Got this email from Brendan this morning:
by now you’ve seen the NYTimes article on Stanley McChrystal:
I draw your attention to this quote:
“A senior administration official said Mr. Obama was furious about the article, particularly the suggestion that he was uninterested and unprepared to discuss the Afghanistan war after he took office. The official said that Mr. Biden, who also was criticized in the story, will attend the meeting on Wednesday with the president.
The piece, entitled “The Runaway General,” quotes aides as saying General McChrystal was “pretty disappointed” by an Oval Office meeting with Mr. Obama, and that he found the president “uncomfortable and intimidated” during a Pentagon meeting with General McChrystal and several other generals. ”
Sy Hersh nailed this a few months ago:
“REPORTER: You didn’t include Obama in your list of liar presidents. I’m wondering if you would include him also?
HERSH: To use a basketball or a football analogy, American football, fourth quarter – he may have a game plan. At this point he’s in real trouble. Because the military are dominating him on the important issues of the world: Iraq, Iran, Afghan and Pakistan. And he’s following the policies of Bush and Cheney almost to a fare-thee-well. He talks differently. And he’s much brighter, he’s much more of the world. So one only hopes he has a game plan that will include doing something, but he’s in real trouble, in terms of – he’s in real trouble.”
Hersh says he doesn’t really know what’s going on with Obama, he doesn’t have the same kind of access in this administration. But, he warns, “the world’s more frightening now” then it was under Bush and Cheney in the last year or two.
“I don’t know what Obama is about,” he said. “I don’t know who advises him. I know that the National Security Advisor General Jones, who does advise him, my friends describe him this way: I’m ‘General Jones, and you’re not.’ Which doesn’t sound good to me. And I know people in the National Security Council are frustrated.”
“Let’s put it this way: The international peril is as certainly as high as it was in the worst of Bush and Cheney.
“Objectivity means that we can’t ever discuss something that might be tough on America, but I’ll tell you, the Iranian message to us is, “Excuse me, the Cold War is over, will you explain to us why you’re in the Gulf?’ That’s what their message is to us. And I’m telling you, you have a lot of family-owned states that are in real, real panic.”
“And I’ll tell you right now, one of the great tragedies of my country is that Mr. Obama is looking the other way, because equally horrible things are happening to prisoners, to those we capture in Afghanistan. They’re being executed on the battlefield. It’s unbelievable stuff going on there that doesn’t necessarily get reported. Things don’t change.
“What they’ve done in the field now is, they tell the troops, you have to make a determination within a day or two or so whether or not the prisoners you have, the detainees, are Taliban. You must extract whatever tactical intelligence you can get, as opposed to strategic, long-range intelligence, immediately. And if you cannot conclude they’re Taliban, you must turn them free. What it means is, and I’ve been told this anecdotally by five or six different people, battlefield executions are taking place. Well, if they can’t prove they’re Taliban, bam. If we don’t do it ourselves, we turn them over to the nearby Afghan troops and by the time we walk three feet the bullets are flying. And that’s going on now.”