Marines told to disarm before Panetta speech
Troops stacking their weapons at Camp Leatherneck.
March 14th, 2012
11:17 AM ET

Marines told to disarm before Panetta speech

By Chris Lawrence, with reporting from pool producer Larry Shaughnessy

U.S. Marines waiting for Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to speak at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan Wednesday were ordered to leave the room and place their weapons outside.

The request, relayed by Sgt. Maj. Brandon Hall, was unusual because it's not customary to disarm for a defense secretary visit, but the Marines did as they were told. About two dozen unarmed Afghan soldiers also were in attendance.

Panetta arrived in Afghanistan Wednesday for a two-day visit amid heightened tensions after an American soldier allegedly killed 16 Afghan civilians in their homes Sunday.

The order to disarm came from Maj. Gen. Mark Gurganus, who commands troops in Helmand province.

Asked about the move, Hall told the New York Times' Elisabeth Bumiller: "Somebody got itchy, that's all I've got to say. Somebody got itchy; we just adjust."

Gurganus later told reporters the decision had nothing to do with the weekend shooting, and said it was because the Afghan soldiers in attendance were unarmed and he did not want them treated differently than the Marines.

"This is not a big deal," Gurganus said. But he then added that "you've got one of the most important people in the world in the room," referring to Panetta.  When it was pointed out that this had not been the custom, Gurganus - who is new to the post - replied, "There's a new sheriff in town."

A senior defense official told CNN that Gurganus made the decision to have all coalition troops disarm on Tuesday, but "the order never got passed down the line to the individual units. So, unfortunately, it wasn't until all the Marines were sitting down Wednesday that anyone realized what the general really wanted. It looked bad. But at that point they needed to comply with the order."

Several Marines said they had never seen a situation like this, although they do not believe the decision resulted from any security concerns. The senior defense official said Gurganus was under orders to make partnership a priority, and he felt that "it wouldn't be right to have armed Marines sitting next to unarmed Afghan soldiers. He wants to promote the mission of partnership."

Security procedures involving the handling of weapons vary according to protocols issued by International Security Assistance Force command, as well as the discretion of individual regional and base commanders.

At some bases, troops entering mess halls are required to remove the clip from their weapon and clear any rounds from the chamber. The senior defense official also said security has been increased in varying degrees in the past month or so, following the Quran burning.  For example, in Kabul, as recently as seven days ago troops were required to carry their weapons everywhere, with the ammunition clip loaded but no round chambered, the official said.

The order for the Marines to disarm at Camp Leatherneck was not connected to a separate incident that took place Wednesday at an adjoining British military base in Afghanistan, the defense official said.

In that incident, an Afghan national stole a vehicle and drove it through at least one layer of perimeter security onto the runway at Camp Bastion around the same time Panetta was arriving there from a previous visit to Kyrgystan, a defense official said. A British soldier  was injured by the vehicle before it was driven into a ditch, a defense official said.  The driver ran out of the vehicle on fire. Coalition troops were able to extinguish the fire and he was transported for treatment, according to Pentagon spokesman George Little.

The Afghan national was wearing a "desert utility uniform," similar to the ones coalition troops give to translators and other unarmed locals working with them, a defense official said. Coalition troops searched the man after putting out the flames and apprehending him, but they did not find an explosive device on him, according to the official. No motive or the Afghan's intent was known.

NATO officials said Panetta was never in any danger during his time at Camp Bastion. His plane was diverted upon landing, according to Little.
Camp Leatherneck and Camp Bastion are adjoining bases located in the southern Afghan province of Helmand. The United States runs the facilities at Camp Leatherneck, while the British oversee Camp Bastion.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Marines • Military
soundoff (1,139 Responses)
  1. Doug O

    Guess Panetta was afraid of a "21 Gun Salute"!!!

    March 14, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Reply
    • themama

      The first thing I thought of when reading this message was: If the Secretary of Defense does not feel safe with our Military, then perhaps he needs to find a new job. That would go double for the "Brass" on his coat tails....

      March 14, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Reply
  2. Tim

    That’s protocol for all you idiots that think that is strange. I can tell you have never served anything but yourselves!!

    March 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Reply
    • Doug O

      BS!!! If it was standard protocol then the troops would not of have had to be "reminded" to leave their weapons outside.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Reply
      • MLT0311

        Doug: Tim is absolutely correct! It is standard protocol to disarm for the Secretary of Defense and the President. This has been going on for YEARS. It should have come as no surprise to these soldiers. I deployed to Afghanistan in 2005 and we had to disarm for Donald Rusmfeld's visit. The only people in the room with weapons were Rumsefeld's security team (25-30 guys).

        March 14, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
      • MLT0311

        I just want to clarify something... The only Marines/Soldiers that would need to disarm are those in the same room or tent as the Secretary of Defense. I don't want people thinking that all Marines on the base would have to disarm b/c that is not true at all.

        March 14, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • MLT0311

      So true!!!

      March 14, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Reply
      • Doug O

        MLT0311: Okay, I will take your word. I did not serve. I tried three times to join. First time I got medical deferment. Next 2 time I lied about medical condition but the Doctors caught me anyway. So, I accept your clarification. as for Tim: not all who did not get the chance to serve are "idiots".

        March 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
      • MLT0311

        I absolutely agree Doug!
        You don't have to be a Veteran to have served your country!

        March 14, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Michael

      Hmm if its normal, then why does the article say "It was an unusual request as it is not customary to disarm for a defense secretary visits." I guess they were lying. As for you, I found your comments arrogant and insulting... people who didnt join the military are idiots? And only think of themselves? Right. I served, and I can tell you a great many of the soldiers around me were in it ONLY for themselves, for a paycheck, for college money, ect. Im so tired of this propaganda that people in the military are inherently BETTER then anyone else. nonsense, they are a cross section of humanity, with all the flaws and strengths therein.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Reply
    • FmrMarine

      This is not protocol, my unit was never advised to disarm before some big wig came it to speak to us.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Reply
      • MLT0311

        WHO was the "big wig"? Jimmy Buffet doesn't count!

        March 14, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
      • MLT0311

        And WHEN & WHERE did you serve? The answers to these questions will help substantiate your claims!

        March 14, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Mike

      agreed Tim , for everyone's safety , No doubt though the Secret service did not stack their arms.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Reply
    • Chris

      I can't speak about how things have been working in Afghanistan since 2005 when I left but as a former Marine E-5/0341 we left weapons stacked and posted watches regularly when someone this high up was speaking. I don't find anything odd about this at all since young Marine recruits start doing this in boot camp. But hey if you civilians know more than me I would be happy to listen.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Reply
      • BR

        I guess that squelches the stupid comments that say they disarmed on Panetta's word because he was scared of his own troops!

        March 14, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Devil Dog

      In a combat zone, a Marine should never be without a weapon. But since Tim seemed never have served in one, or di serve with some outfit like the Salvation Army, he would know or understand.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Reply
    • Nick

      Tim, you don't know anything and also you can't read. Maj. Gen. Gurganus indicated that this was a new procedure. ""There's a new sheriff in town," Gurganus, who is new to the post, responded when asked why he ordered them to leave their weapons outside the room when it was not what had been done previously."

      March 14, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Reply
    • Unknown

      Tim and MLT0311 Thank you for the info. But, let's face it, people are going to read something into this because they want to. Thanks, again.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Reply
      • BR

        Well said, proving your point is Sagebrush Shorty.

        March 14, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  3. Sagebrush Shorty

    What an insult to our troops and a sad commentary on the lack of leadership by this administration.

    March 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Reply
    • tort100

      I bet you never served.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Reply
    • scott

      my god...you are an idiot

      March 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Reply
    • SC

      How is that the administration's fault simply because an officer asks his men to leave the weapons? You had too much sour grapes, man.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Reply
    • Sagebrush Shorty

      8 years US Navy enlisted.

      March 14, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  4. Fiona

    I am so offended for those troops. How dare they be so disrespected!

    March 14, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Reply
    • tort100

      I bet you never served, either!

      March 14, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Reply
    • reaper66

      @Fiona – right on missy. It was disrespectful, and I believe sends the wrong signal to the rest of the world. Make the US government look bad (one troubled soldier, misc other isolated events) – and they turn on their own servicemen. They're worried about looking bad to everyone, after the billions we've spent and lost/destroyed lives of our military – the middle east is lucky we haven't just taken them all out and exploited their realestate.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  5. coaster

    If the secretary of defense does not trust our troops, why should they trust him? If it was the general who made this call, the same applies. There is obviously a lack of true leadership, and a healthy dose of paranoia and cowardice calling the shots here.

    March 14, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Reply
  6. joe

    This secdef is a pansy. Grow a pair or find another job, Panetta.

    March 14, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Reply
    • Iris

      I agree!

      March 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  7. A H P III

    This is not news. And it's got nothing to do with God or the Government. Trying to make something out of nothing here.

    March 14, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Reply
  8. sielingfan

    The academics are gonna connect the dots here. F them. Marines keep kicking @$$ and taking names.

    March 14, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Reply
  9. reaper66

    This is basically the same as saying "Panetta doesn't trust you, so leave guns outside". The general should return state-side and setup a freakin flower shop. What a loser..

    March 14, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Reply
  10. Andrew

    I fail to see the point in it. If the Marines wanted him dead, they wouldn't need guns, it would just take longer and be louder maybe a little messier... alot messier.

