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The McChrystal mess; Update: Gibbs says Obama hasn’t talked with the general (nothing new there!); WH questions maturity, judgment

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By Michelle Malkin  •  June 22, 2010 01:09 PM

No matter how right or wrong I think Gen. McChrystal may be (praise here, criticism here), I think we can all agree that in a time of war, the last place a military commander should be blabbing is an anti-war pop culture rag that specializes in slime.

Sharia law remains a looming threat against Western civilization. Our men and women in uniform are targeted every day by Allahu Akbar-shouting jihadists. And in case you didn’t notice, self-declared “Muslim soldiers” are among us:

Calling himself a Muslim soldier, a defiant Pakistan-born U.S. citizen pleaded guilty Monday to carrying out the failed Times Square car bombing and left a sinister warning that unless the U.S. leaves Muslim lands alone, “we will be attacking U.S.”

Wearing a white skull cap, prison smocks and a dark beard, Faisal Shahzad entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Manhattan just days after a federal grand jury indicted him on 10 terrorism and weapons counts, some of which carried mandatory life prison sentences. He pleaded guilty to them all.

U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum challenged Shahzad repeatedly with questions such as whether he had worried about killing children in Times Square.

“One has to understand where I’m coming from,” Shahzad calmly replied. “I consider myself … a Muslim soldier.”

More re. Shahzad from Scott Johnson at Power Line and Andy McCarthy at NRO. But we’re not talking about that today, are we?

Milblogger Matt Burdent at Blackfive sums up the McChrystal mess:

1. GEN McChrystal should never have said he voted for anyone. In fact, I know General Officers who claim they don’t vote for Presidents at all to avoid ever taking political sides. He voted for Obama?!

2. GEN McChrystal fired a subordinate for giving the reporter access to the general (in essence, he did his job – albeit, naively).

3. It is against the UCMJ to criticize the President, Congress, etc. Period.

4. This event is what the anti-war lefties want (we lost). This event is what the take-the-gloves-off right want (less ROE restrictions). However, this makes things in AFPAK infinitely more difficult.

Update: At the White House press briefing this afternoon, spokesman Robert Gibbs says Obama hasn’t talked to the general yet about the current unpleasantness. That’s nothing new, of course. Flashback September 2009:

“Once in 70 days”
By Michelle Malkin • September 28, 2009 11:09 AM

That’s how many times President Obama has talked to General Stanley McChrystal.

Obama is for “engagement” and “dialogue” with everyone else in the world except his own military commanders.

***

Milblogger Laughing Wolf at Blackfive:

Anyone who has done any reading on the situation in Afghanistan would be understanding of frustration with Eikenberry (see link on recall above), much less frustration with the administration, on the part of McChrystal and staff. That said, it seems a tad bit unwise to let loose on everyone in an interview while still in the middle of the fight. In point of fact, if the interview is even half of what is being belled in advance, then the fecal matter will be hitting the rotary impeller at warp speed. Even if it is not, expect to see this used to savage not just McChrystal but all military efforts. In fact, I will bet right now that his career is over, regardless of the content as politics will rule the day and there are many in political circles that want his scalp.

Which brings me to my final point on judgment and possible lack thereof. Who thought doing a frank and/or candid political interview with Rolling Stone while you are in the middle of the fight was a good idea? I can empathize with the frustration of not being given what you asked for and needed to do the job, or in finding yourself being attacked by the person who is supposed to be helping you and instead is doing everything they can openly or otherwise to block you, and in not seeing your ideas translated out and done as you desire. Yet, you don’t do something like this unless either you are already gone (and even then it’s not a good idea because of collateral damage), or all is already lost. So, was this just incredibly poor judgment on someones part in agreeing to the interview, or are other things in play?

***

William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection takes note of the Shinseki-McChrystal double standard.

WH spokesman Robert Gibbs notes at his press briefing this afternoon that the president hasn’t talked with McChrystal yet. Nothing new there. Flashback September 2009:

“Once in 70 days”
By Michelle Malkin • September 28, 2009 11:09 AM

That’s how many times President Obama has talked to General Stanley McChrystal.

Obama is for “engagement” and “dialogue” with everyone else in the world except his own military commanders.

***

To borrow a favorite phrase from Allahpundit, it’s come to this: Headline from ABC News – “White House Questions McChrystal’s Judgment, Maturity.”

Asked about a passage in the story where a McChrystal aide describes the general as having been “pretty disappointed” after his first meeting with President Obama because the president “didn’t seem very engaged,” Gibbs said McChrystal will “have his attention tomorrow.”

Gibbs just said parents of the more than 90,000 US troops in Afghaniatan need to be confident that the command structure — meaning McChrystal — is “capable and mature enough” for this mission.

Could McChrystal be fired?

“All options are on the table,” Gibbs said, though the president believes the general should be given a chance to explain himself. Gibbs declined to say whether the general’s job is safe, saying the public would know more after the meeting.

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