June 22nd, 2010
04:41 PM ET

Gen. Stanley McChrystal: Latest developments

Here are the latest developments involving Gen. Stanley McChrystal, America's top commander in Afghanistan. He and his staff made comments in a Rolling Stone article that appear to mock top civilian officials, including Vice President Joe Biden. The story, which is to appear in Friday's edition, was written by Michael Hastings.

[Updated at 10:11 p.m.] McChrystal likely will resign Wednesday, a Pentagon source with ongoing contacts with the general said.

[Updated at 7:43 p.m.] McChrystal is prepared to resign if the president has lost confidence in him, a national security official told CNN.

[Updated at 6:04 p.m.] McChrystal has "offered to resign," according to a Twitter post from Time magazine's Joe Klein on Tuesday. Earlier, Klein, citing "a very reliable source," told CNN that McChrystal had already submitted his resignation.

The Twitter post from Klein's magazine offered the "clarification" that the general has "'offered to resign' he has NOT submitted his resignation."

[Updated at 5:55 p.m.] President Obama said that McChrystal showed "poor judgment," but he added that he would wait until meeting in person with McChrystal before making a decision on McChrystal's future. Obama is expected to meet with McChrystal on Wednesday.

[Updated at 4:41 p.m.] McChrystal has submitted his resignation, Time magazine's Joe Klein told CNN, citing an unnamed source. CNN is working to confirm Klein's information.

[Updated at 3:50 p.m.] Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-North Dakota, a member of the Senate Democratic leadership, called for McChrystal to step down, telling CNN that the remarks in Rolling Stone were "unbelievably inappropriate and just
can't be allowed to stand."

[Updated at 3:30 p.m.] Gen. Stanley McChrystal and his staff "became aware" that the Rolling Stone story would be controversial before it was published, story author Michael Hastings told CNN Tuesday.

I "got word from (McChrystal's) staff ... that there was some concern" about possible fallout from the story, Hastings said.

Hastings noted that there was "a lot" of material from the interviews with McChrystal that he didn't use in the article.

[Updated at 1:41 p.m.] Waheed Omar, spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai, said U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal is the best commander for the war in Afghanistan and hopes Obama does not replace him. Karzai and his team believe McChrystal is a man of strong integrity who has a strong understanding of the Afghan people and their culture, Omar said.

[Updated at 1:25 p.m.] President Barack Obama was "angry" after seeing the upcoming controversial magazine article about Gen. Stanley McChrystal, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday.

"I gave him the article last night," Gibbs said at the daily White House news briefing. "He was angry."

Earlier, Gibbs described the "magnitude and graveness" of mistakes by McChrystal in the article as "profound."

[Updated at 1:10 p.m.] White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday that Gen. Stanley McChrystal will have President Barack Obama's "undivided attention" on Wednesday when the two meet in person.  "The president looks forward to speaking with him tomorrow about what's in the (Rolling Stone) article," Gibbs said.

[Updated at 1:09 p.m.] White House press secretary Robert Gibbs refused Tuesday to say what President Barack Obama's reaction was to the story about Gen. Stanley McChrystal in Rolling Stone.  But he noted that McChrystal had been recalled to Washington in part to explain his actions.

"Suffice it to say, our combatant commander does not usually participate in (Afghanistan war planning) meetings from Washington," Gibbs said.  Obama will speak to McChrystal about his comments.

"We'll have more to say after that meeting," Gibbs said. [Updated at 1:01 p.m.] Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin, D-Michigan, said Tuesday that Gen. Stanley McChrystal's remarks will have "a negative effect on policy implementation" in Afghanistan.  Levin said he didn't know if McChrystal would be able to keep his job.

[Updated at 12:12 p.m.] Defense Secretary Robert Gates released the following statement on McChrystal's comments:

"I read with concern the profile piece on Gen. Stanley McChrystal in the upcoming edition of ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine. I believe that Gen. McChrystal made a significant mistake and exercised poor judgment in this case. We are fighting a war against al Qaeda and its extremist allies, who directly threaten the United States, Afghanistan, and our friends and allies around the world. Going forward, we must pursue this mission with a unity of purpose. Our troops and coalition partners are making extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our security, and our singular focus must be on supporting them and succeeding in Afghanistan without such distractions. Gen. McChrystal has apologized to me and is similarly reaching out to others named in this article to apologize to them as well. I have recalled Gen. McChrystal to Washington to discuss this in person."