    March 14, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Reply
  11. Sue

    We've had too many incidents of military members going "postal". The constant deployments without breaks. The highest suicide rate ever documented. The increased lowering of standards to join the military, all of just waiting to explode. This Unit in particular has disgraced the military more than once. Thankfully they are ejecting out the *hitbags who should never have been accepted into the military to start with. Specifically, the members of sniper units. They are a disgrace to the US Military.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Reply
    • wrm

      Yeah, because you know all the snipers. If someone were he11-bent on going postal he or she would conceal a weapon or find another way to get a shot in. Go back to your tent and make posters for the '99%.'

      March 14, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Reply
    • reaper66

      Sounds like you're an expert, but no credibility presented. These marines have been put through hell by our government and the freakin towel-heads that have been fighting for hundreds of years. They have left their family and lives behind to deal with a lot of crap that you probably know nothing about. Go back to your girl scout troop, or knitting, or whatever. Marines – please ignore this kind of crap.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Reply
    • KJF

      You don't know what the hell your talking about and I seriously doubt have served a day in uniform. War is a terrible thing and people get pushed over the edge (pissing on bodies, shooting civilians, etc). You try walking in their boots for months on end not knowing when the next explosion or bullet is coming your way. These were good people put in terrible situations and unfortunately they didn't react always like they should act. How many friends did those Marines or Soldiers loose? How close have they come to death? If the enemy repeatedly tried to kill me I wouldn't have an issue pissing on their corpse either after a long hard fight with an enemy who doesn't fight fairly or by the rules of war

      March 14, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Reply
    • KJF

      Oh yeah what do you mean by "this unit" they never specified what unit other than Marines... there are thousands of Marines in Afghanistan in all kinds of units (Logistics, Aviation, Infantry, Sniper, Armor, etc)... I suggest you just thank those Soldiers and Marines doing something positive (not just lip service) and keep your ignorant comments to yourself

      March 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Reply
    • Iris

      Sue, you are a moron. "The increased lowering of standards to join the military". Are you kidding me? The standards have risen, quite a bit. Why don't you hurry up and find yourself a clue. A clue on ANYTHING dealing with the military. Your comment shows you dont know anything about the military.

      The casualties in Afghan (civilians), that just happened recently was done by an ARMY sniper. *Shaking my head*.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Reply
    • Chris

      Says someone named Sue who has never served in combat, never went through the training we grunts go through and someone who most certainly has spent zero seconds working with Scout Snipers. I also saw no mention of what units are currently being housed at Camp Leatherneck so how do you know so much about unnamed Marine units? Or did you think every Marine serves in the same unit?

      March 14, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Reply
    • Sue

      I'm sure I'll get plenty of responses from the ignorant armchair warriors with their ignorant comments. Look for our lovely right wing- nut christians as they use terms like "towelheads" and talk about urinating on corpses as a cool thing

      March 14, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Reply
      • KJF

        armchair warrior? Really I have served almost a total of three years between Afghanistan and Iraq. Towelheads, Haji its just like Jerry, Nips, Japs, Charlie, Gooks, Hun, Fritz, Ruskies.... just a long line of names that have been used to dehumanize or phrase to vent that has just gotten PC this day and age. You ever had to deal with Afghans and Iraqis on a daily basis? They will drive you insane with backwards thinking but other times impress you. So seriously Sue just read this stuff and keep your mouth shut, no one wants to hear your garbage as is quite evident. I am not a right wing christian loud mouth either! What happened with marines urinating and a soldier going on a shooting spree are terrible things but with war comes terrible things. I nearly had my guts splattered all over an Afghan road but I survived thanks to god. I suffered and still do for the rest of my life with traumatic brain injury and PTSD which I have gotten help for and can function in daily life but these issues affect everyone differently and I can consider myself lucky because many people who are good hearted, love their fellow human beings, and are good nature do terrible things because they are not as forturnate as I was.

        March 14, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  12. Phillip Brame

    Marines, mine is not to reason why mine is just to do or die. Marines do NOT question authority they just do as they are told and adjust. The problem today with the military is that the young troops want to ask questions and believe that they are entitled to answers, WRONG ANSWER !!!

    March 14, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Reply
    • Sagebrush Shorty

      Also today our high ranking military officers must be politically correct politicians first and soldiers second. What away to run a Department of Defense . The Commander in Chief bears the ultimate responsibility for this disgrace, although he will blame someone else as usual.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  13. wrm

    Told to disarm and verified that they were disarmed are two different things. Without verification the order is symbolic at best, self defeating at worst.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Reply
    • reaper66

      I think that pretty-much sums-up the whole middle-east effort in general. Symbolic at best, because nothing will stop the people over there from trying to kill each other and everybody else. I say give them all bombs, pull out US troops (the best in the entire world) and let them all kill each other. Problem solved.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  14. Tom

    I am sure the Marines were told, ordered to attend to make it look good. If not, I would have stayed outside with my weapon...and bet I would not have been alone!

    March 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Reply
    • wrm

      Definitely. I would rather forgo a nice ra-ra tell-us-some-great-news speech than leave my weapon.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Reply
      • reaper66

        I would be outside with you. ROCK ON 🙂

        March 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Chris

      I totally agree. When I served in the Corps (1997-2005) I went to my fair share of these events and the main thing I took away from it was that I would rather be the Marine standing guard over the weapon stacks.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Reply
    • Sue

      Sure, Tom. Because disobeying a direct order in the military is probably something you did all the time when you were in the fantasy marine corps.

      March 14, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  15. bbcblogger

    He could have just as well told them to check their balls at the door

    March 14, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Reply
  16. Ivan

    What has happened is that the US Politicians cannot trusted and they are afraid that the military will wake up.

    They will wake up and depose and get rid of these idiot leaders we have like in other countries.

    They are afraid to make it just like our founding fathers wanted.

    “For the people, By the people” not “By Corrupt politicians for Corrupt businesses”.

    That is why these Politicians are afraid.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Reply
  17. MLT0311

    This is not new or news! 7 years ago we had to disarm for Donald Rumsfeld's visit to Afghanistan (we also had steak that evening – to show him how well we eat over there 😉

    March 14, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Reply
    • Anoop Vindaparadaram

      the bridge between State and Military in USA is widening every day. Morale of troops is low.

      the US and NATO lost miserably in Afghanistan and nobody will be shedding a tear.

      Obama has no control over his military

      March 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Reply
      • MLT0311

        Well that was a DUMB comment! Thanks!!!

        March 14, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • scott

      One voice of sanity..........the rest of you are tools....unbelievable

      March 14, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Reply
      • MLT0311

        Thanks Scott!

        March 14, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Trooper

      I love when civilians post rants about military issues. Those who have never been there, will never understand. I served 15 years active, and I've seen this situation go both ways plenty of times. We went unarmed for SecDef Cohen's visit to Bosnia back in 1999, then later went unarmed to hear him on a second visit to the AO. I don't think it is dictated by the threat FROM the soldiers, but by the threat TO the soldiers. If anything this was an indicator that the threat level in that particular area was considered low enough that the troops could safely enter and hear the SecDef without their weapons, though I feel the General was probably misquoted by the CNN reporter. It could very well be that CNN themselves botched this one a bit.

      March 14, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  18. behere

    Now we don't trust our own troops, and this is the secretary of defense!!! We lost out when we kicked God and prayer out of schools, allow abortion and let Gays get married! More natural disasters on the way....We are too strong for other nations but we can't protect our selves from those floods, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes and the insurance companies disallowing our claims for the such since they will run out of money....Bye Bye Miss American Pie!!

    March 14, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Reply
    • Youguys R. Killinme

      There's nothing "now" about it–even incompetent military officers were sometimes "fragged" in Vietnam. By their own men. What happened in Ft. Hood, TX? Didn't a "nut" in uniform shoot up–his own army base?

      March 14, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Reply
      • CCalhoun

        A "nut" that was a religous fanatic!

        March 14, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Mark

      Trolling

      March 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Reply
    • Jack 63

      It's always been the case. They made us take the bolts out of all the M16's and ziptie the M9 pistols shut when we paraded for slick willy during the pearl harbor ceremony on wheeler army airfield.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  19. Frank

    I bet they disarmed the Afghans because they can't trust them not to shoot Panetta or Marines. And they disarmed the Marines because they didn't want to harm the Afghan's feewings.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Reply
    • woody

      Were the Afghani's rendered shoeless?

      March 14, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Reply
  20. comm0nsense

    It's this kind of ridiculous reporting by CNN that fire the fuels of ignorance here in America. The headline is intended to draw fiery response by making it seem as if this is something new. The article itself make no, i.e. zero, attempt 'reporting' if this is something new. What a joke. What we need is BBC style real reporting.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  21. Logical Decision

    Who needs guns at a speech inside a military base? Look – there are enough trigger happy kids in the marines these days (different than my day) so I don't blame the "itch". Listen to your commander and shut up.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Reply
    • booo

      Listen to your commander – until your time is up – and then get out.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Reply
    • PN

      I guess you didn't hear about the probable suicide bomber whos car burst into flames just as Sec Def was landing.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  22. JR0311

    As a former Marine, and one who has been in combat, I wonder how the Marines there felt. Though I don't think they would tell a reporter because then that would be questioning orders and what you say in country is very restricted.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Reply
    • Victor

      Good observation. I think it was mostly PA, but there might have been some Intel on a possible threat.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Reply
    • TMCD

      I'm assuming, and I might be an as...., that the general had their backs covered. If he didn't have troops in place to protect dignitaries and audience, then indeed we have reason not to trust our military.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Reply
    • booo

      I think they felt just like the many in my son's unit that just left the Corps... as soon as their time was up.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Reply
    • rickwh

      As a former soldier I also have to wonder about this one. It's a sad day when the military can't even trust their own people with weapons around the Secretary of Defense.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  23. GardenValley6

    GD office pouge. That's stupid. The entire population is out to kill anybody in Marine Green and this jerk (Major General)
    tells them to disarm. Also he just arrived in country,probably doesn't know the lay of the land yet. He still thinks that we can win the hearts and minds of the population. Should not even have had the Afgani's in attendence. At this point in the game we shouldn't even engage them unless it's to kill them. Pick up everything and leave it as it was.. stuck in the 11th Century. Let them kill each other. Semper Fi grunts 0311/8404

    March 14, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Reply
    • @youignantdotcom

      "The entire population is out to kill anybody in Marine Green and this jerk (Major General)
      tells them to disarm"

      Very doubtful, but not surprised by knee jerk reactions

      March 14, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Reply
    • Sue

      If you're going to pretend you're a former marine, do some research. There is no "marine green" in country. Hasn't been for years and years. They wear desert camo.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Reply
  24. Deathstalker

    Im sure this was mostly just PR nothing more but then who knows someone might actually have been scared.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Reply
  25. woody

    Did the Marines get to give Panetta a "Geraldo Handshake" during any meet&greet?

