Gen. Stanley McChrystal: Victim of a smear?

A Department of Defense investigation casts doubt on many of the claims made against Gen. Stanley McChrystal in a controversial Rolling Stone article that cost the general his job as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.


An investigator general’s report released Monday says the investigation found “no evidence of wrongdoing” by McChrystal in his job. The general, now retired, just took a new job job as leader of the White House “initiative to support military families.”

The report found significant inaccuracies in the June 2010 article, The Runaway General, written by Michael Hastings.

“Not all of the events at issue occurred as reported in the article,” the report said. “In some instances, we found no witness who acknowledged making or hearing the comments as reported. In other instances, we confirmed that the general substance of an incident at issues occurred, but not in the exact context described in the article.”

Hastings’ article sparked widespread calls for McChrystal’s head and President Barack Obama sacked the general.   The Rolling Stone writer claimed in his report that McChrystal and his aides openly criticized Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. He also wrote about a claimed incident where the general’s team was drunk and caused a commotion at an Irish bar in Paris.

The report called some of the events described in Hastings’ article “hearsay” and said investigators could not corroborate the comments attributed to the general and his staff.

“Witness testimony led us to conclude that Gen. McChrystal did not share his private interactions with President Obama with anyone except perhaps his closest staff,” the report said. “Witnesses further explained that Gen. McChrystal considered the content of his discussions with the president sacrosanct.”

Rolling Stone, in a statement posted on its web site, says it stands its story.

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Doug Thompson published his first story and photo at age 11 -- a newspaper article about racism and the Klan in Prince Edward County, VA, in 1958. From that point on, he decided to become a newspaperman and did just that -- reporting news and taking photos full-time at his hometown paper, becoming the youngest full-time reporter at The Roanoke Times in Virginia in 1965 and spent most of the past 55+ years covering news around the country and the globe. After a short sabbatical as a political operative in Washington in the 1980s, he returned to the news profession in 1992. Today, he is a contract reporter/photojournalist for BHMedia and owns Capitol Hill Blue and other news websites.


  1. Is it just me, or is it a bit weird that some of the hardest-hitting journalism we see these days is in a Rock and Roll Music magazine?

    Not to say they’re always right – Even Doug Thompson’s wrong sometimes – but better the risk taken than turning all reporting into infantile pablum regurgitating the official line over and over again.


  2. Enlisted men always jump right up and rat out their superiors because it’s great for their military career. Just ask Bradley Manning!

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