NEW AFGHAN COMMANDER SPECIALIZES IN LIES
ALSO COVER-UPS, ASSASSINATIONS, TORTURE & BACK-STABBING
"Mary Tillman - No More Smokescreen"
McChrystal's Biggest Lie. That we know of. So far.
DISLOYAL GENERAL MCCHRYSTAL RECOMMENDED
HIMSELF FOR THE JOB
More Of A Spook Than A Soldier, McChrystal Goes Along To Get Along
Rambo? Jack Bauer? Miles Gloriosus? Haven't we heard this all someplace before? Oh, yeah, Iraq: Commanding General gets sh*t-canned for being honest and saying right up front that the job will take a lot more manpower. That's what US Army four-star General Eric Shinseki told Dumbya about Iraq way back in 2003. Dumbya dumped him. Turned out Shinseki was right. Dumbya then took credit for finally following Shinseki's advice four years later by staging a "surge" of tens of thousands of additional troops in Iraq. Of course, this was not until years of brutal fighting had taken many lives, many more than it would have, if only Dumbya had listened to an honest commander in the field.
Curiously, the new guy in Afghanistan claims he won the war in Iraq all by himself, and not by surging, but by counter-insurgency: Special Ops, not massive manpower: Assassinations, torture and psychological warfare against friend and foe alike. So, which was it that "won" the war in Iraq? The surge, or the spooks? Can we trust this guy McChrystal to tell us anything honestly?
After all, he's the lying fool that tried to cover up the friendly-fire death of NFL star Pat Tillman by awarding him a posthumous silver star, which he plainly knew the man did not deserve, dishonoring all those who had died heroically to win that medal, the third-highest honor in the US military. What kinda guy is this new guy?
Dishonest? Dishonorable? Overweeningly ambitious? Treacherous and self-serving? Unscrupulous and barbaric? Or just an buddy-f**ker? He recently got tasked to evaluate the job another General was doing in Afghanistan. Somehow, his recommendations included replacing that guy with himself. Back-stabber? Power-hungry careeerist? Not the right man for any job?
Well, Gates & Obama think he's OK, so we know he's really good at ass-kissing and bull-sh*tting, two important skills for a politician, if not a General. And now he's in charge of our brand spanking new war in Pakistan, as well as our tired old war on Afghanistan. This is the guy that got Iraq's most wanted, Al Zarqawi, of Al Qaeda. (Or maybe it was the CIA that tracked him down. Or Jordan. Or Israel. Anyway, McSpook took the credit. Shows intitiative!) Is he the man to get Osama Bin Laden? By any means necessary, as in Iraq? And would that include trampling on the locals like he did in Iraq, further destabilizing Pakistan, and turning it into the first nuclear-missile-armed fundamentalist State, already in jihad with its' Hindu neighbor, nuclear-missile armed India? And then there's those oppressed Uigur Muslim brothers just across the border in nuclear-missile armed anti-Muslim communist China. Russia's in range, too.
Sure you wanna do this, Barack? Seems like lighting up a cigarette by the gas pumps. Are you 100% SURE this is the right man for this rather delicate job? Can you really trust him not to screw up like he did in Somalia? Think about it. Ooops. Too late. It's a done deal. And Barack is already covering up for McTorture, reversing his own decision to release torture fotos. Wouldn't look good before a Senate hearing confirming the new guy in Afghanistan, now, would it?
More on McChrystal tomorrow.
"MORE POSTS ON THE PASHTUN WAR"
"TORTURE MOVES TO AFGHANISTAN"
"THE SECRET WAR"
"THE SURGE, PART DEUX"
"POLLING THE VICTIMS OF GAZ WARFARE"
STARS & STRIPES
"McKiernan out of Afghanistan command "
We can't win a war in Afghanistan, so let's just do a TV show there. 24? The Rumsfeld Comedy Hour? "Back To The Future"?
