McChrystal Quotes: Off the record

Why does this not surprise? The Army Times (via Big Journalism) has the details, and Rolling Stone has not responded, but … well read on.

The Army Times reports that both e-mails, and three separate sources, confirm that the comments made by junior staffers were supposed to be off the record. McChrystal, of course lost his job over this article in which he and his staff are said to have referred to Joe Biden as Vice President “Bite Me”, and that the President was not fully engaged in the Afghanistan War. But the kicker is, they were all junior grade.

Many of the quotes are drawn from banter among staffers that the article’s author, freelance writer Michael Hastings, overheard shortly after he joined McChrystal’s team when the general was on a speaking trip to Paris.

But although Hastings describes the personnel on the Paris trip as “the most powerful force shaping U.S. policy in Afghanistan,” the people he quoted in the article were mostly junior personnel who have no significant role in advising McChrystal, a source who was on the Paris trip told Army Times. “Almost all the offending quotes … were, in fact, from conversations with the most junior people on the trip,” the source said.

And not meant for attribution. The Army Times reports it still has not heard back from Rolling Stone, although in an interview weeks ago Hastings said everyone in the article knew what they said was on the record. I know the Army pretty well. I know that it is unlikely even a Specialist would make these kind of comments, even if they believed it. Sounds to me like AT is on to something

5 replies
  1. PatRiot
    PatRiot says:

    I hope Army Times does the proper investigative journalism.

    McCrystal is out on his khaki butt and Ethridge's actions get less than a slap on the wrist.  The  message Obama and Congress send to our youth is not fair, firm and consistant.  It does speak loudly of their lack of character and leadership. 

  2. sarah
    sarah says:

    McChrystal is an arrogant, conceited, Leftwing narcissist. Obama is an arrogant, conceited, Leftwing narcissist. McC, perceiving himself as so cool, so hip, so unbeatable, so indispensable, agreed to do that stupid interview, giving that stupid rag enormous access to his camp and his own thinking and, thereby, stepped into a huge trap. Apparently, RollingStone is not as impressed with McC's hipness as McC thought they would be. McC blew it. It is all his own damn fault.

  3. gillie28
    gillie28 says:

    There was an interesting interview with the author of the RS article (Michael Hastings) in Newsweek.  According to him, the most controversial parts of the McCrystal article were obtained in Paris when he went out with the general, his wife and several of his entourage and they all got "hammered."  Hasting must have been salivating a the opportunities this night of indiscretion gave him!  Doing a little research on the writer of the Rolling Stone article was informative! Given Hastings' background, experience and expressed views, McCrystal was either extremely naive, ill-informed, on a career-suicide mission, very cunningly trying to expose the failings of Afghan policy, or just, plain stupid to have allowed him such access.  Maybe the general will let us know sometime.

    • sarah
      sarah says:

      I don't know if the quotes and comments Hastings used were Off the Record or not but let the lesson here be to keep the press at a good distance from all things war or military related. Yes, the press will scream and call foul about that but they can just thank Michael (Mr.Smart A**) Hastings for bringing this down on their idiotic heads.

  4. JollyRoger
    JollyRoger says:

    We need to leave this war stuff to the "Wizards of Smart".  How best to win-over the hearts and minds of those who would kill us all dead than to leave all of this mushy stuff to the most cerebral among us!?  I was okay 20 years ago with letting the dip chewing women do some of the fighting, but it's time now to send in the extreme left faction, the ones who drink the hard kool-aid, and fixate on the literal tea bag action…  I'd always wondered why Jesse Jackson never volunteered to go spare someone's head?  Why not Rachel Madcow, or one of our gynomastic male news anchors whether from CNN or FOX?  What are we fighting for?  Let them show us how it's done; and when they all come back in little baggies, then we go kick some arse.  And isn't it so ironic how cleansed the media is of all but praise for the messiah, and then this tripe slips through- in Rolling Stone. which not even two years ago had a cover page where Barry practically had a halo, and every article was dripping with adulation…  I wonder whose side they're on?!  There's a great tee shirt on the internet:  it has an American Indian chief with the caption: Trust the Government!  You could wear that one anywhere! Only a moron could argue…

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