Tag Archives: Jade Helm 15

No takeover is imminent

Jade Helm 15 is about to commence in Texas.

Despite what some nut jobs have put out there, the U.S. military is not about to take over the state and hand it over to international spies.

Do not listen to the goofballs who actually persuaded Gov. Greg Abbott to order the Texas State Guard to “monitor” the activities of the Army, Navy and Air Force special forces who’ll be conducting the exercises.


It’s going to be all right.

The exercise was announced some months back and the Internet then jumped to life with conspiracy theories about what it all meant to some individuals and groups. As the Dallas Morning News blogger Jim Mitchell notes, one of the nuttier notions involves the Alamo: the United Nations declared the old mission a Unesco World Heritage Site, which apparently sealed it for some. Anything that involves the U.N. has got to be bad news for Texas, they feared.

The founding fathers didn’t get it perfect when they drafted and then ratified the U.S. Constitution. One thing they got right, though, was to build in a checks-and-balances system that’s designed to prevent one branch of government from getting too powerful.

President Obama knows all of this. So does the Pentagon brass. Even the federal judiciary, which has come under fire lately because of some controversial Supreme Court rulings, understands it. Congress knows its place, too.

Let the troops come to Texas to conduct their exercises.

It’s going to be OK. Honest.


Bastrop County preps for ‘invasion’?

Here’s an interesting take on the upcoming military exercise planned by U.S. Special Forces, including Green Berets and SEALs, in Bastrop County, Texas.

It comes from former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, who served in the Clinton administration Cabinet.


As the U.S. military prepares to launch one of the largest training exercises in history later this month in Texas, many of the residents of Bastrop County suspect a secret Obama plot to spy on them, confiscate their guns and ultimately establish martial law. They aren’t “nuts and wackos. They are concerned citizens, and they are patriots,” Albert Ellison, chairman of the Bastrop Republican Party tells the Washington Post. Bastrop’s former mayor, Terry Orr, says the fear “stems a fair amount from the fact that we have a black president,” who people believe is primarily concerned with the welfare of “illegal aliens” and blacks. “People think the government is just not on the side of the white guy.” The current Bastrop mayor, Kenneth Kesselus, says the distrust is due in part to a sense that “things aren’t as good as they used to be,” especially economically. “The middle class is getting squeezed and they’ve got to take it out on somebody, and Obama is a great target.”

An economic recovery that only enriches the top breeds bigotry and invites scapegoating. It has happened before in history.

What do you think?


Here’s what I think. I think Reich’s comment about nature of the current recovery breeding “bigotry” and “scapegoating” is right on target. I also believe that’s just part of what’s fueling this mistrust of the military. I think some of it involves visceral loathing of the commander in chief by those who’ve bought into the myriad conspiracy theories surrounding his election, re-election and his service as president of the United States.

The crackpot Internet baloney that went viral around the world about the so-called Jade Helm 15 exercise being part of some plot by President Obama to declare martial law is a symptom of what’s become of the flow of rumors that get passed around as “information.”

Those who read this stuff, buy into it and then pass it along to gullible friends and acquaintances are contributing to the poisoning of what used to be considered reasonable political discourse.

And look at the comments of the former Bastrop mayor who suggests some of it stems from the president’s racial heritage. Is he right? You be the judge.

‘You need to read the Internet more’ Huh?

This conversation occurred this week.

It involved a friend of mine and yours truly. It went like this:

Friend: How’s it going?

Me: Great.

Friend: Hey, what’s your opinion of that Jade Helm thing? Isn’t that what they call it?

Me: Yeah, you mean that rumor about the president declaring martial law and wanting to invade Texas?

Friend: That’s the one. Do you think it’s crap?

Me: Absolutely! But what really galls me is that the governor (Greg Abbott) took the bait and called out the Texas State Guard to “monitor” the activities of the federal troops coming here for military exercises.

Friend: I’m OK with that.

Me: (laughing hysterically) You mean you actually think that Abbott responded the right way by policing the activities of the troops?

Friend: Yes. I don’t trust Obama. I think he wants to declare martial law so that he can weasel his way into serving a third term as president.

Me: I haven’t heard that one.

Friend: Well, you need to read the Internet more. It’s out there.

Me: (laughing even more hysterically) But, but 98 percent of the stuff on the Internet is pure crap!

Friend: Not if you look at the “news sources.”

Me: OK, well, I’ll do that. But I’m telling ya, most of that Internet stuff is not to be believed. I promise you that on Jan. 20, 2017, the new president will take the oath of office and Barack Obama will leave the White House with his wife and daughters and return to private life.

Friend: I sure hope so.

I’m happy to report that we’re still friends. He’s a good guy. What I didn’t have the stomach to tell him, though, is that while I was working in daily journalism, the funniest thing a reader ever said to me, when I questioned an assertion he made in a letter to the editor, likely was this: “It must be true, because I read it on the Internet.”

I laughed at him, too.

Why do our state leaders invite such ridicule?


Take a look at the link attached right here.

It’s an editorial cartoon that was published initially in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and then republished in the Roanoke (Va.) Times; I’m betting other newspapers ran it as well.

It pokes fun at Texas. It’s not in a light-hearted way, I should add.

Remember when Gov. Greg Abbott said he would order the Texas State Guard into the field to keep an eye on Army and other Special Forces troops conducting an exercise called Jade Helm 15? Abbott, or so it appears, fell for the Internet chatter that had bee making the rounds, saying that President Obama was planning to “invade” the state.

