A US General can’t criticize the President in Rolling Stone magazine.

Experts and commentators from across the political spectrum recognize that the president is Commander in Chief. As the controversy unfolds, claims of insubordination and calls for resignation have appeared.

  • Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC and Joe Lieberman: “General McChrystal’s comments, as reported in Rolling Stone, are inappropriate and inconsistent with the traditional relationship between Commander-in-Chief and the military.  The decision concerning General McChrystal’s future is a decision to be made by the President of the United States.” [Statement by Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC and Joe Lieberman, 6/22/10]
  • Jim Geraghty writes in the conservative magazine, the National Review: “Many people I know think highly of McChrystal, and he has earned his accolades. But a general in the American armed forces cannot, on the record, mock or deride the vice president and the U.S. ambassador, much less the president of the United States. You and I can; we’re just some schmoes; we don’t report to him in the chain of command. I’m sure many generals have thought many colorful expressions of criticism toward presidents over the years, but they cannot blab them to reporters.” [The National Review, 6/22/10]
  • Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: “Sen. John Kerry, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told MSNBC that McChrystal showed “bad judgment” in making the comments, but deflected questions on whether the general should step down, saying that was a decision for Obama and McChrystal.” [The Hill, 6/22/10]
  • George Stephanopoulos reminds the public that the president is in charge: “A tough meeting is likely, reminiscent of the first time Obama ordered McChrystal to the woodshed – last October after the General appeared to diss Vice President Biden and limit the President’s ability to make a decision in a London speech.” [George Stephanopoulos, 6/22/10]
  • Gregg Carlstrom, a Middle East analyst and correspondent: “I don’t want to sound naive, because clearly war has a political dimension. But this profile fits the pattern established with McChrystal’s London speech in October and the leaking of his strategy review: he’s determined to push the administration into a corner on Afghanistan strategy. Whether or not this fits the legal definition of insubordination — McChrystal is overstepping his boundaries vis-a-vis civil-military relations.” [Gregg Carlstrom, The Majils, 6/22/10]

It’s bi-partisan across the political spectrum, folks. The prez is in charge, and the Generals work at his pleasure… not the other way around.

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