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Something’s Wrong with the McChrystal Slam Dunk UPDATE

I realize General McChrystal is already tried and convicted in the court of public opinion. The lazy fucking media reports, “GENERAL MCCHRYSTAL SAID . . .” but, if you take time to read the article, McChrystal is not quoted once saying anything disparaging about anyone up his chain of command. Several guys who work on his staff are talking shit, but not Stan. Now, I’m not excusing Stan McChrystal for hiring those assholes or not riding herd on them, but I’m troubled by a key unanswered question–who made the decision to let the Rolling Stone reporter embed with McChrystal?

This was a set up of General McChrystal. While I’m not a personal friend, I worked under his command for several years and know that he frowned on sharing anything with the media. In fact, I’m certain he did not invite the Rolling Stone reporter into his lair. So he did? Was this one of his over zealous staff or was he ordered by someone higher up to give the reporter access?

Yes it is true that McChrystal is apologizing for the information in the article. I know why.

I spend a significant amount of time each year working with U.S. military forces that have the counter terrorism mission. They talk alot of shit when they are among friends. Some of it is rude. Much of it is blue. And it, within the context, is funny as hell. It is a way of blowing off steam. When you put men (and the forces I’m with are 100% male, no females) who are working in life and death situations on a 24/7 basis they do need to blow off steam. Unfortunately, these guys are not President Obama. They can’t play golf when it suits them. They can’t invite Paul McCartney in to sing “Hey Jude.” They can’t host the NCAA Men and Women’s Basketball Champs for a meet and greet. Instead they use crude humor as a release. You get a flavor of that in the Rolling Stone article.

More importantly, they make jokes about political figures and leaders. But it is supposed to be kept in-house. They’ll follow Obama’s orders but they don’t like nor respect him. That’s the reality and some of those feelings expressed by subordinates of McChrystal got out into public.

So far Obama has played this event pretty cool. He’s trying to act Presidential. Good. Let’s see what happens tomorrow. If McChrystal shows up with resignation in-hand and Obama accepts it then McChrystal will soon be outside of the tent pissing in. I don’t think Obama wants that nightmare. Alternatively Obama can refuse to accept the resignation and then, in a gesture magnanimity, forgives McChrystal and sends him back to the fight. If he does the latter it will boost Obama’s standing. American’s love it when a President, like a Roman Emperor at a gladiator circus, gives the thumbs up and saves a warrior.

Meanwhile, this does not answer the question–who let the enemy in the tent?

UPDATE: Here’s what I think happened. Rolling Stone asked someone at the White House or DOD for permission to do a piece on the counter insurgency progress in Afghanistan. McChrystal was told to let the reporter accompany them. He thought that the piece being done was on the counter insurgency. Boy, was he wrong. What he did not count on was that the reporter would choose to focus on the remarks made by staff members. As Politico has reported, Rolling Stone never ran the whole article by McChrystal and his team. The rest of the media needs to ask the more important question I raised above, “Who put the reporter in the McChrystal camp?”

  • No Longer Banned in Beantown
  • Noogan

    “Seriously, fuck off.” said Armymom

  • Noogan

    Seriously, fuck off.” said Armymom

  • Noogan

    “Seriously, fuck off.” said Armymom

  • Noogan

    “Seriously, fuck off.” said Armymom

  • Noogan

    “Seriously, fuck off” said Armymom. 

  • Noogan

    You sound like a pathetic paranoid, Stoogie. Do you honestly think that just because it comes from NBC, it’s not true? Miklasewski has been reporting solely from the Pentagon for over a decade, and his reports are credible, without partisan editorializing. Now, he’s certainly not an infallible journalist–none are–but to smear good journalists with the blanket indictment of an entire corporation is as paranoid and stupid as it gets. It’s like attributing “honest” journalism to Fox. Black/White thinking is a sign of immaturity, Stoogie, and you are clearly delayed developmentally. 

  • Noogan

    Sorry, truthtellingoo7: That is how it works. I know; I’ve been a reporter, and that is PRECISELY how it works at that level. ‘Tis the fact that McChrystal was fact-checked and did not dispute the quotes. 

  • Noogan

    You’re a nutcase you supports the slaughter of innocent women and children. So, basically, you can stuff it where the sun don’t shine, Stoogie. 

  • Noogan

    Fuck off. I’m a veteran who has family members in this effort as well. I’m flagging YOU. 