    March 14, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  26. Jack 63

    They made them put their weapons out side because he is there to tell them that Obama is going to have them handing out appology letters to all the afghani's next week.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Reply
    • Jon KIng

      You mean the Obama who ordered Bin Laden and his # 2 killed and has had zero attacks on our soil? Think for yourself son.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Reply
      • Jack 63

        Yes the same Obama that can't make a timely command decision to save his life. You know the Obama that let an american sit in a life boat with a gun to his head for three days before reluctantly allowing the snipers to take them down. The very same Obama that apologises instead of standing up for this country. So you think about all the things Obama does and not just two or things that you can throw up infront as a distraction from his failings.

        March 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  27. Mark0

    Scope Change:
    Capture the ememy alive. When done, have a talk.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Reply
  28. information

    bang the drums slowly.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Reply
  29. Dan

    There is no safer, or more dangerous, place in the world than in a room full of armed Marines. It all depends on if you have been identified as an ally or an enemy. If it was Mr. Panetta that was the "itchy" one then I can only assume that he feared that the Marines might see him as their enemy. I seriously doubt that the Marines viewed him as such. Personally, if I found myself surrounded by armed Marines I would be at peace with whatever fate befell me.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Reply
    • booo

      Marines should have been given the option to attend – or not. They hate these bloviated political speeches they are forced to listen too anyway. But if they are forced to attend – the general should NOT disrespect them.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Reply
      • @youignantdotcom

        its disrespect to tell marines to leave their guns? Last time I checked, soldiers work for the corps, not the other way around. SMH YouIgnant.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
      • sh9350a

        Please stop posting. Also, you should really stop giving your son advice.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Andrew

      If you're surrounded by armed Marines, you're in trouble. (couldn't resist the double-entendre)

      March 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Reply
      • Dan

        Depends on which way their rifles are pointed.

        March 14, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  30. booo

    This is exactly why I told my son to GET OUT of the US Marine Corps. Top trained sniper... Let this idiot General go do the hard work. He disrespects his men, he doesn't deserve to have them. Thank God my son's enlistment, as well as 9 of his other sniper buddies is U-P. They are all leaving. Let the Marines pay over a mllion each to train new ones for this "most important" person in the world. WHAT would Pinetta have done if there had been an invasion while he was on the ground? HUH????????? No one to defend him. What a sorry General this is – put him on the front lines and let the Talban take him FIRST as he is obviously too incompent to be in the Marine corps.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Reply
    • information

      you tweaking or mainline?

      March 14, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Reply
      • booo

        I am one of THOUSANDS of disgusted parents of the command – we have no generals left – only barbie dolls. We don't have to do drugs as you seem to intimate – we have a justifiable, LIFE, on the ground called our son or daughter, who has become the dumping ground for their command. I do not know a single parent right now that is not telling their son/daughter – walk away as soon as it is legal... file early out, do not re-enlist. There is not such thing as honor in the Marines, until they get real generals in the corps, and a real commander in chief.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • @youignantdotcom

      "Let the Marines pay over a mllion each to train new ones for this "most important" person in the world"

      LOL the marines arent paying for the training. TAXPAYERS are. Your statement is selfish.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Reply
      • booo

        You put up your OWN kid to be used as cannon fodder, to be disrepected by their own command, to be forced to sit and watch their buddes legs be paraded on poles by the Talban when they are hit by an IED and told you can't shoot them, etc etc... We parents are saying ENOUGH – get out – we will support you if you do. Let the generals take the front lines themself and get maimed and blown up for awhile.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
      • @youignantdotcom

        Booooo, no one put a gun to your kids head and forced them to sign their life away to the Marines. There hasn't been a draft in the US in quite sometime. Stop it already...

        March 14, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • sh9350a

      ugh. Where do you people come from? Go learn a thing or two about how our government works before making idi0tic statements such as this. PANETTA is the Secretary of Defense, not a General. Which means he is a civilian. That's just the beginning of what's wrong with your post.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Reply
      • booo

        I dd not say Pnetta was a general – I said the Marine Generals like this moron who is "leadng" over there is a barbie doll. Pinetta is a civilian runnng all this – which is a whole different flaw... Look at when the morale and problems in the military really started to go down...

        March 14, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
      • sh9350a

        PANETTA. good grief, I'm sorry, you're grasp of the English language is awful. Your posts are confusing and your statements are just plain dumb.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
      • sh9350a

        It's so bad, it's affecting me! Your*

        March 14, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
      • Muldoon in Ohio

        sh – apparently you didn't read the story. it was the general who ordered the marines to leave the arms outside – assumption is that the afghans got 'itchy' since they weren't armed. perhaps they felt another massacre coming on...

        March 14, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
      • Allen

        I think the statements about the "generals" refers to those in uniform giving the orders determined by politicians. Perhaps reading would give you clarity of meaning.

        March 14, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
      • sh9350a

        Muldoon, are you brain dead? That was my whole point. See if you can follow this: My comment was that booo's poor English was confusing to read.

        March 14, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • tcp

      Concur!

      March 14, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Reply
    • Sue

      We all thank god any offspring of yours is no longer wanted in the military and is being kicked out. Go back to your trailer park and get the family meth buisness started.

      March 14, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Reply
  31. SeeThruIt2

    If it was the CJCS there, would they have been given the same order?

    And it's not about the Afghans present. It's about how the Chain of Command treats the soldiers they lead.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  32. E7Hotel

    The SecDef travels with his own armed security detail in a foreign country. The speech was in an already protected US Zone, which I am sure had double the usual sentry security at the perimiter. The disarming of everyone in the building limits the threat potential to the SecDef under any and all circumstances. I am quite certain the stacked arms where secured by sentries outside the building and were only steps away from the building if the Marines needed to quickly re-arm themselves. There is really no story here at all, just trying to create some news.
    Marine GySgt Retired.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Reply
    • Sue

      Sanity enters the thread. Thank you and ignore the ignorant armchair hill billies who all claim to have served.

      March 14, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Reply
  33. brad

    I read some of these posts and its no wonder our country is going downhill. You people can't even have a civilized conversation in this forum.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Reply
    • Frank

      My thought would be that disarming the Afghans soldiers is typical for a visitor of that level, but after the rogue sgt., having the Marines do the same is a new gesture of support. But I haven't been on the ground in Afghanistan; anyone who has care to weigh in?

      March 14, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Reply
  34. Bubba

    Apparently Marines are no longer semper fidelus. That kid putting up a Facebook about Obama being "the enemy" may have just downgraded them in America's eyes. Why have an elite corps if you can't trust them? Why is your motto "Semper Fi" if you're going to turn on your commander? We need to see some show of loyalty and some internal purging and resignations, or else send the Marines all down to the regular army and disband them. Sorry guys, but everything comes to an end.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Reply
    • brad

      Well, I'm pretty sure they are putting their lives in danger every day. They need to be respected, too. And our politicians and presidents do not repect them as much as they should.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Reply
    • MASTRODAMUS

      Maybe they are always faithful to The Constitution!

      By the way, it's spelt Semper Fidelis.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Reply
      • DPatriot

        By the way , its spelled SPELLED , NOT SPELT hayseed

        March 14, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • McAfee

      What we need to do is re institute the draft; having almost all of the army be from the same geographic, political, ethnic, and cultural group is dangerous (the vast majority of soldiers are white, conservative, republicans from the south). Having an integrated and diverse armed forces will prevent group-think, and mix different people.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Reply
      • DPatriot

        Lay off the pipe bro

        March 14, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
      • Allen

        The experience of Vietnam was enough to inform even politicians that a draft is a bad idea. A dedicated professional military, even a small one, is far superior to an unwilling conscript force. As for those who question the future of the Corps, there is a reason it is called America's 911 force. No other branch has the capabilities to deploy as quickly or with as lethal force as the Corps. Now, for those questioning the loyalty of the Corps or lack of diversity my white, Southern, Republican background prevents me from telling you what I think. Most of you probably have no idea what it takes to become a Marine. Perhaps if becoming President were as difficult, we could have better leadership.

