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Leading Democrat calls for McChrystal's ouster, while others open to his dismissal

By Paul Kane and Perry Bacon Jr.
A leading congressional Democrat on Tuesday called for General Stanley McChrystal's ouster as commander of the Afghanistan war, while other top Democrats left the door open for President Obama to remove his top officer in Kabul following his public critique of the White House's national security team.

House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-Wisc.), an anti-war liberal who is overseeing the $33 billion request for funds to implement McChrystal's counterinsurgency strategy, said the general has made repeated public comments that have undermined his relationship with Obama, making his oversight of the war effort untenable.

"If he actually said half of what is being reported, he shouldn't be in the position he is in. In apologizing this morning, McChrystal said his comments were 'a mistake reflecting poor judgment and should never have happened.' I couldn't have said it better myself. Anybody, including a U.S. Army General, is entitled to making a damn fool of themselves once. But General McChrystal hasn't appeared to learn from his mistakes," Obey said in a prepared statement.

No other prominent member of Congress has called for McChrystal's firing, but Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Armed Services Committee, told reporters that Obama was within his rights to force McChrystal out despite his apology after Rolling Stone magazine published its story Tuesday.

Republicans remained split on their defense of the general, with several of McChrystal's most prominent supporters denouncing his actions while others suggested it was merely a distraction.

"That's a decision for the president to make," Reid, who has supported the general's counterinsurgency strategy, said of McChrystal's status.

Levin, who has been highly skeptical of the general's strategy, said his reading of McChrystal's comments made clear that there was "no major policy difference" between the general and the White House, just a "personality" dispute. But such a dispute could be grounds for demanding McChrystal's resignation when he meets Wednesday with the president, Levin said.

"He needs to explain a lot to the secretary of defense and the president of the United States. ... It was personality conflicts, but again, personality conflicts can have a negative effect on implementation of a policy, and that is what you have got to worry about."

A trio of top senators -- Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and John S. McCain (R-Ariz.) -- issued a statement denouncing McChrystal's "inappropriate" comments and suggested that it was up to Obama to determine if the general should remain in charge.
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/06/mcchrystal-finds-few-defenders.html

But House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) criticized Obey for holding up the war supplemental legislation over concerns about domestic jobs spending and said that McChrystal's comments reflected reservations about the White House's commitment to winning in Afghanistan.

"Obviously a general and his top brass don't make statements like these without being frustrated, so I hope that the President's meeting with General McChrystal will include a frank discussion about what is happening on the ground, and whether the resources and the plan are there to defeat terrorists and accomplish our mission in Afghanistan," Cantor said.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that Congress needed to "keep our eye on the ball" and not be distracted by the Rolling Stone interview. "The important thing here is to get the mission right and win," McConnell said, without addressing McChrystal's future.

By Paul Kane and Perry Bacon, Jr.  |  June 22, 2010; 3:25 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

Anybody here READ the offending article? I did and and McChrystal doesn't say much at all but the journalist clearly dislikes the general.
I feel it is small minded and foolish of our president to remove an effective man from the battle for a personal slight. It's too bad Obama isn't the bigger man...but did any of us have any doubt on that score?


Posted by: webfool | June 24, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Anybody here READ the offending article? I did and and McChrystal doesn't say much at all but the journalist clearly dislikes the general.
I feel it is small minded and foolish of our president to remove an effective man from the battle for a personal slight. It's too bad Obama isn't the bigger man...but did any of us have any doubt on that score?


Posted by: webfool | June 24, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

First, to do as the general has done is an offense under the military code that calls for a court martial. This is not a political statement; it is the military's own recognition of the significance of such an act. I don't suggest the general be subjected to a court martial, but he should be replaced. Harry Truman dismissed MacArthur for less, and this decision was necessary and correct. People in power too often become arrogant and forget that the power is borrowed, not inherently their own. If General McChrystal has reached that point, as either political or military leaders can, his time is up. He has flunked Military Behavior 101.

As for the comments of the politicians over all this, they have a right to speak out -- but ON THE ISSUE ITSELF. Senator McConnell has been uncharacteristically on target with this, while Eric Cantor has crossed way over the line by trying to turn this into a political issue -- as have many of the comment writers here.