' Gen. David McKiernan was forced out as head of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, a move Defense Secretary Robert Gates said was needed to find new ways to end conflict there. "From a military perspective, we can and must do better," Gates said at a news conference Monday. "Our mission there requires new thinking and new approaches from our military leaders." Time Magazine recently highlighted McKiernan in their annual "World’s 100 most influential people" issue. In February he predicted a "tough year" of fighting for U.S. forces in the country, and warned the deployment of 30,000 new troops into Afghanistan might not be enough to continue progress past the end of this year. Daniel Markey, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, called the move shocking. "I was under the impression that McKiernan’s role was pretty firm here." "His strategy has been consistent with what they want to do in Afghanistan," he said. "He’s been one of the main proponents of moving away from targeted counter-terror activities to a broader approach. There were no tensions that I knew of. So this really is a surprise." Both Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen highlighted the new nominees’ experience in Afghanistan as a key reason for their appointments. "Gen. McChrystal and Gen. Rodriguez bring a unique skill set in counterinsurgency to these issues," Gates said. "They will provide the kind of leadership we’ve been talking about." McChrystal lead Joint Special Operations Command for nearly five years prior to assuming his current post. He will receive a fourth star upon taking over the Afghanistan role. For the last month, he headed a task force focused on improving the effectiveness of the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan. In 2007, McChrystal was the highest-ranking officer chastised by Army Criminal Investigative Command in their investigation of Pat Tillman’s death, calling him "accountable for the inaccurate and misleading assertions" in the documentation for his Silver Star. However, investigators said they did not see evidence of a cover-up in that friendly fire incident. '
"Reboot in Afghanistan: Gates replaces top general"
"Resources or no" Freudian slip, or statement of policy?
' Despite seven years of effort by the U.S. and allies, Afghanistan remains a battleground with an unstable government, a flourishing opium trade and suicide attacks by supporters of al-Qaida. Obama approved 17,000 additional combat forces for Afghanistan this year, plus 4,000 trainers and other noncombat troops. By year's end, the United States will have more than 68,000 troops in the sprawling country — about double the total at the end of George W. Bush's presidency but still far fewer than the 130,000 still in Iraq. McKiernan and other U.S. commanders have said resources they need in Afghanistan are tied up in Iraq. On Tuesday, Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, a spokesman for Afghanistan's defense ministry, praised McKiernan's role in improving relations between international and Afghan forces while also "doing his best to conduct the military operations in a better way." Azimi listed three priorities that McChrystal should focus on when taking over the command: "Prevent civilian casualties, strengthen the quality and quantity of Afghan forces, and focus more on coordinating the military operations with Afghan forces." Monday's announcement came a week after Afghan civilians were killed during a battle between militants and U.S. forces. Gates visited Afghanistan last week to see firsthand what preparations and plans were under way to set the president's counterinsurgency strategy in motion. "As I have said many times before, very few of these problems can be solved by military means alone," Gates said Monday. "And yet, from the military perspective, we can and must do better." He indicated that the Afghan campaign had long lacked the people and money needed due to the Bush administration's focus since 2003 on the Iraq war. "But I believe, resources or no, that our mission there requires new thinking and new approaches from our military leaders," Gates said. '
"Why the Pentagon Axed Its Afghan Warlord"
"New thinking" in Afghanistan ordered by same old guys in charge all along at the Pentagon. It sounds more like OLD thinking: No more troops for the Afghan War.
' The move was yet another dose of accountability from Gates, who has previously cashiered officers for failing to tend to hospitalized troops or to secure nuclear weapons. But Monday's action was more momentous: It marked the first time a civilian has fired a wartime commander since President Harry Truman ousted General Douglas MacArthur in 1951 for questioning Truman's Korean War strategy. (See pictures of U.S. troops fighting in Afghanistan.) The Obama Administration has made Afghanistan the central front in the war on terror over the past month, it had concluded that McKiernan's tenure there had involved too much wheel-spinning even as the Taliban extended its reach. There was not enough of the "new thinking" demanded by Gates. "It's time for new leadership and fresh eyes," Gates said, refusing to elaborate. He noted that Joints Chiefs of Staff chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, and General David Petraeus, who as chief of U.S. Central Command oversees the Afghan war, had endorsed the move. Officers have typically served about 24 months in the slot, meaning McKiernan had served less than half his expected tour. Military experts anticipate that U.S. policy in Afghanistan more militarily pointed as well as politically deft, once McChrystal and Rodrigues, his 1976 West Point classmate and fellow Afghan vet, are confirmed by the Senate. "McKiernan did his best - he was just the wrong guy," says retired Army officer and military analyst Ralph Peters. "McChrystal will ask for more authority, not more troops." By the end of this year, the U.S. expects to have close to 70,000 troops in Afghanistan, including 21,000 ordered there by Obama. While that's just half the 130,000 troops the U.S. maintains in Iraq, Gates has been leery of sending further reinforcements. Not everyone welcomed the change, however. Some viewed McKiernan's firing as unfair, noting that he had inherited command of an under-resourced Afghan theater that had been a secondary priority to Iraq. "In Afghanistan, we do what we can," Mullen himself had said in December 2007. "In Iraq, we do what we must." And while McKiernan was given his Afghan command during the Bush Administration, it had been Gates who had appointed him - at Mullen's recommendation. '
"Profile: Gen Stanley McChrystal "
The Rumsfeld Doctrine redux?