Read excerpts from Rolling Stone magazine profile

[Updated at 11:46 a.m.] U.S. Senators John McCain (R-Arizona), Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut), and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) issued the following statement regarding General McChrystal's comments in Rolling Stone:

“We have the highest respect for General McChrystal and honor his brave service and sacrifice to our nation.  General McChrystal’s comments, as reported in Rolling Stone, are inappropriate and inconsistent with the traditional relationship between Commander-in-Chief and the military.  The decision concerning General McChrystal’s future is a decision to be made by the President of the United States.”

[Updated at 10:46 a.m.] Rolling Stone Executive Editor Eric Bates told CNN Tuesday that comments made by Gen. Stanley McChrystal and other top military aides to writer Michael Hastings in Afghanistan were "not off the cuff remarks."

"They gave us a lot of access," Bates said.  "We fact-checked it thoroughly. ... They knew what they were doing when they granted the access and the interview."

Bates said the story shows "a deep division" and "a war within the administration" over strategy in Afghanistan.  It's "hard to see how we can win a war when we're divided ourselves," he said.

[Updated at 10:13 a.m.] Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, weighed in Tuesday on the controversy surrounding Gen. Stanley McChrystal, saying that his "impression is that all of us would be best served by just backing off and staying cool and calm and not sort of succumbing to the normal Washington twitter about this for the next 24 hours."

McChrystal is "a terrific soldier," Kerry said at the start of a committee hearing. But "it will be up to the president of the United States, as commander in chief" to decide how to respond.

"The priorities of (the Afghanistan) mission are best served by letting the president and his commanders make a determination as to how we move forward," Kerry added.

McChrystal, America's top military commander in Afghanistan, has been recalled to Washington amid his controversial remarks about colleagues and civilian authorities in a Rolling Stone magazine article.

[Update 9:05 a.m.] An official at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul said Ambassador Karl Eikenberry and McChrystal "are both fully committed" to President Obama's Afghan strategy and are working together to implement the plan. The official said, "We have seen the article and Gen. McChrystal has already spoken to it."

[Update 8:28 a.m.] A U.S. military official confirms to CNN that Gen. Stanley McChrystal has now spoken to: Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, Special Representative Richard Holbrooke, National Security Adviser Jim Jones and Vice President Joe Biden.

Remarks about Biden

McChrystal and his staff had imagined ways of dismissing Vice President Joe Biden with a one-liner as they prepared for a questions-and-answer session in Paris, France, in April.

He had grown tired of questions about Biden since earlier dismissing a counterterrorism strategy the vice president had offered.

"Are you asking about Vice President Biden? Biden?" McChrystal says with a laugh. "Who's that?" Hastings writes.

"Biden?" suggests a top adviser. "Did you say, 'Bite Me?' "

Comments about other top officials

The article paints McChrystal as a man who "has managed to piss off almost everyone with a stake" in the Afghan conflict, including U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, Special Representative to Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke and National Security Adviser Jim Jones.

Of Eikenberry, who railed against McChrystal's strategy in Afghanistan in a cable leaked to The New York Times in January, the general said, "Here's one that covers his flank for the history books. Now if we fail, they can say, 'I told you so.' "

McChrystal has a "special skepticism" for Holbrooke, the official in charge of reintegrating Taliban members into Afghan society, Hastings writes.

"At one point on his trip to Paris, McChrystal checks his BlackBerry. 'Oh, not another e-mail from Holbrooke,' he groans. 'I don't even want to open it.' He clicks on the message and reads the salutation out loud, then stuffs the BlackBerry back in his pocket, not bothering to conceal his annoyance."

"'Make sure you don't get any of that on your leg,' an aide jokes, referring to the e-mail."

The fallout

McChrystal extends his "sincerest apology for this profile," saying it was a "mistake reflecting poor judgment and should never have happened."

"I have enormous respect and admiration for President Obama and his national security team, and for the civilian leaders and troops fighting this war and I remain committed to ensuring its successful outcome," he said.

McChrystal said he's "lived by the principles of personal honor and professional integrity" throughout his career and that "what is reflected in this article falls far short of that standard."

McChrystal was recalled to Washington to attend a meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan in person rather than by video conference on Wednesday to explain his remarks to Obama and Pentagon officials, administration officials said.

McChrystal has fired a press aide because of the Rolling Stone article, two defense officials told CNN Tuesday morning.

soundoff (663 Responses)
  1. marco60

    How childish. "The President spent only 10 minutes with me and didn't get to know me". Talk about ego. Completely immature to complain to your subordinates about your boss and colleagues (justified or not). As a leader, you keep those opinions to yourself. If you truly feel Obama and his team are not making the right decisions, state your case directly to the president and resign. That would demonstrate courageous leadership. McChrystal has made a fool of himself and embarrassed his boss.

    June 22, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Darrell

    VP's are always the punching bags for jokes. Always have been always will be. Biden knows this. He can take it.

    June 22, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Motivated?

