A military operation in the southwest United States has launched right-wing conspiracy theorists into a full blown panic. But fringe conservatives are not the only ones expressing fears about a military takeover -- Republicans like Texas Representative Louie Gohmert, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott have also said they are concerned about Operation Jade Helm 15. As Brian Tashman of Right Wing Watch explains in this piece, it's hardly the first time conservatives have feared President Barack Obama was involved in bizarre undercover plots against the United States.
It seems that radical right-wing conspiracy theorists have the ear of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who recently ordered the Texas National Guard to monitor a U.S. military exercise called Jade Helm 15. According to many of these far-right activists, Jade Helm 15 is part of a secret effort to take over conservative states like Texas, impose martial law, confiscate people’s firearms, round up “patriotic men,” force people into cattle cars and lock them up in Wal-Marts that have been converted into FEMA camps.
Abbott has since tried to distance himself from the conspiracy theory, but Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tex., has demanded — and apparently received — a meeting with military leaders over the matter.
Jade Helm 15 is just the latest in a litany of far-right conspiracy theories about President Obama planning a military takeover of the country. While none of the theories has ever actually panned out, far-right pundits and activists keep inventing new ones, insisting that whoever doesn’t agree with them either doesn’t see the truth or is enabling Obama’s dictatorial agenda.
Remember: Obama’s plot against America goes all the way back to his birth…
1) Barack the Baby Communist
Faith 2 Action founder Janet Porter, who recently worked with Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul and several GOP candidates on a film about how the gay rights movement will “criminalize Christianity,” revealed to WorldNetDaily readers just two weeks into Obama’s first term that she had learned through a chain email that the president had been planted as a baby by Russian communists who would use him to take over America.
“I can’t prove whether it’s true or not, but in light of all that is happening, it just doesn’t seem that far-fetched anymore,” Porter wrote, claiming that the letter was “not some e-mail scam” and that she personally reached out to its source to confirm the details.
According to the email’s author, during the early 1990s he met two Russian scientists, spouses “V.M” and “T.M,” who told him that “you will have a black president very soon and he will be a Communist” … named “Barack.” The Russians continued:
This is not some idle talk. He is already born, and he is educated and being groomed to be president right now. You will be impressed to know that he has gone to the best schools of presidents. He is what you call ‘Ivy League.’ You don’t believe me, but he is real and I even know his name. His name is Barack. His mother is white and American and his father is black from Africa. That’s right, a chocolate baby! And he’s going to be your president.
It’s all been thought out. His father is not an American black, so he won’t have that social slave stigma. He is intelligent and he is half white and has been raised from the cradle to be an atheist and a Communist. He’s gone to the finest schools. He is being guided every step of the way and he will be irresistible to America
The female scientist seemed to know a lot about this young man: “She rattled off a complete litany. He was from Hawaii. He went to school in California. He lived in Chicago. He was soon to be elected to the Legislature. ‘Have no doubt: he is one of us, a Soviet …. [H]e will be a blessing for world Communism. We will regain our strength and become the number one power in the world.’ She continued with something to the effect that America was at the same time the great hope and the great obstacle for Communism. America would have to be converted to Communism, and Barack was going to pave the way.”
A few right-wing activists tried to find proof of this arrangement, alleging that Communist Party mentored and indoctrinated Obama — possibly with the help of marijuana and his “real father” Frank Marshall Davis — into “Marxism and an anti-White world view.”
As it turned out, every single word in this chain email was true! Maybe. And now, Obama is on the brink of taking over America with his secret squads of Obamacare militias, immigrants, African Americans and/or foreign troops.
2) Obamacare Squads
Before joining the Family Research Council, retired Army Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin released a video with the far-right group the Oak Initiative suggesting that Obama is leading a “Marxist insurgency” in the U.S. He claimed that Obama inserted into the Affordable Care Act a measure that would create a personal army reminiscent of Adolf Hitler’s Brownshirts, warning that the president was “laying the groundwork for a constabulary force that will control the population in America.”
Boykin cited a provision in the health care act which prepares medical professionals to respond to emergencies such as a hurricane, along with a 2008 speech that then-candidate Obama delivered about the need to increase funding for groups such as the Peace Corps and AmericaCorps as part of a “civilian national security force,” a move backed by the Bush administration.
Several years later, the Obamacare brownshirts still haven’t materialized, but the 2008 speech remains a source of fodder for conservatives who believe, as then-Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., put it shortly after Obama’s election, that Obama was doing “exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it’s exactly what the Soviet Union did.”
Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver agreed with Boykin’s assessment, warning that the health care law created a Brownshirt-style military force loyal to the president.
