What is going on here? Did they think one of our soldiers was going to take a shot at Panetta? If there is a target on my back, it is hard to imagine much better protection then a room filled with armed soldiers.
"US soldiers were asked to disarm during a speech by Leon Panetta, the American defence secretary, in a sign of grown concern over spates of seemingly random violence in Afghanistan.
Around 200 troops who had gathered in a tent at Camp Leatherneck were told "something had come to light" and asked abruptly to file outside and lay down their automatic rifles and 9mm pistols.
"Somebody got itchy, that's all I've got to say. Somebody got itchy – we just adjust," said the sergeant who was told to clear the hall of weapons.
Major General Mark Gurganus later said he gave the order because Afghan troops attending the talk were unarmed and he wanted the policy to be consistent for all....
However, US troops often remain armed even when their Afghan colleagues have been asked to lay down their weapons and the incident is believed to be the first time they were stripped of guns during an address by their own secretary of defence."