Inspiring confidence in the troops

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on March 14, 2012

When I saw this, my jaw just dropped.

In a sign of the nervousness surrounding Mr. Panetta’s trip, the Marines and other troops who were waiting in a tent for the defense secretary to speak were abruptly asked by their commander to get up, place their weapons — M-16 and M-4 automatic rifles and 9-mm pistols — outside the tent and then return unarmed. The commander, Sgt. Maj. Brandon Hall, told reporters he was acting on orders from superiors.

“All I know is, I was told to get the weapons out,” he said. Asked why, he replied, “Somebody got itchy, that’s all I’ve got to say. Somebody got itchy; we just adjust.”

Normally, American forces in Afghanistan keep their weapons with them when the defense secretary visits and speaks to them. The Afghans in the tent waiting for Mr. Panetta were not armed to begin with, as is typical.

During the Clinton administration, stories went around about how White House staffers seemed to have disdain for anyone in uniform, but this is ridiculous. The defense secretary for some reason doesn't trust the men he is charge of?

Wow!

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They don't want states, SCOTUS (at least not one that protects individual rights) or Senate. They want direct national control--& they want corporations to help implement policies & shut down expression that threatens them. I just wish they knew the definition of "fascist"

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