CHUCK Norris is racing to the rescue once again.
The 75-year-old actor, martial arts expert and upholder of conservative causes, has suggested that a US military exercise planned for later this summer may in fact be nothing less than a rascally plot to take over his home state of Texas.
Writing in his column on the right-wing website WorldNetDaily, Norris, suggested there was potential for Jade Helm 15, a US military training exercise planned for July and August, to turn into an occupation.
"If you haven't heard about Operation Jade Helm 15, you need to. The US government says, 'It's just a training exercise'," wrote Norris, who for many years starred in the TV series Walker, Texas Ranger.
"But I'm not sure the term "just" has any reference to reality when the government uses it. It's neither over-reactionary nor conspiratorial to call into question or ask for transparency about Jade Helm 15 or any other government activity."
Jade Helm 15, which is held across public and private land in six states, has long attracted the concerns of those who have little truck with the federal government's potential for overreach.
WANT MORE CHUCK NORRIS?
Indeed, both the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, and US senator Ted Cruz, a Republican candidates for president, have publicly voiced their purported concerns about the event. Mr Abbott said he would have the Texas state guard monitor the event. Mr Cruz said he had contacted the Pentagon with his inquiries.
"I'm glad Ted Cruz is asking the tough questions of the Pentagon. Particularly because its 'exercises' come too near to my ranch's backdoor as well, at least according to the map," he wrote.
"It's pretty sad and bad when major military ops are ordered in a large, fiery state like Texas and not even the governor or its senators know the specifics."
Norris, who earlier this year urged the citizens of Israel to vote for Benjamin Netanyahu, has long been a favourite of conservatives.
He added: "To those who merely think we should check our brains at the door of the White House and trust what the government does, I would reiterate to you the words of one of our government's primary founders, Benjamin Franklin, who said, "Distrust and caution are the parents of security"."
The Pentagon did not immediately respond to inquiries on Tuesday. However, the McClatchy news service quoted a spokesman who denied there was any threat - to either Norris or Texas.
"Operation Jade Helm poses no threat to any American's civil liberties," said Army Col Steve Warren. "Operation Jade Helm is being conducted by Americans - by, specifically, American special forces personnel."
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