I believe, too, that President Obama is like a lightning rod for many of these same writers, and I find that unfortunate. Like Eric Cantor, they undermine their own arguments by going too far. If you have a criticism of the president or his policy, that is certainly your right as an American; but whom do you expect to convince (that is, whose opinion do you hope to shift who doesn't already think your way) when you throw in such ludicrous comments and go so far off the subject at hand?

President Obama followed into office the worst presidency of the modern era, and a strong contender for the all-time worst in terms of actual damage done. He has been criticized for working to reverse the damage. Now he is being criticized by a general whose own suggestions the president has followed to a great degree; he is being criticized for the Gulf debacle as if it were his doing that BP made its terrible decisions, or as if he were a scientist who ought to know how to clean up this mess in an instant; etc. Instead, he is attempting to work with the best minds on each subject before him. It is unfortunate when some who disagree with his political ideals prefer to castigate him instead of working with him. He spent a year trying to find ways toward bipartisan solutions, and he demonstrated his openness to such solutions. The result was a total shutdown of any bipartisanship by those to whom he reached out, resulting in a slowdown of government action on critical issues. Enough! If Eric Cantor wants to go over the line, voters can decide if he should remain if office. If a general goes over the line, the president should -- must -- remove him from his post.

Posted by: j24w | June 23, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

MR. PRESIDENT -- BEFORE YOU FIRE McCHRYSTAL --

MAKE HIM TELL ALL HE KNOWS ABOUT MULTI-AGENCY FUSION CENTER COORDINATED SILENT MICROWAVE ASSAULTS ON EXTRAJUDICIALLY 'TARGETED INDIVIDUALS'...

...INCLUDING AMERICAN CITIZENS DEEMED TO BE 'DISSIDENTS' OR 'UNDESIRABLES.'

As the former head of the Army's Joint Special Operations Command, the General is believed to possess intimate knowledge of a worldwide cell tower- mounted microwave laser/radio frequency directed energy weapon system that is capable of precision-targeting of military or human targets...

... a system that this veteran journalist says is being used to silently torture and impair unknowing individuals -- abroad, and here at home. These "targeted individuals" also are targeted for GPS-enabled "community-based harassment" and financial sabotage.

Are political leaders "targets" too?

POTUS / VPOTUS / W.H. ADVISORS / CABINET / MEMBERS OF CONGRESS:

Your immediate attention is required:

http://nowpublic.com/world/u-s-silently-tortures-americans-cell-tower-microwaves
http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america
OR NowPublic.com/scrivener re: "U.S. Silently..." and "Gestapo USA..."
Vic Livingston is on Facebook ("Notes").

Posted by: scrivener50 | June 23, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

David Obay from Wisconsin should step down from his position for his outragious accusations. I would like to see him in Afghanistan leading soldiers in different tactical stratagies...David Obay is another liberal wanting "peace" in our world and yet has no idea how this is accomplished...

Posted by: Rhonda5 | June 23, 2010 2:04 AM | Report abuse

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that Congress needed to "keep our eye on the ball" and not be distracted by the Rolling Stone interview. "The important thing here is to get the mission right and win," McConnell said, without addressing McChrystal's future.
________________________________________

The sooner this country realizes there is no winning strategy for an unwinnable war the better off we will all be. You can only win against an insurgency by deflating the insurgency and training the host nation's military and police forces to take over. However you simply can't get a professional military and police force when the government itself is corrupt, ineffective and in most cases non-existent. Unless we are willing to spend the next twenty years training a new generation of Afghans this is just so much tilting at windmills. Take advantage of McChrystal's screw up and reevaluate what we can accomplish in the next year and figure out a way out of that GD country.

Posted by: army164 | June 22, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

While I cannot agree with an active duty officer having an open and public dispute with the commander in chief, it appears to me that Obama got the respect, or lack thereof, that he has earned.

Posted by: corvetterich | June 22, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Deja Vue. Another President is again irked by an another American General with a 'Mc" in his name. This is not change at all.

Posted by: LuckyGrad68 | June 22, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

In case you are not sick enough about what Obama has done to our economy, we all understand that the President's number one priority should be to keep the American people safe.

In fact, throughout history, when people like Obama get into power, millions and sometimes, tens of millions of innocent people get murdered.

The American media is doing its best to keep the latest misguided Obama national security "efforts" under the radar, if you'll excuse a none too funny pun.

