Here's the answer - DISARM American soldiers

Publius pro tem

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Here's the answer to keeping American soldiers from harming anyone.

Disarm them.

Especially when the Defense Secretary visits.



http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/15/w...s-afghanistan-following-massacre.html?_r=1&hp

Panetta Is Safe After Breach Near His Plane at Afghan Base

15military-articleLarge-v2.jpg


Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta arrived at Forward Operating Base Shukvani, Afghanistan, on Wednesday.

By ELISABETH BUMILLER
March 14, 2012


KABUL, Afghanistan — A tense visit to Afghanistan by Defense Secretary
Leon E. Panetta got off to an unscripted start when a stolen truck sped onto
a runway ramp at the British military airfield as his plane was landing. Mr.
Panetta was unhurt, but Pentagon officials said the Afghan driver emerged
from the vehicle in flames.

No explosives were found on the Afghan national or in the truck, the officials
said, and the Pentagon was so far not considering the episode an attack on
Mr. Panetta. But it reinforced the lack of security in Afghanistan at the start
of his visit, the first by a senior member of the Obama administration since an
American soldier reportedly killed 16 Afghan civilians, mostly children and
women, in Kandahar Province in southern Afghanistan. The two-day trip,
unannounced as usual for security reasons, had been planned months ago,
but has taken on a new urgency since the Sunday massacre.

Mr. Panetta, like President Obama, has denounced the killings and vowed to
bring the killer to justice, a message he is to deliver in person to President
Hamid Karzai and top Afghan defense and interior officials. The killings have
further clouded the strained Afghan-American relations.

Mr. Panetta was landing at Camp Bastion, a British air field that adjoins Camp
Leatherneck, a vast Marine base in Helmand Province, which abuts Kandahar.

Mr. Panetta and his aides were aware of the incident shortly after it
happened, about 11 a.m., but he continued as planned with remarks to
Marines and international troops at Camp Leatherneck and then headed as
scheduled for a trip to a remote combat outpost, Shukvani, in western
Helmand. The episode was not disclosed until nearly 10 hours after it
occurred, well after Mr. Panetta had arrived in Kabul from the south.

George Little, the Pentagon press secretary, said the stolen truck never
exploded, counter to some early reports.

Mr. Little said Mr. Panetta was never in danger but he could not explain the
Afghan’s motive or whether he was a suicide attacker aiming for Mr.
Panetta’s plane. Nor could he explain why the Afghan was on fire. “For
reasons that are totally unknown to us at this time, our personnel discovered
that he was ablaze,” Mr. Little said. “He ran, he jumped on to a truck, base
personnel put the fire out and he was immediately treated for burn injuries.”

Mr. Little said an investigation was ongoing and he did not yet have all the
facts. “We cannot confirm in any way, shape or form at this time that this
stolen vehicle was in any way tied to the secretary’s arrival or his visit,” Mr.
Little said.

In a sign of the nervousness surrounding the visit, Marines and other troops
among the 200 people gathered in a tent at Camp Leatherneck to hear Mr.
Panetta 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
were not armed to begin with, as is typical.

Later, American officials said that the top commander in Helmand, Maj. Gen.
Mark Gurganus, had decided on Tuesday that no one would be armed while
Mr. Panetta spoke to them, but the word did not reach those in charge in the
tent until shortly before Mr. Panetta was due to arrive.

General Gurganus told reporters later that he wanted a consistent policy for
everyone in the tent. “You’ve got one of the most important people in the
world in the room,” he said. He insisted that his decision had nothing to do
with the shooting on Sunday. “This is not a big deal,” he said.

In his remarks to the group, Mr. Panetta said, “We will be challenged by our
enemies, we will be challenged by ourselves, we will be challenged by the hell
of war itself.”

Mr. Panetta also flew to a remote military base in western Helmand, Combat
Outpost Shukvani, where American Marines fight alongside troops from
Georgia, the former Soviet republic. The battalion commander of the 750
Georgian troops, Lt. Col. Alex Tugushi, lost both legs in a homemade bomb
explosion in December; he is recovering at Bethesda Naval Hospital near
Washington, where President Obama has visited him.

