June 24th, 2010
03:29 PM ET

Readers sound off: Military code and McChrystal

iReporters Cliff Olney, Melissa Fazli, Egberto Willies shared their views on the military code and how McChrystal did or didn't act in accordance with it.

An interesting conversation developed on CNN.com about First Amendment rights versus the military code of conduct following Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s resignation.

Comments on a story about McChrystal’s resignation have come from people who identify themselves as veterans and current members of the military - a majority of whom said they were shocked and embarrassed by McChrystal’s conduct.

AFGChuck said, “It was a complete breach of military protocol.” Several others agreed and referenced the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Non-military don't realize that the UCMJ is law in the military. When your [sic] in uniform not only do you represent the troops you represent a whole country.

Article 88 of the UCMJ states that any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the president, the vice president, Congress or the secretary of defense shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

In another article about the controversial remarks, readers with an opposing view felt that McChrystal had a right to express himself.

goldenbear2K, before you tell people to read history, you yourself should read the Bill of Rights, starting with the 1st Amendment. Everyone has freedom of speech, can voice their opinion without fear of reprisal.

As a former military man, you do not give up your 1st amendment right. It is your obligation to report derelict of duty and Obama and his staff are derelict. The General has every right to report what he sees. This information is not classified. U need to get your facts straight.

Key political figures stepped forward in support of President Obama. Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John McCain of Arizona gave a a joint news conference with independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut in which they said that Obama had no choice but to replace McChrystal.

CNN viewers are also voicing their opinions on iReport. Frequent iReporter  Liberty1955 said the situation between Obama and McChrystal mirrored the conflict between President Eisenhower and Gen. George Patton during World War II.  He said that McChrystal is a good leader and his apology should have been enough.

EWillies1961 said McChrystal needed to be removed so that Obama could reassert leadership and reinforce the ideal that civilian and government leadership portray a united front.

CNN will continue following this story and the reactions to the decision.

Tell us what you think. Record your reaction to the decision and share it with CNN.

soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. James Johnson

    Two things...I wonder how McChrystal would react if presented with evidence that less senior officers in his command were as openly contemptuous of him and his staff as he and his staff were of their civilian bosses. Just a guess but I think claims that "they were just expressing their First Amendment rights" would fall on deaf ears.

    Further, some time ago, I had the privilege of working up close with a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. As fine a soldier and man as I could imagine. For the life of me I could not fathom this man either creating or tolerating an environment whereby his staff would be so crudely and openly contemptuous of their civilian bosses.

    June 25, 2010 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. Tim Mandragon

    Smith in Oregon; you are a lunatic. How do you know so much "fact" about what those peple were thinking and doing in Marja, both the Taliban and the ISAF?

    McChrystal got just what he deserved. He is a mouthy, sarcastic, jerk, that didn't know when to keep his mouth shut. In addition to being an idiot for inviting a snake of a reporter into his midst.

    June 25, 2010 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  3. Raffer

    So let me understand this. A general is one who is a leader, an astute thinker, and a great strategist. He is supposed to set an example for others to follow. Yet his own actions that ultimately cost him his job speak volumes for this line of thinking. It's the "think again/deja vu all over again" syndrome that happened with two other famous generals in the past come to visit us once again. Too bad for McChrystal though. He could have pulled this off so much better had he only realized he needed to obey military law and respect his boss the way it should be in the military instead of apparently believing that he was above it all. But no one is indispensable, not even a top general. Just goes to show that rank does not matter one bit in the military when you go against the grain, are arrogant, and have a chip on your shoulder and think you can get away with anything. Buck privates to generals all Go when their Commander In Chief sees that they are not well disciplined and he loses his confidence in their ability to continue being the leaders they were chosen to be. But that's the way the ball bounces in this situation. McChrystal has no one else to blame but himself for his foolish demise. And this WILL go down in history. What a sad ending for a top general who once had it all.

    June 25, 2010 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  4. Fed Up

    So when are we all gonna get together and do something about this. Just as I thought....... Cowards

    June 25, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
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