Aletho News


Spycraft or Not, Shootdown of Chinese Weather Balloon Using 5th-Gen Jet Looks ‘Silly’

By Ilya Tsukanov – Sputnik – 05.02.2023

A US jet destroyed a Chinese weather balloon off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday, with US officials saying the balloon had engaged in espionage as it flew over US airspace over the past several days. Beijing insists the dirigible was just a meteorological research balloon that drifted off course.

It’s unclear whether the Chinese weather balloon downed over the Atlantic was an intelligence-gathering vessel, but the incident has certainly given Washington the pretext it needs to feed anti-China hysteria amid tectonic shifts being witnessed in the global geopolitical and economic order, former Department of Defense analyst-turned anti-war whistleblower and activist Karen Kwiatkowski has told Sputnik.

“The only reason to shoot down the balloon after it had completely transversed the continental US would be to confirm exactly what the balloon was carrying before it got out of the 200 nautical mile exclusion zone. If we do hear about any analysis from the Pentagon later, this could be used to inform or propagandize the Biden administration’s actions or inaction,” Kwiatkowski explained.

“If the balloon constituted a legitimate threat, and apparently this is not the first time such balloons have drifted this way, then the Biden administration obviously failed to react in defense of the US. More likely they knew it wasn’t a threat but as it was observed by civilian Americans on the ground, it technically became a UFO, they didn’t know what to do, and eventually acted in a way that could be explained, albeit weakly,” she said.

“The Chinese response may have been to chuckle, or it helped inform the Chinese government as to the air defense capabilities of the US, or both. Obviously, if it is determined that [the US] belatedly shot down a weather balloon with a 5th generation fighter jet with a standoff air-to-air Sidewinder missile, it feeds into the global narrative of the US military as an offensively-oriented warmonger, and kind of silly,” Kwiatkowski stressed.

Either way, Washington’s overreaction (or untimely underreaction, as the case may be) will be sure to inform Beijing’s perceptions of US air defense capabilities, as well as perceptions of the US leadership in general, according to the retired officer.

“From a Chinese perspective, the whole event was handled weakly, and I think reveals leadership vacuums and US confusion, and these conditions will inform Chinese relations with the US, and their long-term strategy in dealing with Washington. I don’t see how DC can be treated seriously by the Chinese government, notwithstanding the large, offensive-oriented US military and the US policy for nuclear first strike, Kwiatkowski said.

Conceding that “any airborne object can and probably does collect data,” and that “all countries do this, whether they admit it or not,” Kwiatkowski believes that the longer the Pentagon waits to produce evidence of the balloon’s malicious nature, the more likely it will be that it really was just a harmless weather balloon, as the Chinese say it was. However “if the surveillance equipment on this balloon is found to be interesting, we can be sure this will be used to whip up Chinese war narratives,” she said.

PR Stunt?

Kwiatkowski emphasized that as a critic of the Biden administration, she would actually be “gratified” to learn that the spy balloon drama was just a PR stunt on the part of the White House, since this would at least “indicate some strategic unity and a well-defined set of military and diplomatic objectives vis-à-vis China in the coming years.”

Instead, she said, this administration has so far only demonstrated its propensity to bicker, and faces a massive trust deficit with the public due to difficulty communicating “honestly and clearly” with the American people.

“Officials in the Biden administration are not only bickering amongst themselves over the Ukraine tar-baby, they are not trusted by anyone, and will not be until Blinken and Victoria Nuland and others are removed from their posts,” Kwiatkowski stressed.

Ominous Omen

There is also a more ominous aspect of the balloon story, related to the growing push by Washington to prepare Americans for a possible direct conflict with China, according to the observer.

“The US government-controlled media has hyped [the spy balloon story] because it feeds into an overall fear narrative that the government wishes to stoke, given a loss of popular interest in continuing to subsidize and extend the war in Ukraine, and to help feed anti-Chinese hysteria among the people. Just last week, [US General Mike] Minihan… publicly proclaimed that the US would be in a hot war with China by 2025. The story [about the balloon] fits with that kind of propagandizing. More than a military war with China is really the impending economic and government problems with the rest of the world’s oil consumers and producers moving decisively off the petrodollar system. If US government debt cannot be supported on the back of its formerly dominant dollar, that government must collapse or go completely autocratic to survive. Meanwhile, global gold and energy and actual productive capabilities are entirely outside of US control or influence, or will soon be. When empires collapse, they seek war, and they propagandize and threaten war,” Kwiatkowski explained.

Did Someone Forget What Century They’re In?

Commenting on the balloon incident and Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin’s remarks about the Chinese dirigible being used to monitor American military facilities, Russian military observer Oleg Glazunov told Sputnik that it seemed like Washington had forgotten what century they’re in as far as intelligence-collecting methods go.

“When was the last time you heard of reconnaissance by balloon? This was over 50-60 years ago. Moreover, there is a Chinese diaspora in the United States of over 2 million people, with their position so strong in some cities that the FBI can’t do anything. What balloon are we talking about?” he said.

