Open thread: Obama announcement on McChrystal’s status; Update: AP says he’s gone, Petraeus back to the front; Update: Fox confirms; Update: “Considerable regret” over McChrystal resignation, Obama says

posted at 1:19 pm on June 23, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama will speak at 1:30 ET in the White House Rose Garden to make a statement on the status of General Stanley McChrystal:

His job in grave jeopardy, Afghanistan war commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal made his case to President Barack Obama on Wednesday, contrite over his blistering remarks about administration officials.

Obama huddled with his war advisers before telling the nation of the embattled general’s fate. He planned a 1:30 p.m. EDT statement in the Rose Garden about the controversy.

With Washington abuzz, there was an almost complete White House lockdown on information about the day’s developments and the president’s thinking. It wasn’t even known where McChrystal went after leaving the West Wing from his nearly half-hour showdown with Obama.

Normally, I’d say a scheduled appearance would mean McChrystal’s out, but this has become so volatile that either decision would probably require an explanation from Obama.  We’ll open up the thread and wait to see what happens.

Update: Megyn Kelly on Fox repeats an AP update that Obama will relieve McChrystal of his command.  No link yet, still looking.  They also report that David Petraeus will take his place.

Update II: From the previous link:

A source tells The Associated Press that President Barack Obama will name Gen. David Petraeus to succeed Gen. Stanley McChrystal as top war commander in Afghanistan.

Given the controversy that surrounded McChrystal before this week started, this may not be bad news.

Update III: Major Garrett confirms from a “very senior administration official” that McChrystal’s out, and Petraeus is in.

Update IV: Smart move, say former Bush administration officials:

“After this I don’t see how he could have stayed on, frankly,” Eric Edelman, the number three official at the Pentagon from 2005 to 2009, told The Daily Caller.

“This is a real tragedy because Stan McChrystal is an incredibly capable officer who is a real hero in my book for what he did in Iraq and Afghanistan as the [Joint Special Operations Command] commander,” Edelman said. “He’s one of the more capable officers I knew during my time at the Pentagon.”

But Edelman, whose title was undersecretary of defense for policy, said that the Rolling Stone article that exploded into the news cycle Tuesday morning “suggests that a command climate had been created that allowed people around the general, without him correcting them, to say in front of — I’m sorry to say — a journalist things that were disrespectful of a civilian chain of command.”

“And whatever they might think, that’s not something they’re supposed to do,” he said.

“Suggesting that the president of the United States is intimidated by his military officers, that he wasn’t ready to be the commander, the suggestions that come directly from Stan in the article are that he was measuring the president and found him wanting,” Edelman said. “That may not be wrong. But it’s intolerable for a military commander who serves ultimately at the pleasure of the president and commander of chief … to let that become part of the public record.”

I suspect that Edelman and his colleagues would approve of Petraeus as the replacement, too.

Update V: Great point from the Boss Emeritus: “How far we’ve come from the MoveOn/General Betray Us heydays, eh?”  And didn’t Hillary Clinton call him a liar?

Update VI: Obama insists that he didn’t make the change over a sense of personal insult, and says that McChrystal earned a reputation of being “one of America’s finest soldiers.”  The war is bigger than any one man, including “a President,” but the commentary in the Rolling Stone article doesn’t meet the expectations of professional conduct and it “erodes the trust” necessary to prosecute and win the war.

Update VII: The standard of strict respect for civilian control of the military is critical for democracy and for success in the war theater, Obama insists.

Update VIII: ” I welcome debate among my team, but will not tolerate division.”  Well, perhaps Obama should have acted earlier with other members of his team in order to avoid this.

Update IX: Petraeus is setting an extraordinary example of patriotism and sacrifice by accepting this command, Obama insists.  Very true.

Update X: A short statement, but effective and as gracious as it could be under the circumstances.  Obama appears to have split the baby rather adeptly here, softening the blow of losing McChrystal by arguably trading up for the legendary Petraeus.  That should dampen criticism over cashiering McChrystal, especially among Republicans on Capitol Hill.


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CNBC says he’s out.

alflauren on June 23, 2010 at 1:20 PM

CNN anchor: “McChrystal is out? McChrystal is OUT?!”

