A goat picking lottery numbers. Having criminals watch your wallet. Cuban medicine.
These are a few of the things that people have even less confidence in than a national intelligence estimate. But a national intelligence estimate is still down there. Way down there. Even before Russiagate, NIEs were politicized garbage. Remember the 2007 NIE falsely claiming that Iran had halted its nuclear program mocked up as part of a Democrat campaign to undermine the Bush administration?
The difference is that back in 2007, people still took NIEs seriously. Now all you can do is roll your eyes.
It was surely the most bizarre crisis of the Biden administration: America’s top-of-the-line jet fighters being sent up to shoot down, of all things, a balloon – a Chinese spy balloon that was floating across the United States, which had the nation and its politicians in a tizzy.
A tizzy. A spy balloon. How hilarious. Don’t worry folks, it’s all okay. Gen. Milley says so.
Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, tells “CBS News Sunday Morning” the balloon wasn’t spying. “The intelligence community, their assessment – and it’s a high-confidence assessment – [is] that there was no intelligence collection by that balloon,” he said.
I believe that there was intelligence collection by the balloon, what I don’t believe is that there was any intelligence collection by Gen. Milley and the “intelligence community”.
So, why was it over the United States? There are various theories, with at least one leading theory that it was blown off-track.
Yup. The Chinese had wanted to go to Shanghai and ended up in Montana. These things happen.
So, Martin asked, “Bottom line, it was a spy balloon, but it wasn’t spying?”
Milley replied, “I would say it was a spy balloon that we know with high degree of certainty got no intelligence, and didn’t transmit any intelligence back to China.”
The good news is that Milley, unlike the spy balloon, didn’t transmit intelligence back to China because he doesn’t have any.