Last week, former Texas lawmaker Todd Smith — a 16-year veteran of the Texas House of Representatives and self-proclaimed Last of the Fact-Based Republican Mohicans — took issue with Governor Greg Abbott’s decision to call in the Texas State Guard to monitor training exercises set to be conducted in the state between July and September by members of the Green Berets, Navy SEALS, and various other US army personnel. The drills — known as Jade Helm 15 — have become the subject of fierce debate among some Texans who contend that the US Special Operations Command may be using Jade Helm as an excuse to infiltrate the state in order to pave the way for an eventual takeover by the federal government.
While it’s not entirely clear what a “takeover” would constitute given that Texas is of course part of the United States already, locals recently got an opportunity to voice their concerns at an information session in Bastrop with Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria. Some attendees questioned whether the government intended to confiscate their firearms while others asked if the army would be bringing in ISIS fighters as part of the training program (as we learned on Sunday, there will apparently be no need to import ISIS fighters into Texas as they appear to have already made themselves at home in Garland).
Despite assurances that Washington currently has no plans to re-annex the state, the paranoia has only grown over the past two weeks fueled in part by a map that appears in the unclassified Jade Helm slide deck which designates Texas as a “hostile” territory. Of course the same map also identifies San Diego as harboring a militant insurgency, so the US Spec Ops Command probably assumed it would not be taken literally, but to some Texans the whole ordeal is anything but humorous and Todd Smith’s implicit suggestion that anyone who was suspicious of the federal government’s intentions in the state is a “hysterical idiot” didn't help.
So, with the stage thus set, and with some concerned citizens convinced that a federal invasion of Texas is imminent, someone had to intervene to protect the territorial integrity of The Lone Star State and we imagine that when it comes to thwarting hostile incursions by thousands of well-trained soldiers, there’s no one better suited for the job than Chuck Norris and/or his famous alter ego, Walker Texas Ranger.
Here, in all its glory, is the full Jade Helm statement from Norris/Walker, complete with quotes from historical figures with whom he imagines he shares an ideological bond (including Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson), and on-the-ground intelligence from residents with extensive espionage experience like Mike Hightower, an “affable” antique store owner from Smithville:
Last week, I laughed as some progressives in the mainstream media tried to mock Gov. Abbott for telling the Texas State Guard to monitor the Pentagon’s Jade Helm 15 military ops that are occurring this summer in seven states, including California and Texas.
If you haven’t heard about Jade Helm 15, you need to. It is multi-state training mission for special operations soldiers scheduled over an eight-week period in July and August, with most of the activity happening on private property but some public, too. The official website press release from March 24 admits: “While multi-state training exercises such as these are not unique to the military, the size and scope of Jade Helm sets this one apart.”
Gov. Abbot was right in writing Maj. Gen. Gerald Betty, “During the training operation, it is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed.” Abbott is demanding “regular updates on the progress and safety of the Operation.”
Concerned Texans and Americans are in no way calling into question our brave and courageous men and women in uniform. They are merely following orders. What’s under question are those who are pulling the strings at the top of Jade Helm 15 back in Washington. The U.S. government says, “It’s just a training exercise.” But I’m not sure the term “just” has any reference to reality when the government uses it.
“Well, I’m not trusting what we’re being told,” said Mike Hightower, an affable antique store owner and real-estate agent in the very small town of Smithville, Texas, where some Jade Helm 15 exercises will take place. He added, “I think there’s something a little more involved than what they’re telling us.”
If Washington wants to cool the embers of controversy, then it should quit stoking the fire, as with the posting of a map of Jade Helm 15 “just” exercises that label some areas of the country, including Texas, as “hostile,” according to KHOU 11 News in Houston and verified by the Washington Post.
I have an idea: If the government insists on running expanded military ops across seven Southwest states, why doesn’t it move all that “military training” south and protect our borders at the same time?!
Whatever Jade Helm 15 actually is, I think it is more than coincidental that the FBI director just confessed in February that the presence of ISIS can be felt in all 50 states of the U.S. and that the Pentagon is suddenly running its biggest military training exercise with every branch of the military across seven Southwestern states. Whether deterrence, display of power or something more covert or devious, let’s not come with any patronizing nonsense of impotence and simplicity when its origin is in Washington.
I’m glad Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is asking the tough questions of the Pentagon about Jade Helm 15, particularly because its “exercises” come too near to my ranch’s backdoor as well, at least according to the map. It’s pretty sad and bad when major military ops are ordered in a large, fiery state like Texas and not even the governor or its senators know the specifics.
It’s neither over-reactionary nor conspiratorial to call into question or ask for transparency about Jade Helm 15 or any other government activity. To those who merely think we should check our brains at the door of the White House and trust what the government does, I would reiterate to you the words of one of our government’s primary founders, Benjamin Franklin, who said, “Distrust and caution are the parents of security.” Again, he also said, “Security without liberty is called prison.” But then again, I’m sure some today would accuse Franklin of being conspiratorial, too!
As a friend, a law-abiding and loyal retired California Highway Patrol officer, said to me, “In God We Trust; all others we search.” Or as the maxim President Reagan cited, “Trust but verify.”
Friends, when it comes to freedom, we must question, verify and vet everyone and everything. As Thomas Jefferson told his nephew, Peter, in 1787: “Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.”
We must never check our brains or blindly trust, especially the government. Rather, we must fight until our dying breaths for liberty, especially when it appears those in power are trying to knock down Old Glory.
Former Navy SEAL Luttrell couldn’t have said it better: “I will never quit. My nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.”
There you have it. While we do not wish to detract from this crisply-worded piece of political theory, we would point out that in addition to offering his interpretation of the Constitution, Norris has also suggested that the government stay far away from the "backdoor" of his ranch. And for all the Texans out there who are concerned about Jade Helm, rest easy because the last time black helicopters took Walker Texas Ranger to task, it did not end well for the black helicopters: