President Obama Orders General McChrystal to Explain Comments in Rolling Stone

Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–June 22, 2010. During today’s White House Press briefing, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that President Obama is ‘angry’ over comments General Stanley McChrystal made in an interview in Rolling Stone Magazine due to be published on Friday and released to reporters today. In the Rolling Stone article, "The Runaway General," McChrystal comes across as frustrated with the White House and most top civilian leaders. McChrystal, the top military commander in Afghanistan, criticizes senior White House aides and his assistants poke fun at administration officials overseeing the war.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates released the following statement on McChrystal’s comments:

"I read with concern the profile piece on Gen. Stanley McChrystal in the upcoming edition of ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine. I believe that Gen. McChrystal made a significant mistake and exercised poor judgment in this case. We are fighting a war against al Qaeda and its extremist allies, who directly threaten the United States, Afghanistan, and our friends and allies around the world. Going forward, we must pursue this mission with a unity of purpose. Our troops and coalition partners are making extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our security, and our singular focus must be on supporting them and succeeding in Afghanistan without such distractions. Gen. McChrystal has apologized to me and is similarly reaching out to others named in this article to apologize to them as well. I have recalled Gen. McChrystal to Washington to discuss this in person." McChrystal had been scheduled to participate in tomorrow’s meeting by video.

According to Rolling Stone Executive Editor Eric Bates the comments made by Gen. Stanley McChrystal and other top military aides to writer Michael Hastings in Afghanistan were "not off the cuff remarks."

"They gave us a lot of access," Bates said. "We fact-checked it thoroughly. … They knew what they were doing when they granted the access and the interview."

Bates said the story shows "a deep division" and "a war within the administration" over strategy in Afghanistan. It’s "hard to see how we can win a war when we’re divided ourselves," he said.

General McChrystal has extended his "sincerest apology for this profile," saying it was a "mistake reflecting poor judgment and should never have happened."

"I have enormous respect and admiration for President Obama and his national security team, and for the civilian leaders and troops fighting this war and I remain committed to ensuring its successful outcome," he said.

McChrystal said he’s "lived by the principles of personal honor and professional integrity" throughout his career and that "what is reflected in this article falls far short of that standard."

Michael Hastings’ Rolling Stone article can be read at:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/119236#

Sources: Rolling Stone Magazine, CNN News, defense.gov