Monday, April 20, 2015

Jade Helm, Walmart and Martial Law — Dust off Your Tin Foil Hat

What better way to spice up a cool, cloudy Monday than with the hottest conspiracy theory circulating on the Internet? This summer, between July 15 and September 15, elite service members from all four branches of the military will be conducting exercises throughout the Southwest, including Southern California, in an operation called Jade Helm 15.

The U.S. Army Special Operations Command said the exercise is designed to train special units to “successfully conduct worldwide operations in support of our nation’s interests.” This is the kind of vague gobbledygook that you might expect from the military, but it should be noted that these types of operations have been conducted before in various areas of the U.S., although this one is the largest to date.

Since the first mentions of Jade Helm, conspiracy theorists across the Internet have been telling anyone who will listen that this is the prelude to martial law in America. This seems a severe stretch of the imagination to me. Obama? Martial law? I don’t think so. However, there is a tantalizing sidebar to all of this that will only add fuel to the conspiracy fire.

Last week Walmart closed five stores on the same day, two in Texas, one in California, one in Oklahoma and one in Florida. The official excuse for shutting down the stores (and putting nearly 2000 people on unemployment) was plumbing problems. This response was met with skepticism, which was heightened when reporters found that none of the affected stores had applied for any plumbing permits from their respective municipalities.

Fast forward to today. A woman with a video camera went to the Pico Rivera, California store to check things out. That store has kept its pharmacy open to allow people with prescriptions there to continue getting their meds. The first thing she noted was that there were police cruisers parked at every entrance and exit to the Walmart. She then went into the section of the store that was open. There she found that shelving had been erected around the pharmacy that blocked any view of the rest of the store. She was eventually kicked out because she wasn’t filling a prescription.

There you go. There will be a huge military exercise in the Southwest this summer where four Walmarts closed unexpectedly and are under police guard. I seriously doubt that plumbing repairs would require that level of security. What’s really going on? I have no idea, but stay tuned.

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