June 22nd, 2010
01:17 PM ET

McChrystal apologizes, media ask: Should he be axed?

The gaffe from America's top military commander in Afghanistan and his staffer’s “Biden?-Did-you-say-Bite-Me?” comment is biting back. Hours after news broke that Gen. Stanley McChrystal was recalled to Washington amid his controversial remarks about colleagues in an explosive Rolling Stone magazine article, calls for the firing of the general have surfaced.

The Atlantic magazine’s national correspondent wrote that McChrystal has violated the chain of command and should be sacked for disrespect and insubordination.

"… first is for the civilian Commander in Chief to act in accordance with Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution and demonstrate that there are consequences for showing open disrespect for the chain of command."

A Talking Points Memo columnist points out that this isn’t the first time McChrystal has gone on a scathing tirade about those who are “not in their groove on strategy.” Not firing McChrystal will only hurt President Obama’s standing as commander in chief, he argues.

"Obama needs to fire him. If he doesn't, McChrystal's brand will be validated and the environment of insubordination and unprofessional conduct will be reinforced. If McChrystal survives his White House encounter, then Obama will be diminished. That is what this has come to."

Calling the general’s comments in Rolling Stone “near-suicidal," The Daily Telegraph’s U.S. editor thinks keeping McChrystal, on the contrary, might bode well for Obama’s administration.

"If Obama still believes that success in Afghanistan is possible then the ultimate display of genuine toughness, self-confidence and courage on the President’s part could be to stick with the man he chose to get the job done, despite the general’s reckless and insulting words."

TIME magazine’s Joe Klein writes about the McChrystal he’s known, calling him an “extraordinary man” with a thorough set of skills necessary for the mission in Afghanistan.

"But there is another side to McChrystal: he is so focused on his real job that he hasn't spent sufficient time learning how to play the public relations game. He speaks his mind; in private conversations, I've found, he is incapable of fudging the truth. This leads to a certain myopia, an innocence regarding the not-so-brave new world of the media."

Klein goes on to say that while McChrystal may have to go, firing the “irreplaceable” man will be a great “setback” and “tragedy.”

Afghan President Harmid Karzai doesn’t seem too concerned by McChrystal’s remarks and clearly wants him on the ground. The president’s spokesman, Waheed Omer, told Reuters:

“The President strongly supports General McChrystal and his strategy in Afghanistan and believes he is the best commander the United States has sent to Afghanistan over the last nine years."

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Filed under: Military • Security Brief
soundoff (520 Responses)
  1. Henry

    This President and this Adminstration are using this as a political message. It does not surprise me from a Socialist Form Adminstration. This President does not have any Leadership skill what so ever all he is doing sending our troop to war and not giving them the tools and resources to find the job. I support The General I want to thank him for his service to Our Great Nation United States Of America and Not the Socialist Replublic Of America.

    Sincerly yours A Rep Cuban American Retired Military Vet

    June 23, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  2. Phillip A Skiles

    First of all, We do not live in a dictatorship, but in a republic governed by a system of checks and balances. Clearly we have the right of free speack, however our President should have a clear sensitivity to the minds and will of the people, especially the Military who serve under his command. We are united that we need to meet the threat of Alquida face on, and squelch the threat of Terror, however we need to be united on how we proceed. We clearly have a division between the commander and chief, and the military. There needs to be a blending of minds and coming together that we can proceed with a singular vision and focus. I would encourage President Obama to work closely with the military to forge a policy that brings our focus together and motivates the military, because the morale of the troops can set the tone either success or failure in the Afghan operation.

    June 23, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  3. Joe C

    The Law of the Military is straight forward, however there would be little room or hardly any blogging here if the current commander in cheif had some Stugots as you notice the four presidents did and thats on both sides of the party. Its unfortunate but very true, god bless our troops!

    June 23, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Christof

    Clearly General McChrystal should be reprimanded for his comments and the lack of discipline shown by his immediate staff.
    His apology may be enough to keep his job, but that is a long shot.
    He is the right man for the job, but needs to make his case privately, not in public.
    One does not rise through the ranks by being unaware that dabbling in politics can have serious repercussions on a career.
    This is true of any large bureaucratric organization, public or private.

    June 23, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. wfree

    The is in reference to one of the post i read and it got under my skin, BY (rondia) Now we are getting to the core of all the problems, we just don't want to step up and admit it, some can not except a black man is in charge of our ( their ) country, If it was any other person as president that was of their color, there would not be so much to do about nothing ) Lets remember the days of President George Bush and Stormin Norman Schwarzkopf during the gulf war, (oh wait Bush wasn't a black man) and yet their was plenty done, if i remember right Schwarzkopf did resign, but how soon we forget that. but then we want to bring in the comment about a black man being in charge hmmmm. So why would we bring color into the forum unless we are trying to make it a race issue... Is that the real case? I don't see what General Mc Crystal has done or said that would warrant him to resign, i think he is doing an outstanding job. Lets ask ourselves this question? What is the Presidents Military Background? and has he ever Experienced Combat?

