After Lone Star State Governor Greg Abbott wandered into a conspiracy theory by letting Texans know he's directed the State Guard to monitor a routine military exercise, former governor Rick Perry said the armed forces shouldn't be questioned.
The Dallas Morning News reported today that Perry made the comments while speaking at World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth.
"It's OK to question your government. 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," Perry said, according to the newspaper.
Last week, Abbott sent a letter to Texas State Guard Major General Gerald "Jake" Betty, explaining that he was directing the Guard to monitor Operation Jade Helm 15 "to address concerns of Texas citizens and to ensure that Texas communities remain safe, secure and informed about military procedures occurring in their vicinity."
"During the training operation, it is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed," Abbott wrote.
The exercise takes place between July and September, 2015 and is a multi-state training exercise where the military will practice protecting Texas — and the rest of the nation — from foreign enemies.
"To stay ahead of the environmental challenges faced overseas, Jade Helm will take place across seven states. However, Army Special Operations Forces (ARSOF) will only train in five states: Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. The diverse terrain in these states replicates areas Special Operations Soldiers regularly find themselves operating in overseas," a U.S. Army news release states.
For some perspective on Perry's indirect criticism of Abbott, the former governor is the guy who ordered the Texas National Guard to the border during last year's so-called surge of undocumented immigrants — a demographic that was largely composed of women and children.