Operation Jade Helm is a U.S. military exercise that will take place this summer in Texas and other parts of the southwest from July 15 and Sept. 15.
The Internet has been rife with conspiracy theories of a federal government takeover that is somehow connected to Jade Helm.
Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said earlier this month, "Jade Helm is a long planned and coordinated exercise. We are not taking over anything," noted CNN.
However, some politicians have actually fueled the Jade Helm conspiracies.
Republican Governor Greg Abbott of Texas ordered the Texas State Guard to monitor the U.S. military during the training exercises, even though the Texas State Guard has no authority over U.S. troops. Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has made inquiries about the training with the Pentagon.
CNN reports that some of the web rumors have picked up steam because of a purported map of the Jade Helm exercises that imagines Texas as "hostile" territory. U.S. special operations will reportedly pretend that they are traveling overseas to a hostile area while training in Texas.
Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas recently expressed his concerns about this imaginary classification of Texas as "hostile" territory.
Gohmert said in a statement published in The Highland County Press:
When leaders within the current administration believe that major threats to the country include those who support the Constitution, are military veterans, or even "cling to guns or religion," patriotic Americans have reason to be concerned.
We have seen people working in this administration use their government positions to persecute people with conservative beliefs in God, country, and notions such as honor and self-reliance.
Because of the contempt and antipathy for the true patriots or even Christian saints persecuted for their Christian beliefs, it is no surprise that those who have experienced or noticed such persecution are legitimately suspicious.
Gohmert didn't mention any of these "true patriots" or "Christian saints" who have allegedly been "persecuted" by name.
Gohmert did add:
In military science classes or in my years on active duty, I have participated in or observed military exercises; however, we never named an existing city or state as a “hostile.” We would use fictitious names before we would do such a thing.
Once I observed the map depicting "hostile," "permissive" and "uncertain" states and locations, I was rather appalled that the hostile areas amazingly have a Republican majority and believe in the sanctity of the United States Constitution.
When the federal government begins, even in practice, games or exercises, to consider any U.S. city or state in "hostile" control and trying to retake it, the message becomes extremely calloused and suspicious.
Such labeling tends to make people who have grown leery of federal government overreach become suspicious of whether their big brother government anticipates certain states may start another civil war or be overtaken by foreign radical Islamist elements which have been reported to be just across our border.
Gohmert went on to state:
Such labeling by a government that is normally not allowed to use military force against its own citizens is an affront to the residents of that particular state considered as hostile, as if the government is trying to provoke a fight with them.
The map of the exercise needs to change, the names on the map need to change, and the tone of the exercise needs to be completely revamped so the federal government is not intentionally practicing war against its own states.