In May 2015 a “satirical” blog took advantage of the spate of disinformation surrounding then-United States President Barack Obama and a military exercise in Texas in its own post playing on right-wing paranoia surrounding the story.
The blog, “Real News, Right Now,” claimed that Obama was preparing to issue an executive order stripping Texas of its very statehood:
Effective July 1st, the laws governing the United States, including the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and, additionally, the Geneva Conventions, will no longer apply to Texas or its residents.
The order is set to become law just days ahead of what the Obama administration and the Pentagon are calling a “large-scale training exercise.” Dubbed ‘Jade Helm 15,’ the operation involves several states, including Texas, and consists of roughly 1,200 soldiers and seamen from U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Navy SEALs, and Air Force special operations forces.
As we previously reported:
Known as “Jade Helm 15,” the exercise ran from July to September of that year and involved troops from the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps working working in several states. But the spread of a planning document outlining the exercise led to another round of disinformation seeking to convince people that Texas, in particular, was about to be hit with “martial law.”
The blog does not say outright that its content is satire. Instead, it piles on hyperbolic accolates for its founder, “R. Hobbus J.D.”:
R. Hobbus J.D. is an internationally acclaimed independent investigative journalist specializing in international politics, health, business, science, conflict resolution, history, geography, mathematics, social issues, feminism, space travel, civil rights, human rights, animal rights, fashion, film, astronomy, classic literature, religion, biology, paranormal activity, the occult, physics, psychology, and creative writing. He has appeared in countless publications including Time Magazine, Newsweek, Playboy, Ranger Rick, The Economist, The New York Times, Mad Magazine, Hustler, Guns & Ammo, People, Maxim Magazine, Highlights, The 9/11 Commission Report, The New Yorker, Bon Appetit, Rolling Stone, Car & Driver, Soldier of Fortune, Elle, Nintendo Power, National Geographic, National Geographic Kids, and many more.
The story plays into a larger narrative intended to create a sense of disunity among American states and to play on rumors and rumblings of secession that were to be exploited over and over again in the coming years.
Update 7/22/2022, 4:35 p.m. PST: This article has been revamped and updated. You can review the original here.– ag