Former Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) wrote late Thursday in an op-ed that wild speculation about a possible military takeover of the state “must stop.”
Dewhurst’s op-ed, published in The Dallas Morning News, obliquely referenced the local uproar over the U.S. military’s planned “Jade Helm 15” training exercise. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) asked the State Guard to monitor the exercise to ensure “that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed.”
But Dewhurst stopped short of calling out Abbott for responding to the concerns of Texans who believe the conspiracy theory that the “Jade Helm 15” operation is actually a cover for the implementation of martial law, as former Republican state lawmaker Todd Smith did in an open letter. Instead, the former lieutenant governor urged Texans to welcome the troops without suspicion.
“Unfortunately, some Texans have projected their legitimate concerns about the competence and trustworthiness of President Barack Obama onto these noble warriors,” Dewhurst, a Vietnam veteran, wrote. “This must stop.”
“I remember too well a climate where troops who had bravely served were met with insults and derision when they came home,” he added. “It has taken our country decades to change that, and a small but vocal contingent of Texans who would call themselves patriotic are on the verge of ushering that mindset back into vogue. I am furious at the thought, and every right-minded Texan should be as well.”
Correction: This post has been updated to show that Dewhurst did not run for governor against Abbott.