' Gen McChrystal, with his background in special forces, represents the future of warfare as envisaged by Mr Gates and President Barack Obama - away from conventional military planning, towards modern, asymmetric war fighting. The man he is replacing - Gen David McKiernan - rose to prominence in 2003 as the leader of all coalition and US conventional ground forces during the invasion of Iraq. Following the invasion, he clashed with Washington over the troop levels needed in the country - he wanted more troops than civilian commanders were prepared to provide. Time magazine's Joe Klein described Gen McKiernan as "one of our finest generals, especially when it comes to conventional warfare." "If you need to get a force from the Kuwait border to Baghdad in three weeks, he's the guy to do it." But his removal from command in Afghanistan suggests President Obama does not believe Gen McKiernan is "the guy" to turn around the coalition's deteriorating military position in central Asia. He clearly believes that Gen McChrystal's special ops tactics are more likely to get the job done. '
"New commander for same Afghan force"
Even the Russians seem to have a better handle on the Afghan War than the Pentagon does.
' General McKiernan succeeded in increasing the number of U.S. troops almost twofold - from 25,000 to 40,000, but failed to achieve a breakthrough in the war against Taliban. The General requested additional 10,000 troops, but the request was refused by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who simultaneously had to deal with rebels in Iraq. Secretary Gates did not share the General's approach to securing a victory in Afghanistan through significantly increasing the U.S. troops in the country. According to Secretary Gates, other means are necessary. '
THE WASHINGTON POST
"Sympathy for McKiernan Among Officers"
The knives were out, the man is gone, his fellows honor him too late.
' News of the abrupt removal yesterday of Gen. David D. McKiernan from his command in Afghanistan generated some dismay in Army circles, although U.S. military officers and analysts voiced strong support for his likely replacement. Sympathy ran high for McKiernan among Army officers because, they said, the relative shortage of U.S. troops in Afghanistan had tied his hands in combating a deepening insurgency. McKiernan "was running a very under-resourced theater and doing as well as anyone could expect," said one senior officer. This officer and others would discuss their views only on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak for the record. Moreover, officers said, McKiernan, who was admired as a solid commander and one with integrity, did not deserve to have his career ended by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates requesting his resignation. "I am disappointed for General McKiernan to go out this way," the officer said. "I don't think that this sort of an ending to his career is fair." '
"It's Obama's War Now"
Obama becoming Dubya? Gates becoming Rummy? Afghanistan 2009 becoming Iraq 2003?
' McKiernan's ouster signals a dramatic shift in U.S. strategy for the war in Afghanistan. And it means that the war is now, unequivocally, "Obama's war." The president has decided to set a new course, not merely to muddle through the next six months or so. First, let's clarify a few things. When a Cabinet officer asks for a subordinate's resignation, it means that he's firing the guy. This doesn't happen very often in the U.S. military. McKiernan had another year to go as commander. (When Gen. George Casey's strategy clearly wasn't working in Iraq, President George W. Bush let him serve out his term, then promoted him to Army chief of staff.) Gates also made it clear he wasn't acting on a personal whim. He said that he took the step after consulting with Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command; Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and President Barack Obama. According to one senior official, Gates went over to Afghanistan last week for the sole purpose of giving McKiernan the news face-to-face. '
"Obama's rosy Afghanistan plan"
Still sacrificing Afghanistan to Iraq.
' Time and again, General David Petraeus, the architect of the surge and the current US central command (Centcom) chief, has warned that the recent gains in Iraq are "fragile and reversible". Should those warnings materialise as the US loosens its grip on Iraq, they could dramatically impede Obama's promise to build up in Afghanistan, which he has called the "central front" in fighting terror. With an all-voluntary US military force stretched across two major conflicts in recent years, any troop increase in Afghanistan necessarily requires an accompanying drawdown in Iraq. Obama's plan calls for up to 50,000 troops remaining in Iraq through 2011 after all combat troops return home next August. Those "transitional forces" have prompted criticism even from Obama's allies on the left, but it remains unclear whether they or the US civilian presence in the country can solve challenges that have become almost endemic to Iraq since the US-led invasion in 2003. '
VANCOUVER FREE PRESS
"Changing wartime generals in Afghanistan"
Changing commanders is much, much, much easier than changing Afghanistan.
