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. kmacnn

    so tell me Gretchen – exactly what kind of atrocities are you talking about that you'd like to give Obama credit for? And while you're at it – how did you feel when Bush was at the wheel driving this country right over the edge?

    June 22, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. uva1979

    "Fraud"? These ridiculous comments are getting old.

    June 22, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. TampaMan

    The general should take his licks and resign, but like the good little military bureaucrat he is there will be only an apology.

    June 22, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bryce

    Obama should keep him until the war is over and then replace him.

    June 22, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joe

    And where we you, Miss Teabag, when George W. Bush was president? Obama is still trying to clean up the messes left behind by "W." And would you care to be specific as to how Obama has undermined the economy or our security? Be specific now. Cite policies and actions and what experts (Fox News doesn't count) see as long term consequences.

    June 22, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe in Kalispell

      This is Obama's war now and he owns it. He is increasing the troop count and the drone attacks in Pakistan. Time to stop playing the blame game.

      June 22, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. MAT

    To MIKE-This man has givenm his entire life to service of his country. Elected officals only play politics. Obama needs to get out of the kitchen if he cant take the heat.

    June 22, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. newporter

    Not as atrocious as the last one who left us and Obama with the mess he's got. Have you considered that?

    June 22, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Adam

    You know, "stuff" all those things he does. I actually heard the other day he was drafting laws supporting human rights equality in America. Can you believe the audacity of that guy? ABSURD!

    June 22, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. webbtman

    Carl, how about the mistake made to allow the oil well to explode... or the mistake this same general made during the Tillman affair. No let's not fire everyone that makes a mistake, just the bonehead ones.

    June 22, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Heidi

    I applaud the General for his remarks!
    God Bless our men & women in uniform!!

    June 22, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. MAT

    Dont worry Gretchen. We will reign in his stupidity in Novemeber. Remeber how long it took to have a Dem as pres after Carter?

    June 22, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. PJ

    He better not be fired for speaking the truth. Obama is a failure. He was only saying what we all are saying.

    June 22, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dude

    He has always been self loathing and seld absorbed. It's disturbing to see such a person holding General's rank in the U.S. army. Perhaps his commanding officers were into some kind of republican underground fraternity. He should quit if he is true to the uniform.

    June 22, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. SuperLaw

    Is anyone else curious as to why our commander in Afghanistan is giving exclusive interviews to "Rolling Stone" magazine?

    June 22, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      Seriously.

      June 22, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. MAT

    Adam
    Is not equality when you give somone prefernetial treatment because of their race, such as miniorty bids on Govt jobs. Take the blinders off. Equality takes away your right to complain. The dems will never let it happen. They need you on their payroll.

    June 22, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
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