Doughboy on June 23, 2010 at 1:21 PM

He’s toast.

President Obama is such a weakling. I can’t believe this man is our President.

ramrants on June 23, 2010 at 1:21 PM

Megan Kelly just announced Obama is bouncing the general. Obama dithered all day.

karenhasfreedom on June 23, 2010 at 1:21 PM

He’s out. Which is hard to argue with, even if he wasn’t directly insubordinate.

But the fallout could be ugly. Once he’s out he’s free to talk and if he decides to open up on 60 Minutes or write a tell-all book watch out.

MikeknaJ on June 23, 2010 at 1:21 PM

AP is reporting McChrystal is being relieved of duty according to Megyn Kelly

Enoxo on June 23, 2010 at 1:21 PM

How can the Ego in Chief survive if he doesn’t fire Mc?

d1carter on June 23, 2010 at 1:21 PM

Fox says it’s coming from AP…..

badtemper on June 23, 2010 at 1:22 PM

Fox News just said that Obama fired McChrystal.

SoulGlo on June 23, 2010 at 1:22 PM

he is gone

macncheez on June 23, 2010 at 1:22 PM

relieved

BKeyser on June 23, 2010 at 1:22 PM

Now, when will Obama focus on the substance of the comments?

Waiting…

Waiting…

byepartisan on June 23, 2010 at 1:22 PM

Megyn Kelley just reported that AP says McC is gone.

BuckeyeSam on June 23, 2010 at 1:22 PM

Petraeus will replace McChrystal.

Enoxo on June 23, 2010 at 1:22 PM

I guess Hillary’s not in Ecuador today to make the announcement, so Obama has to put aside his golf clubs for a few more minutes and do it himself.

aero on June 23, 2010 at 1:22 PM

GEN Stan McChrystal is a national hero. This episode only demonstrates the truth that is you are only as good as your last mistake. He is truly a man that has helped preserve the security of our nation. No matter what happens, I hope Stan McChrystal sleeps more than 4 hours in his own bed tonight, next to his wife—-he’s earned it.

ted c on June 23, 2010 at 1:22 PM

Not sure how I feel about this. I hope the best for the General either way. I have no confidence in Obamas judgment in any matter.

sandee on June 23, 2010 at 1:23 PM

I can NOT wait for the General’s book tour. I hope he regrets voting for this useless empty suit who occupies the oval office.

Patreus is going to replace him according to Megan Kelly.

karenhasfreedom on June 23, 2010 at 1:23 PM

Fired? As opposed to a resignation. What a thin-skinned embarrassment.

Darksean on June 23, 2010 at 1:23 PM

Patreus! Keep your enemies closer.

BKeyser on June 23, 2010 at 1:23 PM

How’s Barry gonna top this one?

Tune in tomorrow.

Bring plenty of tums!

turfmann on June 23, 2010 at 1:23 PM

Van Jones needed a job, so McC is out.

Bishop on June 23, 2010 at 1:23 PM

And when will McChrystal open up and talk about what he saw and thinks?

Waiting!

Waiting!

byepartisan on June 23, 2010 at 1:23 PM

Well, the general didn’t keep his eyes on the mission…the mission being, making Obama look good.

RBMN on June 23, 2010 at 1:23 PM

He’s replacing him with what MoveOn called “Betrayus”? I wonder what Ms. Soros is going to say…hmmmm…..

badtemper on June 23, 2010 at 1:23 PM

Obama is trading McCrystal for Lebron James & the future trade rights to 2 other players.

portlandon on June 23, 2010 at 1:23 PM

I can’t believe this man is our President.

ramrants on June 23, 2010 at 1:21 PM

I have a great idea…McCain sucks, so let’s just stay home from the polls in November 2008 to teach the Republican Party a lesson!

Del Dolemonte on June 23, 2010 at 1:23 PM

ED, if McChrystal gets the bounce. GET A INTERVIEW WITH HIM!!!!!

upinak on June 23, 2010 at 1:24 PM

So he can fire a General in two days but it takes him several months to decide how many Troops to deploy.

Tony737 on June 23, 2010 at 1:24 PM

Petraeus will replace him? I’m sure MoveOn.org approves.

