Skip to comments.Panetta visits Afghanistan: Hundreds of Marines unusually asked to disarm before he speaks
Posted on 03/14/2012 3:41:30 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Hundreds of U.S. Marines were ordered by an American sergeant on Wednesday to disarm before entering a tent where Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was set to speak during his trip to Afghanistan.
No reason was given and U.S. officials tried to downplay the move. But the highly unusual security measure comes amid rising tension in the country after an American solider allegedly killed 16 Afghan civilians on Sunday.
Sgt. Maj. Brandon Hall told more than 200 Marines at Camp Leatherneck that they were to leave their weapons outside. Afghan troops had already been told that they, too, were not allowed to bring their guns.
"Something has come to light," Hall told the troops. When an Associated Press reporter asked about the order, Hall said all he knew was, "I was told to get the weapons out."
During his visit, Panetta promised U.S. troops would not change its course of action, despite recent flare-ups. The trip was scheduled before the bloody massacre which has spurred demands for officials in both countries that foreign troops leave more quickly.
Afghan-U.S. relations have frayed since the shooting incident, in addition to the burning of Korans at a military base in Afghanistan last month. That sparked nearly a week of violent demonstrations, leaving 30 dead, including six U.S. soldiers.
American officials later said the disarming order at the Panetta event came from top commander, Maj. Gen. Mark Gurganus.
He insisted to the New York Times that it had nothing to do with the massacre.
"You've got one of the most important people in the world in the room," he said. "This is not a big deal.
A) Mr. Secretary, our Marines are in a war zone where they can lose their lives when unarmed. It’s not a big deal to not ask them to disarm themselves.
B) Marines, he’s a very important person. It’s not a big deal.
Which option would a man of virtue express?
They classified our own military vets as “domestic terrorists.” What dishonorable filth we have running this country. I feel sorry for our soldiers. They are under so much pressure in war and to have your own leadership turn on you and join the enemy... It reminds me of what my brother told me about serving in Viet Nam. :(
Leave it to the New York Times to not discern between a Sgt and a SgtMaj or even know how to spell the rank's abbreviation.
Hmmmmmm I see they are starting with the 2nd amendment now.....Thank God our troops did not need to defend themselves at the time when dickless was there....
looking at this video the Marines don’t look
very happy about having to disarm in the worst
and most voilent place in Afghanistan.
Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan
Official DOD video
Ten bucks says there are a few angles to that massacre of the civilians by the staff sergeant that haven’t seen the light of day, but have given the U.S. political leadership and military brass good reason to be very, very concerned about the situation with the leadership, discipline and mental stability of the soldiers who are serving over there.
The Secret Service is institutionally paranoid and thinks anyone with a firearm is going to try and assassinate the POTUS.
They will have the honor of serving as an ablative meat shield to protect their betters.
(Is a sarcasm tag really necessary?)
Only a enemy of The United States of America, would be uncomfortable in that room.
I would imagine panetta was terrified.
Outstanding letter and a must read. Thanks.
Nothing like a good 21-gun salute to express displeasure at half-assed military policies that will get you killed.
Panetta has turned out to be less than useless, except to our enemies.
Couldn’t imagine being subjected to a speech by that pudgy cowardly putz.
That’s their job and you can’t fault them for it.
It is simply amazing that in 2008 the American Electorate overwhelmingly put these idiots in charge of our Country.
Very telling. The Obama regime obviously considers the military the enemy.
This cannot end well.
“wonder if ol Leon is afraid that the troops might be a bit unhappy”
Well, I wonder if he was worried that our noble allies might find trigger happiness and try to shoot one of our top guys — sort of like what they have been up to the last few months.
By disarming all soldiers, it could have been an excuse to keep the rag headed ones at bit distant.
OMG. That picture is worth thousands of words..none of which I can utte in a public forum.
The story weakly defends this outrageous demand on our defenders of freedom - in a war zone - with, "...."You've got one of the most important people in the world in the room....".
Says who !?!?
This spineless commie dares spit on the very men and women he and his bozo boss are asking to give their life, limb and mental health !!!
For what ??? Policies he put in place which were the foundation for refusing medical treatment to a brain injured 38 year old soldier on the front line.
This gutless wonder now taints a likely - and unfair - court marshal of a disabled warrior, before it is even assembled - urging it to weigh the death penalty as a proper punishment !!!
Little wonder he fears a room full of Marines, let alone a room full of Marines with weapons !!!
Will the Pentagons perfumed princes forever place politics above honor ???
Will GOP presidential candidates rise to question the grave mistreatment of a warrior already physically and mentally harmed in pursuing his duties ???
Will GOP presidential candidates rise to put a halt to Panettas fear and prejudice against our warriors pledged to defend and protect the Constitution ???
As taxpayers we can only wait and see.
God save us from ourselves.