        March 14, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Jeff

      Bubba. That's an appropriate name for you. Uneducated, obviously rednecked, and probably thinking that the civil war is still going on. If you ever had the guts to serve you would know that your post was completely idiotic. Marines have been defending this country for 237 years. The Marines have been around that long because the service that they provide is absolutely crucial to the defense of our nation. One bad apple does not undo 237 years of honorable, selfless and dedicated devotion to the United States.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  35. Jimi

    This isn't an unusual practice. When President George H.W. Bush and then Secretary of State Dick Cheney visited our unit during Operation Desert Storm we were ordered to removed the firing pins from our rifles.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Reply
    • DPatriot

      Shows how much faith he had in you guys lol

      March 14, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Reply
      • TMCD

        Have past US citizens, veterans or not, attempted or assassinated American dignitaries on our soil? If so, it would seem so much easier for a US citizen in the military, or a infiltrator, to assume the role of assassin. Trust, lets us reason.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • JoeBlow

      It's a highly unusual move for a Sec Def. Read what former generals are saying about this.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Reply
      • DPatriot

        Exactly

        March 14, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Sasquatch

      during Operation Desert Storm we were ordered to removed the firing pins from our hand grenades.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Reply
      • tcp

        Man, I just now noticed what you really said. How on earth do you remove a firing pin from a grenade?

        March 14, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • tcp

      This IS an unusual practice. Apparently you had some pretty sorry leaders post DS. When H.W. visited us in Mogadishu in '92, we were slung up and ready. This is a RIDICULOUS practice in a hostile fire zone. If it is stable enough over there to have a battalion of Marine's stack arms before listening to some political hack, then why is the media trying to make us believe OEF has gone to he11 in a hand basket?

      March 14, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Reply
      • Sue

        It's standard SOP for high value visitors. Anyone on here claiming it is not has never served in the military and is only pretending to be an internet warrior and should be ignored.

        March 14, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Dave

      Dick Cheyney's hunting partners make him do that now!

      March 14, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Reply
  36. Donald in CA

    A good move on Panett's part, you never know whats on folks mind.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Reply
    • JoeBlow

      It was a gutless cowardly move.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  37. Doug O

    It make you sick to see what this administration has done to our country and its defenders. These are American Marines we are talking about. To make them less than that is criminal. To make them disarm to appease other "make believe soldiers" is in the same vein as obastard's habit of bowing to every third world leader. We are the United States of America, the light of the world. Who the H-LL is first when disaster strike with help be it for friend or foe! This cr@p of making us just "one more in a crowd of mediocrity" is the final insult from Obastard!

    March 14, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Reply
    • Captain Haddock

      utter rubbish. Soldiers have to take off the pins from the weapons when the President arrives too. We are living in unpredictable times with a lot of frazzled nerves and even reports of racist Aryans serving in the military. It was Bush who rushed into Iraq and it was BUSH who kissed and held hands with that third world leader aka the King of Saudi Arabia and walked like a gay couple in Crawford. Bush covered up for 9.11 terrorist attacks by not revealing the Saudi Connection to us. Bush-Cheney secretly ferreted out the BinLadens from the US even before we could fly. why was that? get your racist blinders off and follow FACTS. ASK WHY Bush-Cheney listened to dictates from Saudi Arabia and airlifted the Binladens even before we could question them.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Reply
      • JoeBlow

        Not for the Sec Def clown. Read what former military generals are saying about this.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
      • tcp

        No we don't.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • @youignantdotcom

      "We are the United States of America, the light of the world."

      Exactly why the world hates this country....keep patting the US on the back. Makes the rest of us look #ignant #youignant

      March 14, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Reply
      • sh9350a

        Thanks for your contribution to the destruction of the English language.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
      • Lee

        You are definitely ignorant.

        March 14, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Joshua Ludd

      Oh, you mean like when he actually ended the occupation of Iraq? Didn't invade Libya for a multi-year occupation? Maybe you should take a good hard, long look at the last president who sent our soldiers into two pointless wars and got thousands of them killed over weapons that didn't exist and when he went to visit troops on Thanksgiving, he had photos taken of him serving them a turkey... a plastic turkey. Or perhaps you'd prefer to complain about Rush Limbaugh who called a soldier (who I happen to know) a "suicide bomber" simply because he disagreed with Rush. Obama didn't have anything to do with this decision and he bows to foreign leaders when appropriate, just as every other president has done.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Reply
      • Doug O

        Really? No WMD. And you really believe that? So, the thousands of Kurds dying from poison gas WMDs were just faking it? Just because we didn't find them does not mean there were not WMDs. So, they got rid of them. Now "where" is the question. Not that there were not WMDs. Use your brain. Think. Entire village populations, dead! And according to your logic they all just dropped dead in their tracks from "natural causes".

        March 14, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
      • Allen

        It is a common misconception, fostered by this administration, that Obama ended the Iraq war. He simply followed the plan outlined under the Bush administration. Why do you think he kept Gates on as Sec. of Defense? Unfortunately, we now have a bean counter as the civilian head of our armed forces. I guess that is change for you.

        March 14, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • comm0nsense

      Trust me, if it were for people like you, we would have been worse off than Somalia. I can almost guarantee that you and your entire lineage has made no meaningful contribution to this country. It's ignorant people like you who are going to take us down. It's reason, science and technology that made us the superpower. Not the oversized ego you and your republican buddies keep talking about. Just looking in the mirror, it's you who is calling the Command in Chief a retard. FYI, this (leaving weapons out) isn't new to the current administration. Then again you probably don't know US history prior to 2009.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Reply
    • Sasquatch

      Funny, nothing in the story about Obama ordering this.
      You gotta problem dont you !

      March 14, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Reply
    • just a guy

      If America is the worlds light then leave me in th edark

      March 14, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Reply
      • DPatriot

        What is EDARK?

        March 14, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Craig Robinson

      Doug O, serious dude. What hole did you just crawled out of? The first thing you do is blame the administration for is wrong with some Americans that chose to be mentally incapable of being a good citizen. That's garbage. With the incidents over the last couple of weeks were a Lt Col and a Major shot in the back of the head by a afghan solider and 2 other soldiers killed over the accidental burning of the Koran what the heck you think they would do. A gathering like this withe SECDEF and everyone holding weapons to include our guys with some more afghans in the crowd and not knowing if they have been turned by the Taliban would make a great opportunity to cause more casulties. You wouldn't know that because you probably haven't served in the military-being proactive to the situation is the key.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Reply
      • Doug O

        What "hole"? Nice discourse. So, to answer you at your level of intallect – "yo moma's hole!"

        March 14, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Sue

      Crawl back in your hole, methhead.

      March 14, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Reply
  38. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    That popular, huh?

    March 14, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  39. chizzlin sam

    did they strip search them too??

    March 14, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  40. Jimbo

    Too many here are automatically assuming it was an Afghan solider that got itchy. Although that seems likely, it could have very well been an American soldier – maybe he/she have a grudge about deployment? I'm just saying, you don't know... That recent soldier who went on a killing spree sure got itchy. PTSD is an unpredictable animal.

    The point is, this war is an epic failure. The longer we are there, the worse it will be. This is the next Vietnam, no question. No foreign presence has won in Afghanistan before, and it won't change now. Think about the point of this war when you consider that the 9/11 hijacker had official Saudi help. Yeah our gov't doesn't want that known... but it just keeps coming out.... Puts things into perspective, huh?

    March 14, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Reply
    • LT

      He is afraid for his own life too. Duh!

      March 14, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Reply
    • Captain Haddock

      well said.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Reply
    • rick

      they were Marines... not soldiers. Alot you know.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Reply
  41. SeeThruIt2

    UThat's the problem. We should be sending gererals to lead over there instead of a sheriff.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Reply
  42. Mark0

    A while ago in the west WE stopped killing and then WE captured and then WE sat done to discuss options. Adverstising the drone killing of Talibans is not the answer.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
  43. Tony

    People stop this political posturing, a lot of you do not know what you are talking about, do you think that all our soldiers will disarm? what about those guys that are pulling watch (duty) the article stated only the soldiers in the meeting with the SOD. The US military personnels are not as dumb as some of you on this post won't we be sitting ducks if that is the case our bases are well guarded where ever they are.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
    • Usmc0819

      "The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals
      of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!" ~Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, 1945

      March 14, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Reply
  44. Flier100

    Panetta authorized a ONE BILLION dollar purchase of RUSSIAN MI-17 helicopters by the United States Department of Defence. This is not a joke. You people need to start THINKING who you vote for.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
    • Alex

      Ummm maybe cause they work better in the desert. Sorry ours don't, at least not as good as they should. Just sayin

      March 14, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Reply
    • Flagwavin

      US to buy Russian helicopters for Afghan air force. The Pentagon plans to buy ten Russian military helicopters for Afghanistan's fledgling air force at a cost of $180 million (£119 million), ignoring protests from Congressmen who say US aircraft should be considered.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Reply
    • mcescher

      The U.S. army purchased 21 helicopters $375 mil for the Afghan army, with an option to purchase up to $550 mil more. We are supposed to be training and suppling them so the U.S. can get out. How is that a problem, and what does this purchase have to do with who you vote for?

      March 14, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Reply
    • COPE

      Get your facts straight. The company selling the helicopters is the same company that provided $1 Billion worth of arms to Syria. At the same time, the lawmakers said the Defense Department, led by the Army, has agreed to buy 21 dual use Mi-17 helicopters for the Afghan military from Rosoboronexport. The no-bid contract for aircraft and spare parts is worth $375 million with options for additional purchases. The US contract is for quite a bit less than $1 Billion.

      Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2012/03/12/2252238/lawmakers-seek-end-to-us-deal.html#storylink=cpy

      March 14, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Reply
    • Youguys R. Killinme

      Yup. And wuttabout all them EYE-TAL-YUN Beretta pistols our boys are now gettin' as GUVMINT ISSUE? Huh?

