The U.S. military is scheduled to launch Jade Helm on July 15, one of its biggest training exercises in history and, according to some conservative Texans, part of an Obama-inspired plot to establish martial law, seize citizens’ guns, and spy on Americans.
The exercise will range over Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado and will last through Sept. 15. Although the U.S. Army Special Operations Command has announced training missions similar to this one in remote areas of Texas before, Jade Helm is wrapped in conspiracy theories because the Army acknowledged that the exercise will be unique in its “size and scope,” according to ABC News
Suspicions heightened when the military released a Power Point presentation detailing the exercise and labeling Texas and Utah as “hostile” territories.
Albert Ellison, chairman of the Bastrop County Republican Party, said the concerned Texans are not “nuts and wackos,” the Washington Post
reported. Rather, he said, “Obama has really painted a portrait in the minds of many conservatives that he is capable of this sort of thing,”
County Judge Paul Pape invited a U.S. Army Special Operations Command spokesman to a public meeting in Bastrop to try and ease citizens’ concerns. Bearing signs saying “Keep America Free” and “Dissent is Not a Conspiracy Theory,” many residents attended the meeting but still continue to fear Jade Helm 15.
Pape said he is “sensitive to the fact that some of our Bastrop residents are concerned,” but he wonders, “how did we get to this point in our country?” according to the Post.
Alex Jones, Austin talk radio host, had a role in perpetuating the conspiracy theories starting with his March 19 show.
He opened his show saying, “We’ve got huge breaking news, ladies and gentlemen. ... It’s going to be happening in Austin’s back door,” according to the Boston Globe
Jones explained the expansive military operation, but assumed the military is “going to practice breaking into things and stuff. This is going to be hellish. ... Now this is just a cover for deploying the military on the streets. ... This is an invasion.”
Jones went as far as claiming that Jade Helm is a takeover directly orchestrated by the president.
“[Jade Helm 15] is in preparation for the financial collapse and maybe even Obama not leaving office,” he said.
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