"U.S. diplomats are secretly negotiating with Russia to link nuclear arms reduction to limits on our anti-missile defenses.

Pro-arms-control officials within the administration dislike missile defenses, viewing them as an impediment to offensive arms agreements.

Ellen Tauscher, the undersecretary of state for international security and arms control, has been talking to Moscow's deputy foreign minister, Sergei Rybakov, and that in and of itself should generate fears.

Tauscher's qualifications for her current job amount to little beyond her experience as a Democratic Party fundraiser and seven terms as a San Francisco congresswoman with a voting record that shows her to be an unalloyed liberal.

Tauscher let it be known when she left the House for the State Department last year that her priority was to eliminate all nuclear weapons in the world.

If that requires giving away the store on missile defense, it's worth it in the worldview of an administration that was sure an extended hand would lead Iran to end its nuclear program.

Deputy Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty negotiator Frank Rose less than a month ago said at a London conference that the Obama administration was seeking a deal on missile defense "cooperation" via the Tauscher-Rybakov negotiations.

Rose said, "The door to tangible, mutually beneficial missile defense cooperation with the United States, and potentially with NATO, is wide open."

President Obama has already abandoned the Czechs and the Poles on missile defense against Russian aggression under the rule of former KGB operative Vladimir Putin.

Are we now going to leave ourselves defenseless too?"

Apparently.

And remember, the Russians have simply ignored every arms agreement to which they have ever been a party. It would be euphemistic to say they are untrustworthy.

Posted by: SameOldTiredThinking | June 22, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

The real problem is that of course, what McChrystal is saying, is correct.

With Obama, you have this dual universe in operation at all times.

What Obama said to that guy in line during the campaign about re-distributing the wealth was Obama's real, albeit hidden, agenda for America.

What that Congressman said about Obama lying ("You lie") during the State of the Union Address when Obama said that he was not going to give health care to illegal aliens (in fact Obama was simultaneously, telling La Raza that he would) was also correct, Obama was blatantly and knowingly lying.

Then we had Representative Barton accusing Obama of holding up BP (which of course was exactly what Obama was doing, and for 20 Billion dollars worth). BP shouldn't have to pay for job loss etc. for Obama's ill-advised moratorium on all drilling in the Gulf, including that being done by many other companies.

And now we have McChrystal saying exactly what the troops on the ground are all saying and which is of course, also true.

The United States is coming to resemble France right before the French Revolution. An out of touch and increasingly unstable aristocracy that attends lavish parties every night and announces more and more absurd policies every day.

Posted by: SameOldTiredThinking | June 22, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Fire him now!

Posted by: hariknaidu | June 22, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Fire him immediately...Basta!

Posted by: hariknaidu | June 22, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Fire the General! Basta.

Posted by: hariknaidu | June 22, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

If a general had acted this way under President Bush, not only would he have been dismissed, but he would have been called "un-American" and villified by conservatives like Rep. Cantor.

But now?

Posted by: rogied25 | June 22, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

The only subject Cantor has any expertise in is Britney Spears.

Posted by: Patriot3 | June 22, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

You're scary, TheBabeNemo! This type of advice is going to get us all killed. I'm certainly glad we Republicans will be resuming power shortly. We'll all be safer. Republicans know how to keep the country secure. General McChrystal is only telling the truth. Of course, Democrats don't want to admit that their beloved Third World Dictator is a joke and has this country in a mess.

Posted by: georges2 | June 22, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I have a better solution than the "leading Democrat." GET RID OF THE DEMOCRATS!!!! They're anti-US security! I don't feel safe with the Democrats in power. They just don't understand security - border or otherwise. In fact, many of their most extreme members are actually members of various terrorist groups!

Posted by: georges2 | June 22, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Don't fire General McChrystal.

Send him back over there, and keep him working.

AND give our soldiers orders/permission to be more aggresive when needed, cleared with a local commander.

To replace McChrystal now would make Obama look week.

Our President need only pull the General in line.

Posted by: CommonSense12 | June 22, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Eric Cantor has no business commenting on this issue. He exploits every opportunity to make headlines. Virginia, please get rid of this turkey before he becomes another Tricky Dick Nixon.