' What's need is "fresh thinking, fresh eyes on the problem," said Secretary Gates, explaining why he was appointing General Stanley McChrystal to the job instead. So what should General McChrystal's fresh eyes see? He could start by understanding that the United States is not fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. It is fighting the entire Pashtun nation, some 30 million people, two-thirds of whom live across the border in Pakistan. That border has never really existed for the Pashtuns, who move freely across it in peace and in war. The Taliban are entirely Pashtun in membership, and always were. When they ruled southern and central Afghanistan in 1996-2001, they were hated by the other ethnic groups (who never lost control of the north), and even by many Pashtuns. But the U.S. invasion effectively drove not just the Taliban but the Pashtuns in general from power, in a country that Pashtuns have dominated for several centuries. To minimize U.S. casualties, the United States made an alliance with all the non-Pashtun ethnic groups of Afganistan (the "Northern Alliance") in 2001. There really was no American land invasion; it was the Northern Alliance that defeated the Taliban, with considerable assistance from American B-52 bombers. It was a clever strategy, but it perpetuated what was effectively an Afghan civil war between the Pashtuns (40 percent of the population) and all the other ethnic groups, Tajik, Hazara, and Uzbek. It is warlords from those other groups who have controlled the Afghan government ever since. "The political, religious and economic mafia are all Northern Alliance people," says Daoud Sultanzoy, a member of parliament from Ghazni province, exaggerating only slightly. "Nobody outside the Northern Alliance is in the government." Except, of course, President Hamid Karzai, the token Pashtun, who is mockingly known as "the mayor of Kabul". This is not a war about ideology, even if all the American and Taliban commanders insist that it is. The Pashtuns are fighting to regain at least a major share of power in Afghanistan, while the U.S. and other foreign troops are for all practical purposes allied to the other ethnic groups. That is why ALL the fighting is in the Pashtun-majority provinces. There is no point in trying to win over Pashtun "hearts and minds". The war will only end when the Pashtuns regain a big share of the power at the centre (and the loot that comes with it). And no matter how fresh General McChrystal's eyes are, it's unlikely that he can deliver that. '
THE WASHINGTON INDEPENDENT
"Did McChrystal’s Command Recommendations Herald His New Afghanistan Job?"
The back-stabbing little ass-kisser recommended himself for the job.
' One more thing really quickly about Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s ascension to commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. On Friday, I blogged about changes in the command structure in Afghanistan emanating from, among other places, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s review of Afghanistan strategy. What I should have noted, in retrospect, is that McChrystal chaired that review. I don’t know this for certain by any stretch, but chances are that was an audition for the job. '
"Tillmans: Senate should scrutinize McChrystal"
The dead come back to haunt the General who dishonored them.
' The parents of slain Army Ranger and NFL star Pat Tillman voiced concerns Tuesday that the general who played a role in mischaracterizing his death could be put in charge of military operations in Afghanistan. In a brief interview with The Associated Press, Pat Tillman Sr. accused Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal of covering up the circumstances of the 2004 slaying. "I do believe that guy participated in a falsified homicide investigation," Pat Tillman Sr. said. In April 2004, McChrystal approved paperwork awarding Tillman a Silver Star after he was killed by enemy fire — even though he suspected the Ranger had died by fratricide, according to Pentagon testimony later obtained by the AP. The testimony showed that McChrystal sent a memo to top generals imploring "our nation's leaders," specifically the president, to avoid cribbing the "devastating enemy fire" explanation from the award citation for their speeches. In 2007, the Army overruled a Pentagon recommendation that McChrystal be held accountable for his "misleading" actions. In a book published last year, Mary Tillman accused McChrystal of helping create the false story line that she said "diminished Pat's true actions." Her one-sentence e-mail to the AP on Tuesday said: "It is imperative that Lt. General McChrystal be scrutinized carefully during the Senate hearings." '
"A Double-Edged Sword"
Torturing, lying, covering up required skills in Afghanistan?