Porter joined in in 2012, claiming that FEMA Corps, which trains young people to work in disaster response, might actually be “a standing army to stifle dissent” and “part of a new civilian security force that President Obama has called for in speeches.” WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah, who once alleged that Obama sent a secret signal to Muslims to “finish” the Holocaust against the Jews, similarly warned that Obama would soon “move to shut down and destroy all independent media” and would make sure that “his biggest critics will be rounded up in the name of national security.”
3) About That Executive Order…
In 2012, when Obama issued an emergency preparedness executive order similar to ones issued by presidents since Dwight Eisenhower, some right-wing commentators went ballistic since this time, the president was Obama!
Buster Wilson, then a radio host with the American Family Association’s radio network, claimed that the executive order created “the president’s version of the Brownshirts” that was equivalent to “Hitler’s own private civilian army.” Wilson also wondered if the government was setting up FEMA camps stocked with plastic coffins for mass graves.
“He is openly implementing martial law in this country,” InfoWars host Alex Jones said about the executive order. The executive order, Jones claimed, declared that administration officials would have the power to “secretly arrest Americans and disappear us any time they want” and build “the domestic security force that’s just as big and just as strong as the military Obama’s always talked about as the ‘FEMA Corps.’”
One congressman, then-Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, suggested that the president would use the executive order to seize total power. In fact, Stockman speculated that Obama may have deliberately brought Ebola to America in order to create a crisis to justify the implementation of his order granting himself “emergency powers to take over control of the economy and everything.”
4) Ebola! Remember That?
Last year, four people were diagnosed with Ebola while in the U.S., two after travelling from West Africa and two after caring for an Ebola patient at a hospital in Texas. In the eyes of conservatives, this was a widespread pandemic that was all Obama’s fault.
According to Stockman, Obama may have had an “intentional” plan to bring Ebola into the U.S. “in order to create a greater crisis to use it as a blunt force to say, well in order to solve this crisis we’re going to have to take control of the economy and individuals and so forth…. [T]here may be an overreaction where the government starts taking away the rights of those that aren’t that necessarily involved or need that to happen. I hope that’s not that case but, as you know, this current government uses crisis to advance their philosophy and their agenda.”
Conservative talk show host Michael Savage claimed Obama “might use Ebola as a pretext” to “gain even more power.”
“He wants an insurrection,” Savage declared. “He wants a pretext. He wants his Kristallnacht. He wants to take the guns, he wants to arrest people, he wants to detain people for their own safety.”
Radio host Rick Wiles predicted that Ebola was part of “a carefully crafted plan to dismantle the United States of America,” as it would be used “as the cover to round up patriots who resist the takedown of the republic” and set up “Ebola Barry’s Ebola Recovery and Re-Education Camps.”
Another far-right radio host, Laurie Roth, predicted that Obama would deliberately fuel an Ebola outbreak in order to “create a guise to declare martial law due to created outbreaks,” giving him the power to “control speech, food, travel and health care” and even “demand adults and children take some sort of mandated/mystery vaccination that kills off even more people”:
My prediction is that a forced vaccination plan from Obama and his administration is on its way. This will not only allow someone put in control (so Obama can’t be blamed) to release something potentially fatal into our system, but also act as a tracker – the complete end of our privacy and freedom.
Columnists for WorldNetDialy alleged that Ebola was part of Obama’s “orchestrated” plan to cancel the 2016 election, “‘legitimize’ a declaration of martial law in America” and make use of “the $1 billion worth of disposable FEMA coffins supposedly stored in Georgia.”
Prior to the Ebola scare, Porter took to WorldNetDaily to predict that Obama would use swine flu to “round up American citizens” and force them into FEMA concentration camps. She also told WorldNetDaily readers that the president, emulating Nazi Germany and Soviet Union, would create “a food shortage” to see that people are “starved to death.”
5) Obama’s Race War Ruse
Since predictions about Obama’s dastardly plan to infect all other Americans with the Ebola virus in order to seize power didn’t exactly come true, conservative activists have turned to recent demonstrations over issues such as racial profiling as another Obama-orchestrated plot to take control of the country.
Glenn Beck, once again citing Obama’s frequently distorted 2008 speech, said that the riots that broke out during demonstrations in Baltimore in April were part of a “set-up” by the government to engineer civil strife in order to justify a federal takeover of local police units. And, once that happens, “it’s lights out, republic.”
“This is the biggest show ever,” Beck said. “Those riots in Baltimore; that wasn’t real.”