    Dont be easily fooled!

    Rolling Stone tilts heavily towards the left. That favors the Obama Administration. If that administration is having a hard time dealing with the military command, what better way to replace it than to have a story like this leak. This story does nothing but hurt McCrystal's command, and better yet, it paints the Obama Administration as victims! This is a total smear campaign, just recognize that for what it is. And maybe allowing Obama the ability to replace the guy is what needs to happen. Nothing hurts progress more than poor team work, and make no doubt about it, Obama and his generals need to be on the same page.

    June 22, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Eugene Versluysen

    McChrystal should be relieved of his command and fired.

    June 22, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. John

    Good to know some of our commanders have Balls enough to excersise free speech and voice their honest opinion instead of bowing down...why did all these big wigs get a copy before it was released anyway?? they should not read it until the rest of us read it!..crystal clear It shows a small piece of what made America great is still alive...maybe even in Government!

    June 22, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Music2mYears

      John, generals don't have free speech. They must follow the UCMJ, in particular:
      888. ART. 88. CONTEMPT TOWARD OFFICIALS
      Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

      June 22, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ken - Active Soldier

    decision should be easy – fire him. How could a military "leader" make a "deliberate" mistake

    June 22, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Just the Facts from OH

    Whether an "R" or "D" – love Obama or hate Obama, here are the rules ever officer has to follow. The military protects our right of free speech but can't always exercise themselves.

    Uniform Code of Military Justice – X. Punitive Articles Section

    888. ART. 88. CONTEMPT TOWARD OFFICIALS
    Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

    June 22, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jonnyjustcom

    I wonder what we credit the General's "30 years" military experience to when he cannot even respect a simple chain of command and basic protocol; sounds like 1 year experience repeated 30 times to me. What sort of a General in the presence of his subordinates dismisses an email from the American Ambassador to the country he is fighting in? let alone mocks his vice president and his commander in chief to the media. It is not surprising that the war is in jeopardy. This is no General, he is a joke!. Now I believe it is the President's duty to publicly strip him of his rank and dismiss him

    June 22, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bub

    It's sad, but with judgment like this he must go. He serves at the pleasure of the Commander in Chief and the quicker the President cuts him loose the better.

    June 22, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mike A.

    I am not a military person, but work in a business world. In a real world there will always be disagreement between, the Boss and the Staff. This is nothing more than disagreement between the general and the administration. Although the genral used a very poor judgement of voicing his opinion publicly rather than directly and in private to the president, dont forget he is a human after all, and he is allowed to make mistake like rest of us....

    This is not about the President or the General, how they communicate and agree will happen privately.... people do need to stay focus and do not let the "word and media terrorism" hi-jack the story....

    June 22, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Twoterm

      In the business world people can lose their jobs over mistakes; in the military, it is mandated in the code for certain mistakes. Why we should not follow military code in this instance is beyond me.

      June 22, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. tim

    Rolling Stone? Military Interview? War in Afghanistan? Rolling Stone? Is Hendrix on the cover?

    Insane, dude...let's argue about that now....the world is UPSIDE down...i have to get stoned....

    June 22, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ActiveDutySpouse

    As an active duty spouse of an officer who is currently deployed and has been deployed 4+ tours, I believe GEN McChrystal should be commended for speaking up. It seems the only way the "administration" will act is when others force the lead, i.e., SB1070 Arizona, Senator Pearce. Obama has betrayed our nation with far greater acts than a few misplaced remarks. What is more important here: the embarrassment Obama endured or capable leaders saving our soldiers during war? Obama should bury his face in shame because that's all he's brought to our nation and as such has made the US weaker. If anyone should be removed, Obama should go!!! Congrats to all those who voted for him, because you're getting what you asked for.

    June 22, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Snow

      I guess you voted for GWB huh? And you probably think he done an awesome job while he was in office! Let's put the blame where it really belongs....GWB!! And this response is coming from a Soldier who has 5 deployments under his belt.

      June 22, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • 29 Palms officer's wife

      As an officer's wife, I see you will be comforting the General's wife. Are you as stupid as you sound. The army removed an officer from its great organization because of what he thought of President Obama. As a high ranking officer, one CANNOT go around saying what they want about our President. To tell you the truth, more was said about the President's people then him. Lets get one thing straight. PRESIDENT OBAMA, thats right, PRESIDENT, darling, is just that. I voted him in because the Bush Administration has drug the U.S in a hole so deep it is taking a President like Mr. Obama to get us out. Without your husband's military pay where would you be. Well, when he gets out, I hope he has an education past a BA or BS because if not he will just like millions of other Americans, broke. The General was disrepsectful and you folks know it. However, if he is doing such a great job in the middle-East then keep him over there for a very, very, very, very long time.

