Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, May 01, 2015

Operation Jade Helm 15: Are Texans Just Being Paranoid? Or...

Just a few weeks ago, I would have dismissed this news story as just more paranoid rantings from a bunch of Texas rednecks — that there Commie Muslim in the White House is fixin' to take over the gummint, etc.

But that was then.  Jade Helm 15 is the name of a Special Ops exercise that will be conducted in Texas and several other southwestern states from July 15th through September 15th.  About 1,200 personnel from four branches of the military will be moving covertly among the general public, among other exercises.  I've also heard (I haven't verified it yet) that this operation will also include skydivers parachuting onto people's private property and conducting various drills, including shooting at each other using blanks.  If this part of it is true, how will this jibe with the Stand Your Ground folks?

I'm personally not worried about these “government takeover!” conspiracy theories that a lot of Texans — as well as Alex Jones — are all riled up about.  Texas Governor Greg Abbott feels their pain, and he issued the following statement:

“To address concerns of Texas citizens and ensure that Texas communities remain safe, secure and informed about military procedures occurring in their vicinity, I am directing the Texas State Guard to monitor Operation Jade Helm 15.”

Like I said, a few weeks ago I would have just rolled my eyes and clicked on the next headline.  But these out-of-control military operations are happening all over the country.  The people in charge don't give a flying fuck about civilians, the environment, the effects these ongoing operations are having on local economies and the public health — and they're not accountable to anyone.

There's a Naval Air Station on Whidbey Island, about 50 miles from where I live.  They're planning to vastly increase the number of low-flying jets which emit up to 150 decibels.  They'll be conducting these deafening operations for up to 16 hours a day, 260 days a year.  These jets will be flying to and from Olympic National Park and other adjacent wilderness areas — for the purpose of conducting electromagnetic warfare experiments in remote wilderness areas.

Needless to say, a lot of residents are up in arms over the blatant intrusiveness of this expanded Navy operation.  The expansion hasn't happened yet; it's still in the planning stages.  But it seems like an unstoppable unaccountable juggernaut.  It's the elephant in the room that nobody will talk about.

In addition to the health hazards of electromagnetic radiation and the potential hearing loss caused by hundreds of low-flying jets — the local economy would be devastated.  Over 3 million people visit Olympic National Park every year.  Will they keep coming if their thoughts and lives are drowned out by 150 decibels of screaming jets?  Will the electromagnetic radiation be one of the tourist attractions?  If 3 million tourists/campers/hikers stop coming here, western Washington will be more depressed than the bleakest part of Appalachia.

Unlike Texas Governor Greg Abbott, no politician in this area has the balls to say anything about this, or even acknowledge it.  Washington's governor and both senators are Democrats; same with the Congressional Representatives “representing this area.  None of them are touching this with a ten-foot pole.

So far, the local “Limited Government!” “Property Rights!” brigade hasn't said much about this.  But when they do...It may be too early to contact Alex Jones; however...



Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like the Feds are legally exercising their rights mandated by all those Post 9/11, Patriot type bills rammed through Congress by Bush and the Republican Majorities.

Instead of Gideon Bibles, Texas motels put the Turner Diaries instead.


May 1, 2015 at 11:00 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: When it comes to mitigating intrusion and steamrolling by the military, it seems like every legal angle -- tribal sovereignty, property rights, public safety, international laws -- either doesn't apply, or only applies on Tuesday if it's raining and a blue car just drove by, or something.

May 1, 2015 at 4:41 PM  
Blogger jim marquis said...

I did see something interesting the other day. Four helicopters flying in a row over our neighborhood here in Lynnwood, presumably from the Boeing field there in Everett. Kind of got my paranoia up for a minute, I have to admit.

May 2, 2015 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jim: Those helicopters weren't black, were they? :)

I'm not near the flight path of these jets going from Whidbey Island to the mainland, so I've never heard them. But 150 decibels (when they fly low, which they're allowed to do) is deafening. Some Whidbey Island residents have a lawsuit against the jet noise and other hazards.

The worst part is the Navy's attitude toward the public. If anyone expresses concern about the jets or the electromagnetic radiation hazards, Navy spokespeople are a combination of sleazy, secretive and "what're you gonna do about it?"

May 2, 2015 at 10:39 AM  
Blogger BadTux said...

I'll just point out that the naval air station was out there long before most of the residents, there was only a couple of fishing villages on the island in 1942 when the air base was built. Olympic National Park post-dates the naval air station too. As someone who grew up under the runway of Barksdale Air Force Base in a time and place when we practically saluted when those big B-52's took off screaming over our homes, I have little sympathy for people whining that their homes that they bought under an air base runway are noisy.

I've been buzzed by an F-18 when traveling in a wilderness area near Death Valley National Park that's used as a practice area for the Navy. Yes, they are loud, at first I thought something had exploded. But they're also *fast*. It was literally *WHOOM!* and then it was just a remote jet noise.

As for the Jade Helm 15 thing, Alex Jones is pushing it. From my understanding, the Pentagon is coordinating with local law enforcement and local property owners. They're not just dropping in unannounced. We have a lot of things like that out here in Nevada and California, where the military will approach private property owners and ask if they can use their property for an exercise. Sometimes the property owner says yes, and it happens. Sometimes the property owner says no, and they go elsewhere. There was one compound that looked almost exactly like Osama bin Laden's that they used in Nevada to practice that raid. It was on private property. And they did it with permission of the property owner.

