To ask soldiers and Marines to disarm themselves in a war zone is humiliating.If Gen. Gurganus doesn't trust the soldiers and Marines he commands not to shoot the SOD,maybe he shouldn't be commanding them in the first place.In a sign of the nervousness surrounding the visit, Marines and other troops among the 200 people gathered in a tent at Camp Leatherneck to hear Mr. Panetta speak were abruptly asked by their commander to get up, place their weapons — M-16 and M-4 automatic rifles and 9-mm pistols — outside the tent and then return unarmed. The commander, Sgt. Maj. Brandon Hall, told reporters he was acting on orders from superiors.“All I know is, I was told to get the weapons out,” he said. Asked why, he replied, “Somebody got itchy, that’s all I’ve got to say. Somebody got itchy; we just adjust.”Normally, American forces in Afghanistan keep their weapons with them when the defense secretary visits and speaks to them. The Afghans in the tent were not armed to begin with, as is typical.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Marines Told To Disarm Themselves In Leon Panetta Presence
speaking to armed Marines made Maj. Gen. Mark Gurganus nervous: