7 thoughts on “Seems Right

  1. I ran some of my own hind casts. I now understand the we can launch from the us and achieve a china overfly as well.

    How much trouble would I get in if I did that?

  2. As some remember and more have learned from history classes, the existence of the “jet stream” was considered classified information and a military secret back in the late 1930s and early 1940s. The US was concerned adversaries might loft balloons carrying incendiary bombs to drift across oceans and at carefully timed moments drop flaming furious terror on not-quite-random targets.

    Like the adversaries weren’t capable of figuring it out…

    Similarly, in the late 1940s and early 50s, it was considered classified information and a military secret that rocket-propelled systems of the sort German engineers had deployed between Peenemünde and London could be up-scaled to launch small (potato-sized?) projectiles into full orbit. Again, as if our adversaries weren’t capable of figuring it out…

    I tend to agree that keeping classified information and military secrets on a commercial e-mail server in a linen closet behind the bathroom of a privately owned apartment is kind of a violation of good practice. Ditto packing up cardboard boxes of hardcopy marked as classified information and military secrets to be neglected and forgotten in old furniture warehouses and hotel basements. But I also tend to suppose that most of the information classified is not particularly “secret” in any real sense of that word.

    When I was a sergeant at a social event with a PFC, Major, and a number of civilians, the topic of conversation turned to the humorously high levels of security we in the US Army in Europe maintained over our classified documents. And the PFC proceeded to disclose that codebooks were replaced “often” and the old versions destroyed. The point of the humor, in which both the the major I participated, is that the paper on which such records were printed was specially designed to be easily destroyed by several methods — and for training purposes we “often” used every available method in rapid sequence. Pages were shredded, the shreds burned, the ashes stirred into buried in wet soil, and the sludge urinated upon (by the subset of soldiers tasked to the mission due to anatomical privileges allowing conveniently directed streams of document-destroying fluid.) As the levels of destruction — which were NOT secret — were alternately revealed, the PFC let slip that the destruction intervals were — hmm, let me here say “calendar-based”. And as the major shot me a warning glance I felt obliged to verbally reprimand the private for violating Op-Sec and enabling adversary code-breakers to better schedule their own efforts.

    Just as if the adversaries weren’t capable of figuring it out.

    There is a great deal of ritual, even kabuki symbolic action, associated with protecting the security of nations and borders and information. That doesn’t mean such actions shouldn’t be performed.

    I’d shoot the current balloon down, given access to the tools available to me, once upon a time.

  3. Gateway noticed the same plot I used here. For fun, I ran the model myself a few times. It turns out that you can launch from the US and go right back over china if you want to.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s