Later on in a typically very long Rolling Stone article…
By some accounts, McChrystal’s career should have been over at least two times by now. As Pentagon spokesman during the invasion of Iraq, the general seemed more like a White House mouthpiece than an up-and-coming commander with a reputation for speaking his mind. When Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made his infamous “stuff happens” remark during the looting of Baghdad, McChrystal backed him up. A few days later, he echoed the president’s Mission Accomplished gaffe by insisting that major combat operations in Iraq were over. But it was during his next stint overseeing the military’s most elite units, including the Rangers, Navy Seals and Delta Force that McChrystal took part in a cover-up that would have destroyed the career of a lesser man.
After Cpl. Pat Tillman, the former-NFL-star-turned-Ranger, was accidentally killed by his own troops in Afghanistan in April 2004, McChrystal took an active role in creating the impression that Tillman had died at the hands of Taliban fighters. He signed off on a falsified recommendation for a Silver Star that suggested Tillman had been killed by enemy fire. (McChrystal would later claim he didn’t read the recommendation closely enough a strange excuse for a commander known for his laserlike attention to minute details.) A week later, McChrystal sent a memo up the chain of command, specifically warning that President Bush should avoid mentioning the cause of Tillman’s death. “If the circumstances of Corporal Tillman’s death become public,” he wrote, it could cause “public embarrassment” for the president.
Written by Michael Hastings for Rolling Stone
This article appears in RS 1108/1109 from July 8-22, 2010, on newsstands Friday, June 25.
‘How’d I get screwed into going to this dinner?” demands Gen. Stanley McChrystal. It’s a Thursday night in mid-April, and the commander of all U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan is sitting in a four-star suite at the H Westminster in Paris. He’s in France to sell his new war strategy to our NATO allies to keep up the fiction, in essence, that we actually have allies. Since McChrystal took over a year ago, the Afghan war has become the exclusive property of the United States. Opposition to the war has already toppled the Dutch government, forced the resignation of Germany’s president and sparked both Canada and the Netherlands to announce the withdrawal of their 4,500 troops. McChrystal is in Paris to keep the French, who have lost more than 40 soldiers in Afghanistan, from going all wobbly on him.
“The dinner comes with the position, sir,” says his chief of staff, Col. Charlie Flynn.
McChrystal turns sharply in his chair.
“Hey, Charlie,” he asks, “does this come with the position?”
McChrystal gives him the middle finger.
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McChrystal is the perfect example of the proverbial hammer who thinks every sitation is a nail that can be put in its place by brute force. The Pentagon should be purged of such latter-day Pattons — that kind of blind ‘hoo-ah’ bravado has outlived its usefulness in the age of mass death from technology. There is no grace or glory in annihilating people with predator drones or Gatling guns from hovering choppers.
Besides, this idiot thinks Bud Light Lime is a great beer — what does that say about him?
I would say he’s full of “piss and vinegar,” since many say Bud tastes like… but Idi Amin’s his favored beverage does have “taste.” But Bud doesn’t taste like anything. Now the lime? At least it adds… not a hell of a lot… but something.
There was no doubt he had to go. He’s also a good indication of the extreme Right’s patriotism: which shines less than the sun… which is no patriotism at all. Bush did fire generals and such during what is called (perpetual) “wartime” for the same. They cheered him on.
When the ice cream man sells little kids arsenic they’d cheer him too: as long as he claimed it was the “one and only” politically correct flavor.