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Remember the Chinese spy balloon fiasco? President Joe Biden allowed his nation’s top geopolitical foe to fly a massive spy-craft over the entire continental United States. In the end, the only retribution exacted was to shoot it down after it had completed its mission and transmitted its data.
It was an embarrassing scene, with the president’s indecisiveness on full display, and that meant the White House had to do something to change the subject. That came by way of a Pentagon official speaking on background to a group of reporters, claiming that three Chinese spy balloons traversed the United States during the Trump administration.
The suggestion was clearly that Trump was a coward who had let the Chinese run over him. It was only later that it was revealed that the balloons in question were only over US territory for a matter of minutes (one of them off the coast of Hawaii) and that their presence wasn’t even discovered until years after Trump left office.
The Pentagon refused to identify the official who gave the misleading commentary to the press, but two Republican senators have discovered who he is. That comes via The Washington Free Beacon.
Pentagon official Colin Kahl leaked classified information about the Chinese spy balloon to deflect blame about the Biden administration’s mishandling of the situation, according to two Republican senators.
Kahl, whom President Joe Biden appointed his under secretary of defense for policy, provided reporters with classified information–disclosing that CCP spy balloons may have infiltrated the United States during the Trump administration–Sens. Roger Wicker (R., Miss.) and Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) allege. This is the first time that Kahl has been named as the source of these leaks, which were provided to reporters and appeared in news stories at CNN, Bloomberg, and the Washington Post, in an apparent attempt to shift blame away from Biden after the administration allowed the Chinese spy balloon to traverse the entire United States before shooting it down. While doing so, he omitted the fact that the prior Chinese balloons were only discovered much later and the Trump administration did not have an opportunity to respond at the time.
Colin Kahl is a particularly nasty partisan who has apparently appointed himself a protector of the man who appointed him. There’s a reason no Republicans voted to approve his nomination. He purposely misled reporters, making them believe that Biden’s inaction on the spy balloon issue wasn’t unique. In fact, the entire point of the leak was to make it seem as if the president was more proactive than those who preceded him.
Aside from that, the information that Kahl shared was classified. Isn’t it illegal to leak classified information to the press? I’m sure the Pentagon will claim that he went through to proper channels, but maybe an administration already up to its eyeballs in illegality regarding classified documents should be a bit more careful.
Regardless, what really gets me here are the gullible reporters who ran with this story. Those include Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin, who has become nothing but a stenographer for the Pentagon. For example, when Mark Milley got caught pledging to commit treason to the Chinese, Griffin was right there to play comms director.
In this case, though, she hasn’t even offered a follow-up to the fact that she was lied to. None of the reporters who were on the background call with Kahl have even expressed displeasure with the fact that they were played. They got the narrative they wanted, which conveniently deflected pressure from the Biden administration, and that was enough for them.
Let this be a lesson that there are no trustworthy institutions left when talking about government. That includes the Pentagon, which used to pride itself on being largely non-partisan. Every corner has been infected at this point.