Obama Accepts General McChrystal's Resignation
As President Obama accepts the resignation of his top commander in Afghanistan, we're learning more about what led general Stanely McChrystal and his top aides to make those explosive comments to a Rolling Stone magazine reporter.
McChrystal was in Paris in April, when the Rolling Stone reporter was hanging out with his team. They were all trapped because that volcanic ash from Iceland had grounded air traffic in Europe, and they're said to have passed the time going on drinking binges.
One night out at an Irish pub, the reporter describes the group as "completely (expletive deleted)-faced."
McChrystal is famous for prefering pubs to formality. Referring to having dinner in Paris with a French cabinet minister, he was quoted as saying, "I'd rather have my (expletive deleted) kicked than go out to this dinner."
McChyrystal was a troublemaker as a student at West Point, where he received "100 hours of demerits for drinking, partying and insubordination." One classmate told Rolling Stone that McChrystal "passed out in the shower after downing a case of beer he had hidden under the sink."
But he went on to build a reputation as a genuine hero, beloved by the troops under his command as a fighting general.
He told 60 Minutes about his extraordinary sense of discipline. He sleeps only four hours a night, runs seven miles every morning, and eats one meal a day.
A national debate raged today about how the President should handle McChrystal's missteps.
The Washington Post urged "keep general McChrystal." But the New York Post called him "general bigmouth."
The uproar is understandable. McChrystal or his aides called National Security Advisor Jim Jones a "clown." They openly joked about Vice Presiden Biden, saying, "Biden? Did you say, bite me?"
Then there was this quote from a McChrystal aide about President Obama, saying, "Obama clearly didn't know anything about him, who he was. Here's the guy who's going to run his (expletive deleted) war, but he didn't seem very engaged. The boss was pretty disappointed."
When Obama met the press in the White House rose garden, McCrystal's replacement, General David Petraeus, was by his side. You'll recall the highly regarded four star general collapsed on live TV during a Senate hearing just last week.
The President expressed his confidence in the General's ability to lead the war in Afghanistan.