We can all breathe and be thankful we’re not in FEMA camps. Last Tuesday, the military exercise known as Jade Helm ended without the government being overthrown. In May, it was reported that 1,200 units from Green Berets, Navy SEALs, and the 82nd Airborne Division would conduct counterinsurgency operation that was projected to last eight weeks. Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) said they would file inquires into the operation, which fed into the insane prelude to a coup narrative (via WaPo):
The military exercise Jade Helm 15 generated enough conspiracy theories this year that it garnered mockery on late-night television, commentary from presidential candidates and reaction from the Texas governor. The basic thrust of the concerns: The military was laying the groundwork for martial law — if not now, then sometime in the future.
The exercise will end quietly Tuesday, however. Carried out in parts of Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida, it will conclude after two months of operations, said Suzanne Nagl, a spokeswoman for Army Special Operations Command, which oversaw it.
“At this time, we do not have any lessons learned to share since we have not yet conducted an after-action review of the exercise, but we do believe the exercise overall was a success,” Nagl said in an e-mail.
The military has routinely held training exercises like Jade Helm in the past. But this one took on a life of its own before it even began. An informational meeting attended by citizens and local government officials in Bastrop, Tex., in April generated national attention after several people accused the federal government of preparing for a takeover.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) ordered the Texas State Guard, a militia he oversees, to monitor the exercise. He said he did so to address the concerns of Texans, but was mocked by some critics for giving voice to conspiracy theories.
So, we survived. Now, can we focus all of our attention on beating Hilary next year?