Doughboy on June 23, 2010 at 1:24 PM

He’s out and Obama will claim to be Truman.

Teh-heh. The travesty continues.

McChrystal should hit the speakers’ beat, immediately.

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2010 at 1:24 PM

He’s a gonner…and it couldn’t be any other way.

Ragspierre on June 23, 2010 at 1:24 PM

Mr Obama….why do you hate America?

SPGuy on June 23, 2010 at 1:24 PM

The only sin, according to Dear Liar, is to insult The Whine, or make Him look bad.

rbj on June 23, 2010 at 1:24 PM

You just knew The One’s ego would outweigh another correct decision.

Notorious GOP on June 23, 2010 at 1:24 PM

Rush just said he’s out.

Bugler on June 23, 2010 at 1:24 PM

Paging Roger Ailes—-now get “the rest” of the story

ted c on June 23, 2010 at 1:25 PM

So does anyone think this will change the ROE?

Vera on June 23, 2010 at 1:25 PM

The Truman Obamanation Fired Gen Douglas MacArthur Stanley McChrystal…

doriangrey on June 23, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Now I know why Petreus fainted last week.

BE STRONG GENERAL PETREAUS. GOD BLESS YOU, SIR.

portlandon on June 23, 2010 at 1:25 PM

This country is only big enough for one Ego.

Oil Can on June 23, 2010 at 1:25 PM

King David may want to reconsider his Sherman Statement just yet…

Jorge Bonilla on June 23, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Question: if McChrystal did this intentionally, as some suggest, why the Rolling Stone? Why not fall on the proverbial sword by directly criticizing the admin and CIC?

Apologies if this has already been argued ad nauseam.

Bee on June 23, 2010 at 1:26 PM

Not resigned? RELEAVED OF COMMAND.

How many times was it reported that McChyrstal offered to resign? What else has the media reported that was inaccurate?

Skandia Recluse on June 23, 2010 at 1:26 PM

This indeed could be a “teaching” moment as to why the top Commander in the theater feels the way he does. But The One will not….he could care less…

SPGuy on June 23, 2010 at 1:26 PM

He’s out. I’ll be curious to see how long his announcement is. I say, if it’s long and he doesn’t say

ji’Qlllework

, then he made the decision yesterday.

Dusty on June 23, 2010 at 1:26 PM

Fastest response time we’ve seen from Obama on any issue since the Beer Summit.

aero on June 23, 2010 at 1:26 PM

I really admire Petreaus.Of course his hands will be tied just like McChrystal.If Obama fired him instead of him resigning, Obama will look like a petulant little child.

sandee on June 23, 2010 at 1:26 PM

Petraeus to replace McChrystal.

ramrants on June 23, 2010 at 1:26 PM

How can the Ego in Chief survive if he doesn’t fire Mc?

d1carter on June 23, 2010 at 1:21 PM

McChrystal being out will be way more dangerous for the One, and he knows it. He just can’t help the events now.

Our entire country is in disarray, and so is the world. Our people have enabled this.

Doug Schoen, the Democrat pollster said so last night “total collapse, total disarray”.

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2010 at 1:26 PM

Major Garrett just confirmed the news.

kingsjester on June 23, 2010 at 1:27 PM

Once again Obama show more willingness to be harder on his own than he is on our enemies.

EPIC FAIL in progress, 2.5 years to go.

Scrappy on June 23, 2010 at 1:27 PM

I can’t believe this man is our President.

ramrants on June 23, 2010 at 1:21 PM

I have a great idea…McCain sucks, so let’s just stay home from the polls in November 2008 to teach the Republican Party a lesson!

Del Dolemonte on June 23, 2010 at 1:23 PM

+100

MikeknaJ on June 23, 2010 at 1:27 PM

And Petraeas is in.

BuckeyeSam on June 23, 2010 at 1:27 PM

You will do
What I say
When I say
Back to the front

You will die
When I say
You must die
Back to the front

Brian1972 on June 23, 2010 at 1:27 PM

BHO’s ego is a national danger…this administration is jumping from one crisis to another with no strategy other than how to take political advantage…We really are screwed!

d1carter on June 23, 2010 at 1:27 PM

McCrystal must be a racist. /s

katiejane on June 23, 2010 at 1:27 PM

McChrystal won’t say anything about this because of military protocols and respect to Petraeus, I suspect. Anything he says will sound like sour grapes, but I would like to hear what he’s got to say.

