Texas Governor Deploys State Guard to Stave Off Obama Takeover – Truth! & Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has deployed the State Guard to prevent a take over of the state by President Obama as a joint military exercise called Jade Helm 15 got underway.
This claim is a mixture of truth and fiction.
It’s true that Texas Governor Greg Abbot asked the State Guard to monitor the Jade Helm 15 joint military training exercise that was planned for Texas and five other states.
However, reports that the Texas governor deployed the State Guard to “stave off” a federal takeover by President Obama is false.
There has been a lot of speculation that Jade Helm 15 isn’t an innocent military training exercise. Conspiracy theories that claim Jade Helm 15 is actually an attempt to impose martial law, or to take over southern states, have run rampant on the Internet.
TruthorFiction.com previously investigated these conspiracy theories about Jade Helm 15, and we didn’t find proof that it’s anyting more than a standard military training exercise. Click here for the story.
Controversy about Jade Helm 15 boiled over on April 29, 2015, when 200 Texans raised questions about the exercise at a public meeting held in rural Bastrop County, Texas. Questions were raised about whether or not the government planned to confiscate weapons or impose martial law, the Associated Press reports:
“Suspicions about Jade Helm intensified on some conservative websites and social media after a map labeled Texas, Utah and parts of California as ‘hostile’ for the purposes of the three-month training exercise that begins in July. Such war simulations aren’t unusual, though the Army has acknowledged that the size and scope of Jade Helm makes it unique.”
“To address concerns of Texas citizens and to ensure that Texas communities remain safe, secure and informed about military procedures occurring in their vicinity, I am directing the Texas State Guard to monitor Operation Jade Helm 15. During the operation’s eight-week training period from July 2015 to September 2015, I expect to receive regular updates on the progress and safety of the operation.
“During the training operation, it is important that Texans know their 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 measure are in place to protect Texans.
“U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has assured Texas that each location selected for training exercises will pose no risk to residents or property and that they will coordinate with local residents via verbal and written communication.
“Directing the State Guard to monitor the operation will allow Texas to be informed of the details of military personnel movements and training schedules, and it will give us the ability to quickly and effectively communicate with local communities, law enforcement, public safety personnel and citizens.”
Abbott states in the letter that the State Guard would primarily help his office and Texans communicate with the planners of Jade Helm 15. However, a report by NPR that appeared under the headline, “Texas Governor Deploys State Guard to Stave Off Obama Takeover,” seemed to fan the flames about a standoff between the White House and Texas.
A White House spokesperson said that he had “no idea what (Abbott) was thinking” when he sent the letter:
“The thing that I can say without having a lot of detailed knowledge about the particular exercise is that in no way will the constitutional rights or civil liberties of any American citizen be infringed upon while this exercise is being conducted.”
Days later, the Texas governor appeared before reporters to defend his decision to have the State Guard monitor Jade Helm 15:
“We are playing a pivotal role of government and that is to provide information to people who have questions. It’s clear that people in Bastrop had questions … I frankly think that there was an overreaction to the simple fact that someone has to be in charge of gathering and disseminating information and we stepped in to play that role, which is a role to be applauded. What the letter did was quite simple and non-inflammatory, and I think that’s the way it should be construed.”
So, it’s true that Texas Governor Abbot directed the State Guard to monitor Jade Helm 15 — but it’s not true that he deployed the State Guard to “stave off” a takeover by Obama.