      June 22, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. katy Heys

    McChrystal reports to the President of the United States. The President who was duly elected by the American people. To act in such an unprofessional and disrespectful manner is shocking. It is an insult not only to the American people but an unforgivable insult to our President, no matter what we may think of our President. Until Obama is voted out of office, we owe him our respect, because no matter what we think of him, he is our duly elected President. The fact that some people think that it is okay to be rude to whomever is President is an indication of how and why we are no longer #1, as we were after WWII. Here's an idea, why don't we all get behind the current admihnistration and support it until voting day when we can reelect or vote out.

    June 22, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • ActiveDutySpouse

      "Duly elected" .... that's a national debate!!! Your OPINION falls under freedom of speech, but does NOT reflect the "American people." You are an example that the freedom you've been allowed has been provided not only by GEN McChrystal but all those serving our nation throughout all branches of military service. Obama is the #1 reason the US is weak!

      June 22, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Another One in the Trenches

    Theresa - one small problem with your analysis of putting Obama and his band of merry men in uniform. Obama could not join the military. He would have to present a legitimate birth certificate with a genuine official seal on it. Simply posting something on the Internet does not count. Second, he has associated with known terrorists in the past, he could not pass the background investigation for a security clearance.

    How's that grab you for the guy in charge?

    June 22, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ashwin

      Sounds like someone is watching a little too much Glenn Beck...

      June 22, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • TO

      Ashwin, I agree...'Another One in the Trenches' it has been shown and confirmed by the Hawaiian hospital and health dept. Get over it and focus on a real issue.

      June 22, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      It's that Democratic Governor of Hawaii. Blame her for "hiding the birth certificate." Or maybe it was Martians?

      June 22, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mel

      The present governor of the state of Hawaii is a staunch republican. She has been the governor of Hawaii for several years now. This republican lady, and she is a very fine lady beloved by the people of Hawaii, is sick and tired of the people who claim Obama was not born in Hawaii. She claims she has absolute proof that he was indeed born in Kapiolani Hospital! Again, the present GOVERNOR OF HAWAII IS A REPUBLICAN!

      June 22, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Prophet

      Yes, Mel, you are right. Unfortunately the Far-right-haters do not care.

      June 22, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mel

      The present Governor of Hawaii, a woman much loved by the people of Hawaii and who has been Governor for many years now, is a staunch republican.

      June 22, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • TO

      For that matter, Hawaii started refusing requests for copies of his birth certificate because the time spent by Health Dept. administrators to fill requests was driving up health care costs!

      June 22, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • newporter

      I wouldn't doubt it after all of the morons who have been listening to the koolaid being fed to them. Yep, we've shown the rest of the world just what morons we are.

      June 22, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • SJAJR

      You are looney.

      June 22, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      You still believe that crap about his birth certificate? Ah, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. You've got to be kidding. Even Rush has managed to get that one out of his head. Take your meds.

      June 22, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • mary

      IDIOT! Always play the race card...plays well in your distorted little minds. You and Rush are right wing nuts! AND, BTW, how's that "DRILL BABY DRILL THING WORKING OUT FOR YA, HUH??????????????????? Just quoting one of your LEADERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      June 22, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • ras02

      Okay....

      none of this makes sense and you sound like a nut. What has Obama done for this country? He never has a plan-he just throws around tax payer dollars and sees what happens,blames Bush, and puts a spin on all of his failures. Health care=taxes. Cap and Trade=taxes. Stimulus=earmarks,inflation. Financial reform=more government power
      Immigration reform=a whole bunch of new Obama supporters!

      June 22, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leslie

      Knowledge is at your finger tips! Obama accomplishments, you will be amazed at your limited view!

      June 22, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mel

      Every President since Truman has tried to get some kind of health care bill passed. All failed to get it done! Obama is the first President to get the bill passed! Huge accomplishment!

      June 22, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mel

      Health care bill passed.

      June 22, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyd

      You are a complete IDIOT. Whether you like Obama or not, he is still the POTUS and deserves the RESPECT of all Americans, as he was voted President by the citizens of this Country.

      June 22, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mizz2929

      How stupid do u sound how couldnt he pass the background check he is the presdient

      June 22, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tonette

      How did he ever get to be president with no valid birth certificate? What a sham. I agree with you.

      June 22, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      Obama does have a valid birth certificate,,,, in Kenya

      June 22, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • sue carson

      Yet, he was able to become our leader. People hear the word FREE and go insane.

      June 23, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  15. tim

    Rolling Stone? Is Jagger on the cover?

    McChrystal is a ROCK STAR and I am McLovin it.... solo, baby, light it up!

    June 22, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
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