Mr. Panetta read a letter to the Georgians from Colonel Tugushi that said in
part: “Unfortunately, I could not complete my service with you. But I am
proud of all of you — those who have fallen and those who continue to
serve. You are all heroes who will go down in Georgian history.”

Mr. Panetta told the troops in Helmand that the rampage on Sunday would
not change the administration’s plans to withdraw 23,000 American troops
from the country by the end of the summer and the remaining 68,000 by the
end of 2014, although some could remain longer if the Afghans and Americas
negotiate a long-term agreement.

Early in the day, a roadside bomb struck a minivan in Helmand at about 1
a.m., destroying the vehicle and killing eight civilians. Until then, American
commanders had said that Helmand was relatively quiet after the massacre,
unlike Panjwai, the district in Kandahar where the rampage occurred. Militants
there attacked a memorial service for the 16 victims on Tuesday when an
Afghan government delegation was present, firing machine guns and assault
rifles from their motorcycles and killing at least one Afghan soldier; a
motorcycle bomb went off Wednesday near where the same delegation was
staying in Kandahar city, killing a security officer.

Mr. Panetta told reporters on his plane on Monday that the killings in Panjwai
were a horrific part of the decade-old conflict in Afghanistan.

“War is hell,” he said. “These kinds of events and incidents are going to take
place, they’ve taken place in any war, they’re terrible events, and this is not
the first of those events, and it probably will not be the last.” He added: “But
we cannot allow these events to undermine our strategy.”

Fxcking bureaucrat in charge of the Defense Department.

Yeah, that'll fix it.


.
 

Thumpalumpacus

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That's wild. Were they worried about a fragging?

eta: I can't for the life of me imagine not trusting a United States Marine.
 

bertzie

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The guy was able to drive a truck, while ON FIRE onto a military runway, while ON FIRE?!

Either he's the second coming of Jesus or the people in charge of security are ****ing incompetent.
 

SteveGangi

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That's just perfect. Disarm everyone IN A COMBAT AREA and then let a guy in a flaming truck drive right up. What fvcking MORON decided to disarm everyone?

WTF.

Let's end this stupidity. Bring them all home now. And to hell with Afghanistan and its "president" and all the damn "warlords" too. Let them fend for themselves or die.
 

ZoomZilla

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Panetta knows that the military hates the CIC and he was afraid they might take him out since he is part of the administration.
 

Zack

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what happens if iraqi opens fire? by the time they stop him people are already dead
 

morrow

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Leon Panetta is a class A-1 ****ing idiot, always has been, always will be.
 

geochem1st

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Do we still practice the hiring of locals to work on our military bases. We do in Europe, Cuba, and did in Vietnam (which caused a great deal of security issues there)....

Do we do that in Afghanistan?
 

bertzie

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You guys are missing the point.

The guy was driving a truck, WHILE ON FIRE!
 

SKATTERBRANE

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I have been tempted to say this many times. Now I just cannot contain myself. Obama is the ENEMY OF THE STATE....period.
 

SteveGangi

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I have been tempted to say this many times. Now I just cannot contain myself. Obama is the ENEMY OF THE STATE....period.

No. That would imply
  • a brain
  • intent
  • a plan
At this point as a former supporter, I say you're giving him way too much credit. The sad part is, ALL the rest are just as stupid or moreso.
 

KP

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The general is taking the shot for this stupid decision. But, that does not mean he was the originator of the order. When I escorted Maxwell Taylor in Vietnam, I was fully armed and that goes for all the other dignitaries I escorted.
 

KP

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No. That would imply
  • a brain
  • intent
  • a plan
At this point as a former supporter, I say you're giving him way too much credit. The sad part is, ALL the rest are just as stupid or moreso.

Quite true and quite sad.
 

SKATTERBRANE

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All I can say about it is subjective. But I cannot explain how one can accidently make almost ever decision to be EXACTLY the opposite of what I would do. The chances of someone doing that without intent is astronomical.
 

KSG_Standard

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I have been tempted to say this many times. Now I just cannot contain myself. Obama is the ENEMY OF THE STATE....period.

I wouldn't say that he's an enemy of the State. He just has a different view of what America should look like and be like. This is no surprise, he ran on the idea of fundamental change...did people expect that fundamental change would be painless and fun?
 

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