Why people believe in the Jade Helm 15 ‘conspiracy’

NPR reporter Wade Goodwyn has been talking to people in Texas and, tongue firmly in cheek, gives us the lowdown on how president Obama is using the Jade Helm 15 military exercise in Texas to set in motion his plans to declare martial law and seize control of the country starting with Texas, something that I wrote about a few days ago.

According to what Goodwyn hears, Obama has planed this out carefully, down to getting Walmart to agree to use stores that have been closed for ‘renovation’ (that’s the official story) as guerilla warfare staging grounds and FEMA camps to house political prisoners who will be transported there in trains that have already been equipped with shackles, all part of a plan by Obama that includes giving Texas back to Mexico.

If only Obama had exercised this same level of detailed and meticulous planning when rolling out the Obamacare health exchange website.

While we may laugh at the sheer insanity on display in these paranoid fantasies, we have to realize that they do not come out of nowhere and that the groundwork for them to flourish has to have been laid. In this case, one element of the foundation are the messages that have been repeatedly pounded out by conservative media that president Obama is ‘not like us’ and ‘does not share our values’, all of which are code for the idea that he is a Marxist Kenyan Muslim who seeks to undermine and even overthrow the United States in pursuit of his ambition of becoming a dictator.

While that is a total fantasy, it also gains support from some real developments, as Jesse Walker points out.

But even when conspiracy theories are flatly wrong, they don’t come out of nowhere. When a story catches on, it can tell us something true about the anxieties of the people who believe and repeat it. Sometimes those anxieties are ugly. (It’s not hard to imagine the xenophobic sentiments lurking behind that Mexico rumor.) But sometimes the anxieties are rooted in reality.

One Bastrop man opposed to Jade Helm told the Austin American-Statesman he was worried that people would get used to “the appearance of uniformed troops and the militarization of the police.” He went on to offer some more dubious arguments, but that first comment contained a valid point.

We live at a time when the Pentagon distributes surplus military equipment to small-town police forces; when cops present themselves to the public as soldiers fighting a war; when officials respond to unrest in Ferguson and Baltimore with curfews and other illiberal, heavy-handed tactics. It’s not crazy to complain about militarization. The conspiratorial version of the complaint literalizes it: A genuine shift in how people are policed becomes a plot to impose martial rule.

If people are worried that a military takeover is imminent in the US, the government would do well to recognize that it is some of their own actions that give these fears credence.


  1. busterggi says

    Why people believe in the Jade Helm 15 ‘conspiracy’ -- because people are barely civilized primates with an overdeveloped ability to see patterns even when they don’t exist and they startle easilly.

  2. Kengi says

    That comment (about militarization of the police) doesn’t make sense either. If the federal government were concluding a long-term plan to take-over local governments, the last thing they would have been doing is providing advanced equipment and training to those same local governments.

    The yokel was simply repeating catch-phrases that sounded ominous. Let’s face it. The main reason these village idiots believe this crap is because they don’t trust one of them “black people” leading the nation.

  3. moarscienceplz says

    The main reason these village idiots believe this crap is because they don’t trust one of them “black people” leading the nation.

    That ads fuel to the fire of course, but there has been a concerted effort at least since Reagan’s campaign in 1980 to paint “The Government” as the enemy of its own citizens. The proper reason for the existence of a government is to protect powerless people from the powerful, and if the powerful brainwash the populace to reject this idea then they are free to do anything they want -- rape the environment, be a loan shark, pay slave wages, anything.
    Many Americans are indeed far too eager to swallow this crap, but it is trumpeted from so many directions that even normally level-headed people can succumb to it. I grew up in Arizona, and it used to be a reasonably sane state, back in the ’60s and ’70s. I am just horrified when I go back there now.

  4. Sean (I am not an imposter) says

    The real lunatics are those who trust the US government, military and the mass media. I have more respect for lunatics who think our government is controlled by lizard people than those who buy into divisive propaganda bullshit like this. At least they are suspicious of this system, which is better than blind faith.

    While this military exercise is obviously not an attempt to impose martial law, that is precisely what the military is practicing here: it’s ability to rapidly deploy Special Operations Command troops to American civilian areas to put down an uprising.

    This is one of the largest military training exercises in over 60 years. There is absolutely no reason for the military to conduct this exercise over 9 different states or in civilian areas when they have the facilities on their bases to train for urban warfare operations. This is an exercise to see how quickly and effectively they can deploy troops into the unique environment of an American city.

    It is understandable that some people might be a little paranoid when the training scenarios label conservatives, libertarians, Tea partiers, Christians and veterans as pretend terrorist threats. The military’s explanation that it is training soldiers for overseas deployment rings hollows when the pretend enemies are Americans.

    Imagine if the US military conducted an exercise in Baltimore, Detroit or other heavily black cities where liberals, leftists, blacks, Hispanics and anti-war activists were the pretend enemies the exercise was being directed against.

  5. says

    It ** IS ** a conspiracy, the militant-type Christians in gov’t and not in gov’t are being set up, including some Catholics who shall join them. Pope king Bergoglio has stated he does not just gays who search for the Lord, have good will. That is THE clear signal to the six Catholics on SCOTUS to approve same-sex marriage, whether they all abide remains to be seen. Probably 7-2, or 6-3 SCOTUS ruling on SSM. Being that DHS is of Knights of Malta, other gov’t agencies are sympathetic if not outright in allegiance to the papacy, and knowing how Catholic-dominated SCOTUS shall rule, they got their Operation Jade Helm in place to deal with what will indeed be, as depicted on OPH map hostile Texas and Utah, massive civil/criminal disobedience. The children of Hell Christians already whipping up followers GOD’s WRATH IMMINENT if SCOTUS legalizes SSM. Going to get 1000 x fold worse when SCOTUS says SSM legal in all 50 US states. Ramifications shall include loss of tax-exempt status for many Protestant churches/colleges/other organizations that insist on defying the coming SCOTUS SSM law. Christians will be flabbergasted at coming SCOTUS legalization of SSM. Christianity is NOT of God. Let him that is filthy be filthy still IRev. 22:11), that is for the TRUE believers in Christ, not those of Christendom that believe in Pharisee Paul, a false apostle & the anti-Christ. Operation Jade Helm, ISIS all ties in with FREEMASON 3rd WAR Islam v Judeo-Christianity, Freemason Albert Pike’s Morals & Dogma.

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