A covert training operation by U.S. military special operations personnel, Jade Helm 15, is taking place in a several states this summer, spreading panic and conspiracy theories as to the true purpose of the mission.
The two-month simulation spans much of the Southwest, requiring special forces from four branches of the military to carry out covert operations amid “hostile” territory in Texas, Utah and part of California.
In at least one of those states, hostility toward the operation has begun a few months early. Online and at in-person meetings, many Texans have expressed suspicion and outright opposition to the project. Some are understandably worried about how it’ll affect their daily lives, while conspiracy theorists claim it’s an attempt to institute martial law.
The military says that they are merely preforming training exercises to help hone soldiers’ skills in the event they face a foreign threat, but some citizens are worried that planners have something more domestic in mind.
Events for the exercise are outlined in a map among unclassified documents posted online last month. Army sources have verified to The Washington Post that the map is legitimate.
Many have speculated that the American government isn’t far from declaring martial law, an idea only bolstered by these training exercises.
In an anonymous email sent to Dave Hodges at The Common Sense Show, a self-described Texas Ranger said that train cars outfitted with prison-type shackles have been moving about Texas. While he added that the Department of Homeland Security claimed the train cars were for transporting captured terrorists, he was apparently reluctant to believe them. He wrote:
“We have been told by Homeland that these trains are slated for transporting captured terrorists, non-domestic. We are not sure we can trust this explanation because Homeland is keeping a lot from us and we are growing increasingly uncomfortable with their presence in Texas.”
The paranoia about Jade Helm, which started on websites like Alex Jones’s InfoWars, had started with familiar fulmination about a mass seizure of firearms or a cover-up for American “death squads.”
This week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott asked the Texas state guard to monitor the exercise for any violations of freedom. “It is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed,” said the governor.
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz said Saturday that he’d been hearing concerns about Jade Helm 15, and reached out to the Pentagon for answers.
“My office has reached out to the Pentagon to inquire about this exercise. We are assured it is a military training exercise. I have no reason to doubt those assurances, but I understand the reason for concern and uncertainty, because when the federal government has not demonstrated itself to be trustworthy in this administration, the natural consequence is that many citizens don’t trust what it is saying.”
The Texas Senator, speaking at the South Carolina Republican Convention went on to say:
“I understand a lot of the concerns raised by a lot of citizens about Jade Helm. And I think part of the reason is we have seen, for six years, a federal government disrespecting the liberty of the citizens. That produces fear, when you see a government that is attacking our free speech rights, or Second Amendment rights, or religious liberty rights. That produces distrust.”
“Just because you’re paranoid,” said Cruz, “doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.”
Well said, Senator. Well said.