The Washington Post has a weird new article out citing multiple anonymous US officials saying that the Chinese “spy balloon” we’ve been hearing about for the last two weeks was never intended for a surveillance mission over North America at all.
The article is titled “U.S. tracked China spy balloon from launch on Hainan Island along unusual path,” and throughout it alternates between the objective journalistic terms “suspected spy balloon” and “suspected Chinese surveillance balloon” and the US government’s terms “spy balloon” and “airborne surveillance device”. There is at this time no publicly available evidence that the balloon which was famously shot down on February 4th was in fact an instrument of Chinese espionage; the Chinese government has said that the balloon was a civilian meteorological airship that got blown off course, and the Pentagon’s own assessment is that a Chinese spy balloon would not “create significant value added over and above what the PRC is likely able to collect through things like satellites in Low Earth Orbit.”
What makes the article so weird is that it actually contains claims which substantiate Beijing’s assertion that this was in fact a balloon that got blown off course, yet it keeps repeating the unevidenced claim that it was a “spy balloon”.