Tags: Homeland Security | National Guard | Ferguson | Los Angeles | ontario

National Guard Conspiracy Theories Make Americans Edgy

By    |   Friday, 17 April 2015 04:20 PM

Conspiracy theories and petty complaints involving the National Guard have been swirling about the Internet in recent days thanks to a strange series of events.

In Ontario, California, a video of a march that turned out to be part of a National Guard training exercise Saturday became a hot topic of conversation, going viral and sparking a Los Angeles television station to dispatch a reporter there.

When Crystal Cruz, a reporter for CBS2/KCAL9 News, arrived on the scene, some residents saw the exercise as a sign that some kind of plot was afoot.

"I believe that they're slowly but surely making their way into martial law," Ontario resident Vicente Martinez said, making clear that he found the march disturbing.

"They're trying to fool us by telling us it's a training exercise," said Martinez, clad in a tank top and wearing sunglasses and a bandanna over his long dreadlocks.

"Then when it [martial law] actually does take place and actually does happen, there's nothing you're going to be able to do about it," he warned.

Martinez’s feelings were echoed by some commenting online about the video.

"This is not normal, and why would they do this in a civilian residential area and not on a militant [sic] base? This is becoming more and more of the new world order military police state," one person wrote.

National Guard officials in Ontario, 37 miles east of Los Angeles, said training in the streets was not illegal and that sometimes they conduct endurance training in residential neighborhoods because those are closer than the nearest Guard base.

The National Guard said the Ontario Police Department had been notified about the scheduled training exercise beforehand in case residents had concerns. The police confirmed they had been notified about the event beforehand.

While the march bothered some Ontario residents, some welcomed it as a teachable moment. Ricard Ortiz, for example, said he was pleased that his 8-year-old daughter, Nazareth, got to see the National Guard.

She didn’t know women were in the military until Saturday when they marched by.

"I think it's good to see the Army once in a while," said Ortiz. He said that prior to the march, his daughter had been unaware that women were in the military.

Eighteen hundred miles away in Ferguson, Missouri, some residents were on edge Friday after CNN reported that Missouri National Guard internal documents (most of them apparently from November) had used terms like "enemy forces" and "adversaries" to describe potential rioters as troops prepared to deploy there.

In its report, CNN noted that one National Guard document read: "Protesters have historically used Molotov cocktails, rocks and other debris to throw at police. Several small arms fire incidents have occurred."

Other National Guard documents warned that rioters might use gas masks, might have bullet-proof vests, and might carry firearms.

The concern about gunfire was hardly unwarranted. Early last month, two police officers were shot and wounded after one evening protest concluded in Ferguson.

The "Infowars" website nonetheless declared that "the documents are seen as highly disturbing by critics, who have noted that they read like a strategy for going to war against the American people."

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Conspiracy theories and petty complaints involving the National Guard have been swirling about the Internet in recent days thanks to a strange series of events.
National Guard, Ferguson, Los Angeles, ontario
Friday, 17 April 2015 04:20 PM
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