      Somebody make a deal with Berlusconi? I'm just sayin.
      🙂

      March 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Reply
    • scott

      ok i see other educated people have set flier100 straight...my god the ignorance

      March 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Reply
  45. pablo the taco

    After reading all of these comments. I am very surprised to find that others feel like me. What they don't know is what the government does know. That all of this war blah blah goes much deeper than one could ever imagine. Let's be honest... The majority of the "soldiers" are broke hillbillys that needed money to pay for college to hopefully be the first out of their families to attend college. Our politicians know this and they also know that they have F'd over america and its "troops".. that makes these overpaid politicians little timid. If you f'd someone over for oil wouldn't you want them to be un-armed??

    March 14, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      Just remember your free to make such a statement because those "broke hillbillies" put their lives on the line everyday. You might want to show a bit more respect.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Reply
    • @youignantdotcom

      LOL please back up your claims with evidence. Until then, make me a burrito. #youignant

      March 14, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Reply
      • DPatriot

        Its not twitter moron , no hash tag needed , go play

        March 14, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • sh9350a

      False. Some people believe in service to the country. Believe it or not, many have not just bachelors, but post-graduate degrees as well. Why don't you try serving... you know, if you can hack it.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Reply
  46. goodideafairy

    Missing the point people....the issue was not our soldiers, it was the Afghan's present that were the possible threat. It is as simple as an attending Afghan grabbing a rilfe from a Marine and using it on the crowd. Take no chances.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Reply
    • PoliticalWhistleBlower

      If that were true and it is not. The U.S. diplomat would have held a separate meeting with those he did not trust.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Reply
      • PoliticalWhistleBlower

        Oh, and because my opinion is ALL FACT and yours is not. herp derp derp

        March 14, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • pablo the taco

      ??? do you really think that??? no chances??? what the heck do you think war is??? chance....

      March 14, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
    • booo

      no – it was this Gen throwing his men under the bus. Total disrespect.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Reply
      • McAfee

        Throwing them under the bus? That's putting it a bit dramatically. After all, he throws them under far worse actual threats on a daily basis.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  47. cbr

    Bold decision. They were only told to disarm before they entered a meeting with secretary Panetta. It was not a meeting where arms were necessary. Even in the old west they asked that weapons be left at the door.

    Give this General a chance. He just might make a difference in Afghanistan.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Reply
    • PoliticalWhistleBlower

      Are you a child that believes in Hollywood... Marines are trusted until a boss comes around....O.K. right.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
      • PoliticalWhistleBlower

        Listen to me because my opinion is fact, alright bub! I'm a activist who knows every thing. Just listen to me because those other jokes don't know what they're talking about.....derp

        March 14, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
      • scott

        and wjat makes your opinion fact bub?ever in the military?

        March 14, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  48. Mark0

    Hanoi fought us to the last foothold in Vietnam, the talibanand other factions will do the same. However, I hear we want to make pease with them.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Reply
    • us1776

      The arms merchants and military-industrial complex do not care one way or the other.

      They make massive amounts of money no matter who "wins".

      .

      March 14, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
    • Jim

      Funny, we are at *peace* with Hanoi. Now only if we didn't waste 60,000 Americans for that unnecessary war. Your sarcastic use of *pease* suggests you would have us be at war long enough to lose another 60,000.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Reply
    • Bubba

      Most people who live in Hanoi today don't know they ever fought Americans. They remember the French, but not us. It's a different generation on the land.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Reply
      • Sue

        Excuse me for not believing someone named "bubba" who claims he knows what "most people in Hanoi think".

        March 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  49. glorydays

    Gee...what does that tell us?????

    March 14, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Reply
    • WTH

      It tells us that he has been told a lot more than we have been told... The question is, is anybody really listening?

      March 14, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  50. Tony

    I was a vet a corpsman and i do not think that it was wrong to tell marines to disarm if there afgan allies have to, we need to let these people take over their country, and get to hell out of it. A little diplomacy goes very far.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Reply
    • Crash

      Thank you, Tony for a reason-backed, intelligent comment. The only one I saw. The rest are merely knee-jerk reactions based on no facts or evidence.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Reply
      • JoeBlow

        So, let's hear you "facts", Einstein. Panetta is a gutless coward, that's the only fact here.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • JoeBlow

      Who cares what you were. Numerous former generals have spoken out against this claiming it's a highly unusual move for a Secretary of Defense. Currently serving generals aren't allowed to say anything. It's been done for elected officials, such as a Vice President or President, but not for an appointed Secretary of Defense. Panetta is just a gutless coward.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Reply
      • scott

        and you are another loud mouth KNOW nothing republican...and knee jerk reactions are the only kind you have.....your screen name is overly accurate

        March 14, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • JoeBlow

      Who cares what you were. Numerous former generals have spoken out against this claiming it's a highly unusual move for a Secretary of Defense. Currently serving generals aren't allowed to say anything. It's been done for elected officials, such as a Vice President or President, but not for an appointed Secretary of Defense.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Reply
  51. Mike

    Hmmm....

    March 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  52. OregonTom

    Marines without rifles? What will our leader think of next?

    March 14, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Reply
    • Mr. Myxlptlkx

      You're a flaming idiot. So is O.T.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Reply
      • Doug O

        Wow!! What a constructive comment! So, here's one for you "you're an azzhole!"

        March 14, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • WTH

      Just how goofy and dysfunctional does this have to get before we get the hell out from over there?

      March 14, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Reply
    • Sasquatch

      Turning off internet access from morons would be a good start.
      OregonTom, lets start with you.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Reply
  53. Cincinnatus

    Was Secretary Panetta's security detail disarmed as well?

    March 14, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Reply
  54. O.T.

    This is one of the most outrageous decisions in the history of the U.S. military. It either shows a White House contemptible of the military or a military that is under undue strain, because of politicians, or both. Either way it shows the need for a change at the top.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Reply
    • Bill in Florida

      Overdose on your hyperbole meds, this morning? This is a non-issue.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Reply
      • JoeBlow

        It's only a non-issue for a clown such as yourself. Several former generals have spoken out against this claiming it is a highly unusual move. It's been done before for elected officials such as a President and Vice President, but not an appointed Secretary of Defense. If you believe this was done to "spare the feelings" of the Afghans, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. Panetta is just a coward.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • sh9350a

      Really? The most outrageous? Does your knowledge of military history span the last decade only? It's not a big deal, realx fool.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Reply
    • Jim

      You obviously didn't read the story. The Commanding Officer made the order–not Panetta. And it's not because Marines are not trusted, it was to avoid hurt feelings with the Afghans. Nonetheless, people like you continue believing what they want to regardless of the facts.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Reply
    • Jessy

      No. The most outrageous military decision was using our service men as guinea pigs.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Reply
    • MSGT Miceli

      I live on Camp Leatherneck and you are an ignoramous. This is standard operating procedure. It lasted for 20 minutes and now said Marines all have their weapons back.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Reply
      • DPatriot

        sure you do

        March 14, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Bubba

      It shows that the commanding officer could not trust his Marines not to fire on the Secretary of Defense. That's the worst indictment of the Marine Corps I ever heard. Every Marine I've met has been proud of 'Semper Fi.'

      March 14, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Reply
    • Captain Haddock

      oh weally? this is worse than rushing into the false war in Iraq ? really?

      March 14, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Reply
    • O.T.

      Obama is going to destroy our military,
      Obama eats babies for lunch.
      Obama is a socialist communist marxist muslim
      who is selling us to China.
      Obama was born in Kenya.
      Obama hates America.
      Obama is going to ban all religions

      Did i leave anything out ?.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Reply
      • scott

        NO OT...I think you covered why i wouldnt vote republican if my life depended on it....if you could only see how stupid you look to normal people....reasonable people....but folks like you and patriot and cnnnutty just keep on spouting your nonsense....if you cant come to a reasonable opinion when presented with facts...dont be scared...it s pretty comman with schizoprenics like yourself.....and republicans...or...are you an independent

        March 14, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
      • Retired Army

        Scott,

        What OT posted is called......sarcasm.

        My guess is that he is at LEAST as liberal as you are.

        March 14, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  55. Mark0

    Lets' get the time out blankets, lay on the floor, reflect, get back up, go out to the play ground, and bully some more, only to get sent to the pricipal's office. Why is this called a WAR when if is just continually protecting a peremeter between hostile forces?

    March 14, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Reply
    • -ray

      and what the heak are they gonna do over here genius?. with 40 k loans........and....

      75 million wet backs , asians , and hispanics competeing. and these guys with 2 and 4 yr crap degrees at best from knock off schools....

      get real to the "reality" of what this has become in 15 years....

      there best off staying out there.the hell of 12 and 15 an hour is all that waits for them here. if there lucky............best that can happen to them.....is there mission goes on for ever....

      imagine 30 k a year and all these wet balls trying to get you fired every day....plus....the loans they gotta pay back and?

      mortages.....

      get real.!!!

      theres nothing i mean nothing here for them.....

      or why you think there out there 2 or 3 times....

      get real...!!!!!....

      any achoholic will tell you getting real is the first step....

      get real and acknowledge this is a third world....when you do.? then you can begin to "talk" wind down....

      the heak are these people gonna work? i mean work.....

      20 30 an hr.

      not third world crap of 12 bucks an hour...

      these best off out there....

      till youcan come up with answers for that...

      March 14, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Reply
      • George Bush

        get some help...it must be tough living with all that.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
      • ray

        yeah bush you want them at 8 dollars an hour

        March 14, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
      • Retired Army

        Ray,

        Since you live in America, you gonna learn to speak/read/write English?

        Hope so........

        March 14, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  56. ronbro51

    Yea sure General just make sure somebody is also guarding your weapons. You got to be kidding me! New sheriff in town not taking any chances, give me a break. It is not the Marines I am worried about but the yahoo Army troops from Ft Lewis. These guys sound like a frat team from the Animal House movie.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Reply
    • sh9350a

      says the guy with "bro" in his name.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Reply
  57. Wow, really?