  • Noogan

    :-D  I’m a veteran, between myself and my spouse we have nearly 30 years of combined service to country, retiring at 0-6. And, you’re a moron, truly the “little” person here. It’s proof postitve that you’re a moron when you accuse me of being part of MoveOn–bwahahaha. But, if I”m not worth ‘wasting your time on” then why do you keep responding with such pitiful attempts to defend your stupidity? 

    Michael Hastings tells Huffington Post in a phone interview from Afghanistan, where he is embedded with U.S. troops: “Over here, soldiers were happy that he got fired. I’ve had a number of people come up to me, I got an email from a Marine this morning [Thursday]: ‘Hey man, you did great work. All the guys in my company think it’s good McChrystal is not there because he was putting or lives at risk.”
    Hastings adds he was “very surprised” by the resignation, assuming that McChrystal was unfireable. Taking note of the general’s “tense relationship” with the president, Hastings says that Obama had to push out McChrystal to “prove that he was in control” and not a weak leader.
    Hastings also paints a grim picture of the major U.S. offensive in Kandahar. “I think it’s in trouble, in serious trouble,” he says. “The fighting is really, really heavy and they’ve postponed the heaviest fighting till the fall. But it’s going to be nasty.”

  • Noogan

    Heil, Herr Obersturmbanfuhrer! 

  • FLDemFem

    The Afghanis are not Arabs, they are Afghanis. Afghanistan has one thing in common with Viet Nam, other countries have attempted to conquer them for literally millenia, and have failed. They just keep fighting until they win. The English tried to conquer/subdue in the 19th century, the Russians in the 20th, and other bordering and travelling conquerors before that have all been defeated by the Afghanis. They just retreat to the Hindu Kush and fight on until the would-be conquerors give up, usually due to the high attrition in their troops and supply problems. The way to take out the Taliban is to remove their source of income, poppies. So why aren’t we spraying the poppies with a poison that kills them and then spraying a heavily salted water mix on the fields so they cannot be replanted again?? That would cut off all the drug income to the Taliban and make them dependent on outside help, which can be curtailed and cut off more easily.

  • FembotsForObama

    Indeed!  I know more verifiable facts about McChyrstal from one article than I do about Obama in a whole season of reporting during the election!

    just saying

  • FLDemFem

    I think Larry is right, this was a piece on counterinsurgency, Obama was tired of arguing with someone who actually knew what he was talking about, and sent a reporter to do a hatchet job on him, thereby giving Obama a good excuse for firing him. It would have looked bad for Obama if he had fired him for being right, now wouldn’t it? Turns out it looks just like he did. See pic below for a grin..and a sigh.

  • FembotsForObama

    Hey, yttik.  Haven’t seen you in awhile.   ;)   I had about the same thing happen but it was coffee sprayed on my computer screen.

  • FembotsForObama

    Let’s put this into some perspective… this “report” came out from Rolling Stone Magazine.  A magazine who had Hunter S. Thompson as its political journalist for YEARS.  [Nothing against the passed on HST, who I adored.]  But to say that RS has an anti-war/anti-military bent is an understatement.  

    So, I am in TOTAL agreement with Larry.  Something really really smells about this.  What was that O-quote “you can’t wrap a newspaper around a stinking fish w/lipstick w/o still smelling its stinky odor.”  

  • FembotsForObama

    Just one point.  I think the firing of McChrystal was a deliberate set-up and a calculated political move.  Obama promised to bring the troops home from Iraq this August.  This is not going to happen.  The MSM recently released a “surprise” finding of mineral resources of unimagined wealth, a finding that was over two years old.  Obama needs reasons to stay in Afghanistan that is politically palatable to the voting electorate this November, & most importantly a reason to get Dem party voters mobilized to get out to vote this fall.  Obama’s poll numbers are falling at such a rate that his disapproval rate exceeds his approval rate & Hillary is now seen as more ready to do the job of presidenting than Obama does.

    Creating a faux military crisis that simultaneously makes Obama look like a tough leader is just the fodder he needs to get those who voted for him back on his side.  He gets to rail against the military men and fulfill the dreams the Progbot base has about the virtuous Obama standing up for civilian control over the military.

    Score!  The Rolling Stone, which is not the NYT or WSJ or any other journal of esteemed import presumably does a “fluff piece” on how McChrystal and his staff operate.   The imagined bogeyman has just been realized.

    Is there really more that needs to be said?

  • morris1030

    Powell? He stood before the United Nations and did Bush/Cheney’s bidding and told a very tall story of WMDs, blah, blah which he has apologized for.

    Mc Chrystal> He’ll make a ton of money giving talks to Tea Party affairs, etc.  And the BOOK? Then he will become one of the TV talking heads of retired Generals on Fox or whatever. He’ll make tons of money.

