Anybody who’s been paying attention during the Obama administration knows conspiracy theories have been rampant. From the “Kenyan birth” of our President to the jackbooted thugs coming to take everyone’s guns away, on through the Obamacare “death panels” that were sure to murder our grandparents to save on health care costs; speculation on the sinister machinations of the Obama administration have run amok. One might think, after nearly eight years of none of that malarkey coming true, people would lighten up. But no, apparently a larger-than-average military training exercise is now being touted as Obama’s plan to invade western and/or southern America.
In real-life, Jade Helm 15 is a sizeable military training exercise that will span multiple states, including Florida, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Utah (AKA “crazy states”), and also California, New Mexico, and Colorado. Special forces from several branches of the American military will take part: including Green Berets, Navy Seals, and the 82nd Airborne Division among others. Rather than holding specialized training at military bases, the point of Jade Helm 15 is to put these Special Ops soldiers in unfamiliar territory. Seems reasonable, right? Well, not to noted radio personality Alex Jones.
Jones wasted no time declaring this military exercise was, in fact, an Obama plot to occupy Tea-Party-loving states and to implement martial law. Jones went on to assert several states had already been declared “hostile,” and targets for a Jade Helm 15 takeover. What Jones left out was in the Jade Helm 15 exercise Texas represents simulated hostile territory. Jones’ warning prompted Texas governor Greg Abbot to deploy the Texas State Guard to “keep an eye on” the operations. The Texas State Guard are probably highly competent and dedicated people. But if the Army Special Forces and the Navy Seals wanted to institute martial law, it seems like the TSG wouldn’t stand a chance against them.
Jones’ hyperbolic drivel has inspired ordinary citizens to be openly distrustful of safety procedures put in place to keep citizens safe. One retired schoolteacher was quoted as saying, “We’re ready. My neighbors are ready. If they set up checkpoints, I’m going to be belligerent. I’m going to test it. Someone’s got to test it.” So much for respecting our military, eh? YouTube is rife with Jade Helm 15 conspiracy theorists. Genuine fear or brilliant satire? You be the judge:
Who is to blame for this embarrassing display of mistrust? To hear prominent GOP members tell it: President Obama is to blame. Shocking, no? Texas rep Louie Gohmert released a statement saying in part, “When…the current administration believes that major threats to the country include those who support the Constitution…or cling to guns or religion, patriotic Americans have reason to be concerned.” Not to be outdone, Ted Cruz chimed in: “When the federal government has not demonstrated itself to be trustworthy…many citizens don’t trust what it is saying.” Of course, no one has actually said the states hosting Jade Helm 15 exercises are “major threats,” but why let that get in the way of a good story?
Possibly the funniest Jade Helm 15 conspiracy theory is unused Walmart stores would become FEMA camps. Popular debunking website Snopes quickly proved this false; but again, why let the truth spoil the storytelling? Later, conspiracy fans were quick to share the news Jade Helm 15 had consumed its first civilian casualty in the form of a local sheriff named Buford. Again, those claims were quickly debunked.
In the end, we will all make our own decisions on what to believe when we hear reports of such conspiracy ideas. Take the time to do some research rather than just believing whatever know-it-all happens to publish a video of themselves dribbling “facts” which have no backing other than a random Google search.