More Tangling of the Web

First published at New Catallaxy blog on 20 September, 2023

Softly, as in an morning sunrise, General Mark Milley let it be known that the infamous Chinese spy balloon, whilst it definitely was a spy ballon, definitely did not phone home with any intelligence information, and definitely had blown off course.

See, for example, the RT story. If you’re concerned about Russian propaganda, try these versions.

Notice that Milley is still talking about the motor. The particular motor on that aircraft can’t go against those winds at that altitude. Show us the body, General Milley. After all, the corpse was recovered from the Atlantic after the triumphant shoot-down, so details of the propulsion and guidance mechanisms must be known to the eagle-eyed U.S. military and intelligence establishments.

If we give ourselves over to complete tin-hat fantasy for a moment, we might imagine that there was no motor or rudder. That the only manoeuvring system that might have been employed was like that developed for the Loon project. So, news stories like the one referred to in the RT item would have been complete fabrications.

In April, anonymous officials told NBC News that the balloon made “multiple passes” over US military sites to intercept electronic communications, before it “increased its speed” in an attempt “to get it out of US airspace as quickly as possible.” 

Worse, still, we would have to imagine that the Chinese Government’s version was accurate; that it was a civilian research balloon that had blown off course. Fortunately, we know that such a notion is absurd. Better get those tin-foil hats off now. Phew!

Back in the real world of high quality, dis- and mis- and mal-information free journalism, the Oz reports exclusively on the newly discovered aspects of a Russian atrocity in Ukraine: the Russian missile attack on a civilian market in Kostyantynivka.

Unfortunately, at virtually the same time, the New York Times, normally so reliable (see the missile attack report above, for example) suffered a disinformation attack, probably as a result of Russian hackers.

Again, we can be confident that the NYT suffered a momentary lapse of reason, because pro-Russian sources adduced within hours the same evidence (notably the reflection of the missile in the roof of one of the cars) to conclude that the missile was Ukrainian.

Let’s just be grateful for the quality of Australian reportage.

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