June 23rd, 2010
03:30 PM ET

Security Brief: What happened at McChrystal, Obama meeting

A source close to Gen. Stanley McChrystal provided the first account of what happened in Wednesday's White House meeting between the general and President Barack Obama.

According to the source, McChrystal briefly explained the magazine article at the center of the controversy and took responsibility, then offered his resignation. Obama accepted the resignation, the source said.

The president "had no intention of keeping him," according to the source.

In addition, the source said McChrystal will not return to Afghanistan. His team will go back to pack up on his behalf.

soundoff (703 Responses)
  1. redlaw

    all you obama haters sound like palin supporters, and foxnews puppets

    June 23, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael in Houston

      They do dont they!! I used to think we would be hard pressed to find ANYONE worse then Bush but by God, leave it the republicans to find THE ONE person in America that could actually be worse...PAlin. Oh sure, its true they had to go all the way to freakin Alaska to find her but find her they did.
      They are very smug right now thinking they have the November elections wrapped up and will handidly defeat Obama in 2012.......keep in mind always that they are the minority for a reason.

      June 23, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. BC

    First off you swear a oath to the Follow the orders of the President and the officers appointed over you. As a active member of the military currently serving in the AOR the General should have been fired period the fact that he had his letter of resignation ready shows he knew better. You are allowed to voice an opinion in private but once the decision is made you salute sharply and carry on, if you cannot do this get out we need leaders who follow orders and not just give them!!

    June 23, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • fomer soldier

      Well stated!

      June 23, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • yeah

      What orders did he violate?

      June 23, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Montel


      June 23, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |

    The one who should resign is Obama...The man does not know how to lead...The general should be given a medal!!!

    June 23, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • astonished

      Seriously, NAVYVET? You believe in the chain of command, except when he's not of your party? Another GOP patriot, clearly unable to handle a black president who's smarter than he is. Traitor. Period.

      June 23, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • BC

      NAVYVET Like him are not he is the freely elected President of the United States and as a member of the military you swear or affirm an oath period to follow the orders of the President of the U.S.. The General broke faith with the oath he took and therefore was not fit to command troops who took the same oath and have kept it. How would that promote good disicipline and order the very thing the military runs on get a clue.

      June 23, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      @astonished - Cosign!! Racist partisan BS... I'm pretty sure they expect the same regard for chain of command in the Navy as any other military branch... then again, the Navy has always had a hard time getting things "straight".

      Semper Fi

      June 23, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Montel

      So this is OK in the navy? You can bad mouth Admirals ans skippers all you want and nothing will happen?!! Yeah, right!

      June 23, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Geosuicide

    It's pretty cut and dry. The General made remarks against the VP and others in direct conflict with UCMJ 88. This undermines the authority of the President, the VP and lessens the morale of the troops (otherwise, it wouldn't be a Court Martial offense punishable by up to a year in jail, loss of pay, forfeiture of rank, etc.). President Obama had no choice but to accept his resignation – if he did not, then the next thing would be more top commanders making inappropriate comments and further lowering morale of troops (there would be no consequences). President Obama did the General a favor by accepting his resignation and as a testament to his service to the US, elected not to proceed with a Court Martial.

    On a personal note, I would bet my last dollar had this been Bush in office, the Republicans would be screaming for blood and Bush would have relieved him immediately. Instead, the Republicans holler when Obama appointed him and now are hollering when Obama relieves him. More evidence that the Republican party is interested in nothing more than going against everything Democrats do.

    June 23, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      I am sure the morale of the troops is what's most important to all you commenting on it. THere is a problem with today politican as oppose to those in the past. Every politician wants to be the hero for either winning this war or getting us out. I agree that the comment should not have been made but I couldn't imigine being at that postions and being told how to best use those underneath me to carry out the policy. That isn't the CIC job, and i sure don't want some one with no military exp. At some point you have to speak up, more importantly at some point those civilians in charge needs to listen

      June 23, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dave K

    Bad-mouthing the president by officers s a court-martialable offence according to military rules, a rule that has been taken seriously for decades. All other comments are irrelevent.

    June 23, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Allen

    Grannie on the go
    This is for you. Freedom of Speech does apply but it doesn't apply when you question your commander-in-chief. Take it that nobody said anything about the Commander-in-Cheif. When your in the Armed Forces and your in command you have to take responsibility for those in your command. There was no other way around it he either had to resign or he was getting fired. He shouldn't have allowed his staff to comment about the civilians and Harry has pointed out the UCMJ. It's done, and on that note, I'm stopping right there and have nothing more to say on the matter.

    June 23, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • fomer soldier


      June 23, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |

    Let's not make this about Obama people, because that easily brings out the right wing opinions, this is about the Office of the President no matter who is sitting the General's first priority is to the Commander and Chief and political views have no place in fulfilling his duties.

