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Conspiracy theorists are already linking President Barack Obama's first visit to Utah as commander in chief to the U.S. Army's "Jade Helm" project, which has inspired the Chicken Little wackos in the right-wing blogosphere to warn of a military takeover of the country and the installation of a dictator state.
Meanwhile, sources say that Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, hopes to use Obama's visit to talk about Benghazi.
And Sen. Mike Lee is using it to remind people on his email list of all the sins the Obama administration has committed to date and to donate to the Utah Republican's political fund to help him stop the debacle.
The White House announced this week that Obama will speak about the economy Friday at Hill Air Force Base. It offered no further details, although Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker praised the president for coming and Gov. Gary Herbert said he hoped to get a private meeting with Obama.
But bloggers on the right see the visit as preparation for the military takeover of Utah. Ammunition for the paranoia is the recently announced "Jade Helm" project, in which special operations forces will 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," said a news release from the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
Right-wing bloggers and radio hosts in Texas already are blaring alarms that the project is in preparation of an Obama takeover of the Lone Star State and the beginning of martial law there.
Now, alarmists in Utah are citing Obama's visit as a precursor for the Beehive State exercises, slated for July 15 to Sept. 15.
"The training exercise will be conducted on private and public land with the permission of the private landowners, and from state and local authorities," said the Army release. "In essence, all exercise activity will be taking place on pre-coordinated public and private lands."
Some Utah lawmakers have communicated among themselves about the nature of the military exercise. They have wondered why Utah is designated as hostile territory in the training manuals. Of course, a visit to the Utah Legislature should answer the question as to why the state would be considered hostile territory.
Meanwhile, some teachers in the Alpine and Nebo school districts say they are being warned about exposing their students to any news coverage of Obama's visit. Before letting their students see any images of the president on televisions in the school or any newspaper reports of the visit, they must get notes from the parents giving their approval that their students may learn that Obama is the president.
And while the White House has announced that the president is coming to Utah this week, and the U.S. Army has plans for a massive, two-month training exercise in five states, including Utah, that has set off the far right, the rest of this column from Benghazi-obsessed Chaffetz to fundraising-obsessed Lee to worried Utah lawmakers to Obama-phobe school administrators should be considered with Wednesday's date in mind.