Marines asked to disarm before Leon Panetta speech
In a highly unusual move, around 200 U.S. Marines were asked to leave their weapons outside the tent where U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was set to speak during his trip to Afghanistan on Wednesday.
Although the military said the order was not given in response to Sunday’s shooting of 16 Afghan civilians allegedly by an American soldier, it possibly underlined how high tensions were running after the incident.
The excuse by Major General Mark Gurganus:
He said he had given the order because the two dozen Afghan soldiers also there were unarmed and he did not want to treat them differently.
Military officials in Washington said the move was significant and sent a message that Marines can’t be trusted in the presence of the Secretary. Marines are also always supposed to have weapons within reach in combat zones.
I reported, you decide