Posted by: walden1 | June 22, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Cantor twisting insubordination into Obama bashing just days after Barton twists BP's disaster into Obama bashing. pattern?

McChrystal is lashing out against folks starting to question HIS execution of HIS plan and HIS rules of engagement, with all the men HE asked for. HE owns his performance and has no one to blame.

Posted by: JoeT1 | June 22, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

If one would read the article of Rolling Stones one would see that the snide remarks of the general and his staff are unimportant.

The articles shows that the current strategy is a failure. When morale is so low regarding tactics and strategy that NCO's are complaining to high ranking commanders it is time to pack it up.

Last years Americans voiced their opinion about the general without reading the leaked strategy of the general which foretold many of the problems that are now being seen.

Today Americans are voicing their opinion about the general without reading the Rolling Stone article that indicates that the strategy of the general is a failure and will not work.

At this point it is apparent that Vice President Biden was correct and that the United States should have limited our involvement in Afghanistan to counter terrorism until the Afghan government was willing to act by recognizing that the Taliban was a threat to the Afghan government.

Posted by: bsallamack | June 22, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

If one would read the article of Rolling Stones one would see that the snide remarks of the general and his staff are unimportant.

The articles shows that the current strategy is a failure. When morale is so low regarding tactics and strategy that NCO's are complaining to high ranking commanders it is time to pack it up.

Last years Americans voiced their opinion about the general without reading the leaked strategy of the general which foretold many of the problems that are now being seen.

Today Americans are voicing their opinion about the general without reading the Rolling Stone article that indicates that the strategy of the general is a failure and will not work.

At this point it is apparent that Vice President Biden was correct and that the United States should have limited our involvement in Afghanistan to counter terrorism until the Afghan government was willing to act by recognizing that the Taliban was a threat to the Afghan government.

Posted by: bsallamack | June 22, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

It's interesting that in the last week Sen McConnell has said of the jobs and unemployment bills " They ( the dems ) don't seem to want to pay for it, so we will hold it up until it is paid for" and now the repubs are complaining that the war supplement is being held up until the jobs bill is addressed. Maybe if all the war bills (going back to '02) had been paid for instead of sneaking them into the deficit like the repub have done we would have a better handle on our national finances and not be carring such debt.

Posted by: jmfromdc | June 22, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

As unfortunate as it may seem it would appear as weak for The President to let this slide. The President have to have the full support of his top General and not one that mocks the Administration. It is unfortunate that the general put himself and the efforts of so many in this predicament.

Posted by: KBrustmeyer2003 | June 22, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

As unfortunate as it may seem it would appear as weak for The President to let this slide. The President have to have the full support of his top General and not one that mocks the Administration. It is unfortunate that the general put himself and the efforts of so many in this predicament.

Posted by: KBrustmeyer2003 | June 22, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Patton slaps a soldier and his career is ruined.
McChyrstal "biotch slaps" our elected officials and troops through an interview.

What would you do if you were an employee and got a WEBCAM dissin' your boss (all over the NE) You'd be fired in a New York second.

He should resign or the President should fire him.
No excuses. Zero tolerance for treason.

COURT MARTIAL THE IDIOTIC FOOL !!!!!
We don't need "no stinkin dumb Generals".

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | June 22, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

COURT MARTIAL. STRIP HIM OF HIS RANK. Remove him from anything to do with Afghanistan

The idiotic egotiscal fool of a General in the Armed Forces.

How many mistakes has he made that we don't even know about yet (in Afghanistan)

Dissin' our troops and our country.

KICK HIM TO THE CURB !!!

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | June 22, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

The profile makes clear that McChrystal is now, and always has been immature.

Really, he's flipping the bird back and forth with his staff all day? Coming up with cute nicknames to insult people... After, figuring out how to log an incredible amount of punishment in school -- but just enough to not get kicked out!!! Wow, that is qualifications if I've ever seen them.

We've had enough of these clowns that make it through school because of legacy concerns (important parents) -- then get promoted to positions where they can do great harm (yes, I'm referencing Bush). We don't need rebels fighting w/ our own government, we need soldiers fighting the war!

Can these children.

Posted by: rat-raceparent | June 22, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Three cheers for General McChrystal!!!!

Posted by: cschotta1 | June 22, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Fire McChrystal today.

Posted by: jjedif | June 22, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

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