Army Maj. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal briefs reporters on the overnight progress of Operation Iraqi Freedom during an April 2, 2003, Pentagon press conference. McChrystal and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Victoria Clarke brought reporters up-to-date on Operation Iraqi Freedom, which is the multinational coalition effort to liberate the Iraqi people, eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and end the regime of Saddam Hussein. McChrystal is the vice director for Operations, J-3, the Joint Staff. DoD photo by Helene C. Stikkel.
Stan McChrystal: The New U.S. Commander in Afghanistan
With violence and anti-American sentiment on the rise, it's plain to see that military operations in Afghanistan are not going well. But if Defense Secretary Robert Gates is right, three-star Army Lieut. General Stan McChrystal is just the guy to turn things around. On May 11, Gates announced plans to install the former Green Beret as the top U.S. and NATO commander for the troubled nation. Some analysts hailed the surprising overhaul as proof that the U.S. is rethinking its conventional approach to combat, especially given McChrystal's background as commander of the military's clandestine special operations in Iraq.
"Sometimes you have a situation where you have two very good commanders, but in a critical combat situation one has an edge, and in this case Gen. McChrystal has that edge."
— Anthony Cordesman, of the Washington D.C.–based Center for Strategic and International Studies, on McChrystal's experience in special ops (AP, May 11, 2009).
"The man who ran that operation was promoted by George Bush a few years ago to be in charge of all operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His name is Stan McChrystal. And so since you now have somebody inside the Joint Chiefs of Staff who used to run the program, the idea that these operations aren't known to the military is sort of silly. Of course they are."
— Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, describing McChrystal's role in what he calls an "executive assassination wing" of the military's joint special-operations command that Hersh claims reported directly to former Vice President Cheney's office (NPR, March 30, 2009).
"JSOC is awesome."
— George W. Bush, praising McChrystal for his "collaborative warfare" approach to gathering intelligence in Iraq and hunting down high-profile insurgents (Washington Post, Sept. 8, 2008).
"There is another man who will not be in the room. That is Lieutenant General Stan McChrystal. It should be very clear to everyone, General McChrystal is the head of covert special forces. The so-called dark or black forces. The ones who stay undercover ... Because of his extraordinarily sensitive position with covert special forces, he is not appearing in public. And so he will not be questioned further by the committee in an open hearing."
— Barbara Starr, CNN correspondent, on McChrystal's absence during an August 2007 Congressional hearing over the friendly-fire death of former NFL star Pat Tillman (CNN, Aug. 1, 2007).
By Howard Kurtz
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
To Bob Woodward, it was the modern-day equivalent of the Pentagon Papers. But to Obama administration officials, the classified assessment of the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, if disclosed by The Washington Post, represented a potential threat to the safety of U.S. troops.
The result was that The Post agreed to a one-day delay in publicizing the report by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, and that the paper's top editor engaged in a lengthy discussion Sunday with three top Defense Department officials in a meeting at the Pentagon. The Post published the report, which Woodward had obtained, on Monday.
Woodward said in an interview Tuesday that four White House and administration officials strongly objected to the publication of the full report, telling him, Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli and a Post lawyer in a conference call on Saturday that "if we publish it as is, it could endanger the lives of troops."
After the Pentagon meeting Sunday with Brauchli, Woodward and Post reporter Rajiv Chandrasekaran, administration officials "did a wholesale declassification of 98 percent" of the document, Woodward said, while The Post agreed to withhold certain operational details. That, Woodward said, "made it easier" for the newspaper to proceed with publication without risking criticism for disclosing classified information.
Hmm, after looking at some of this crap, I can only wonder who is giving McChrystal advice. It isn't Cheney and I'm sure it isn't Joe Biden, but the rush to war with Iran is now beginning to look like a reality.
It's really scary to think that John McCain has read the report.