Tags: Ted Cruz | military | special forces | jade helm | texas | takeover

Ted Cruz: Obama Record on Rights Feeds Fears of Military Exercise

Ted Cruz: Obama Record on Rights Feeds Fears of Military Exercise
(Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 05 May 2015 08:09 AM

The Department of Defense again sought to quell concerns that the federal government planned a military takeover of Texas, CNN reported.

Reacting to rumors circulating on the Internet that a large-scale summertime military exercise for special operations commandos — codenamed Jade Helm 15 — might actually be a plot by the Obama administration to seize control of the Lone Star State, Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott ordered National Guard units to monitor the maneuvers.

A spokesman for the Texas State Guard told McClatchy News that the force "stands ready to support the governor of Texas when called upon to serve."

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said he understood citizens' concerns about Jade Helm. "It's a question I'm getting a lot. And I think part of the reason is, we have seen for six years a federal government disrespecting the liberty of the citizens, and that produces fear.

"When you see a federal government that is attacking our free speech rights, our religious liberty rights, our Second Amendment rights, that produces distrust as to government," Cruz told Bloomberg.

The Pentagon has told Texans that they have nothing to fear from the upcoming military exercise. "Operation Jade Helm poses no threat to any American's civil liberties," Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said Monday. "Operation Jade Helm is being conducted by Americans by, specifically, American special forces personnel," McClatchy reported.

Texas Rep. Mac Thornberry, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, also dismissed the conspiracy buzz as "silly."

Thornberry said, "If there was going to be some sort of great conspiracy to take over the country, I think the last place you would go is Texas," The Dallas Morning News reported.

Thousands of Army Rangers, Green Berets, and Navy SEALs will be among the special forces engaging in war games starting July 15 and continuing into September. The exercises, the most extensive in some 60 years, will be conducted in Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah. Both public and private land will be used, McClatchy reported.

Warren said the training was being coordinated with state and local officials and with "patriotic Americans" who had "volunteered their land for the use of this important training."

Todd Smith, a Republican who served in the state legislature for 16 years, posted an open letter to Abbott denouncing the governor for "pandering to idiots."

Describing himself as livid, he wrote: "As one of the remaining Republicans who actually believes in making decisions based on facts and evidence — you used to be a judge? — I am appalled that you would give credence to the nonsense mouthed by those who instead make decisions based on Internet or radio- or shock-jock-driven hysteria."

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While the Department of Defense sought to quell rumors of a military takeover of Texas during a special forces training exercise that starts in July, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz called the fears understandable given the Obama administration's history of "disrespecting the liberty of the citizens."
military, special forces, jade helm, texas, takeover
Tuesday, 05 May 2015 08:09 AM
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