Beck went on to say that this manufactured crisis will soon lead to a full-blown genocide in which millions of people, including Beck himself, will perish.
Others in the right-wing media took similar views. Wiles claimed that protests in Ferguson, Missouri, were all part of a plot to enable “Emperor Obama” to “start a civil war,” which would give him a reason to implement stringent gun control so people could no longer “protect themselves from tyrants.” His fellow conservative talk show host Jesse Lee Peterson said that Obama brought “chaos” to Baltimore just so “he can federalize the police departments around the country.” WorldNetDaily columnist Morgan Brittany claimed that the Baltimore riots were “planned” by the government, which she said is bent on “stirring up unrest” in order to give Obama the justification “to institute martial law to preserve order, form a national police force and postpone the 2016 elections.”
Savage, the conservative radio host, even went so far as to allege that Obama started the riots as a way to send arms to gang members under the pretext of preserving order: “It’s a race war. These are their shock troops, they don’t have the brown shirts yet, they don’t have the armbands, but soon Obama could deputize them. Isn’t that a natural army for him? Take the Crips and the Bloods, give them a green uniform and give them a weapon and they’ll keep order in the streets.”
Well before the Ferguson and Baltimore demonstrations, Gun Owners of America head Larry Pratt and far-right pundit Stan Solomon predicted that the president would create a “black force” that would massacre any white people who resisted his plans.
In another interview, Pratt accused Obama of hoping to “bring violence” and “some kind of social implosion to America” as a way to keep power, with Solomon warning of “an explosion of attacks on haves by have-nots” and “more specifically on white haves by black have-nots; more specifically on Christian, heterosexual white haves by black, Muslim and/or atheist — not that there’s much difference — black have-nots.”
6) Bundy Ranch Standoff
The short-lived standoff between federal law enforcement and Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher and Fox News darling who refused to pay grazing fees for his cattle or to recognize the legal authority of the U.S. government, gave another opportunity for right-wing commentators to warn of an imminent federal takeover spurred on by Obama-instigated violence.
WorldNetDaily columnist Erik Rush pointed to the Bundy standoff as proof that “the federal government intends to control everything,” including “our food supply.” Denouncing President Obama as a someone who “embodies the diabolical Manchurian President, clandestinely working to destroy America,” Rush warned that the Bundy standoff might have been a test case for imminent FEMA camp internment.
“Do we wait until a family is slaughtered because they opened fire on government agents executing an illegal raid on their home?” he asked. “Do we wait until Department of Homeland Security operatives come around to arrest ‘domestic terrorists’ as designated by Harry Reid and ship them off to FEMA camps?”
Televangelist Gordon Klingenschmitt, who has since been elected to the Colorado legislature, said that the federal government dug “mass graves” near the ranch to hold the bodies of the “cowboys” they planned to murder. Wiles had a similar theory:
Civil unrest is brewing, the Obamanistas have tried a number of tactics to insult and infuriate the American people to respond with violence…. I expect dirty Harry Reid and his Washington sidekick Barry Soetoro will send federal agents back to Nevada this summer and my fear is that federal snipers will take out a bunch of cowboys and militia men.
Stewart Rhodes, the founder of Oath Keepers, a radical group which fears that concentration camps are coming to the U.S., stopped by a press conference at the National Press Club to deliver a “message for the feds out there” and the “idiot” Obama that the Bundy standoff could have “kicked off a civil war in this country.” Mike Vanderboegh of the Three Percenters militia said that officials such as Harry Reid were “promising us all civil war on a vast scale” through “state-sponsored violence” intended to crush freedom.
7) Obama’s Immigrant Army
Not only will Obama have loyal armies of doctors, AmeriCorps members, black protesters and gang members, but he will also, according to several conspiracy theorists, create a force of undocumented immigrants — specifically young Central American refugees escaping the drug war — to do his bidding.
Pratt, the gun lobbyist, claimed last year that Obama was forming a private “Praetorian Guard” composed of undocumented immigrants, each “loyal to the guy that brought him” into the country.
Anti-immigrant activist William Gheen offered his own version of this prediction, alleging that the federal government was “going to give the illegal immigrants badges, they’re going to give them guns, and they’re going to put them in positions of authority over Americans in every way imaginable. So when you step out your door and there’s a knock at the door, you’re going to be looking at the new face of the state, which is the prior illegal immigrants that now have a badge and a gun and dominion over you.”
Gheen added that the Obama administration was “supporting the organized and well-funded illegal alien invasion of our homeland” and therefore has “the blood of many thousands of Americans on their hands that have been killed, injured raped and robbed by illegal immigrants,” warning that “center-right, Christian, heterosexual” men were particularly at risk.
