After much anticipation, suspicion and controversy, Operation Jade Helm finally comes to Texas next week. And, as Houston’s Chron.com reports, some locals are prepared to greet it when it arrives.
When the troops land in Texas for Operation Jade Helm next week, someone will be waiting for them.
Hundreds of people have organized a “Counter Jade Helm” surveillance operation across the Southwestern states and in an effort to keep an eye on the contentious military drill that’s sparked many suspicious of Uncle Sam’s intentions.
Eric Johnston, a 51-year-old retired firefighter and sheriff’s deputy who lives in Kerrville, is a surveillance team leader in Texas. He’ll coordinate three groups of volunteers, about 20 folks in total, who hope to monitor the SEALs, Green Berets and Air Force Special Ops in Bastrop, Big Spring and Junction when Jade Helm kicks off on July 15. With media prohibited at the drills, the volunteers could be a main source of information for the highly-anticipate seven-state exercise.
“If a team member sees two Humvees full of soldiers driving through town, they’re going to follow them,” Johnston said. “And they’re going to radio back their ultimate location.”
They aren’t worried about martial law, he said, but feel like they can’t trust the government, and want to make sure the Military isn’t under orders to pull anything funny.
The Texas volunteers are just one regiment of a national effort, organized by 44-year-old former Marine Pete Lanteri, a New Yorker living in Arizona with plenty of experience on civilian border patrols. He founded the Counter Jade Helm Facebook page, with six thousand members, and he made the webpage and forum to which field reports will be uploaded.
“We’re going to be watching what they do in the public,” he said. “Obviously on a military base they can do whatever they want. But if they’re going to train on public land we have a right as American citizens to watch what they’re doing.”
Whatever your view on some people’s reaction to Operation Jade Helm — tinfoil hat conspiracy theory or legitimate wariness — don’t you have to ask, when has mistrust of our government been so high? (To be clear, this is NOT a commentary on our brave men and women in uniform.) With the “most transparent administration” ever, how could this be? Frankly, given this administration’s remarkable lack of both transparency and integrity — coupled with an agenda that increasingly appears to attack the very heart and soul of our republic, can you argue with the impulse to keep a vigilant eye on every move this administration makes?
[NOTE: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]