Just Not When Leon Is In Town

On 14 march 2012 Leon Panetta, Secretary of Defense made a surprise visit to Afghanistan to soothe  the host nations leaders in the aftermath of a U.S. soldier allegedly shooting  unarmed Afghan civilians.  He forgot one thing… He works for the people and the soldiers of the United States of America.

 U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (R) holds a town hall meeting with coalition forces shortly after arriving in Afghanistan on Wednesday at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan.

SCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (R) holds a town hall meeting with coalition forces shortly after arriving in Afghanistan on Wednesday at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan.

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.”

The troops he visited are in a combat zone but in what is reported to be an attempt to make all in attendance “feel equal”, the SECDEF had our American fighting personnel DISARM themselves to attend his words of wisdom.  Is it me or is something wrong when serving in a combat zone, where recently, supposed Afghan friends have turned weapons on NATO forces and killed them, the SECDEF asks these brave men and woman to disarm?  It is quite apparent that the “PC” police have taken over the DOD, Maj. Gen. Mark Gurganus‘ HQ and the SECDEF’s office and there now is NO respect for the lives of our troops serving in this AOR.  This conflict is becoming eerily similar to one 40 some years ago and our country’s treasure will surely pay the ultimate price.  And I can remember hearing the cries out of D.C. a while back saying never again…. never again.  Well it’s happening again.  Now what?

The one thing I do know is this… our Armed Forces personnel in all branches will continue to honorably serve and continue to run TOWARD freedom not AWAY from it.  God bless our troops and the United States of America.

8 thoughts on “Just Not When Leon Is In Town

  1. When I first heard about this, I thought the guy was a complete jerk. But, then I got to thinking, well, seeing as to how everything’s been goin to hell in a handbasket over there, I’m not so sure I would not have done the same thing. In my mind, though, I believe I would’ve felt safer having armed allies in my presence. But then,who’s really your friend over there?

    • pragmatic…. dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations. That is why I don’t march with Mr Paul…. Mrs Paul….. Mmmm Fish sticks…… Yummmm

  2. When Bush Sr. visited the Marines for Thanksgiving during the build-up to Desert Storm, the marines kept loaded weapons with them at dinner. Though he was still a Progressive, he at least understood the troops as President Bush is reported to have told the Secret Service that, if he wasn’t safe in the middle of all those Marines, he wasn’t safe anywhere on earth.

    Maybe this is the difference between those who have actually SERVED and those who only claim to be serving?

    (BTW: nearly all of the Naval aviators who were shot down in the same raid as Ensign Bush but who had the misfortune of coming down on the island they were attacking were executed – and many were eaten by the Japanese officers who had killed or ordered their deaths.)

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