Abbott’s message actually said the Guard troops would be dispatched to protect the rights of Texans. Against whom or what? Well, some of us thought he meant to imply that the federales actually posed a threat to Texans.

The cartoonists around the country have been having a field day with this story.

Why? Because the state’s governor has given them grist with which to use to poke not-so-light-hearted fun at the state.

Texas always seems to be an inviting target for others to shoot. Is it our reputation for boastfulness? Is that we’re bigger in size than the other Lower 48 states? Is it Texans present themselves in a cartoonish sort of way?

Do our leaders — starting with our governor — even care that our state has become such a source for comic relief?

Some of us don’t think it’s funny.

Military is 'trustworthy'

All right. I said I was done commenting on the Jade Helm 15 story.

Allow me one more tiny shot at it.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry says the U.S. military can be trusted, which apparently isn’t quite in Gov. Greg Abbott’s view. Abbott wants the Texas State Guard to look closely at the military as it conducts exercises in Texas later this year. It’s called Jade Helm 15 and has become the subject of wack-job Internet rumors about a takeover of Texas by the federal government.


As the Texas Tribune reports: “I think it’s okay to question your government — I do it on a pretty regular basis,” Perry told reporters here before a luncheon for the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth. “The military’s something else. You know, I think our military is quite trustworthy,” Perry added. “Civilian leadership – you can always question that, but not the men and women in uniform.”

Sure, criticize the civilian leadership. We all have done so on occasion.

Perry, though, seems to fall far short of Abbott’s concern that we need to keep the military in full view while it’s running through exercises in Texas.

Perry didn’t answer a question about whether he was criticizing his successor.

That’s all right. The former governor didn’t need to answer it directly to make his larger point.

Jade Helm 15 story keeps getting life

It boggles my occasionally feeble mind to watch some stories take on lives of their own.

They won’t fade away.

The U.S. military is going to conduct some exercises in Texas later this year. It brought out some Internet lunatics who put forth a rumor about the (a) declaration of martial law and (b) and outright invasion of Texas by the federal government.

Then comes Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who orders the Texas State Guard to “monitor” the activities of the exercise, called Jade Helm 15. He wants to protect Texans’ rights, civil liberties, property and whatever else might be threatened by the military.


Here comes Chuck Norris, the so-called “actor,” martial-arts expert, longtime political activist who said it’s OK for the state to monitor the military. He wrote a newspaper column in which he actually questions the military’s stated mission to conduct “just an exercise.” He doesn’t trust the use of the word “just.”

Heaven help us all if we actually believe this crap.

Norris is right about one thing. It’s all right to question the government. The Constitution gives us that right in the First Amendment. But this wacky nonsense wondering out loud about whether the military wants to “invade” one of the nation’s 50 states just feeds into the nutty notions that find their way into cyberspace.

This story needs to die.

Immediately — if not sooner.

I’m done with it.

Abbott joins conspiracy crowd

Greg Abbott is no idiot.

There. I’ve just declared that the Texas governor, who’s been in office about three months, really isn’t one of the nut jobs who’ve circulated goofy rumors on the Internet about a federal takeover of the states.

But you have to wonder why Abbott would put the Texas State Guard on alert during a federal military exercise slated to occur this summer. He said he wants to protect Texans’ liberties. Against the U.S. Army, for crying out loud?


Jade Helm 15 is a major military exercise being planned in conjunction with Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets. Some crackpots have suggested the feds are going to “invade” Texas. Take us over. Impose martial law.

Abbott seems to be reacting to that nonsense by ordering the Texas State Guard to “monitor” the exercise.

As Dallas Morning News editorial writer/blogger Jim Mitchell noted: “He gives ‘legitimacy’ to the chatter in a backhanded sort of way.”

I’ve known Abbott for a few years, going back to when he was serving as a Texas Supreme Court justice and as Texas attorney general. He’s always seemed to be a reasonable, thoughtful and careful conservative Republican. I actually like him personally.

Then the TEA party faction started gaining traction within the GOP and Abbott has adopted a more ferocious posture. I find it more than a little unbecoming, truth be told.

The Texas State Guard shouldn’t have to be asked to protect Texans’ “safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties” just because the U.S. military is conducting exercises in the state.

This looks for all the world like a reaction to cockamamie Internet nonsense.

Intended or not, Gov. Abbott should be smarter than to send out such a message.

Abbott aligns with conspiracy theorists

Conspiracy theorists — or wackos, if you prefer — appear to have a friend living in the Texas Governor’s Mansion.

Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered the Texas State Guard to “monitor” some exercises being conducted by U.S. Army troops in Texas.

His intention? Abbott issued a statement: “It is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed,” Abbott wrote. “By monitoring the Operation on a continual basis, the State Guard will facilitate communications between my office and the commanders of the Operation to ensure that adequate measures are in place to protect Texans.”


Protect Texans? Against whom? Federal troops?

Some Internet goofballs have put out some malarkey about a possible effort to impose martial law in the United States. Abbott’s order has the appearance — at least to me and perhaps others — of his buying into the nonsense that’s been floating around in cyberspace.

The exercise is called “Jade Helm 15.” It prompted a furious protest in Bastrop County by those who were suggesting the government is considering a mass weapons confiscation. Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape said conspiracy theorists had created a “frenzy” among some Texans.

It’s interesting that no other governor has issued such an order to “monitor” Army exercises in their states.

Abbott is alone among his fellow governors in his stated concern about Texans’ rights.