Jade Helm: Americans fear federal control of states

By Bob Unruh

Blackhawk

The U.S. military has told WND that to allay fears and minimize concerns over a massive military training operation scheduled across much of America’s Southwest this summer, officials have met with local governments and briefed them.

And they say that it’s a combination of “inaccurate” information and “personal agendas” that is whipping up fears.

But it appears the message isn’t getting across, since a new poll shows nearly half of voters are concerned Washington “will use U.S. military training operations to impose greater control over some states.”

And one voter in five is “very concerned.”

The results come from Rasmussen Reports, which surveyed 1,000 likely voters May 7-10.

The polling company asked whether the government’s military training plan is an infringement of the rights of citizens, whether the respondent favors or opposes those exercises in their state, and how concerned are they over whether Washington “will use U.S. military training operations to impose greater control over some states.”

The training exercises this summer have been named Jade Helm 15, and WND reported when the concerns moved well beyond the fringe frets over black helicopters and secret prison sites.

Read the warning from Judge Andrew Napolitano, “It is Dangerous to Be Right when the Government is Wrong.”

That was when Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, released a statement responding to constituents’ worries about Jade Helm 15, an exercise in six states involving thousands of military personnel on public and even private land.

“Over the past few weeks, my office has been inundated with calls referring to the Jade Helm 15 military exercise scheduled to take place between July 15 and September 15, 2015. This military practice has some concerned that the U.S. Army is preparing for modern-day martial law,” Gohmert said.

“Certainly, I can understand these concerns. 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.”

Jade Helm is getting a lot of attention for several reasons, including the fact that the military has designated for purposes of its exercise several mostly Republican regions as “hostile” territories.

“Having served in the U.S. Army, I can understand why military officials have a goal to see if groups of Special Forces can move around a civilian population without being noticed and can handle various threat scenarios,” Gohmert wrote. “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, ‘cling to their guns and religion,’ 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.”

Rasmussen found only 16 percent are opposed to such military training, and another 19 percent are undecided.

Just 21 percent believe the government’s decision to conduct military training exercises in some states is an infringement on the rights of the citizens in those states and 62 percent disagree. Sixteen percent are not sure.

But the poll found 45 percent of voters are concerned that the government will use U.S. military training operations to impose greater control over some states, with 19 percent who are “very concerned.”

Among voters who oppose military exercises in their state, 82 percent are “concerned that the federal government has greater control in mind,” the poll said.

Not surprising, Rasmussen reported, since “62 percent of Americans believe there is too much government power and too little individual freedom in the United States today.”

The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points, with a 95 percent confidence level.

Rasmussen said that just 20 percent of voters “now consider the federal government a protector of individual liberty.”

Sixty percent see the government as a threat to individual liberty instead. Only 19 percent trust the federal government to do the right thing all or most of the time.

“Most voters across virtually every demographic category favor the U.S. military conducting training exercises in their home state. Majorities generally agree, too, that the government’s decision to hold such exercises is not an infringement on anyone’s rights,” Rasmussen said.

“But 56 percent of conservative voters are concerned that the training exercises will lead to greater federal control over some states,” the report said. Forty-two percent of moderates and 33 percent of liberal voters have some level of concern.

“A plurality (47 percent) of all voters continues to believe the federal government has too much influence over state governments, but that’s down from 56 percent five years ago. Fifty-four percent (54 percent) think states should have the right to opt out of federal government programs that they don’t agree with, but only 24 percent feel states should have the right to ignore federal court rulings if their elected officials disagree with them.”

WND also reported when Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order to the Texas State Guard to oversee any activities in his state to ensure that Texans’ “safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed.”

“By monitoring the operation on a continual basis, the State Guard will facilitate communications between my office and the commanders of the operation to ensure that adequate measures are in place to protect Texans,” he told Maj. Gen. Gerald Betty, commander of the Texas State Guard.

“Directing the State Guard to monitor the operation will allow Texas to be informed of the details of military personnel movements and training exercise schedules, and it will give us the ability to quickly and effectively communicate with local communities, law enforcement, public safety personnel and citizens.”

U.S. Army Special Operations Command officials responded to some of WND’s questions about the issue, stating in writing that the exercise is to train Special Operations Force to respond to an international crisis.

Officials said the troops need to train in areas that are not inside military bases.

“Different environments provide opportunities to experience new and unique training experiences,” the Army said. “These environments add realism and greater training value for U.S Special Operations Forces.”

Local officials have been briefed, the Army said.

But officials declined to answer whether it is unreasonable for Americans to be concerned about a government that takes away rights to oppose abortion and follow biblical standards for marriage, for example.

Jade Helm map showing Texas, Utah and part of California as "hostile"
Jade Helm map showing Texas, Utah and part of California as “hostile”

There have been two general responses: those from conservatives who doubt Washington is telling the whole story and from liberals poking fun at conservatives.

Among the former is Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who told Bloomberg.com he’s been trying to get answers from the Pentagon.

“My office has reached out to the Pentagon to inquire about this exercise. We are assured it is a military training exercise. I have no reason to doubt those assurances, but I understand the reason for concern and uncertainty, because when the federal government has not demonstrated itself to be trustworthy in this administration, the natural consequence is that many citizens don’t trust what it is saying.”

Read the warning from Judge Andrew Napolitano, “It is Dangerous to Be Right when the Government is Wrong.”

CNN quoted Pentagon spokesman Steve Warren, who said: “Jade Helm is a long planned and coordinated exercise. We are not taking over anything.”

Concerns over the military’s plans have prompted many videos.

Here’s one example:

[jwplayer 3Cy5KIUo]

And another:

[jwplayer G3Mvs595]

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