For his part, former CIA station chief Philip Giraldi, executive director of the Council for the National Interest, a US-based non-partisan non-profit, pointed out that “there is no established law regarding satellites or other flying objects passing through someone’s airspace as a violation of sovereignty or international agreements if that object is well beyond the atmosphere, as this balloon was. Satellites cross most nations in the world at a high altitude and many of them are, in fact, spying, but Washington has not begun shooting down those that transit the United States.”

Giraldi echoed Kwiatkowski’s sentiments that the balloon hysteria supports the Biden administration’s push to portray China as a future “adversary” or even “enemy” of the United States. However, he doesn’t expect China to react to the “provocation” through escalation, “as its leadership is more sensible than what we are forced to suffer with here in the United States.”

“I believe that the relationship between Beijing and Washington will continue to be difficult, with most of the problems coming from the political posturing engaged in by a clueless White House,” the observer concluded.

February 5, 2023 - Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism | ,


  1. Over kill, should have used a Sopwith Camel

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Kevin Arthur HIATT | February 5, 2023 | Reply

  2. Ode to O’Biden
    Hear the bells bells bells. Bronze bells clang clang clanging against the din of pain and wanting.
    Bronze bells banging endlessly clanging, clang clang clanging on the steps of despair.


    Comment by Thomas L Simpson | February 5, 2023 | Reply

  3. If a spy balloon can enter this far over the United States, and not have been shot down miles off the border, it shows how asleep, unaware, and absolutely stupid our defense people really are. Had this been a missile with a nuclear warhead, we would not be having this discussion. “Oh, but if it were a missile, things would have been different”, you might say.

    It is rather clear to the enemies of this country, as well as any thinking person, that entry into US airspace is no problem at all. Just as entry into the US at the Southern border is no problem at all, and all sorts of weapons may be entering, along with Fentanyl that our idiots are injecting into their bodies. No wonder the WEF and affiliates consider us as “useless eaters”. We certainly appear to be such.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Peter | February 5, 2023 | Reply

  4. Perhaps sampling of the air at 80,000 feet was performed. Or, a new variant dispersed.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by rediscover911com | February 5, 2023 | Reply

  5. Shooting down a weather balloon, I think, was seen as a P/R opportunity for the American Government, to firstly, frighten the American people, and then use it to prove that the Government, are “keeping Americans Safe”.
    I’m surprised that “Captain America” didn’t show up, and ‘Save America’ from the “Evil Chinese”

    In the end, it looked embarrassing as the balloon popped, and America was “Saved”……..
    It was ALL just another “Hollywood” production.


    Comment by brianharryaustralia | February 5, 2023 | Reply

    • My question still stands….How come it even came close to our shores, before being shot down? Where was NORAD and the rest of our alleged security systems?


      Comment by Peter | February 6, 2023 | Reply

      • ‘NORAD’ was asleep at the wheel, just like on “9/11″……What was the CIA doing? Department of Homeland Security? Pentagon? Air Force?, Navy?, American surveilance satellites?
        It seems there were “No One Home”…..


        Comment by brianharryaustralia | February 6, 2023 | Reply

        • Oh no, Brian, during all the events that you mentioned, all the agencies also mentioned were very much aware and complicit with the program. Just the 9/11 event alone, if there were absolutely no other logical reason to question the event, the fact that building 7 or 70 (whichever) imploded on its footprint although hit by nothing, brings the truth to the front. But also, knowledge of the property of materials prohibits the idea that the twin towers simply imploded on their foundations from the heat of the burning aircraft fuel simply running down consecutive floors. Not even engineers working toward such purpose can direct fuel so accurately and so quickly to cause such an event. Besides, the vertical beams are supported by horizontal and cross beams that also need instantaneous heating to the melting point to cause such a perfect event. That leaves only planned demolition as the correct speculation.

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Peter | February 6, 2023 | Reply

          • No argument there. 9/11 was a “false flag” and ALL of those agencies supposedly “Keeping America safe” were “On Board” and up to their necks in it. And, the Amazing thing is, the great majority of the American people, swallowed it whole…….Amazing, Huh?


