Rand Paul, presidential candidate, announced in a recent interview that he is looking into the conspiracy theories surrounding the upcoming US military exercise Jade Helm 15. The gullible and paranoid citizens of rural Texas are up in arms over the wide scope training mission after a map which revealed Texas labelled as “hostile” territory appeared on the Internet. The map was held up by internet conspiracy theorists and delusional nutjobs as proof that the federal government was going to impose “martial law” and take their guns away.
Jade Helm 15 is a simulation, utilizing the rough terrain of the Southwest to mimic tactical conditions of foreign countries where US troops might see action. As it is a simulation, a portion of army units will be playing the role of the “bad guys”, and that is where the hostile designation comes into play.
The paranoia has grown to the point where Governor Abbott of Texas has deployed a state militia to “monitor the situation” and make sure that Texan constitutional rights were not infringed. The idea is so ludicrous that it is really quite baffling to see not only an elected official but a presidential candidate give credibility to the nonsense.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in response that “I have no idea what he’s thinking…I think what is clear is that I feel confident in expressing to you without having a lot of detailed knowledge of the particular exercise is that the civil liberties and constitutional rights of Americans citizens will be in no way affected by this exercise.”
That should put an end to the issue, but apparently Texans are so suspicious that any excuse will be taken to heart in order to protect their precious guns and the liberties that their elected legislators work so hard to revoke up in Washington.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.