Kabul, Afghanistan – New information provided by the Pentagon to assembled press has shed new light on the alleged shooting of Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta days ago by a man dressed as the Afghan President.
"The Afghans, in accordance with Ramadan, are required to fast throughout the day," said General John Allen, the commander of US Forces-Afghanistan. "The lack of food and water, coupled with the heat can definitely be a factor."
General John Allen also stated that to the nation’s great relief, the shooter, who was in fact President Karzai, will recover after he tragically injured his trigger finger during the unfortunate event. Secretary Panetta is already the subject of a preliminary investigation, as officials try and determine what he did to cause the attack.
While President Karzai has remained silent on the topic after receiving a terse phone call from General Mattis, new evidence uncovered by investigators points to insensitivity about the Muslim holy month of Ramadan as the motivation behind the incident. Across the world, observant Muslims fast during Ramadan from sun-up to sun-down, and abstain from smoking and sexual intercourse with both humans and animals.
In Afghanistan, troops have already seen the strain this puts on local soldiers.
“When you have to hide in the porta-potty to drink water, or smoke a cigarette, the stress can really get to you.” said Captain Tom Enders, an infantry company commander in southern Kandahar province. “Once the sun goes down you spend your remaining energy with your buddy Mohammed in the sack, and the next morning an American comes along and asks you to go out and chase bad guys. No wonder they're pissed. Although the Taliban still inexplicably manage to plant dozens of IEDs a day during the holy month. Sometimes they can just snap.”
A Pentagon official close to the investigation was quick to agree with CPT Ender’s statement.
“Clearly President Karzai was under terrific strain caused by not being able to eat snacks or drink water in his US provided office with central-air during the day. When Panetta decided to call that joint press conference to confront the Green-on-Blue issue it was simply the last straw for him.”
The officer, whose identity will be protected due to his not being authorized to speak to the press, also said that remedial training will be given to the Secretary of Defense and all other senior officials working in close proximity to Afghan government personnel, educating them on the importance of not expecting anything at all out of their local partners during the religious month.
In a similar incident at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego last Thursday, Private Jamie Snodgrass shot his Drill Instructor in the leg during a live fire range because he was asked to fetch water cans in the scorching 79 degree heat, and hadn’t eaten a full meal that day.
Although raised in Iowa and the prominent son of an evangelical minister, Snodgrass had converted to Islam several minutes before shooting his drill sergeant.
The injured instructor is currently being investigated for violating the recruit's religious freedom.