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Worried about Operation Jade Helm? Texas Republicans Hear You

Conspiracy theorists have warned that the upcoming military training exercise could be a pretext for martial law.
Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX) speaks at the Freedom Summit at The Executive Court Banquet Facility April 12, 2014 in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX) speaks at the Freedom Summit at The Executive Court Banquet Facility April 12, 2014 in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Is the U.S. military about to mess with Texas? To hear some politicians in the Lone Star State tell it, that idea is not all that far-fetched. 

For the past two weeks, Operation Jade Helm 15, a month-long, seven-state military training exercise, has preoccupied conspiracy theorists such as Alex Jones, frightened many local residents, and, now, elicited sympathy from some notable Texas Republicans. Despite a flurry of denials from military representatives and White House press secretary Josh Earnest that the exercise is any different than those conducted in the past, the rumors of an imminent military takeover have proven difficult to extinguish. In part, that may be because some elected officials, both past and present, have seemed to give the theories credence.