    Powell at least was a competent and well liked General with a terrific track record. Helping Bush to push a lie was unfortunate. He’s done his mea culpa.

  • morris1030

    Shinseki is a tremendously brilliant and capable military presence. I have heard him speak many times, and his diplomatic skills are apparent when being interviewed on TV. He’s sensitive to the political ramifications of shooting the mouth off and no one in his circle would even dream of trashing anyone let alone allies, ambassadors, envoys, vice presidents, etc.

    Whatever part of a mission he couldn’t go along with would be private, and his staff wouldn’t be allowed to behave like beer swilling rednecks.

    Some of their criticisms may be correct.  So what?  Military code forbids this.  We elect our CIC every 4 years. Our CIC whether we like him or not the CIC is totally in Command.   Press criticism and media muckracking is ok for civillians, but certainly not for the strict rules that prohibit [for good cause] this kind of jabbering. Our military does not run our country and this kind of incident is a disservice to those risking their lives as we speak.

    McChrystal seems to have had problems before this re: Tillman incident and others. And the PR he has out shows him as a hard wired man who is extreme and uber macho. One meal a day, regular 7 mile walks, super spartan style. And saying his men would die for him and he would likewise is another unfortunate expression that has nothing to do with a general’s job.

    Any officer commanding his men to fight in a mission realizes he may be sending some to their death. The only objective is to complete the military mission successfully nevertheless.

    No officer is supposed to die for their men. Generals are to lead their men and use all of their military acumen and skills to successfully complete their objectives.

    Patraeus understands all of this. Whatever disagreement  may occurr would be expressed appropriately.

  • morris1030

    I’m no supporter of Obama and he has not clarified or controlled whatever his “mission” is in Afghanistan.  But it is really hard to understand how a reasonably responsible General would allow Rolling Stone in his tent. The general should have paid attention to the trash talking of his men and he well knew they were all around the media enemy.

    The kind of story emanating from this kind of carelessness is not supportable. Even if the remarks reflect real feelings on the part of his staff, McChrystal knew Rolling Stone was around.

    The PR fallout has to be awful when Biden,Holbrooke,Eikenberry,et al were all trashed.  If the General didn’t know that this kind of media would have them for lunch, it shows either arrogance or naivete.

    With this kind of fallout it was right for him to go. No one elected him or any other General to make public political commentary.

    General George Marshall was one of the great Generals in WW11. When in FDR”s presence he never laughed at his jokes and proudly maintained his poker face.  He always remained outwardly and discreetly politically neutral and disciplined.

    Our Army should take notice that the Navy has far higher standards and regularly fires Admirals and other officers. Navy has more creative and younger group on the way up.  Firing  officers in the Armed Services is actually more customary than we know of.

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  • HC123

    Noogan you are a substandard human. Your brain simply doesn’t work properly and you are nasty. Friendly idiots are fine but you are the perfect confluence of idiot + asshole that makes the internet such a great place.

    Maybe you should go get a job in the Obama administration, you would fit perfectly.

    Now go play in traffic.

  • TeakWoodKite

    I think what bothered BO the most was the line about 

    Obama was intimidated and unprepared. in there first meeting with BO.
    This was was a spot on observation by the general brass.

    No doubt all the brass saw BO and McPeek in 2008 and where “concerned”.

  • stodghie

    ;) they are so cute with their little black masks

  • ~~JustMe~~

    Yes, hope you’re not out and about on the streets Noogan your better off under lock and key!

  • Mr. Natural

    “Corporate society takes care of everything. And all it asks of anyone, all it’s ever asked of anyone ever, is not to interfere with management decisions.” Bartholomew, Rollerball, 1975

  • Annie/Carmel

    Thanks for asking.  Hard to say here.  I put a piece of golf memorabilia on consignment during the US Open in a store where I had worked previously.  There was some mention that one of the owners is getting very tired and might cut back her hours working in the store, opening up at least a few days per week…I should hear in a couple of weeks.  This is  place that laid off 3 people when the owners staffed the store themselves. 

    Apparently there are also a number of jewelry store licenses for sale…these are usually highly sought after but now going begging.  Don’t mean to sound negative but I think high end sales have a long way to go.

  • Mr. Natural

    Who thought of Matt Drudge as a “journalist” until he broke the Blue Dress bit?

  • Annie/Carmel

    Yes, armymom.  I’d love to send the code pinkers over there to make nice with the Arabs. 

  • Armymom

    Well I know quite a few E4′s and E5′s who’d disagree with you, but carry on your bashing. Seems what lefties are best doing

  • getfitnow