Former Texas Governor Rick Perry was critical of Governor Greg Abbott’s position on Jade Helm. Perry is considered to be a possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate.
As Breitbart Texas previously reported, Governor Abbott has asked the Texas State Guard to monitor the U.S. Army’s upcoming Jade Helm 15 military exercise, ensuring the “safety, constitutional rights, private property rights, and civil liberties” of his constituents. Abbott’s request received strong support from actor and commentator Chuck Norris in a weekend editorial.
“It’s OK to question your government. I do it on a regular basis,” said Perry, speaking before an appearance at the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Ft. Worth. “But the military is something else. Our military is quite trustworthy. The civilian leadership, you can always question that, but not the men and women in uniform.”
In the course of reporting his remarks, the Dallas Morning News recalls that Perry is an Air Force veteran, and observes he is hardly alone in downplaying or dismissing concerns about Jade Helm.
It should be noted that Abbott explicitly addressed the issue of trust for the military in his letter to Texas State Guard commander Jake Betty, citing Texans’ “long history of supporting military forces.” A great deal of the skepticism concerning Jade Helm is directed at the civilian leadership, not the military forces conducting the exercise. Some wonder if controversy could have been minimized with a better public-relations effort. (Why is anyone surprised that some Texans take umbrage at a map designating their entire state “hostile territory?” Was no one at the Pentagon aware that faith in government is stretched a bit thin these days?)
Military officials told CNN they “welcome the State Guard working with them to coordinate the exercise operations in Texas,” but found the sentence in Governor Abbott’s letter expressing concern about the “safety, constitutional rights, private property rights, and civil liberties” of Texans to be “without foundation.”
It’s tricky to express such concerns without insinuating the lack of trust former Governor Perry criticized. Many Jade Helm critics feel the scenario prepared for the exercise makes similar insinuations against the public.