the US denies this.
However, when it comes to spy balloons, it’s pretty hypocritical for America to freak out about it. Why? Because we’re one of the worst propagators of these dreaded floating snoopers. America loves spy balloons. We just love them. Our own, that is. And we’ve been using them for a very long time! Let me list a few examples.
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Exhibit A: Cold War spy balloons
In modern times, America’s love of the spy balloon dates back to the Cold War (we could go back even further, but I suppose you don’t want to be here all day) when our security agencies discovered they could be quite useful in our war with the Soviets. Most notably, the US Air Force secretly launched a program called Project Moby Dick, in which they sent flocks of camera-armed high-altitude balloons that can fly up to 50,000 feet to hover over the USSR to take photos of Russian defenses. Similarly, during this period, the CIA used balloons to drop psychological warfare materials into communist countries to undermine (or at least tease) their governments. These included using balloons to smuggle copies of George Orwell’s novel 1984 from western Germany to eastern Europe – apparently to inspire dreams of liberal democracy beyond the Iron Curtain. Imagine that!
Exhibit B: Spying on Afghan goatherds by balloon
In recent years, the spy balloon has become much more high-tech and much more invasive. Today, major defense contractors like Lockheed Martin construct sophisticated spy balloons, also known technically as “aerostats” (or in one government report, “unmanned buoyant vehicles”), which have been used to spy on foreign populations – mainly in the US Middle East. The idea behind the balloons, reportedly used fairly extensively during the “war on terror,” is to automate surveillance functions so real people don’t have to do the hard work of surveilling entire regions or villages. Despite this, most people in the areas where they have been deployed do not seem to like them very much. A 2012 New York Times report noted that the US had a habit of deploying these floating Nark airships in rural areas of Afghanistan and then simply leaving them there indefinitely; The goatherds, who live in places like Kabul and Kandahar, told the newspaper that they didn’t appreciate being watched all the time, and expressed that the balloons contributed to a general “sense of oppression” among local people. You can see why. It’s basically like being watched by this thing from Jordan Peele’s Nope all day long. Not so great.
Exhibit C: Spy balloons to spy on ourselves
In 2019, it was revealed that the Pentagon had been testing surveillance balloons “across the United States” and allegedly deployed them in six Midwestern states as an experiment to see if they could fulfill a vague mandate targeting “drug trafficking and domestic threats.” security” to respond. The airships, which could soar at altitudes of up to 65,000 feet, may have been rigged with Gorgon Stare, sophisticated surveillance software the government has used to spy on foreign populations via drones. Capable of recording ground-level activity in urban environments with granular detail, Gorgon Stare essentially provides government operators with an “instant replay” capability when monitoring urban events. Those experiments were part of what they called “Operation COLD STAR,” which, according to Motherboard, “never really ended.”
At the time of the operation’s unveiling, resident Debbie-Downer Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union, said of the balloons, “We don’t believe American cities should be subjected to large-scale surveillance in which any vehicle could be tracked.” wherever they go… it is disturbing to hear that these tests are being conducted, no less by the military.”
Whatever Jay! Killing privacy in the US seems like a small price to pay for a 6 percent improvement in drug prohibitions!
Another notable incident in this department happened in 2015 when the US military somehow lost control of one of its spy balloons, which was then drunkenly strolling across the Pennsylvania skies at low altitudes until it became tangled in some power lines and a stream caused a power outage for around 35,000 people.
To avoid future international resentment and potentially bring China and the US back together, let’s all agree that we love balloons. We love them soaring high above us, beautiful and mysterious (and possibly manipulated with facial recognition). We love them when they monitor our enemies. We love them at birthday parties. Are you a little annoying? Secure! But as we just admitted, we’re all in this together. Most importantly, I want us all to acknowledge that we love balloons so we can agree with the STFU on them too. Because with everything that’s going on in the world today, I really don’t think I can handle another one.”Balloon News Cycle.”