In the following weeks I also noticed a lot of heavy machinery, bulldozers, front end loaders, flat bed trucks, some Humvees and the like being assembled in a lot on the other side of the creek in the town itself. Little did I know at that time, as I have just found out, that these vehicles were elements of the Colorado National Guard apparently involved in some extensive infrastructure project in the town. Starting August 14, news of the military presence in the tiny enclave off highway 12 caused a buzz on the Net among the more conspiratorially minded sites even attracting the attention of the likes of Steve Quayle. The usual rumors were bandied about mostly concerning the implementation of Agenda 21 and even the breakup of the US suggested by the Russian defector Igor Panarin.
Apparently in response, the Colorado National Guard published a feel good article on their website detailing the activities of the Guard in Cokedale. http://military-online.blogspot.com/2012/08/colorado-army-national-guard-engineers.html. According to this post, the Colorado Army National Guard's 947th Engineer Company is merely providing civil reconstruction which the cash strapped community could not otherwise provide.
Soldiers from the company have been installing culverts, cleaning ditches and repairing degraded dirt roads. These repairs, in turn, will update and improve the town's infrastructure by directing storm water runoff away from building foundations.Yet refurbishing streets and drainage systems means more to the people here than just improving their standard of living.Cokedale is also a National Historic District - the only intact coal mining town in Colorado and one of a few remaining in the country - so the Soldiers' work is also helping preserve history, said Kathy Kumm, Cokedale town clerk.
Perhaps those of us who have witnessed the increasing militarization of Southeastern Colorado emanating from the Pinion Canyon Maneuver Site and its nerve center at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs can be excused for questioning the real motivations of the army in the "National Historic District" of Cokedale. It might be suggested that the army has other things in mind than simply "preserving history". It has been amply proven time and time again that the US Army, in its mostly unchallenged and forcible expropriation of ranches and farmland over the past few decades, has acted only in the interest of the so called National Security agenda and has not only disregarded the interests and rights of local residents but blatantly abused and violated them.
Though admittedly largely a matter of speculation at this point, perhaps the real objective of the sudden Army interest in Cokedale might be found some miles upstream of the lazy creek which meanders down Reilly Canyon from headwaters in the Spanish Peaks. Dotting the otherwise serene landscape is an unavoidable patchwork of natural gas wells owned and operated by Pioneer Natural Resources whose headquarters can be found farther up highway 12. Indeed, anyone driving the backroads through Boncarbo and Aguilar and towards the Spanish Peaks will be greeted by what looks like an occupation zone of the green well heads and fencing that mark the ubiquitous presence of the natural gas wells cropping up all over private land. Pioneer Natural Resources owns the mineral rights under almost the entire area and as such, can and does drill whenever and wherever it ses fit, abrogating the rights of local property owners at will.
With the considerable controversy surrounding the extraction of natural gas by "fracking', or injecting a slurry of water and toxic chemicals into the underground substrata to break open methane deposits in coal seams, growing opposition has been generated to the process which, it is speculated, has not only tainted private and public water wells with methane gas but is suspected of causing earthquakes like the one which rocked the area last August 22 causing widespread damage especially in the nearby town of Segundo.
With the production of natural gas coming increasingly to the forefront as a necessary energy source and thus certainly representing a definable position as an integral component of so called National Security issue, could it be that the large complex of well heads in the foothills of the Purgatory Valley have acquired an importance requiring an increased security presence as represented by this otherwise unexplainable army incursion into an area otherwise largely designated as an "agricultural wasteland"?
Meanwhile, further north in Pueblo, we are witnessing yet another expansion of military activity in the presence of the Colorado National Guard Counter-Drug Task Force's Drug Interdiction "section" which recently completed "Operation Fly Paper" resulting in the "largest marijuana bust in southern Colorado" Of course, the unprecedented military presence is certainly questionable from the standpoint of Posse Comitatus but also has immense ramifications for the nation in the ongoing and rampant militarization of police forces throughout the country, the blurring of lines separating the National Guard from US Army activity in domestic affairs and obvious consequences for its citizenry. On the Guard website, of course, pains are taken to depict the beneficial impact of such unwarranted intrusions of military activity into domestic affairs.