Even Chuck Norris is concerned about the controversial Jade Helm military training in Texas. Chuck Norris warns that Jade Helm is, “likely more than a military exercise”.
For senior Texas politicians, it is enough of a concern that they demanded it be monitored by state armed forces. Many fear that it is a prelude to martial law and that Barack Obama will confiscate their guns and lock innocent Americans in internment camps. Wikipedia has more information about the conspiracy theories floating about. “According to the Hartford Courant ’s Jim Shea, the conspiracy theories about Jade Helm 15 include: a “psychological operation aimed at getting people used to seeing military forces on the streets” so they do not realize when an invasion actually takes place; an international operation aimed to seize people’s guns; recently closed Walmarts used by the military to “stockpile supplies for Chinese troops who will be arriving to disarm Americans”; and a military plan to “round up political dissidents” and “remove key political figures” who may be against the imposition of martial law. The conspiracy theories also include concern about the name of the exercise, with the jade in Jade Helm 15 referring to China.” And, “Some conspiracy theorists have connected the Jade Helm 15 military exercise with an apocalypse caused by a comet or asteroid striking the Earth. The Jade Helm 15 military exercise has an ending date of September 15, 2015, which is the same month identified by some conspiracy theorists for the catastrophic impact of a comet or asteroid, based in part on a statement made May 13, 2014 by the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius that the world has “500 days to avoid climate chaos”. However, the statement by Laurent Fabius may refer to a United Nations climate conference scheduled in Paris, France in November/December 2015, which is about 565 days after the date of his statement.” In April, Republican governor Greg Abbott ordered the Texas state guard to “monitor” Jade Helm, in order “to address concerns of Texas citizens and to ensure that Texas communities remain safe, secure and informed about military procedures occurring in their vicinity”. In May, Ted Cruz, the US senator and Republican presidential candidate from Texas, told Bloomberg he had no reason to doubt the Pentagon’s assurances about the exercise, but added that suspicion was a natural consequence of the federal government’s generally untrustworthy behaviour.
Whatever it truly is, Operation Jade Helm 15 begins on Wednesday, July 15th in states across the south-west.
A counter-surveillance operation called Counter Jade Helm has been set up and volunteers are aiming to locate, track and observe US soldiers as they carry out training drills. The volunteers will gather intelligence that will be relayed to a headquarters in Arizona and posted on a website.
“Why [Jade Helm] exists, we’re not quite certain,” said Eric Johnston, who will run surveillance teams in central Texas. Counter Jade Helm also plans missions in California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida.
“They’re not inviting any media to embed with the units,” said Johnston, “and it’s important for Americans to step up and look around and say, ‘OK, what are you doing?’ ‘Well, it’s secret.’ Not if it’s in public – it’s no longer secret.”
The two-month exercise has been described by the US military as a routine, though unusually large, training event for a variety of units that will take place on both private and public land in order “to practice core special warfare tasks, which help protect the nation against foreign enemies”.
The pushback has been especially strong in Texas, where some of the army’s biggest bases are located. Texas has been designated as “hostile” territory in the exercise.
One of the Jade Helm hubs is expected to be the small town of Bastrop, near Austin, where officials spent hours at a meeting in April trying to assuage the worries of residents. Such fears ranged from understandable concern about traffic and disruption to daily life, to whether the military has more sinister motives for embedding itself in the small town.
Johnston, a retired firefighter and police officer in Arizona who now lives in the Texas hill country, spoke in measured, calm tones and said he and his colleagues were focused on basic transparency, not outrageous conspiracy.
“We are not far-wing, ‘Oh God, arm ourselves, get in camouflage, block the streets,’” he said. “We’re doing more of a neighbourhood watch kind of thing.
“We are going to find a central location and set up an area and just cruise the streets, drive up and down the highway through Bastrop … most of us are legal concealed-carry folks, but we’re not going to be running up and down the street with automatic rifles.”
“Most of us are legal concealed-carry folks but we’re not going to run up and down the street with automatic rifles,” said Eric Johnston. “There’s a lot of folks out there that are putting on their tinfoil hats and waiting for the end of the world to come,” he said. “I don’t subscribe to that theory … as far as martial law would go, the area you would pick would be more of a suburban area, downtown Austin, downtown Houston. You wouldn’t schedule an event like that to take place in a tiny area like Bastrop.”
Johnston said more 350 people in Texas had offered to help, including 20 to 25 in Bastrop, one of whom has a pilot’s license. Two have ham radio licenses. Counter Jade Helm participants will stay in touch using a communications app on their mobile phones.
Johnston simply wants to solve the mystery of what is going on.
“Two and two doesn’t add up,” he said.