UPDATE – Federal Troops engage in firefight with unknown combatants on Day One of Operation Jade Helm; read about it here.
aNewDomain — U.S. President Barack Obama has expressed outrage at reports that the Arkansas state militia has supplied arms and technicians to Texas military authorities ahead of the federal military exercise codename Operation Jade Helm 15. That’s the premise of today’s Totally Skewed News, a satirical and, occassionally, fictional look at the news.
After talks at the U.S. Army’s massive Fort Hood military complex near Killeen, TX with his Arkansan counterpart Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Obama said that if such reports were confirmed, they constituted a “crime that will be punished.”
The already-strained relations between the federal and Texas governments boiled over last week, when Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered the Texas State Guard to “monitor” the federal military’s forthcoming Operation Jade Helm 15.
“During the training operation, it is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property right and civil liberties will not be infringed,” Abbott declared.
Federal authorities assured Texans that an invasion was not imminent. The State Department refused to comment on talks to resolve the strained relations between the federal government and the former independent republic.
Hutchinson said he was confident the reports would prove unfounded that Arkansan military authorities had provided logistical support and technical advisors to Texas.
Hutchinson also stressed that weekend maneuvers by the Arkansas 188th Fighter Wing (shown above) had been planned months ago and were in no way intended as a provocation to the U.S. military.
Some reports indicated that as many as 25 Arkansan military vehicles, including several 155-mm self-propelled howitzers had passed from Arkansas to Texas through the lightly guarded Texarkana border crossing.
Pointing to a report aired on Fox News this week, Pres. Obama said Arkansan weapons and military experts might be used in combat against federal troops should the present stalemate in Texas spark further unrest or outright hostilities.
“If this is confirmed, this will be what I have called a crime, because this is termed ‘direct involvement in an armed conflict,’ pitting the American and Texas peoples against each other,” he added.
If federal authorities receive proof of Arkansas’ military involvement, Washington would “build its relations accordingly with those who allowed this to happen,” he said.
Gov. Hutchinson said he was confident that “such facts would not be confirmed.”
Correspondents say Pres. Obama is aware that Gov. Hutchinson is not responsible for Arkansas’ defence policy, and that his criticism amounted to an attack on Gov. Hutchinson’s political rivals in Arkansas who have much more direct control over the state’s militia units. Arkansas observers denied reports that a coup d’etat was brewing in the state’s turbulent capital Little Rock.
Arkansas sources argued that the equipment loan didn’t occur — but that if it did, then such a loan would legitimately fall under the state’s so-called “Military support to civilian authorities (MSCA)” program. As recently as 2009, Arkansan military personnel crossed into Texas to fight against what were termed “wildfires.”
Well, it didn’t happen this way, except in the wild imaginings of conspiracy theorists.
That’s it for this week’s edition of Totally Skewed News. I’m Tom Ewing.