McChrystal Blue Persuasion

General Stanley McChrystal and his staff have big mouths. They didn’t
tell a reporter that stuff was off the record when they were in bars and
fine story from Rolling Stone this time around by freelancer Michael Hastings.

I’m too lazy to dig for the bullet points on my own so I’ll let the Gray Lady do the talking:

A McChrystal aide is quoted saying of Mr. Holbrooke: “The Boss says he’s
like a wounded animal. Holbrooke keeps hearing rumors that he’s going
to be fired, so that makes him dangerous.”

On another occasion, General McChrystal is described as reacting with
exasperation when he receives an e-mail message from Mr. Holbrooke. “Oh,
not another e-mail from Holbrooke. I don’t even want to open it.”

The article also describes a conversation in which General McChrystal
and an aide talk about Mr. Biden. Mr. Biden is known to have opposed the
decision to escalate the war, preferring instead a slimmed-down plan
focused on containing terrorism.

“Are you asking about Vice President Biden?” General McChrystal jokes.

“Biden?” suggests a top adviser. “Did you say ‘Bite me?’ “

Classic trash talk or bar room bravado. But why on earth did they not go OFF THE FUCKING RECORD? I have friends in the MSM and we always explicitly ask one another that something be off the record or unattributed; especially if it’s juicy. This is juicy.

Bob Gates has already rebuked the wayward (there’s that word again) General. John Kerry is urging caution.Steve Clemons wants his ass fired.

Right now, I lean towards a stern rebuke unless the Veep wants McChrystal gone. Given Biden’s own history, he’s likely to be forgiving of the General making a pun that he’s heard before. Many times.He’s just biding time…

What do y’all think should happen to McChrystal? Rebuked? Fired? Mocked?

I’m not sure where I’ll end up in this debate but I know one thing for sure: McChrystal rubs me the wrong way and not in a new age flake sorta way. I do, however, love his name, it’s so punworthy. I guess you already noticed that…

12 thoughts on “McChrystal Blue Persuasion

  1. What was he on, McChrystal meth?
    A slap on the wrist would seem to be McChrystal Light, but I’d hate to see him start singing “I’m Homeless” like McChrystal Waters.

  2. Any media relations pro will tell you, THERE REALLY IS NO SUCH THING AS OFF THE RECORD!!!! Any one who trusts to that is foolish.

  3. End his Afghanistan command early and make him General Stanley McDeskjockey. Let him swap bravado for paper clips while he relearns his ass from his elbow.

  4. @Kevin: I was hoping you’d chime in: puns are the foundation of our friendship.
    @Joan: Point well taken but if it’s technically off the record, you have a defense. Hey, it’s better than the “taken out of context” thing.

  5. No question about it, just as MacArthur was fired by Truman, McChrystal has to be fired by Obama. To do otherwise is to give up on being president. Eventually Obama has to demonstrate that his backbone isn’t made of jello, and why not now? Obama has little respect left so why give it all up?

  6. There’s a very good post atVetVoice (from on this topic, which explains in detail why he should resign or be fired. Jon Soltz makes his point very well and has the advantage of being a veteran. And from what little Ido know of matters military, you just do not get to speak out like that, like it or not.

  7. Thanks for the link to the Soltz post. He makes some very good points. This doesn’t quite rise to the Truman-MacArthur level but we make be approaching Carter-Singlaub. Of the course, the latter firing didn’t convince anyone that Carter had backbone…

  8. The point that matters with regard to firing him is that this is thesecond time that McChrystal has thrown his weight around in public and put the President in a tight spot because of it.
    Truman didn’t fire MacArthur for shooting his mouth off the very first time, either.
    What really gnaws at me about McChrystal is that–after the flap started–he said he’d always behaved honorably in his career, and this from the guy that was instrumental in burying the truth about Pat Tillman’s death–and constructing a narrative that made the Bush White House and the military look good. And, a week later, they give him a promotion. That alone tells me he’s not to be trusted.
    Quite apart from the fact that–if the profile is accurate–McChrystal is a bull in a china shop without much regard for history, what the article illustrates very well is that there’s a drastically different standard for “brilliance” inside the military than there is outside it…

  9. MacArthur was fired primarily because of his loud and public dissent with the limited war strategy favored by Truman, Acheson and Marshall. He got what was coming to him but if it had been for his shooting his mouth off, FDR would have shitcanned him during World War II.

  10. the guy that was instrumental in burying the truth about Pat Tillman’s death
    D’oh! I’d forgotten about that.
    He has to be fired, full stop. Not reassigned or given the chance to quit, but flat out fired in the most humiliating way possible. I grew up on military bases (my dad was a flight engineer on transport planes in the AF) and if he’d done the equivalent thing, he’d have been court-martialed faster than you can say “Eric Robinson”*. If Obama doesn’t kick his ass three ways from Sundays, he’ll lose the military because they know there’ll be no consequences for insubordination.
    * tm Monty Python

  11. As a vet, I’d like to see him resign. Should he not do so, effective immediately he should be reduced in grade as far as possible, and any retirement he does reach should be paid at that rate.
    This guy’s not just a loose cannon, he’s a loose artillery division.

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