    Nice to see the liberals blasting those evil, knuckle dragging military types. I wonder who the pro-intervention liberals were planning on sending into the skies of Syria and onto the ground for their 'humanitarian' invasion? I guess they're planning on sending themselves.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Reply
    • Bubba

      Man, you must have been on vacation. This week it's the conservatives wanting to invade Syria. Wait a week and it will change again.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Reply
    • Foghorn Leghorn

      Nice to see the GOP blasting those evil, knuckle dragging military types. I wonder who the pro-intervention REPUBLICANS were planning on sending into the skies of Syria and onto the ground for their 'humanitarian' invasion? I guess they're planning on sending themselves.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Reply
  58. Z_2k

    ""There's a new sheriff in town,".....I LOVE IT !!!

    Excuse me while I whip this out.......LMAO...

    March 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Reply
    • DPatriot

      Calm down , this isnt youporn

      March 14, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Reply
  59. NObama

    Disarming our marines sends the afgans the message that we don't even trust our own. I think Nobama should go into a run full of armed afgans and take one for the country, that will really make up for stuff over there. 🙂

    March 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Reply
    • Pliny

      And I think that people should have to pass an IQ test before they are allowed to vote.
      There are far too many of you dim-bulbs.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Reply
      • JoeBlow

        You're not a moron though, right? Look clown, why have several former generals spoken out against this, claiming it is a highly unusual move? It's been done before for elected officials such as a president and vice president, but not an appointed one such as a Sec Def. It completely sends the message that troops can't be trusted and shows Panetta to be nothing but a coward. If you believe this was done to spare the "feelings of Afghan troops" then you're one naive fool.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • PoliticalWhistleBlower

      I do not agree. If he were to bow a little lower the next time he meets the Afghanistan President. Then you have a point....

      March 14, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Reply
      • Political Liberal

        Maybe Obama should kiss the Saudi Prince like GW did.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
      • brad

        its better to make friends with the Saudis than it is the Afgans

        March 14, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
      • PoliticalWhistleBlower

        Liberal how do you know Obama did not? he kissed and hugged Qaddafi....

        March 14, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
      • Robyn Harris

        The tradition of the President bowing to foreign leaders (and other dignitaries) was actually started by George Washington. He felt it was undignified for the President to have personal contact (as in shaking hands) with other persons. It has fallen out of favor in recent years, but that is where it originates. Will we now have to listen to how George Washington doesn't measure up to your standards?

        March 14, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • bspurloc

      stop crying already....
      call Dr Phill and discuss your severe anxiety towards hate of bush as to WHY he changed focus off Osama to Saddam.... we could have been out of Afghanistan 8 years ago and not even in Iraq.
      Your denial is like a severe hatred of your dad.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Reply
    • Z_2k

      Well, given the circumstances of this past week, I think it is prudent on the part of the officials not to have arms in the same room with Panetta. Any one of those in attendance might decide they'd like to take issue with what he has to say.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Reply
    • Jim

      Yes, I'm sure the Arab world just loved Bush so much more. Come back to reality, hater. All Americans–democrats and republicans–are in this together because terrorists don't distinguish our differences that you are clearly widening.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Reply
    • Mario Ohio

      I think the order to present themselves disarmed together with Afghan soldiers does not mean that we do not trust our own, or that Panetta ordered it, or that the commanding officer was following orders from a so-called liberal Commander in Chief. Sgt. Maj. Hall did something generous: our marines will be treated the same as the Afghan soldiers. He did it, I believe, to foster trust and confidence among the Afghan soldiers and in the eyes of the Afghan people at large. A mentally ill soldier —if we are to believe what has been reported— killed 14 Afghan civilians a few days ago. It's a generous gesture on our part. It does not degrade our Marines or our efforts there.

      Try to think outside your box. Most times, a banana is just a banana. No conspiracy theories, no paranoia. You'll be happier with yourself.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Reply
      • Doug O

        But our Marines are NOT Afghan soldiers. No, they ARE AMERICAN MARINES! The finest and the best. To say they have to appear, appease or accept and conform to be treated as anything else makes me wonder why they fight for morons making statements like yours!

        March 14, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Army Dude

      Well I remember- when Cheney came to visit us. 10000 Soldiers were not only disarmed but had to go to metal detector... Seriously No kidding..

      March 14, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Reply
    • NObama

      Im only tree and a half years old.
      And i like to say stupid stuff, it makes me giggle.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Reply
  60. jlc

    Hell, when Bush the first came to town and landed at our naval Air Station we were told to remain inside, shutter the windows and not look out. never understood that – no matter what the personal politics GHWB was one of our own, and he'd had a few hundred Naval O's and E's lining the road to cheer him on.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:59 am | Reply
  61. csam18

    Okay final message about this to all the people that are pouring in that have obviously failed in reading. The Marines were asked to disarm themselves so the Afghan soldiers also attending the speech do not feel lesser since they themselves were already disarmed!! We are in THEIR country, remember that people. You may now continue with the crying because I'm sure many still just won't get it.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:58 am | Reply
    • PoliticalWhistleBlower

      Another know it all that never served a day in their 18 year old life. In a war zone you are armed at all times! Yes, even in the crapper....

      March 14, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Reply
      • Rich

        Political, do you have the utmost respect for the soldier who just murdered 16 Afghanis? He is still one of our soldiers.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
      • PoliticalWhistleBlower

        Rich – I have no idea what really what happened. The tragedy is that there are 16 civilians dead. I do not believe our Media sources and I do not believe in our politicians. So if the soldier did what he did then there must be something to it. The Afghan civilians were not at fault as well as the Marines doing their job!! If you have to disarm those who work for you....then who has the distrust issues?

        March 14, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
      • Rich

        Political, everyone on the net is a veteran, including you.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
      • Rich

        Political, I am responding to different comments you made but they are falling under here. So I will stop replying so as not to cause confusion. Regards.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
      • PoliticalWhistleBlower

        Rich – I enjoy an open and honest debate. Sorry the responses are not going under where you are trying to post...

        March 14, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • USMC

      Wow, someone that actually understands why we disarmed ourselves for this gathering today

      March 14, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Reply
      • PoliticalWhistleBlower

        Really? Like you would know. Do you remember why we got struck in Beirut? Are you old enough? Because we we not armed in their country. So how many of us has to die......

        March 14, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
      • Ryan

        Welcome to the CNN boards, Devil Dog. Where ones opinion is ALWAYS fact in their eyes.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
      • Ryan

        Be quiet, social slacktivist. Go watch a Kony video.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • raggedyannie

      So, are you so daft that you believe everything that you read, especially when excuses and spin are at play?!?!?!?

      March 14, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      And you believe that reason for disarming? Just not so....been in Iraq many times for visits of all types of visitors and the locals were always disarmed while our soldiers remained armed.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Reply
      • Bill

        This was in Afghanistan, not Iraq. This was in the present, not the past. There were Afghan soldiers present at the meeting who were disarmed, not "locals." Your alleged experiences mean nothing.

        March 14, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Mario Ohio

      Well put.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Reply
  62. NY Patriot

    Leon Panetta is no more "important" than the lowest ranked grunt in that room. Guragnus needs to put his head on straight and get squared away.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:58 am | Reply
    • Jim

      Infantry is replaceable. They are cannon fodder to save the lives of Generals, SECDEFs, and civilians. Obviously you have never been to USMC Boot Camp or refuse to acknowledge the hard truths of military service.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Reply
    • Z_2k

      In God's eyes, perhaps. But not in the political scheme of things, which does not reflect your visions of social demographics

      March 14, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  63. PoliticalWhistleBlower

    USMC Major general does not trust his Marines!! Get them out then....

    March 14, 2012 at 11:57 am | Reply
    • Buzzer

      Damn...wasn't that long an article, and that was not the reason the Marines weren't allowed to bring their weapons inside.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Reply
      • PoliticalWhistleBlower

        The reason is because I think ALL my opinions are FACT and your comments are trash. I'm a social activist! herp derp!

        (I love hijacking names)

        March 14, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
      • PoliticalWhistleBlower

        Cool. I would ask you how you did that but I really don't care one way or another if someone jacks this name.....

        March 14, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
      • PoliticalWhistleBlower

        Because i'm so smart, I, PoliticalWhistleBlower, have to show it on a CNN comment board. Listen to me...wait.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  64. Paul

    would you want to be in the same room with 100 hicks with guns?

    March 14, 2012 at 11:55 am | Reply
    • ALT

      First "war criminals" and now "hicks" – no matter what you think of the war, there is no reason to disrespect our men & women in the military. You disgust me.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:58 am | Reply
      • Pliny

        Well said, ALT.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • vtgeo13

      Go back to your rock and crawl back under it.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Reply
    • Buzzer

      This moron probably got his butt HANDED to him in basic by these "hicks" and cried as a boot and/or door hit his @aa on the way out.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Reply
    • KaraOK

      Hispanics comprise 18% of enlisted Marines today. Blacks comprise about 9%. You are not very bright, but you are a racist.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Reply
    • Bruning von Stauffen

      I'd trust 100 Marines holding rifles before I'd trust 1 liberal holding a voting ballot

      March 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Reply
      • Francis

        lol says the German guy....smh

        March 14, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
      • information

        @Stuppidd stuffing

        Lock step blind fool ~ go march off a cliff.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
      • Digital Backlash

        I'd trust 100 Marines holding rifles before I'd trust 1 REPUBLICAN holding a voting ballot.....

