McChrystal approved Rolling Stone article prior to publication

Here is an unbelievable piece of information, supplied by Georgie Anne Geyer in her syndicated column:

It is certainly not unusual for troops, or even officers, in an unpopular war to complain and gripe about officials back in Washington (and just about everything else). In Vietnam as a correspondent, I had two-star generals who would take me aside and tell me that everything we were doing was crazy and that we were losing. But the rules were off-the-record and I didn’t quote them.

The Rolling Stone writer abided by the rules and had McChrystal read the article over before it was published, and he approved it—that’s the amazing part. Also, the time the writer spent with the general and his entourage was substantially extended by the spread of the Icelandic volcano ash, which did not allow flying out of Europe at that time.

How is it conceivable that McChrystal could have read and approved Michael Hastings’s article in advance? After all, as soon as it was published, McChrystal alerted the administration about the article and let them know it was bad news. If what Geyer says is true, it underscores what I said the other day, that the most plausible explanation for McChrystal’s behavior—and now I’m tempted to say the only plausible explanation—is that he wanted to be fired.

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Mark Jaws writes:

If there is anything I know really well, it is the personal politics of active duty military personnel. As many readers of VFR can guess, I am a politicial animal who frequently wore my politics on my sleeves even during my active duty time in the Army. I spent four years at Fort Bragg during the height of the Reagan Era, and being in charge of Western Hemisphere Intelligence Production for the Army’s XVIII Airborne Corps I briefed all sorts of commanding officers, to include the Rangers and Special Forces. During that time I rarely met a white male officer who was a professed liberal, but as soon as I retired in the 1990s, I suddenly starting coming across senior officers who in the age of Clinton had identified themselves as liberal Democrats. Some of this I atribute to simple political expediency, as higher ranking officers are political animals who frequently go along to get along to get ahead.

Thus it has been my experience when discussing politics with self-described liberal colonels and generals to find a scant few who could really make a cogent defense against my arguments. While they possess good problem solving and executive skills when it comes to their military duties, most of these white male military liberals are as incoherent as an Upper West Side Democrat when it comes to advocating their political views. For example, one Air Force Brigadier General (one-star) told me last year that if we were to start deporting illegal immigrants then we would be “no better than North Korea.” Such lapses of political judgment and reason plague the white male high ranking officers, and may be the very thing which allowed the foolishly naive McChrystal to let that Klingon reporter on board his Enterprise.

James P. writes:

I second what Mark Jaws says. I have met a great many colonels and generals who have utterly incoherent political views, and in many cases simply appear to repeat mindlessly what they think will ensure (or at least, will not endanger) further promotion, e.g., that women in combat and gays in the military are not a problem. A few years ago I shared a car with an Air Force colonel who expounded at length on the theme that Hispanic immigrants of today are “just like the Irish.” When I pointed out a few of the flaws in this idiotic claim, he could do no better than parrot the usual open borders dogma.

Of course, it should not surprise us that many military officers are infected with liberal insanity. They attend liberal educational institutions, are mentored by liberal professors, and are well aware that liberal politicians can facilitate or veto their advancement. Like many power-seekers, they know that liberalism helps you up the ladder while conservatism holds you back. It’s not all that different from being a Communist Party member in the Red Army, really.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 25, 2010 02:25 PM | Send

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