This column by ACRU Policy Board Member J. Christian Adams was published April 15, 2015 at PJ Media.
This week, representatives from the Department of Defense met with concerned citizens in a contentious meeting inside the Real County Courthouse in Leakey, Texas. What took place at that meeting, and what Defense Department officials said, reveals a great deal about Jade Helm training exercises across the United States.
Some have speculated that Jade Helm is the military’s response to a possible attack by a weapon of mass destruction. Others have noted that the training seems to be focused on putting down domestic political disturbances.
Monday, an overflow crowd for the Real County Commissioners Court meeting, heard Lt. Col. Daniel Pawlak explain why the United States military has begun training inside the United States in unprecedented ways.
Sources in attendance in the Real County Courthouse told PJ Media that Pawlak said the military would be in Texas to train for “unconventional warfare suited to large land, low population areas.” There would be no aircraft, he said, but there would be firing of blank ammunition and grenade simulators. He said that the participants would be clearly marked with orange arm bands on their left arms.
This contradicts earlier reports that participants in Jade Helm would be indistinguishable from the general population.
According to someone in attendance, Pawlak assured the crowd he was there to obtain the support of the community but also revealed that private land had already been secured nearby Leakey to serve as a staging area for the exercises. One participant told PJ Media:
Dozens of citizens expressed concern and opposition. A high degree of respect was displayed and on many occasions [it was] expressed that we were extremely pro-military but mistrusted our current commander in chief.
Others in attendance report that the citizens sought to ask questions and that county officials said no questions would be allowed from the floor. Those in attendance were so angry and concerned that they refused to be silenced and shouted questions from the floor to Pawlak and to the Commissioners Court.
Despite overwhelming opposition from the community, the Real County Commissioners Court (the governing body for the county) voted 5-0 to approve Jade Helm exercises in the county. The presentation by Defense Department representatives was item number 11 on the official public notice of the meeting of the Commissioners Court.
WOAI News from San Antonio had representatives at the meeting Monday. Neither WOAI television nor WOAI-AM appears to have reported on the events.