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. Joe

    The Afghan war is unwinnable . How can we win? The Afghans or "insurgents" will always be there. It's their country, we have to come home some day. But we aint leaving any time soon however because of the 3 trillion dollars of precious metals the wealthy want. Mine baby mine. That's right American people, you fight the war until we "win" it, and we'll just strip mine it at the same time. lol. Republican sheep.

    June 23, 2010 at 2:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. John Peabody

    It is a question of principle. No one is above the law. He should resign.

    Or every private will be making jokes of the President.

    June 23, 2010 at 3:01 am | Report abuse |
  3. Kingofthenet

    Where is the 'Secretary of Defense' in all of this? Shouldn't HE be the one to fire this General? Why is he leaving this up to the President?

    June 23, 2010 at 3:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. Fred

    He should be reassigned to a mundane desk job in Alaska.

    June 23, 2010 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  5. Scotty

    The general is no dummy, and may have just handed Obama something he may not be able to deal with. If the general is fired or forced to resign, Obama may have sacked the very person he may have to run against in the next general election. If he is allowed to continue of course, the General may develop a following within the military for speaking out against the administration in violation of the UCMJ. It might be best to let a Courts Marshal decide this one as prescribed by the USMJ. I see no good that can come of this no matter how Obama handles it and I personally suspect that this may be the exact reason for the whole incident. Things are seldom as they seem and almost never as they are reported. Watch how it unfolds.

    June 23, 2010 at 3:24 am | Report abuse |
  6. Kees

    McChrystal not only did this on purpose, he did it in order to be fired. He knows this war is lost and has nothing left but to choose between soldiering on and facing certain defeat or being fired by the first black president and move on and become a permanent talking head on Fox News. He chose the last option.

    June 23, 2010 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
  7. ABRAHAM

    ARROGANCE AND BELLIGERANCE, BE IT FROM A FOUR STAR GENERAL OR A PRIVATE IN THE ARMY MUST BE MET WITH ZERO TOLERANCE. HE MUST NOT ONLY APOLOGIZE TO THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF BUT TO ALL OF AMERICA, ESPECIALLY TO THE MEN AND WOMEN SERVING IN THE US ARMED FORCES AND MUST BE DONE PRIME TIME AND IT IS UP TO THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF TO KEEP HIM OR NOT.– PREFERABLY SUUMARILY FIRE HIM WITH A DEMOTION TO A MAJOR OR A CAPTAIN. PLEASE CONVINCE ME THIS IS NOT ANOTHER ARROGANT REPUBLICAN RUNNING OUR WAR AFFAIRS IN AFGHANISTAN WITH ASPIRATIONS FOR THE WHITE HOUSE. WHAT A DISGRACEFUL STATE OF AFFAIRS. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 23, 2010 at 6:51 am | Report abuse |
  8. gene

    It's not like Mchrystal didn't see this coming or for that matter wasn't asking to be dismissed. The comments he made were a plea to be dismissed. He no doubt wanted to go out stating exactly how he felt about the administration.

    June 23, 2010 at 7:09 am | Report abuse |
  9. Chuck

    If he is fired it would only be because of Obamas massive ego and would not serve the best intrest of National Security. What a shame we have this man as our President.

    June 23, 2010 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  10. Butch

    It's widely reported that McChrystal is "THE ONLY ONE" who can win the war in Afghanistan. Does Obama want to WIN THE WAR....or .... to stroke his EGO! Seems it's the latter.
    When it comes to misjudgments, Obama has made a few himself... i.e. the Health Care Bill, the Stimulus Bill, to name a few.

    June 23, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  11. Marcella

    I find it amazing how all this is basically over nothing. If you read the article nothing was said that was that bad at all.
    It is ironic that this government can criticize others, but the shoe is on the other foot they can't take it. They are a bunch of babies running this country into the ground. Their egos are unbelievable, Get over yourselves and run this country correctly. Worry about what is going on like oil spill, people out of jobs, stop spending money you don't have. Have a backbone and stop apologizing to people who don't deserve it.. This administration is a bad nightmare I only hope the nightmare ends in November.

    June 23, 2010 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  12. Faithangel

    What saddens me is that General McChrystal and all our Soldiers and Service Members give us the Freedom to say what we feel and HE is not allowed to say something. What was said the majority of Americans feel. And I have read too many times about people not liking Obama or showing him respect because he is Black. Obama is mixed. And most of us have no respect for him because of his lack of understanding and what he represents. I read also about the Health Care BS where someone out here wrote that we all would have Health Care. NO we won't. His plan says you will have it or be fined(it is not free) and I'll be d*mned if I will pay any fine for not being able to afford health care. Getting back to the General. He should NOT be fired and we should instead send Obama over there to Afghanistan and see how the h*ll he does. I have no respect for him and cannot wait until his term is served because he will not have a second term. He was voted in ONLY because of the color of his skin and that makes me sick. And as for the poster who talked about Soldiers not talking about higher ups or complaining about their Commander in front of others Soldiers they work with....what world do you live in!! It happens every day of the week. I am a civilian who works with Soldiers and the NCOIC in this office continually criticizes higher ups in front of me and the other Soldiers. I would love to see her "fired". General McChrystal...you have my total support and everyone I know supports you. We have a war to fight and don't have time for this crap about a d*mn article! Get over yourself Obama! You should never have been Commander in Chief and will not be in a couple of years!

    June 23, 2010 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  13. AdamE

    Fire him. But first: WIll someone please remind me why the hell we're in Afghanistan in the first place?

    June 23, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Marcella

      9/11/2001

      June 23, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bill Edens

    EWR

    And who do you think whould have done better given these challenges Obama has had?

    FRED THOMPSON ! thats who

    Vote em all out !

    June 23, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill Edens

      REPLACE HIM WITH GENERAL BARBIE FRANK AND THE GAY BARRETS

      June 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill Edens

      obomma suporters should be given a test of three questions if they answer one wrong they should be deported to Mexico or given a straw and dumped in The gulf of Mexico

      June 23, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Smerlap

    When you put on the Uniform you lose some rights. For a Genreal officer to ever speak in disparging terms of his Commander in Chief in public is not allowed and he knows it. This violates the Uniform Code of Military Justice, code of conduct of an officer and undermines discipline in a time of war. He must be fired.

    June 23, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Henry

      Then we need to fire the Command and Chief for not doing his job of leading America. He does not have any leadership skill except what he learned from Accorn.

      June 23, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
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