Panetta disarms Marines in Afghanistan
amid fears of possible rogue Marine
Program length – 2:39
Marines disarmed for Leon Panetta speech
By TIM MAK
Hundreds of U.S. Marines were suddenly told Wednesday to leave and return unarmed to a venue where Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was scheduled to speak, according to reports — an unusual move that illustrates the military’s heightened security concerns.
Typically, American forces in Afghanistan have kept hold of their weapons when Panetta addressed them.
But on Wednesday, about 200 Marines were told to take their weapons outside of the large tent at Camp Leatherneck where Panetta spoke and to leave them there, while Afghan troops already were unarmed, as is customary for these events, reports The Associated Press.
The commander on the scene, Sgt. Maj. Brandon Hall, said he was acting on orders from highers-up.
“Something has come to light,” Hall told the troops, according to the wire service. “I was told to get the weapons out.”
“All I know is, I was told to get the weapons out,” he told The New York Times. “Somebody got itchy, that’s all I’ve got to say. Somebody got itchy; we just adjust.”
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