Christian radio host Janet Mefferd recently parroted a conspiracy theory about President Obama’s 2008 speech regarding a “national civilian security force.”
This conspiracy theory was created by Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) in 2008 and was debunked days later by FactCheck.org:
He was talking specifically about expanding AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps and the USA Freedom Corps, which is the volunteer initiative launched by the Bush administration after the attacks of 9/11, and about increasing the number of trained Foreign Service officers who populate U.S. embassies overseas.
Mefferd's guest, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), then launched into a new conspiracy theory about how Obamacare may be creating a secret security force, noted RightWingWatch.org (audio below).
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"The provisions in [Obamacare] for the president’s own commissioned and non-commissioned officer corps and I've continued to ask questions, 'What is this for?'" said Rep. Gohmert. "It says it's for international health crisis, but then it doesn't include the word 'health' when it talks about national emergencies."
"So I've asked, 'What kind of training are they getting?' in Obamacare for these commissioned and non-commissioned officers," added. Rep. Gohmert. "But I want to know, are they using weapons to train or are they being taught to use syringes and health care items? We've got no clear answers on that. So you couple that with this kinda of news, it's very disturbing."
The group of Americans serving their country, mentioned in Obamacare, is the Ready Reserve Corps, which are part of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.
According to the U.S. Surgeon General's website:
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The Commissioned Corps emergency response teams are trained and equipped to respond to public health crises and national emergencies such as natural disasters, disease outbreaks, or terrorist attacks, both here and overseas. Officers have responded to emergencies such Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Haiti, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Information about the Ready Reserve Corps is on the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps website:
To have additional Commissioned Corps personnel available on short notice (similar to the other uniformed services' reserve programs) to assist full-time Commissioned Corps personnel to meet both routine public health and emergency response missions.
The Ready Reserve Corps members will perform duties for assigned periods of time as opposed to full-time Corps members who are on extended active duty. Joining the Ready Reserve Corps is voluntary; however, future members of the Ready Reserve Corps join knowing that they can be called at any time to serve in times of national need.
The Ready Reserve Corps officers will participate in routine training; be available and ready for calls to active duty during national emergencies and public health crises or to backfill critical positions left vacant during deployment of full-time Corps members; or be available for service assignments in isolated, hardship, and medically underserved communities.