Don't Worry, The U.S. Is Not Trying To Invade Texas

Photo: ERIC GAY/AP Images.
Unrest is brewing among conservative Texans over a planned U.S. military exercise that some believe is cover for a secret invasion, and nothing can calm it. Not assurances from the Pentagon and political leaders, not mockery from less conspiracy-minded Republicans, not even the fact that it's impossible for America to invade one of its own states.

A spokesperson from the Pentagon officially denied that Jade Helm 15, an eight-week military training operation that will take place in the western U.S., is any sort of secret plan to infringe on anyone's sovereignty, CNN reports. "We're not taking over anything," Col. Steve Warren told reporters this week.

Why did he even have to issue that sort of denial? You can blame action star Chuck Norris and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, among others. Abbott responded last week to concerns from Texans over Jade Helm by ordering the Texas National Guard to "monitor" the exercise while it's happening between July and September.

Other politicians also jumped on the bandwagon, with Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Louie Gohmert both lending credence to Internet theories that a looming invasion of the Lone Star State is hidden under plans to have Texas terrain stand in for the kind of landscapes to which soldiers find themselves deployed. Add in radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and Norris, and you have unfounded fear-mongering on par with 2008's "Obama isn't a citizen" frenzy.
And, as history tends to repeat, we know there likely aren't enough facts or denials in the world to completely debunk the theory that the U.S. has nefarious designs on the "safety, constitutional rights, private property rights, and civil liberties" of Texans, as Abbott put it.

But, as Daily Show host Jon Stewart pointed out, former Governor Rick Perry was fine with military exercises during the Bush years, and also, "there is no Texas takeover. The United States Government already controls Texas — since, like, the 1840s. Just borrow a textbook from a neighboring state; it's all in there."
Photo: ERIC GAY/AP Images.

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