The catalyst was Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who indulged his state’s paranoid population by ordering the Texas State Guard to “monitor” the U.S. Army. After his announcement, I submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to his office for emails pertaining to Jade Helm (I can’t keep putting that in caps), and received hundreds of pages of emails from furious constituents, xenophobes, conspiracy theorists, and manic caps-lock devotees.
Surprisingly, the bundle contained at least as many Texans who were disappointed and even disgusted by Abbott’s decision to pander to the country’s most deluded bunch. Together, they provide a rich portrait of American paranoia today.
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