        Fixed that free of charge.

        March 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
      • scott

        what aboout a liberal marine with some common sense...something that is in very short supply here

        March 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • LEATHERNECK

      i would rather be in a room with 100 hicks with guns than you and your that jelly backbone of yours.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Reply
      • Sue

        No doubt you've been in that room alot. Also known as your family reunion and dating pool, room.

        March 14, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • longtooth

      Not a bad job, troll.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Reply
  65. john hillman

    The General probably wonders why the bulk of the Marines have no respect for their officers.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:54 am | Reply
    • Paulwisc

      Because you declare it so?

      March 14, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  66. GrogInOhio

    What a range of stoopid comments. Reads as if roughly 50% of the commenters didn't even read the article. Panetta did NOT order the disarming, the commanding officer did. Get a grip, nimrods.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:52 am | Reply
    • Retired Army

      Spoken like a true Grunt 😉 !!!!!!

      March 14, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Reply
  67. FParana

    Pretty reasonable considering a US troop just went nuts and killed 16 Afghani civilians.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:51 am | Reply
  68. Jim

    Well I wouldn't want armed Afghans around me either.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:51 am | Reply
  69. Ron

    Almost feels like corporate politics in a warzone.

    We didn't want to make the Afghan soliders feel different? Really? They ARE different.. not in any human or deeply meaningful way, but we do run the show there (or at least we should be). If we don't want to go all in; get out completely this half ass feel good stuff we do just causes death.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:51 am | Reply
    • Bob

      Well, who has been going nuts with automatic weapons lately – U.S. or Afghan soldiers? I would want the marines disarmed too.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:59 am | Reply
      • ourMarinesrock

        And following that logic....all Muslims are terrorists then? Or is that comment still not PC. But it's ok to lump all American troops (and by the way, Marines aren't soldiers, they are Marines) together as lunatics based on the actions of one person?

        March 14, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
      • Anti-nonymous

        Hey bob, did you already forget the multiple instances of afghan soldiers/civilian contractors "going crazy" and killing U.S. and NATO soldiers in the past few weeks?

        March 14, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
  70. mike

    i would be afraid also...i'm sure there are more skin heads ready to piss on or shoot up a family again....

    March 14, 2012 at 11:51 am | Reply
  71. NYC123

    Militarized masculinity has created a generation of blood-thirsty monsters. I personally wouldn't trust any of these war criminals.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:49 am | Reply
    • ALT

      Really? All those soldiers are "war criminals". How insulting.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:55 am | Reply
      • sbstr

        The problem with a war is, there will be "war criminals" on all sides, it is just the degree that differs. The morality (or lack thereof) is often in eye of the beholder and how the history is written (or who writes).

        March 14, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
      • narrowback

        Our "war criminals" allow you parsites to make your spiteful comments.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • J.C.

      Dirty hippie.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:58 am | Reply
  72. Makes Total Sense

    When an active-duty marine says the President is "the enemy" and that he wouldn't obey the President's orders, it makes total sense to disarm soldiers before they get to see the President and his high-level executives in person – they are NOT to be trusted anymore.

    The Tea Party has been wonderful for the country, huh?

    March 14, 2012 at 11:49 am | Reply
    • raggedyannie

      The Tea Party had nothing to do with this. There are many reasons, but one I can quickly call to mind is Panetta's March 12 testimony before Congress in which he stated that he would seek permission from the UN or NATO before any military action, then tell Congress about it.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Reply
    • bspurloc

      Tea party and gop 100%.... spreading HATE MONGERING.....
      the tea party and now the gop have taken a poison pill... They have taken place of the cold war russia...
      Every single thing the USA does they take the opposite side.
      Osama is GONE, get out of afghanistan, this is bush's BS why we are still there... Osama was the mission NOT saddam

      March 14, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Reply
      • Anti-nonymous

        You've got your history/geography/current events all confused. Why bring up Saddam in a discussion about Afghanistan?

        March 14, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • KaraOK

      You must be an occufail

      March 14, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Reply
  73. Heidi H

    Hey, there were Afghan troops in the room, too. The only way to disarm the Afghans without insulting them was to ask the US Marines to disarm too. Common sense and diplomacy at work.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:49 am | Reply
  74. AL

    Its simply time to bring the troops home. I mean, enough is enough. We have sent a clear and present message to all coutries that the US has a capable fighiting machine in our arm services. But we are clearly putting the troops in harm way, then once they get hurt , put them back in harms way, then our politicians consistently apologized to these people who are trying to kill our troops. If you dont want to see cockroaches, get out of the dumpster.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:48 am | Reply
  75. Yakobi

    None of you actually read the article, I see.
    "Gurganus said reason to disarm was that the Afghan soldiers in attendance were unarmed and he did not want them treated differently than the Marines."
    See, it sends a bad message to the Afghans to make them disarm because we don't trust them while not asking our own troops to do the same. It's not like Panetta was afraid of our troops.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:47 am | Reply
    • Hasher Iva

      I did read the article and if the Afghani's were asked to disarm before meeting with Mr. Panetta there is a reason, they are not trustworthy yet. That's the message being sent.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:51 am | Reply
    • KaraOK

      Sends the wrong message? Don't be daft. The reality IS that the Afghans can't be trusted. DISARMING MARINES SENDS THE WRONG MESSAGE.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:51 am | Reply
      • Yakobi

        I agree, the Afghans can't be trusted. But to infer the reason the marines were disarmed because Panetta was afraid of them is idiotic.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • ALT

      Actually reading the articles seems to be what is missing with many people who sound off. Illiterate people have big opinions!

      March 14, 2012 at 11:52 am | Reply
  76. wilypagan

    What an insult to our brave soldiers.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:47 am | Reply
    • Eddie Garcia

      I AGREE! It is an insult to our brave men & women!!!!
      What, will there be a dozen Afghans watching over our weapons?

      March 14, 2012 at 11:52 am | Reply
    • AnotherOne

      Well, one of your "brave soldiers" just shot and killed 7 adults and 9 children in cold blood.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:56 am | Reply
      • Ryan

        Because he has PTSD!!! He has already deployed 3 times to Iraq and now to Afghanistan. No telling what he went through the first 3 times and now he's in a worse spot. He turned himself in once he realized what he did so don't criticize him if he has PTSD. Afghan soldiers are turning on our guys over there and no one EVER says anything about that.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Paulwisc

      They are not all uniformly brave nor are they uniformly sane, as has been shown numerous times. It's rationality, not insult.

      One wonders why some people insist on them being treated so specially.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
      • scott

        Paul how dare you use the word rational where most of these clowns are commenting...no rational thought here!!!!!

        March 14, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Paulwisc

      Ryan, that has got to be the stupidest argument I've ever heard - don't criticize a mass murderer because he has PTSD.

      And the Afghan soldiers who killed made headlines, so that argument is a non-starter also. Is it only US troops who allowed to have PTSD and blame all their actions on it?

      March 14, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
  77. 11B2V1P

    Guess he doesn't like to be skull f*ked

    March 14, 2012 at 11:47 am | Reply
  78. chaose

    If I were Panetta I wouldn't trust them either, look at their record, these soldiers have committed numerous act of violence against innocent civilians both at home and international level... They have killed their own kids and family, they have killed people on the streets in the US they have raped and murdered innocent and helpless civilians on international level from Japan to Afghanistan. Thank you but no thank you don't trust you with a gun!

    March 14, 2012 at 11:46 am | Reply
    • THeChief

      The U.S. Military is a microcosm of our society. So to expect anythign different from them than from say your neighbor is unrealistic and short sited.

      While there have been the occasisonal tragedies, you need to compare that to the millions of herioc feats they have done everday for the past decade and the countless lives they have saved. Taking into consideration that track record and comparing it to anythgin else shows haw great a force for good they are.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:51 am | Reply
      • Digital Backlash

        *** The U.S. Military is a microcosm of our society. So to expect anythign different from them than from say your neighbor is unrealistic and short sited.

        My next door neighbor is not trained to kill.
        My next door neighbor is not stressed out from multiple deployments in combat zones.

        March 14, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • frank

      You have a twisted view of the military. Have you ever read about the crime in the streets of the U.S.? If so, you would see that the military, or its veterans, have a record much cleaner than the general population, proportionally speaking. You should thank your lucky stars you can write such drivel and when you thank your stars, thank the military who have allowed you that freedom!

      March 14, 2012 at 11:53 am | Reply
    • KaraOK

      If Afghans could put together a battallion of fighting men even 1/10th as disciplined, courageous, and loyal as the lowliest US Marine, then maybe Afghansitan wouldn't be the defecatory extrusion orifice that it will most likely always be.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:56 am | Reply
    • Ryan

      I hope you are not talking about the Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers in your comment. Tell me when they "have committed numerous act of violence against innocent civilians both at home and international level... They have killed their own kids and family, they have killed people on the streets in the US they have raped and murdered innocent and helpless civilians on international level from Japan to Afghanistan." Yes, some Marines raped some Japanese girls a few years ago but when have they committed acts of violence here? I am active duty and I take strong offense to your comment. I recommend you think about what you say against the military. We are not all like that. The soldier this weekend was under stress from numerous deployments and may have PTSD. I just returned from a year long deployment and I am not out killing my family or raping anyone. You dare not judge the whole military based on the actions of a few who don't care and are willing to suffer the consequences, or because they have issues that they don't know how to deal with.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:56 am | Reply
  79. IRONMIKE

    Mr. Panetta should fight the Taliban and put his life on the line everyday-send him home he is a bum

    March 14, 2012 at 11:46 am | Reply
    • Hasher Iva

      Agreed! Whoever heard of disarming Marines in a combat zone. I'd be more worried about an Afghani infiltrator getting in the compound. If that happens I'd want every Marine in the camp armed to the teeth.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:48 am | Reply
      • Digital Backlash

        Class "A" moron, with the reading skills of a six year old.