            Comment by brianharryaustralia | February 6, 2023 | Reply

            • The CIA controlled Corporate Media Complex controlled the reporting and the final narrative that it was al Qaeda in the caves of Tora Tora Afghanistan. Ramzi Yousef, the captured al Qaeda operative under interrogation by the FBI detailed the intention of al Qaeda to hijack commercial aircraft and use them as missiles crashing them into buildings. So the FBI had this information in 1994. There was also another individual who alerted the Bush administration to the “imminent threat of hijacked commercial aircraft crashing into buildings in a major US city”. That intelligence was provided by Saddam Hussein to Susan Lindaurer, the CIA back channel to Iraq.
              Susan Lindauer gave Condi Rice, Bush’s National Security Advisor, the intelligence report. Saddam’s intelligence-gathering capabilities were known as some of the best in the region. NSA Director Rice ignored Lindaurer’s important visit so Lindaurer immediately visited the US Justice Dept where she requested a meeting with the AG John Ashcroft. She was turned down but she left the information she had with one of the AG’s representatives. Nothing happened. It was August 2001. Lindaurer was franticc. She told her CIA handler about the intelligence she was given. What he did with it is unknown. But soon after 911, Lindaurer began to publicly speak out about what she knew, when she knew it, and who the source was. Approximately three months later she was arrested in her home in an early dawn raid by the FBI. Ms. Lindaurer was taken to a prison in Pensacola, Fl where she was held without bail and without due process. She spent a year behind bars before an Uncle who learned of her plight and hired an attorney, got her released. You can learn about Ms. Lindaurer’s story from the book she wrote called, EXTREME PREJUDICE. Ms. Lindaurer was a back channel to Libya and Iraq for ten years. Her CIA handler never lifted a finger to help her after she was arrested. After her release, she held public speaking engagements telling her story, some of which are on YouTube.
              So yes, members of the Bush administration knew. The Israelis knew. Saddam knew. What Americans don’t know are the generous offers Saddam made to the Bush government before Iraq was invaded based on a lie. Half-price oil. The purchase of thousands of American automobiles and more. Saddam knew the truth about 911. And like Susan Lindaurer he was silenced.

              Liked by 1 person

              Comment by Thomas Lee Simpson | February 7, 2023 | Reply

              • No surprise, when you observe that the whole world has swallowed the covid false flag, hook, line and sinker, as they habitually do with everything that they hear on the fake news. People have forgotten how to think and now they just react to any kind of Pied Piper that comes along with a strange message, such as transgenderism, hybrid humanity, wokeism and such. Just look around you. I see at least 50% of shoppers at Trader Joe’s still wearing the rag on their faces, some under their noses, believing that they are getting protection from something in the air.

                Liked by 1 person

                Comment by Peter | February 7, 2023 | Reply

                • So, those of us who choose to dissent against government lies and deceit. People who actually know something because they refuse to be herded in one direction or another like sheep. We have a duty to organize support behind solutions that will work to right the ship of state. I refer you to Lyndon LaRouche’s Four Laws of economic science which are the only way out of the current economic crisis the US and other nations in the West find themselves in. And, a New Bretton Woods Credit system with fixed exchange rates and long-term lending into economic infrastructure, science, a new healthcare platform, and universal classical education. It means establishing US sovereignty as a matter of national security. That will require regaining control over US borders through government enforcement of US law. Once we effect the necessary changes in US government policy of defending the Republic and promoting the General Welfare as we were instructed to do by our Founders, society can begin to shake off the effects of seven decades of outright treasonous actions by British and US government intelligence agencies.

                  Restoring Glass-Steagall will be a priority. The orderly bankruptcy reorganization of the commercial banking system can then be accomplished and accompanied by a public credit system together with a Hamiltonian National Bank. These are emergency measures that will be followed by large issues of direct credit for long term development of U.S. economic infrastructure of water, power, and transportation systems. Except for greening our deserts, green is out. We will return to building 4th generation nuclear power plants as our science capabilities bring us closer to commercial fusion. Manned space exploration must be fully funded with an eye on the colonization of nearby planets. These last two measures represent science driver missions our nation will be engaged in.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  Comment by Thomas Lee Simpson | February 7, 2023 | Reply

        • They were home they just were not activated or told to stand down.


          Comment by Thomas Lee Simpson | February 7, 2023 | Reply

      • First of all the open skies agreement of 1989 allows for this type of activity be it weather balloons or aircraft. This particular balloon was a weather balloon gone off course. But it was used to sabotage the meeting between China and the US which was worked out at the G20 in Indonesia last year between Biden and Xi Jinping. It reminds of the U2 shootdown of Gary Powers that ended up sabotaging the scheduled meeting between Russia and the US during the Eisenhower administration. How the Russians got the coordinates is a matter of debate but some suggest it came from the British.
        You obviously have taken at face value the anti-China propaganda to heart. For that, I’m sorry to have to tell you it comes from the same corporate media complex and host of permanent bureaucrats from government agencies that have control over our nation. They represent the rules-based unipolar new world fascist order. They are dangerous and they intend to war against two nuclear powers on two fronts for the sake of that new world order. So it would benefit you more if you started thinking about it differently, more strategically, than you have up to now.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Thomas Lee Simpson | February 7, 2023 | Reply

        • I am afraid that you read too much into my comment. Under no circumstances do I swallow the US mental conditioning against Russia, China, or any other nation. Everything else that you have said may well be true, but to whip up frenzy over a weather balloon and then shoot it down does beg the question. If the US is so concerned about such balloons, not exactly supersonic items, allowing it to enter our space indicates voluntary action or incompetence. In either case, it is getting old.


          Comment by Peter | February 7, 2023 | Reply

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