Obama is a thin-skinned sissy, and doesn’t have the stomach for war. I hope Petraeus gives O a hard way to go too; O needs to learn that war is about killing the bad guys.

badtemper on June 23, 2010 at 1:28 PM

Given the controversy that surrounded McChrystal before this week started, this may not be bad news.

Petreaus will be the next General who will be on the outs…. and it will be because Obama doesn’t think he can do it because of his cancer and the pass out the other day.

Watch.

upinak on June 23, 2010 at 1:28 PM

Obama acted stupidly.

RBMN on June 23, 2010 at 1:28 PM

HE DID RESIGN – take this to the bank, first account as of yesterday afternoon.

The Bastard in Chief is not letting him resign.

May he suffer the consequences, and badly.

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2010 at 1:28 PM

General McChrystal did resign yesterday afternoon.

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2010 at 1:28 PM

I hope you have a nice retirement General. You have more honor in your baby toe than our CIC has in his whole body.

gophergirl on June 23, 2010 at 1:29 PM

A source tells The Associated Press that President Barack Obama will name Gen. David Petraeus to succeed Gen.

That should make some lefty heads explode real nice.

Johnnyreb on June 23, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Pray for Petraeus and the great men and women serving our country

cmsinaz on June 23, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Obama also directed that McChrystal’s name be removed from every tablet and obelisk in the empire.

BuckeyeSam on June 23, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Now .. how quickly can FoxNews strike a deal with McC ??

/.

CaveatEmpty on June 23, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Took Obama over three months to settle on a strategy and troop strength for Afghanistan last year.

Took Obama less than 48 hours to determine the fate of McChrystal when his feelings got hurt.

Nice. /s

Firefly_76 on June 23, 2010 at 1:29 PM

You guys really need to read this article from 2009 about how McChrystal played politics in the Pentagon to take down McKiernan and fluff his superiors. He’s not a great guy.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/16/AR2009081602304_4.html?sid=ST2009081700748

funky chicken on June 23, 2010 at 1:30 PM

2 Questions:

1. How many times will Obama mention Harry S. Truman (and how many times will the media repeat it) even though the issues between Truman/McArthur are completely different than the issues here?
___
2. Why would Petreas want the job when it is clear that the Washington elites are not giving the military the necessary resources to make the operation successful?

Conservative in NOVA on June 23, 2010 at 1:30 PM

I’m not watching this tell me if he has his teleprompters. Oh, and how stern he looks.

sandee on June 23, 2010 at 1:30 PM

Pray for Petraeus and the great men and women serving our country

cmsinaz on June 23, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Amen to that. I hope we can hold on until 2012 when we get someone in there that actually likes our military.

gophergirl on June 23, 2010 at 1:30 PM

Is out of the military completely? I waiting for the book by McChrystal.

Oil Can on June 23, 2010 at 1:30 PM

Hillary must not have been consulted, seeing as how she thinks the new commander is a liar and all

murty on June 23, 2010 at 1:30 PM

YESSS! AWESOME, OBAMA!!!! Get rid of that guy you appointed! That will show those wingnuts or something.

Who cares about the war – the REAL war is in the news cycle. Right, comrades?

/MSNBC

Good Lt on June 23, 2010 at 1:31 PM

funky chicken on June 23, 2010 at 1:30 PM

He’s better than Obama.

gophergirl on June 23, 2010 at 1:31 PM

petulant-child-in-chief

Scrappy on June 23, 2010 at 1:31 PM

Paging Roger Ailes—-now get “the rest” of the story

ted c on June 23, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Seriously, I am dying to hear the reasoning for voting for The Won instead of Sen.McCain.

Cindy Munford on June 23, 2010 at 1:31 PM

How many times was it reported that McChyrstal offered to resign? What else has the media reported that was inaccurate?