    June 23, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Anita Anderson

    TO CENSURE GEN. MC CHRYSTAL FOR VOICING HIS OPINION PUTS THE CONCEPT OF 'FREEDOM OF SPEECH' IN JEOPARDY.
    SURELY, THERE ARE MILLIONS OF CITIZENS WHO AGREE, IF NOT PARTIALLY, WITH HIS COMMENTS.
    I FOR ONE, WOULD PREFER TO SEE OUR 'GOVERNMENT' PULL ALL FORIEGN AID AND CONCENTRATE ON REBUILDING OUR OWN NATION FROM WITHIN; POLITICALLY, FINANCIALLY, MORALLY AND INTELLECTUALLY, THE ULTIMATE BEING TO 'LEAD BY EXAMPLE, NOT BY FORCE'.

    June 23, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Anita Anderson

    TO CENSURE GEN. MC CHRYSTAL FOR VOICING HIS OPINION, PUTS THE CONCEPT OF 'FREEDOM OF SPEECH' IN JEOPARDY. SURELY, THERE ARE MILLIONS OF AMERICANS WHO AGREE, IF NOT TOTALLY AT LEAST PARTIALLY, WITH HIS COMMENTS.
    I FOR ONE, WOULD PREFER TO SEE OUR "GOVERNMENT" PULL ALL FORIEGN AID AND SUPPORT TO CONCENTRATE ON REBUILDING OUR OWN NATION, POLITICALLY, FINANCILLY, MORALLY AND INTELLECTUALLY.
    THE ULTIMATE GOAL BEING, 'LEAD BY EXAMPLE' NOT BY FORCE.

    June 23, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. harry

    O NO some spoke up and the president didn't like it. If the general is let go so should the president. Has failed in many areas look at the oil mess what is he doing?? I glad the general spoke up for the american people and well to bad Mr. President suck up and take what your people have to say and listen.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. I am Black...

    ... and Obama sucks! He is the worst President in the history of our country. And please prepare yourselves, for the "Change" he promised most certainly is coming! Sure Clinton made our country look cozy and comfortable while he cut the legs out from the military, and defense of our nation. Which, by the way, is why French Intel had to inform our GREAT country that Al Queda members were taking flight school in Florida for two years before we even got wind of it. Why do you think the French wouldn't help us in the war on terrorism? Clinton brushed them aside while he was worried about fighting his impeachment. Clinton had at least 7 solid opportunties to KILL Bin Laden, and NEVER pulled the trigger. I love when people blame Bush for the war, Bush was in office for 6 months when 9/11 happened. Do you think it took Al Queda 6 months to plan this attack. They even boast about how they did it right under Clinton's nose. Give me a break people WAKE UP!!!!! Obama is ruining the very fiber this country was founded on. If you don't like what this country was founded on, leave. No one tells France, England, Spain, they don't like how they were founded. So, if you don't like it, move to a country that most suits your needs and wants. Obama rammed a healthcare bill down our throats, over 3/4 of congress said they did not even have a chance to read the entire bill, and Obama's response, was too bad, if you don't vote, I will manditory pass the bill anyway... what was the real choice? Obama is a political puppet, he is wearing a big set of pants, with diapers. He is an amature, with little to NO experience, and his party ties love it that way. They got him elected for it! He will take the heat in the history books our kids read, while the Dems ram their agenda down our throats, and Obama doesn't know any better, he just got elected because he was techinically and visually the furthest thing from Bush... and Bush doesn't look so bad now does he? Obama (in one year) has spent 6x more than Bush in 8 years (and that includes picking up the tab for the war efforts). Worse, Obama has spent more, and held NO ONE accountable for their actions! Where is the action team that was supposed to be implemented by Greenspan to watch over the funds that were deligated to these companies? This country is going to hell in a hand bag. Sure let's sanction AZ for handling their immigration issues, BUT drug cartels are sitting in state parks (all illegal, and from Mexico) telling the local police, "Leave us alone if you know what is good for you, how dare you steal 400 lbs. of our illeagal pot". Are you serious? 2 million people live in NYC's Manhattan Borough – of the 2 Million, only 35,000 pay taxes, to support the entire city, and Obama wants to BLANKET citizenship?

    When is it ok for America to defend ourselves, our rights, our way of thinking and living. We have become so Politically Correct that you can't even question an action Obama has made without the damn NAACP coming after you. I just hope we are all buckled down for the "Change" we so longed for... because I wonder where Keith Oberman and Rachel Maddow will be when our country is nuked because the rest of the world laughs at our "fearless" leader. We are being mocked by third world countries, people would rather crap in a dirt hole than live here... great job Obama, you suck, and I am Black!

    June 24, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Susie Smiley

    CNN, YOU ARE SO FULL OF IT. YOU ENCOURAGE DISRESPECT FOR THE PRESIDENT AND YOU LAP IT UP WHEN THESE UNSAVED CRAZIES SAY ALL KINDS OF MORONIC THINGS ABOUT THE PRESIDENT. THESE PEOPLE HAVE SO MUCH HATE IN THEM TOWARD BARACK OBAMA. HE IS SMARTER THAN ANY OF THEM AND THE MEDIA AND ALL THE NETWORKS ENCOURAGE THESE PSYCHOS BY ASKING FOR THEIR OPINIONS. THEY DON'T HAVE A MIND IN THE FIRST PLACE AND WHO IS GOING TO USE THEIR OPINIONS. CERTAINLY NOT THE PRESIDENT. GROW UP, PEOPLE!

    June 24, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. America First

    Let's face it, if Obama didn't let McChrystal go, Republicans would be complaining THAT was wrong. Republicans don't know what to think until Obama takes a position so they can be opposed to it.

    June 24, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
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    July 4, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
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    December 31, 2012 at 5:03 am | Report abuse |
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