Sunday, May 17, 2015

Here's To The Men & Women Of Jade Helm 15: Booyah !

The Jade Helm 15 map is filled with jargon. Here is some decoding assistance:

Demystifying the military jargon

In the hostile area of Texas, there will be a JOAX event and a CRF event. This is the starting point of the exercise.

JOAX (Joint Operation Access Exercise): This is where the 82nd Airborne Division will parachute into “hostile territory.” An exercise identical to this phase of Jade Helm was recently conducted in North Carolina.

CRF (Crisis Response Force): This is typically a force that is made up of different units put together to handle a given scenario. The most recent example of a CRF was the group of units sent to the Mideast to protect US facilities. In this case, the CRF appears to be made up of a list of America’s most secretive units. In some cases the units are so secretive that The Fifth Column’s sources were either unaware of their existence or unwilling to talk about them.

MSOT (Marine Special Operations Team): The Marines have several special warfare units that fall under this acronym. The best known of these units is Force Recon.

NSWTU (Naval Special Warfare Training Unit): This is a unit dedicated to making SEALs better.There is the possibility that this is in reference to Naval Special Warfare Task Units, which are subgroups of a SEAL Team. This seems highly unlikely given the massive size of the operation.

ODA (Operational Detachment Alpha): These are Green Berets. This is otherwise known as an “A-Team.” Sometimes identified as SFOD-A

ODG (unidentified): ODG is so far unidentified, but sources state that it is most likely a designation for another type of Green Beret unit. What most people commonly call “Delta Force” is actually titled Special Forces Operational Detachment Delta (SFOD-D or simply ODD).

So now the acronyms are explained and America is safe in the knowledge that Texas is being “invaded” by America’s elite fighting forces. Special attention should have been paid to the fact that NSWTU, a training unit, was the Navy’s contribution. If this was an actual operation, the acronym would have been ST-6, ST-4, or something similar (Seal Team Six, Seal Team Four).

Utah is also listed as “hostile.”

LSE (Logistical Support Element): These are the men and women that handle the logistics of an operation.

The numb-nuts in Central Texas interpreted the jargon as secret directions for black helicopters and UN troops. Instead of martial law, the numb-nuts are convinced that Sharia (gasp) Law will be imposed at gunpoint. Amy Davidson tries to inject common-sense into the discussion. This blogger hopes that the Jade Helm 15 planers will define the Texas State Guard as a hostile military force and take appropriate action to place the "monitors" under guard in stockades for the duration of the exercise. And, this blogger will not warn any numb-nut who attempts to interfere with the Jade Helm 15 exercise; the would-be insurgents will be at the tender mercies of U.S. Special Forces troops in a virtual-combat situation. If this is a (fair & balanced) wish for the cracking of a few numb-nuts, so be it.

[x The New Yorker]
Unclear Dangers
By Amy Davidson

Tag Cloud of the following piece of writing

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In the past few weeks, a certain map has been causing a lot of discussion online and, particularly, in Texas. It shows seven states in the Southwest color-coded as red and “hostile” (Texas, Utah), or blue and “permissive” (California, Colorado, Nevada), or designated “uncertain” but leaning toward hostile (New Mexico) or toward friendly (Arizona). The map also features a circle zeroing in on Texas and acronyms associated with the military. To numerous observers, its meaning is clear: it is a plan for a U.S. military takeover of Texas and beyond, or, perhaps, a rehearsal for civil war and the enforcement of martial law. Resistance is anticipated in some areas, such as the part of Southern California marked as an “insurgent pocket.”

The Pentagon quickly explained that the map was actually a prop in a large-scale but routine training exercise called Jade Helm 15, scheduled to take place this summer. Blue and red are standard colors on war-game maps and unconnected to, say, voting patterns. But the theorists were unpersuaded, and the code name seemed to excite them further. (Jade—a reference to China?) Some pointed to several Walmart stores that had abruptly closed and might now, they said, be used as internment camps run by fema. (Walmart says it isn’t so—sometimes stores just close.)

