Michael Hastings on Stanley McChrystal, 'The Runaway General'

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


A forthcoming piece in Rolling Stone magazine has sent shock waves around the world this morning as General Stanley McChrystal, the U.S.'s top commander in Afghanistan, has been summoned to Washington to answer for quotes he gave to journalist Michael Hastings. In the article, McChrystal is quoted as disparaging Obama administration officials, mocking Vice President Biden, and denouncing retired General Karl Eikenberry, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan.

In Hastings' profile, as reported by the AFP, McChrystal asks, "Who's that?" at the mention of Biden's name. Another adviser jests, "Biden? Did you say bite me?"

However, McChrystal reserves his most scathing criticism for Eikenberry, saying he felt "betrayed" by a leaked diplomatic cable written by the ambassador in which he questioned McChrystal's strategy of bringing more troops to Afghanistan. McChrystal accuses Eikenberry of trying to insulate himself from history's scornful eye. "Here's one that covers his flank for the history books. Now if we fail, they can say, 'I told you so,'" McChrystal told Hastings.

McChrystal issued an apology from Afghanistan, saying, "It was a mistake reflecting poor judgment and should never happened." Adm. Mike Mullen has told McChrystal about his "deep disappointment" over the profile, according to a spokesman.

Michael Hastings joins The Takeaway to talk about his article that's making the headlines this morning. He says that his article is proof that "President Obama has lost control of the Afghan war policy."

CORRECTION: an earlier version of this segment said that Gen. McChrystal referred to the White House as "wimps." The word in fact appears unattributed in Rolling Stone's sub-headline for the published piece. -Eds

Comments [2]

Dave - you're entirely correct. I've updated the text of the segment and inserted a correction notice. Thanks!
-Adam Hirsch, Web Producer

Jun. 22 2010 09:25 PM
Dave E

"Among other salacious quotes being reported from the article, McChrystal refers to the White House a bunch of "wimps."

Where does McChrystal say that in the article? It's not there, it's in the subheadline and you are mistaken to claim that McChrystal said it. You need to retract that .

Jun. 22 2010 06:48 PM

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