Rogue Gen. McChrystal Under Fire for Trash-Talking Obama Admin. in Rolling Stone
June 22, 2010
(ChattahBox)—Much like the insane Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, memorably played by Marlon Brando in the film “Apocalypse Now,” General Stanley McChrystal has gone rogue, as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. But instead of retreating to the jungle and uttering, “The horror… the horror…,” McChrystal has taken to Rolling Stone magazine with his mouthy undisciplined staff, described as “outright maniacs” to talk trash about President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, including senior aides Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke, U.S. ambassador Karl Eikenberry and National Security Adviser James Jones. The Commander-in-Chief was not amused by Gen. McChrystal’s shocking insubordination and disdain for the chain of command. And President Obama promptly summoned the so-called “Jedi” commander to the White House for a face-to-face meeting. McChrystal, perhaps realizing he has gone too far this time, issued a statement after the Rolling Stone piece, due out on Friday, was leaked to the press, apologizing for his “poor judgment” that fell short of his self-professed “principles of personal honor and professional integrity.”
This is not the first time Gen. McChrystal has trashed talked to the press about the Obama administration. Just last fall, Obama summoned him to a meeting on Air Force One for a dress down for McChrystal’s public comments criticizing Biden. And before Obama made his decision on the surge effort in Afghanistan, McChrystal infuriated Obama, when he leaked his own policy review, concluding “mission failure” unless Obama committed 40,000 troops.
As pointed out by Michael Hastings Rolling Stone Piece, entitled “The Runaway General,” during his role this past year as the top commander, he has managed to piss just about everyone off.
Many of the disparaging comments about senior staff in the piece were made by anonymous McChrystal aides, but McChrystal himself, disparaged Eikenberry and Biden.
On Biden: “Now, flipping through printout cards of his speech in Paris, McChrystal wonders aloud what Biden question he might get today, and how he should respond. “I never know what’s going to pop out until I’m up there, that’s the problem,” he says.
“Then, unable to help themselves, he and his staff imagine the general dismissing the vice president with a good one-liner.” “Are you asking about Vice President Biden?” McChrystal says with a laugh. “Who’s that?” “Biden?” suggests a top adviser. “Did you say: Bite Me?”‘
Regarding Eikenberry, McChrystal said he felt “betrayed” and accused the ambassador of covering his own ass. ‘”Here’s one that covers his flank for the history books,” McChrystal told Rolling Stone. ‘ “Now, if we fail, they can say ‘I told you so.”‘
McChrystal’s aides who refer to themselves as Team America, in reference to a South Park episode, dissed Jim Jones as a “clown” who remains “stuck in 1985.”
And Team America attacked President Obama as clueless about the Afghanistan war, while describing the first meeting between McChrystal and Obama a year ago: “It was a 10-minute photo op,” says an adviser to McChrystal. “Obama clearly didn’t know anything about him, who he was. Here’s the guy who’s going to run his fucking war, but he didn’t seem very engaged. The Boss was pretty disappointed.”’
The Rolling Stone piece is based on the reporter’s narrative, that McChrystal and his team of aides who have developed a cult-like devotion to their “Jedi” commander, believe the White House is filled with “wimps.”
Will McChrystal hand over his resignation to President Obama? Will he be relieved of his command? These questions will be dominating the media coverage for the days and weeks ahead.
(Update: Rolling Stone finally posted the piece on its website.