        ----------------------------

        Hasher Iva

        Agreed! Whoever heard of disarming Marines in a combat zone. I'd be more worried about an Afghani infiltrator getting in the compound. If that happens I'd want every Marine in the camp armed to the teeth.

        March 14, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • csam18

      Sigh.. so much failure in reading comprehension.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:55 am | Reply
    • J.C.

      READ!

      March 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Reply
    • Heywood Jablome

      Not everyone can be an retired A-6E pilot.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Reply
    • bspurloc

      grats on reading comprehension FAILURE.... along with the replies supporting your reading failures....
      u probably also bash the education levels of the taliban

      March 14, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Reply
  80. wrack

    Put a man in the hell of combat and you risk damaging his mind and judgment. This is the kind of thing war does to a man.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:45 am | Reply
  81. jack phoenix

    Been easier for Panetta (aka Obama Goat) to stay home.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:44 am | Reply
  82. ShortStory

    Obviously Dan never served. The actions of a few don't overshadow the dedication and comittment of the men and women in the US military. The few...came from within our own society...and lord knows we have many more out there. Don't blame the military...

    March 14, 2012 at 11:43 am | Reply
  83. Burm

    now the bad guys know exactly when to attack

    March 14, 2012 at 11:43 am | Reply
    • Curt

      They don't pull everyone from duty to watch a speech.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:48 am | Reply
      • mike

        curt you should post this 100x.....

        March 14, 2012 at 11:54 am |
      • Digital Backlash

        Curt, most of the morons posting in here learn about war from video games.
        Then, if a soldier cuts himself shaving, its Obamas fault.

        March 14, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  84. THeChief

    Same thing happened to the 20,000 US troops in Haiti when Pres. Clinton did a tour in 95 (Operation Uphold Democracy). At first they took the ammo away, then the firing pins, and finally all the firearms. Meanwhile, not 30' away, the Bangledeshi and other Pacific Nation soldiers were armed and maning their 20' high gaurd posts that could look into our compound.

    The racks of firearms were ultimatley locked into connexs (shipping containers) and placed behind an armed gaurd of Secret Service staff.

    Was a real slap in our faces that our own leadership could not trust its own soldiers when in a foreign country surrounded by other countries' armed troops. After that, we were not even allowed to see or meet him. He never left the armored limo. and didnt drive by any of the areas where the soldiers were.

    Shameful!

    March 14, 2012 at 11:43 am | Reply
    • Heywood Jablome

      If you were ever in the military you'd know for instance every aircraft carrier I served on the Captain traveled with an armed marine everywhere they went while onboard ship. Leadership doles out punishment in a military setting and are thus targets of retribution (sometimes rightly so). This has been the reality since the days of Columbus. Officers and leadership have been assasinated, fragged, thrown overboard etc by their own countrymen since time began. You may think them jackasses but they're not stupid.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Reply
      • THeChief

        Eight years in Green. And not everyone that has served is aware of the goings on in an Aircraft Carrier just like you may not be aware of how things operate in my arena.

        I have spent more than a few hours with full Birds and Generals in foreign countries and at no time did they fear for fraticide for themselves. We are talking about U.S. troops here, not brigands of olden days or third world country troops.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  85. SAILORCOOP

    WTF????? There is no way the Major could have insulted his Marines any worse. It questions his Marines intergity and honor, upper command should just relieve the Major now before he gets a chance to totally demoralize his Marines. I can only imagine the Sargent Majors' disgust as he carried out his orders with an "aye, aye" and a lump in his belly. BS Major, and a MAJOR MISTAKE!!!

    March 14, 2012 at 11:42 am | Reply
    • Ryan

      It was a MAJOR GENERAL not a Major.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Reply
    • Digital Backlash

      Marines are trained to follow orders.
      An order was given, and they followed it.
      Do you think thier widdle feelings was hurt ?
      These are men, not school boys.

      March 14, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  86. Burm

    As was pointed out this had not been done before.
    Gutless general

    March 14, 2012 at 11:42 am | Reply
  87. Floyd

    Now that shows the confidence commanders have in the troops doing the Grunt Work. Very weak but probably necessary with the individual, multiple deployments and the fallout it has caused. Hard to see beyond a multiple, deployed warriors eyes and his predictability.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:41 am | Reply
  88. mangoz

    This is a clearly political posturing at its worst. This is a message from our spineless government to the Afghans that ..."Yes we even hate our military so we will disarm them and give you a fair shot at them". Just pull our troops out of that money pit hell hole and stop pandering to the Chinese. The only reason we are still there is to protect the Chinese who are in that country mining.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:40 am | Reply
  89. dude

    "Gurganus said reason to disarm was that the Afghan soldiers in attendance were unarmed and he did not want them treated differently than the Marines."

    Not exactly how I would do it, but that sounds like the actual reasoning.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:39 am | Reply
  90. Patriot

    Is our leadership feeling a bit guilty of something?

    March 14, 2012 at 11:39 am | Reply
  91. cjm

    They had to ensure the Afghan soldiers were disarmed, and knew the liberals in the US would howl "Discrimination!" if it were only them and not the Marines as well. The military the US can't trust is the Afghan military.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:39 am | Reply
    • Digital Backlash

      I dont hear any liberals screaming.
      Just you.

      March 14, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Reply
  92. Mike in SA

    Wow...disarm in a hot zone with locals you can't trust...right. I think i would have skipped the circus, stayed outside, and stayed armed.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:38 am | Reply
    • cjm

      I would agree, Mike. I wouldn't have put my weapon down for anyone.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:40 am | Reply
      • Digital Backlash

        Keyboard warrior.

        You do understand that you can be arrested for not following orders ?

        March 14, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • scott

      and went to the brigg and enjoyed some lovely bread and water...which is what you deserve

      March 14, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  93. J-Man

    I am pretty sure it was Panetta who ordered it. Coward. The brave Marines who put their life on the line every day to protect out liberties weren't trusted with the life of the Secretary of Defense. It is the Marines who are men of honor. The Secretary is a stooge to an enemy of the state (Obama).

    March 14, 2012 at 11:38 am | Reply
    • Doobie Wah

      **** M O R O N ****

      J-Man

      I am pretty sure it was Panetta who ordered it.
      -----------------------
      Panetta did not order it.
      Its right there in the story.
      Try repeating fifth grade.

      March 14, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Reply
  94. Olaf Big

    Not a smart thing to do. That's a real morale killer for the troops. It's like telling the whole world: "We are afraid there are more wackos among us, and we don't even trust ourselves." Moral victory for Taliban.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:37 am | Reply
    • Alex

      It's not a morale killer. Marines know the score and understand that, regardless what was said about it, it was a symbolic gesture of respect towards the Afghan soldiers (who remember are allies) after the weekend's shooting. And Marines are all about honor and respect, especially with their allies. And I'm sorry – even if it was just a lone nut who lost his mind, all soldiers are going to be given the close eye for the next bit to make sure there aren't others ready to snap. All it takes is one, as proven this past weekend. And for all we know he could have snapped after he got home.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:52 am | Reply
  95. mautry

    Panetta will send troops to be shot at but is scared as hell of being shot

    March 14, 2012 at 11:37 am | Reply
    • c'mon_son!

      &let the church say an astounding Amen!

      March 14, 2012 at 11:38 am | Reply
  96. c'mon_son!

    Lmaaaooooo! #gang_violence;)

    March 14, 2012 at 11:36 am | Reply
  97. pippinghole

    Mr. Panetta don't trust even his own soldiers, why ???
    Aren't we defending freedom ????

    March 14, 2012 at 11:35 am | Reply
    • wrack

      No, we are not defending freedom. That's just a generic, synthesized motivation that attempts to justify all the military action.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:43 am | Reply
  98. Johnny Come Lately

    Seems like a reasonable precaution.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:33 am | Reply
  99. Dan

    The United States has created a military it cannot trust.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:30 am | Reply
    • Roger

      It sure sounds like it from this article.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:35 am | Reply
      • Truefax

        happens all the time in long conflicts, want to hazard a guess at how many officers were killed in nam by thier own troops?

        March 14, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Will

      ... I am a military. You're an idiot.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:37 am | Reply
      • Doobie Wah

        Yup, i am standing in my garage, so i must be a car.

        March 14, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Tom

      Scratch the United States part it is Obama that has created this dog and pony show and it will get much worse as Democrats rape the DOD in favor of their Union cronies.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:39 am | Reply
      • Chris

        You sir are just plain wrong but if you want to believe such silliness than have at it. I guess Obama was the president back in 2000 when I was in Kosovo and my unit had to disarm before going to hear Gen. Clark speak.

        March 14, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
      • Doobie Wah

        Scratch the United States part it is REPUBLICANS that has created this dog and pony show and it will get much worse as REPUBLICANS rape the DOD in favor of their WAR MACHINE.

        March 14, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Ax

      Oh please...

      March 14, 2012 at 11:40 am | Reply
    • mikepapa1

      I it more like the Military can't trust the current Goverment.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:40 am | Reply
    • Patriot

      Perhaps we have created a govt that our military and its citizens don't trust.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:40 am | Reply
    • CNNuthin

      The United States has created Politicians it cannot trust. They are paranoid because their actions call for paranoia. Telling soldiers in Afghanistan to Disarm, aside from being degrading, is just another sign that those in charge doubt their own leadership skills.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:46 am | Reply
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