The fact of the matter is that similar operations have been run around the nation for decades, and most aren’t known to the public at all… even when, like JADE HELM, they are in plain sight.
BASTROP, Texas (AP) – No citizens were rounded up and imprisoned at Wal-Mart.
In Texas the exercise involves Camp Bullis, Camp Swift and Bastrop, Burleson, Brazos, Edwards, Howard, Hudspeth, Kimble, Martin, Marion, Real, Schleicher and Tom Green Counties.
If you find yourself giving the JADE HELM conspiracy theories any credence at all, begin doubting your sanity.
Some have accused Governor Abbott of fanning the flames by calling on the Texas State guard to monitor the military activities. This is not the first time, however, that the U.S. Army has conducted training exercises against hypothetical and hostile combatants: past operations include guerilla warfare in North Carolina and insurgencies in Florida. The Army says the terrain and topography in the areas selected are ideal to replicate foreign combat zones.
Abbott’s request, which came after some residents of Bastrop County questioned a U.S. Army commander during a town hall meeting about whether the government was planning to confiscate guns or implement martial law, made national headlines, and drew scorn from both sides of the aisle.
In March, TV and radio commentator Alex Jones fed some of the conspiracy anxiety by posting an item on his website, Infowars, under the headline “feds preparing to invade Texas” based on an unclassified Army document describing Operation Jade Helm. At least two people mailed tinfoil to his office, with one note reading, “For your hat!”
Hoping to allay residents concerns Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has taken a different stance, taking care not to antagonize anxious right-wing voters.
Bastrop’s Mayor, Ken Kesselus, tends to agree.
Not everyone in the area is concerned and for most it’s business as usual. “The other 21 calls were from press”.
“We’re the neighborhood watch of this program”, said Eric Johnston, a retired Arizona firefighter and sheriff’s deputy who now lives in Central Texas.
Laneri prefers to think of the “Operation Counter Jade Helm” volunteers as ‘a government watchdog group.’.
But he has his concerns.
“What you would expect to see is equipment and material coming in that they are going to actually have to live with and use, but you just don’t see it”, Whitaker said. “I don’t think this is a prelude to martial law”. “They’re gathering intelligence. That’s what they’re doing”.