The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

June 22, 2010

General overstepped in characterizing his boss

By Cindy Allen, Managing Editor


While many may agree with the depiction of the Obama administration by Gen. Stanley McChrystal in an explosive Rolling Stone article that publishes later this week, there just can simply be no tolerance of this by the president.

McChrystal gave a stunning interview to Rolling Stone in which he explicitly made his reservations about his boss (the commander-in-chief) known.

This is an expressed and serious no-no for any military troop member, especially the one charged with the nation’s military strategy in a war zone.

Generals have gone “rouge” before. The most well-known time was when esteemed General Douglas MacArthur made contrary statements to the press regarding the official position of Washington in negotiations during the Korean War. President Harry Truman fired him.

In the United States, we have a very direct and explicit chain of command we expect our military and their civilian bosses to operate under. It doesn’t matter what a military person’s personal feelings are regarding a particular president or administration, verbalizing those feelings can cause serious harm to the overall strategy of an operation.

McChrystal is no dummy. He had to know that his comments would be seen as insubordination and could possibly get him dismissed. Once the proverbial poo hit the fan, he started issuing apologies for what he said.

My thought is, either he meant what he said or he didn’t. I think he knew what he was saying and said it anyway, probably because he believes it in his heart.

The problem is, if he believes it in his heart and is willing to say it in an interview, he shouldn’t be the one tasked with carrying out the Obama administration’s war strategy.

McChrystal will appear before the president tomorrow, and I expect him to either resign or be fired. And even though in this age where everything can be politicized, I think even the most ardent Republican Congress members would agree that McChrystal overstepped his bounds.