The Rolling Stone Story That Got McChrystal Fired

Barack Obama meets with Stanley A. McChrystal in the Oval Office 2009-05-19.jpg  President Barack Obama meets with Army Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, in the Oval Office at the White House, May 19, 2009.

President Barack Obama meets with Army Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, in the Oval Office at the White House, May 19, 2009.

The U.S. General who was in charge of the war in Afghanistan was fired yesterday by President Obama as a result of a Rolling Stone magazine article in which the General slagged off Obama, his VP Joe Biden and most of the people he works for in Washington. In case you’re curious, here’s a link to the Rolling Stone article in question, and below a little taste of what got the civilians so upset:

The general prides himself on being sharper and ballsier than anyone else, but his brashness comes with a price: Although McChrystal has been in charge of the war for only a year, in that short time he has managed to piss off almost everyone with a stake in the conflict. Last fall, during the question-and-answer session following a speech he gave in London, McChrystal dismissed the counterterrorism strategy being advocated by Vice President Joe Biden as “shortsighted,” saying it would lead to a state of “Chaos-istan.” The remarks earned him a smackdown from the president himself, who summoned the general to a terse private meeting aboard Air Force One. The message to McChrystal seemed clear: Shut the fuck up, and keep a lower profile

Now, flipping through printout cards of his speech in Paris, McChrystal wonders aloud what Biden question he might get today, and how he should respond. “I never know what’s going to pop out until I’m up there, that’s the problem,” he says. Then, unable to help themselves, he and his staff imagine the general dismissing the vice president with a good one-liner.

“Are you asking about Vice President Biden?” McChrystal says with a laugh. “Who’s that?”

“Biden?” suggests a top adviser. “Did you say: Bite Me?”

Even though he had voted for Obama, McChrystal and his new commander in chief failed from the outset to connect. The general first encountered Obama a week after he took office, when the president met with a dozen senior military officials in a room at the Pentagon known as the Tank. According to sources familiar with the meeting, McChrystal thought Obama looked “uncomfortable and intimidated” by the roomful of military brass. Their first one-on-one meeting took place in the Oval Office four months later, after McChrystal got the Afghanistan job, and it didn’t go much better. “It was a 10-minute photo op,” says an adviser to McChrystal. “Obama clearly didn’t know anything about him, who he was. Here’s the guy who’s going to run his fucking war, but he didn’t seem very engaged. The Boss was pretty disappointed.”…

[continues in Rolling Stone]

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  • Hadrian999

    very public insubordination will get you a smackdown like nothing else in the military,
    if he were enlisted or a lower ranked officer he'd probably be court marshaled. people like to say it's evil obama
    not listening to the military but in the military if any high profile breach of discipline goes unpunished it invites
    more and more misconduct down the chain. removing him was the only option.

    • Word Eater

      Admittedly, it's been 10 years since they were married, but my former stepdad was a 22 year Marine Gunnery Sergeant when he retired.
      I was given the impression that you may personally hate the President of the United States, but you had to continue to respect and obey because that is the chain of command.
      This general was out of line.

      • Hadrian999

        it has to be that way,
        if military leaders were allowed to publicly challenge their chain of command it
        would have very negative effects on morale and discipline. you can have all the private
        opinions you want but trashing leadership to a journalist is a serious breach of discipline.

        • Hmm…

          As an Army Specialist, I agree with everything you've said.

          That being said, I think this is hilarious. I'm literally laughing my *** off. You know, if I would have said 1/10 of what this so called “General” said I'd be in jail. And to Rolling Stone! This is rich! HAHAHAHA

          • Hadrian999

            i was in the infantry, i don't even what to think about what would have happened to me if i said something like that about my chain of command to a buddy let alone a major news mag lol

  • 5by5

    Never should have given him the position in the first place, based upon his colossal frack-up handling of the Pat Tillman murder. Not to mention his little ultra-violence torture/death squad SOC 6-26 activities in Iraq.

    With that many stars on his shoulder, at a minimum should have known by now how to follow the Code of Conduct better than this, but the hard truth is, the man lost his honor a long time ago.

  • RONIN

    I found that part about the ISAF's idea of a “courageous restraint” award to pretty amusing.

  • E.B. Wolf

    The full article states that Bud Light Lime is the General's favorite beer.
    That's reason enough to can him in my book.

    How can you respect a man whose taste in beer is that bad?

  • http://disinfo.com ralph

    Amazing to me that the reason this “Rolling Stone” reporter got this access to McChrystal is because they were stranded in Europe because of the Icelandic volcano.

    The Wrath of Eyjafjallajokul strikes once again! This time, he's out to change American foreign policy.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/north

  • Librisgeek

    So the general's experience and expertise is invalid because he dared to speak his mind?

    • Tuna Ghost

      As noted far more eloqently by others, no, you do not voice your negative opinions about your superiors publicly. You are, quite literallly, not allowed to do that in the military, and for good reason. The general was aware of that.

  • Hmm…

    “The dinner comes with the position, sir,” says his chief of staff, Col. Charlie Flynn.

    McChrystal turns sharply in his chair.

    “Hey, Charlie,” he asks, “does this come with the position?”

    McChrystal gives him the middle finger.

    Yes General, RESPECT is in fact one of the Army values and it goes both ways in the chain of command. I hope they bust you to private and take your pension.

  • GoodDoktorBad

    Fools must suffer other fools if the game is to be played, then the game plays you. He obviously didn't want to play the game anymore. At least thats one point in his favor…….
    Whoopeee…..

  • Hadrian999

    i was in the infantry, i don't even what to think about what would have happened to me if i said something like that about my chain of command to a buddy let alone a major news mag lol

  • GoodDoktorBad

    Fools must suffer other fools if the game is to be played, then the game plays you. He obviously didn't want to play the game anymore. At least thats one point in his favor…….
    Whoopeee…..

  • Tuna Ghost

    As noted far more eloqently by others, no, you do not voice your negative opinions about your superiors publicly. You are, quite literallly, not allowed to do that in the military, and for good reason. The general was aware of that.

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