Skandia Recluse on June 23, 2010 at 1:26 PM

Relieving him of command is more of a slap than allowing him to resign. Bobo intended to humiliate him.

katiejane on June 23, 2010 at 1:31 PM

Didn’t dear leader give petraeus grief when he was senator..

cmsinaz on June 23, 2010 at 1:31 PM

Wow. Congratulations to Gen. Petraeus on his recent demotion.

Sgt Steve on June 23, 2010 at 1:31 PM

At least now PBHO has two people to blame for his own mistakes, Dubya and McChrystal.

Bishop on June 23, 2010 at 1:31 PM

Brian1972 on June 23, 2010 at 1:27 PM

Beat me to it!

Jorge Bonilla on June 23, 2010 at 1:31 PM

This is a typical Obama move. He placates his base by canning McChrystal, but inoculates himself by appointing Petraeus, who he knows has credibility with Republicans.

I’m not saying it’s a bad move because Petraeus is probably the best guy for the job. I’m just saying that it’s typical of Obama.

JohnInCA on June 23, 2010 at 1:31 PM

2. Why would Petreas want the job when it is clear that the Washington elites are not giving the military the necessary resources to make the operation successful?

Conservative in NOVA on June 23, 2010 at 1:30 PM

That’s what I wonder. It seems like Petreaus is being set up to fail, and take down his reputation with him.

MikeknaJ on June 23, 2010 at 1:31 PM

funky chicken on June 23, 2010 at 1:30 PM

Yeah… he may be a crap sandwich. But Funky… he is STILL better then Capt KickAss.

upinak on June 23, 2010 at 1:31 PM

McChrystal out and RollingStone magazine assisted…hmmm.

Dr Evil on June 23, 2010 at 1:32 PM

funky chicken on June 23, 2010 at 1:30 PM

Maybe. But McC was getting results. And maybe, just maybe, McKiernan should have been relieved anyway.

badtemper on June 23, 2010 at 1:32 PM

The media will never focus on the issues that the Mc interview brought up. Maybe it was the only way he could communicate with the Ego in Chief. Does Mc play golf?

d1carter on June 23, 2010 at 1:32 PM

I’m just biding my time until someone in the MSM gets tired of shining Obamas a.. and starts digging up stuff. A girl can wish can’t she?

sandee on June 23, 2010 at 1:32 PM

Dither for months on the Afghanistan strategy, dither for months on the response to the oil spill, but insult L’il Duce and you are gone in 48 hours.

rbj on June 23, 2010 at 1:32 PM

I really admire Petreaus.Of course his hands will be tied just like McChrystal.If Obama fired him instead of him resigning, Obama will look like a petulant little child.

sandee on June 23, 2010 at 1:26 PM

Hopefully, they’re going to fire Ikenberry and bring back Crocker as smart people have been urging. As Ikenberry is a moron who cannot work with the local leaders… And no, the Iraqi leaders aren’t any less corrupt and more competent than the Karzai gov’t.

As for Gen. Petraeus, he’s basically going to go down as the most indispensible U.S. general since Eisenhower.

Illinidiva on June 23, 2010 at 1:33 PM

funky chicken on June 23, 2010 at 1:30 PM

Dude, he’s Obama’s hand-picked man.

What does that say about the Commander-in-Chief?

And just why are you on such a jihad against McChrystal? You’ve littered several comment threads with that same link and the INSISTENCE that we’re all being snookered by McChrystal or something.

Good Lt on June 23, 2010 at 1:33 PM

W

ow. Congratulations to Gen. Petraeus on his recent demotion.

Sgt Steve on June 23, 2010 at 1:31 PM


GRIN!

Dr Evil on June 23, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Isn’t this the guy the left called Gen. Betrayus. What a bunch of bumbling losers in charge of the WH.

rjoco1 on June 23, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Where can I preorder the book?

Ronnie on June 23, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Petreus fainted / collapsed a week or so ago during sit-down congressional testimony. What’s his health status now, what was the reason for the collapse? And is there no one else qualified in the Army, and wouldn’t it be better if another general officer stepped up for the experience?

rayra on June 23, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Thanks, General for your service. Now make your case. And write your book.

petefrt on June 23, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Good Lt on June 23, 2010 at 1:33 PM

I said that in the other thread. It doesn’t make a difference, Funky doesn’t care about him or something.

upinak on June 23, 2010 at 1:34 PM

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