Operation Jade Helm 15 military training exercises commenced officially on Wednesday, July 15, in seven states, including, Texas, Arizona, Utah, Mississippi, and Florida.
The exercises commenced amid intense suspicions bordering on paranoia, with rumors being circulated in the fringe right-wing blogosphere about an alleged "White House Kill List," and power and service outages as first stage of declaration of martial law.
For months before the exercises began, conspiracy theories have been making the rounds on Internet about an impending federal takeover of some conservative states, including Texas. Right-wing bloggers speculated without restraint about a sinister Obama-plot to confiscate firearms, declare martial law, and implement "total population control" policies.
Although the exercises commenced quietly in Texas, there was plenty of chatter on the Internet early yesterday about service and power outages across the U.S., allegedly the first stage of the move to declare martial law.
The conspiracy theory blogosphere also lit up with speculations about when troops would begin rounding up the administration's opponent for detainment in FEMA camps, and when martial law would be declared.
"Will Martial Law be declared? Will Skynet Activate and usher in Judgment Day? Will you be sent to a FEMA camp hidden inside a Wal-Mart? Will Texas reject the exercises and secede?"
Writing on the doomsday conspiracy theory blog All News Pipeline, the doomsday theorist, Susan Duclos, raised alarm about service and power outages across America by multiple service providers, including AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Time Warner Cable.
Similar reports appeared on a number of fringe conspiracy theory websites, alleging panic in some areas about the "unlikely coincidence" of the outages and the commencement of Jade Helm 15 exercise.
According to conspiracy theorists, the power and service outages were part of a plan to keep citizens in the dark while Obama implements his dark agenda with the assistance of the entire military hierarchy.
All News Pipeline also speculated and referred readers to conspiracy theories that Jade Helm could be used to "carry out a White House Kill List."
Other fringe conspiracy theory blogs, such as intellihub, reeled out a bewildering list of intelligence about the Jade Helm 15, including one that conjures a Matrix movie-like scenario, alleging that an advanced killer artificial intelligence program will be used to implement the Jade Helm 15 takeover of conservative states.
"'JADE' is an acronym for a DARPA-developed A.I. quantum computing technology that produces holographic battlefield simulations and will be in charge of the drill in order to 'master the human' domain and predict human response."
"Speculation and actual evidence has been released in the last two days that has many believing that Texas is under attack with weather manipulation technology (also known as HAARP)."
A letter allegedly written by a Texas Ranger, to the Common Sense Show, shared widely in conspiracy theory circles, claimed "there are trains moving throughout Texas that have shackles inside some of the cars."
The rumors gained even more traction after news broke that several Walmart stores across the country closed under mysterious circumstances. Conspiracy theorists speculated that the stores were closed for use as FEMA holding camps.
Gov. Greg Abbott appeared to give credence to the conspiracy theories when he asked the Texas State Guard to monitor the exercises so as to ensure "safety, constitutional rights, private property rights, and civil liberties will not be infringed."
Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also gave credence to the conspiracy theories, suggesting that people had legitimate reasons to distrust Obama and that he "reached out to Pentagon" on the matter.
The military has, meanwhile, repeated earlier statements that the training exercises are routine, and that the assignment of labels, such as "hostile" and "friendly," to some areas was only part of the training. Military officials also explained that the Southwestern states were chosen specifically because they have terrain similar to what troops could find while operating overseas.
The Inquisitr reported that a civilian group, Operation Counter Jade Helm, has mobilized volunteers to monitor the exercises. The group will send volunteers out to monitor the movement of troops, with assistance from wary locals. The group's operations could prove a source of information about the ongoing exercise after the military refused to grant permission to the media to witness the exercises, citing logistic issues, and that some of the training would be in preparation for classified missions abroad.
Such comments from military officials have led some analysts to suggest that the exercises could be designed to simulate operations against ISIS in the Middle East or maskirovka-style operations against Russian forces in eastern Ukraine.
The training exercises, which end on September 15, will involve 1,200 troops practicing counterinsurgency and surveillance drills. The exercises will be conducted in several Texas counties, including Bastrop, Edwards, Howard, and Tom Green, according to the Texas Tribune.
The military has assured citizens that the exercises will not obstruct normal social and economic activities, and that the operations will go largely unnoticed by residents.
[Images: USASOC; Google via AllNewsPipeline]