Sen. John McCain, the Senate Armed Services Chairman, today mocked Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s order to have state militia monitor a federal military exercise — adding his voice to a chorus of GOP leaders who see unfounded paranoia in concerns of impending martial law. “It’s bizarre,” said McCain, an Arizona Republican.”We have been having military exercises in the southwest for a couple of hundred years.” McCain, one of the Senate’s most hawkish and outspoken members, joined the growing crowd of politicians criticizing the pandemonium about Jade Helm 15.

The eight-week special forces training mission will be conducted this summer in five states, including Texas and Arizona. While the Pentagon insists the states were picked because they have similar terrain to certain foreign countries, conspiracy theorists claim the mission might be the first step toward martial law or another rogue military action. Democrats and Republicans have panned Abbott’s decision to monitor Jade Helm. Former Gov. Rick Perry criticized Abbott for questioning the military, while House Armed Services committee chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Clarendon, called concerns “silly.” MORE