Gheen even told Jones, the “InfoWars” host, that the young immigrants were the pawns and child soldiers of U.S. “elites” who want to subjugate patriotic Christians: “They’re willing to literally say and do anything that their new masters call on them to do to protect their position. Once Obama rams these ‘kids’ in, gives them their Obamaphone, enrolls them in Obamacare, puts them in a public school, pays for their housing, pays for their food…these people will do anything that their leaders call on them to do and I do mean anything.”
Alan Keyes wondered if Obama, whom he thinks wants to become America’s “Führer,” was “importing” immigrants “in order to facilitate what I think is an overthrow of our Constitution.”
WorldNetDaily’s resident health “expert” Elizabeth Lee Vliet claimed that the government would use a “flood of illegals” who carry exotic diseases to “overwhelm and collapse the economic and social systems, in order to replace them with a ‘new socialist order’ under federal control.”
8) Obama’s Atheist/Islamic/Canadian/Alien Army
Building off the birther conspiracy theory that Obama is not a U.S.-born citizen and the general right-wing belief that he is not a real American, several conservative activists believe that the president will use foreign forces, outside of just immigrants and health care workers, to oppress Americans.
According to Bill Federer, a Religious Right “historian,” the Arab Spring was designed by nefarious forces who wanted to create a surge in Muslim refugees who would then settle in the U.S. in order to establish Islamic “sleeper cells.” Soon, these sleeper cells would “get a signal to have Ferguson riots in malls across America,” which would give Obama the justification to “restore order” by setting up a “militarized dictatorship.” Obama, Federer warned, could follow in the footsteps of Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong and Pol Pot in killing millions of Christians.
Federer cited a man named Avi Lipkin, who apparently heard from his wife, who heard from an unspecified Arabic-language broadcast, about a plot to bring millions of Muslim refugees into the country in order to bring about Sharia law. Lipkin alleged that Obama was “going to bring in 50 to 100 million Muslims” and settle them in national parks and “lands confiscated by Agenda 21” — a sustainable development initiative that is at the center of its very own right-wing conspiracy theory — ultimately forcing America to “surrender its Christianity” in the face of a new “Muslim majority.” Then, Obama would establish a “dictatorship” … with the help of “the Masons, the Illuminati [and] the Trilateral Commission.”
Lipkin and Federer, however, don’t hold a candle to Jim Garrow, a right-wing activist who believes that Obama tried to kill 300 million Americans with an EMP attack for the sake of enriching George Soros and giving him the chance to live in a luxurious bunker underneath the White House. Garrow also believes that Obama will try to improve his poll numbers by claiming that he is able to communicate with aliens, but if they plummet any further and Americans start to revolt, then Obama will “ask [Canadian Prime Minister Stephen] Harper to send troops into America to help quell the rioting and vice versa.”
Garrow shared his very plausible anti-Obama conspiracy theories with far-right radio hosts including Wiles, Rush and Jones. Garrow told Jones in detail about Obama’s EMP plot, which he said was only stopped as a result of divine intervention, along with the president’s failed plan to detonate a nuclear device near Charleston, South Carolina. Fortunately, the nuke, Garrow said, was detonated safely off the coast by heroic military officials. He cited the deaths of dolphins (who were likely killed by the BP oil spill) as proof.
Jones talked to another “real source” about the need to “brace for a nuclear attack in South Carolina,” who alleged that Charleston was the target because of the presence of U.S. submarines: “This is a false flag operation, a major false flag, that is about to occur because if they take out our naval base in Charleston, they will cripple about one-third of our fleet ballistic missile submarine force.”
“Everything they are doing is like trying to set America up,” Jones replied, wondering if “Obama is like a triple agent of the globalists, we know that, and they are maneuvering America towards a set-up to destroy us and then Homeland Security will then detonate nukes in all of our bases as an inside sneak attack.”
“This ultimately reeks of yet another false flag being orchestrated by the United States government in order to send us into war,” Jones said in another commentary about the matter. “I just wish to God that this wasn’t happening,” he said.
This is the same Alex Jones who launched Jade Helm 15 into the GOP mainstream and led to such a fear that the governor of Texas ordered the National Guard to monitor the U.S. military during the drill.
Of course, when one conspiracy theory fails to materialize, radio hosts like Alex Jones just move on to the next one, and then eventually, Republican politicians just move along with them.
As Rick Santorum found out, among the party’s base — as many of one-third of whom think Obama will invade Texas — at least some people think that it is an established fact that “Obama tried to blow up a nuke in Charleston.”