The matter might have been dismissed as another one of those things that happen on the Internet if Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, had not sprung into action. In a Facebook post from April 28th, he wrote, “I’ve ordered the Texas State Guard to monitor Jade Helm 15 to safeguard Texans’ constitutional rights, private property, and civil liberties.” Some other Texas politicians seemed eager to show that they, too, were not the sort to take hints of martial law lightly. Last week, Senator Ted Cruz told a reporter at a Republican Party convention in South Carolina that his office had “reached out to the Pentagon,” and Senator John Cornyn obtained a private briefing from a three-star general; both legislators reported being satisfied that, in this instance, at least, Texas was not in danger from the United States.

The day after Abbott posted the State Guard orders, James Comey, the director of the F.B.I., used a visit to Texas to address another set of rumors, this one concerning the supposed discovery of ISIS bases near Ciudad Juárez, which the government was said to be trying to cover up. “Nonsense,” Comey said. “We do run out every tip to make sure there isn’t something to it. There is nothing to it.” Still, Representative Louie Gohmert wondered if states on the Jade Helm map were marked “hostile” because they were Republican or because they might “be overtaken by foreign radical Islamist elements which have been reported to be just across our border”—a grand unified theory of Jade Helm Sharia.

As it happened, real terror-related violence came to Texas last week, when two men from Phoenix, Arizona, tried to enter a school-owned building in the city of Garland, where the American Freedom Defense Initiative, an anti-Islam group, had organized a “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest, offering a top prize of ten thousand dollars. The men were carrying assault rifles—which is legal in most cases on Texas streets—and they shot and wounded a security guard before an off-duty traffic officer working at the site shot and killed them, fending off a potential massacre. ISIS has claimed that the men were its agents. One of them, who’d had Twitter exchanges with at least one person said to be linked to ISIS, had been known to the F.B.I. (He made false statements about planning to go to Somalia and was given three years’ probation.) But the extent to which there was a real operational connection is still unknown. Senator Cruz, fresh from his Jade Helm inquiry, blamed President Obama for the Garland attack, saying that he had failed to “connect the dots.”

What these bewildering scenarios have in common is a perception of Texas as a battlefield in a constant war waged on all fronts. That presumption of a state of siege, fostered by politicians willing to pander to fears of mystery maps and foreign infiltration—perhaps in the White House itself—makes it harder to respond rationally, and with respect for civil liberties, when danger truly is clear and present. There are real threats, and that is what makes scaremongering so destructive. If ISIS is the answer to everything, what is the answer to ISIS?

Such indiscriminate fears have been present in the debate over sections of the Patriot Act which, if Congress doesn’t act to renew them, are due to expire on June 1st. One of those provisions, Section 215, should be allowed to expire, since the National Security Agency used it—illegitimately, as the Second Circuit found last Thursday—to justify the bulk collection of the telephone records of almost all Americans. (This practice would have remained secret if not for Edward Snowden, whom Senator Cornyn has called a “traitor.”) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to reauthorize the provisions, though it appears that libertarian-leaning members of his party will prevent that. Even Ted Cruz has expressed reservations about the use of Section 215—and don’t get Rand Paul started. The middle ground is a revision of the bill, called the USA Freedom Act, which Senators Patrick Leahy and Mike Lee are trying to get passed. It, too, has flaws, but it adds protections.

There has been some realization that collecting and connecting dots when everything and anything looks like a dot is less than illuminating. The French, whose ideas about civil liberties are different from ours—with their insistence on policing schoolgirls’ head scarves and comedians’ jokes—seem, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, to be headed in a different direction. They are debating an intelligence bill that would remove limits on domestic spying. That is where we were after 9/11, when the Patriot Act was passed and when we made mistakes. The Jade Helm training exercises are drawn on a map of the Southwest not because it’s ground zero in an incipient civil war but because the landscape there is similar to that of battlefields that we have rushed and wandered into in recent years, in countries that do have “insurgent pockets.” Texans should know where the real borders are. Ω

[Amy Davidson is a senior editor at The New Yorker, having joined the magazine in 1995. She focuses on politics and international affairs. She edits profiles and features. Davidson attended Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude (Social Studies). After graduation she worked for about 18 months in Germany. Her editing contributions to The New Yorker have won the National Magazine Award and the George Polk Award. Davidson is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.]

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