    June 23, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      And of course, we can't have "right-wing" opinion on a CNN forum now can we?

      June 23, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. scespedes

    I think this is a planned event. I believe the General was beginning to realize he was not going to be able to get out of Afghanistan and save face. I believe he took advantage of the press and allowed them in, allowed them to give him a way out of his post. Although not optimal, it's now being called bad judgement, not a defeat in Afghanistan. That is my 2 cents.

    June 23, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ben

    This was the right call. It is true that the most controversial comments in the article were made by his staff, but his staff is also his responsibility. I can respect that he has a difference of opinion with the president, and even that he doesn't respect the vice president, ambassador to Afghanistan, etc. But what you don't do is run your mouth frat boy style in front of the press demeaning the leadership for all the world, and most importantly his own troops to see. Some of the pundits have just written this off as "unwinding for army guys" but this was in front of a member of the press, who WAS taking notes and recording. The author, Michael Hastings, was interviewed on NPR today and said that the general and his staff knew he was taking notes and still they continued. So, he had to have know what he was doing when he took this interview. If any of the officers under McChrystal's command had shown this level of disrespect to him, they'd be gone too.

    June 23, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • fomer soldier

      Very well put.

      June 23, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. PHAN

    yea right Obama didnt want to keep him.. mcchrystal is tops, in military strategy. mcchrystals has seen enough of Obama's act and the numbers are growing. Military took a huge hit because Obama doesnt know what he's doing.

    June 23, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Montel

      The only thing that's growing is your ignorance

      June 23, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. PHAN

    thanks stan.. you're a great american! tell it like it is! always!

    June 23, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mike

    If he was not supposed to talk to the media then why was a Rolling Stone reporter tagging along for weeks? What did you think this reporter was going to hear? How wonderful Obama is? No one but his administration and most of the liberals think that. Was he set up? Was this the easy way to get a yes man to replace him? This is probably the best thing that could have happened to General McCrystal. I prefer honesty over telling one what they want to hear. I hope this does not turn out to be the biggest mistake Obama has made because he has a few big ones in my book and this is war not an election.

    To all you ex-military people who think this is a just action because he should not show dissent in any situation. Hitler’s generals were following orders also. At some point they should have stood up to him. I am not saying Obama has killed a million Jews but he is destroying America and obviously does not have a plan the Generals agree with. You cannot win a war without a set of achievable goals.

    June 23, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Waytogo

      Hey way to turn any point you were trying to make completely irrelevant by comparing this to Hitler. Go play on the Faux News board. Where that kind of rhetoric is tolerated and encouraged.

      June 23, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • fomer soldier

      Are you honestly comparing the actions of Obama to Hitler?

      June 23, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Montel

      Mike, the only forces causing "the destruction of america" are political one's who want the president to fail "at all costs".

      June 23, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. NavySailor

    BrianCNN – I don't understand your point. The General made the remarks, not his staff member. Commanders are responsible for their own actions and the actions of those under their command, it's that simple. He authorized the interview – his responsibility!

    June 23, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • BrianCNN

      He took responsibility for his actions as a commander by resigning due to the controversy. The article only contains second-hand comments attributed to him by members of his staff. This does not mean that they are true as written.

      June 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. DavidL

    From a military perspective, General McChrystal was dead wrong in allowing his subordinates to speak openly in front of a reporter, and he responded in the finest of military traditions by resigning his commission. Could he have been court-martialed? Possibly. Would it happen? No. A situation like this deserves a serious Letter of Reprimand. Even in the military we are allowed freedom of speech and thought – we are not robots.
    But for those who ask, let me illuminate why those in the military think President Obama does not support us:
    1) He is attempting to reduce strength to about 60% of current manning, with no end in sight for the two conflicts we have currently happening.
    2) He is attempting to reduce retirement benefits for all retiree's across the board. These are the same retirees who stood on the wall protecting everyone for over 20 years while having to give up many of those things which everyone considers rights.
    3) Reductions in the civilian workforce to support combat operations – which will in turn require higher numbers of support Soldiers, effectively reducing our combat troops to less than 15%.

    There are many more, but those are some hard numbers as published June 11th from the Sustainable Defense Task Force organized by President Obama's cabinet.

    June 23, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Waytogo

    This was the absolutely right thing for the President to do. He had no choice but to get rid of the General. The General should have lost his job over the Tillman cover-up and did not. He didn't learn his lesson on that and proved he thought he was above the rules and law of the military. As such he is gone. Anyone who thinks he should have been kept on has either never served and does not understand military disipline and order or they are just playing politics.

    June 23, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
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