In other words, it's not anything new. There's only so much you can simulate on a military base, sometimes practicing how to do particular raids means finding a close replica of the kind of building you're trying to practice assaulting. About the only thing new here is that the Governor of Texas, who makes ex-Governor Goodhair look like a Rhodes scholar, has dispatched the Texas State Guard to watch them. Which, BTW, is *not* the Texas National Guard. They wear pseudo-military uniforms but they're armed only with light weapons on the few occasions when they actually bear arms -- mostly they are mobilized to do disaster relief. Most of them are more a danger to themselves than to anybody else. Think fat late-middle-aged good ole' boys playing soldier and you've got the picture.

- BT

May 2, 2015 at 5:13 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

BT: The jet noise is only part of the Navy's huge expansion plans. Like I told a previous commenter, I'm not in the flight path so I haven't heard it. The people who live near Whidbey Island Naval Air Station can be subjected to the "you moved next door to an airfield and now you're complaining about it" talking point (which has been trotted out nonstop). But that soundbite doesn't apply to the 3 million campers and hikers who visit Olympic National Park every year. The park, and Washington's Pacific Coast, are a looong way from Whidbey Island.

And the "the air base was here first" slogan has nothing to do with the electronic warfare experiments which they're planning to conduct in Olympic National Park and other wilderness areas. Navy spokespeople have even admitted that this radiation can melt eye tissue of people and animals that get too close, but "we'll make sure nobody gets too close and everybody is safe." Riiight. The National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site; home to numerous eco-systems and endangered species. If the Park's 3 million visitors stop coming here (and why would they come here just to get drowned out by deafening jet noise and possibly zapped by electromagnetic radiation?), western Washington's economy will collapse like a house of cards. Tourism is an integral part of it.

Also, the Whidbey Island Base has already been conducting a lot of these same experiments in a remote region of southern Idaho. Their stated reason for wanting to shift the operation to the Olympic Peninsula is that the shorter flight distance will allow the Navy pilots to shorten their workday by about an hour. That doesn't cut it, even if it's true.

Also, the fact that we're arguing about jet noise -- and not any other part of the Navy's expansion plans -- is a perfect example of the Navy's tactics. They're purposely leaking out separate parts of this plan, in dribs and drabs, hoping that the public won't connect the dots and figure out that the increased jet flights, the electromagnetic radiation experiments 150 miles away, a new pier the Navy wants to build in Port Angeles Harbor -- that these are all facets of the same huge juggernaut the Navy is pushing through.

I have no problem with the pier they want to build in Port Angeles Harbor. But the electromagnetic radiation experiments, they can do that at the Whidbey Island NAS Officers' Club if it's so harmless.

May 2, 2015 at 9:42 PM  
Blogger BadTux said...

Uhm, you do understand that we're talking about radar, right? It's subject to the same inverse square law as all other RF radiation. That is, the strength of the radar signal declines as the square of the distance. If it is enough energy to fry your eyeballs at 1 foot (i.e., around 1,000 watts, or your typical home microwave), it would be 100 watts at 3 feet, 10 watts at 9 feet, 4 watts at 15 feet (or roughly the output of a CB radio)... at which point I have to ask, are you going to be less than 15 feet from the pointy end of a jet airplane? If so, you have bigger problems than RF!

I didn't mention "electromagnetic radiation" because radar has been around since the 1940's without managing to kill anybody who wasn't standing within a couple of yards of the antenna. I've been "strafed" by an F-18 which practiced its radar lock on me. Far as I can tell, my eyeballs are intact ;). Which you'd expect, since the F-18 didn't come any closer than 100 yards from my Jeep, and at that distance the radar signal had less RF energy than the 40 watt ham radio antenna on my tailgate.

Again, these things move *fast*. The F-18 spent literally microseconds at 100 yards from me. There's no "there" there. (And since he arrived before his sound did, the first indication I had that something was awry was a big "WHOOM!" that made me think all four of my tires had gone flat at once until I saw his afterburners kick in half a mile in front of me so he could miss some mountains!). RF energy is like your microwave oven. If you put your dinner in the microwave and heat it up for a microsecond, you're going to be eating cold turkey for dinner, because the amount of RF energy imparted to the turkey in that short amount of time isn't enough to do diddly.

- Badtux the Ham Penguin

May 2, 2015 at 10:34 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

BT: Jeez, you're really concerned about this, for somebody who lives more than 1,000 miles away from it. "...Are you going to be less than 15 feet from the pointy end of a jet airplane?..."

First of all, the Navy's hired trolls/PR flacks are spitting out this same soundbite, left, right and center. "You have a microwave, right? A cell phone? Sheesh, what are you worried about?"

Second: Since I can read, speak and comprehend English (go ahead and insert snarky comeback here), if I'm traipsing through the woods, I won't proceed if I see one of the Navy's alleged warning signs they say they'll be posting prominently. But since people from 6 continents travel to Olympic National Park -- being an internationally famous World Heritage site, yada yada -- some of these tourists might not understand what the sign means. Not to mention the countless animals who can't read. (I might not have mentioned this earlier, but a lot of the electromagnetic testing is ground-based; and some of it is on-board the jets.)

BTW, I'm quite familiar with radar since I was a radar operator in the Navy (1969-'73).

I don't mind agreeing to disagree, but this issue has thousands of western Washington residents alarmed/scared/pissed off. As I wrote in the original post, our local "Democratic" politicians are studiously ignoring this issue, and at the same time a lot of the biggest opponents are not your stereotypical treehugger/liberal/anti-military types.

I'm not quite ready to start enlisting the help of the Alex Jones' and Cliven Bundys of the world, but as the saying goes, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend..." And a lot of people in this area are just about to reach that point.

May 3, 2015 at 1:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This goes to show who is listening to outrageous paranoid and made up news stories from the real lamestream medias for sheeple

May 12, 2015 at 4:18 AM  

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