' General McChrsytal carries with him a dark side as well. One unit under his command, the now-notorious Task Force 6-26, which was assigned to find HVTs, or High Value Targets in Iraq, is credited with the ultimate death of Zarqawi. The problem is, along the way they faced accusations of running a secret camp that tortured prisoners, and they were implicated in at least two detainee deaths during torture sessions. Their camp, called Camp Nama, became something of a lightning rod after a “computer malfunction” destroyed upwards of 70% of their records and an investigation into their conduct stalled out. More relevant to Afghanistan is GEN McChrystal’s involvement in the shameful coverup of Pat Tillman’s friendly-fire death. While he was named among the list of high-ranking military personnel believed to have covered up the circumstances of Tillman’s death, GEN McChrystal was “spared because he had apparently drafted a memo urging other officials to stop spreading the lie that Tillman died fighting the Taliban. He drafted that memo, however, after signing the award for Tillman’s posthumously-awarded Silver Star, the commendation for which claims, in part, that he was leading the charge against a Taliban assault. GEN McChrystal has never clarified why he signed an award for Tillman dying under enemy fire right before begging his colleagues and superiors to stop lying about Tillman dying under enemy fire. '
"Cheney's Man For Obama's War"
Cheney is still in charge?
' But what the blogs have been talking about at length and what the mainstreamers seem to be afraid to acknowledge, is that McChrystal can be placed at the very center of the controversy the Obama Administration is now wrestling with and Cheney seeks to defend: the torture and abuse — sanctioned and delegated from the top — of battlefield detainees throughout the GWOT theater under President Bush. It doesn’t take long to click through and read in-depth accounts of the goings-on under McChrystal’s special operations command in The Atlantic (May 2007) and Esquire (August 2006) '
"Obama Reverses Course On Torture Photos"
And so it begins...
' In what can only be seen as a stunning reversal, the president is now refusing to release photographs that would help prove that the abuse and torture techniques revealed at Abu Ghraib were endemic in the Bush military. I can't help but wonder if this is related to his decision to appoint Stanley McChrystal as the commander of his Afghanistan war and occupation. There is solid evidence that McChrystal played an active part in enabling torture in Iraq, and his activities in charge of many secret special operations almost certainly involved condoning acts that might be illustrated by these photos. The MSM has, of course, failed to mention this in their fawning profiles of McChrystal. '
"The Hidden General Stan McChrystal runs 'black ops.' Don't pass it on "
"Jedi knight"? Alas, journalism!
' JSOC is part of what Vice President Dick Cheney was referring to when he said America would have to "work the dark side" after 9/11. To many critics, the veep's remark back in 2001 fostered his rep as the Darth Vader of the war on terror and presaged bad things to come, like the interrogation abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay. But America also has its share of Jedi Knights who are fighting in what Cheney calls "the shadows." And McChrystal, an affable but tough Army Ranger, and the Delta Force and other elite teams he commands are among them. '
THE COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW
Obama adopting right-wing death squad approach that didn't work in Afghanistan?
' JSOC has considerably more success fending off the press than, say, the NSA. But in March, it made another of its rare appearances in the news. First, The New York Times reported that the U.S. had, in February, temporarily halted some of JSOC’s raids in Afghanistan, “reflecting a growing concern that civilian deaths caused by American firepower are jeopardizing broader goals there.” Seymour Hersh was giving a talk at the University of Minnesota around the same time and, citing reporting from a book he’s working on, described JSOC thus: "It’s an executive assassination ring, essentially, and it’s been going on and on and on… Under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. That’s been going on, in the name of all of us." Hersh later had to backpedal. (“I must drive my editors crazy when I say things that are loaded,” he said.) But he stuck to his guns, so to speak. “JSOC… has been given executive authority by the president in as many as 12 countries to go in and kill, we’re talking about high value targets” without congressional oversight, he told Wolf Blitzer, who rejoined, “Is there anything wrong with that?” Hersh thinks so. But counterinsurgency scholar Andrew Exum of the blog Abu Muquwama was dismissive. It’s not like JSOC is some partisan task force that went away when Obama got elected… I don’t think any of us would dispute the need for highly-trained, highly-specialized commandos capable of carrying out ‘capture or kill’ or hostage-rescue missions of some high degree of strategic importance. '
PAKISTAN DAILY TIMES
"Afghan war rules set to change"
Mark the official beginning of the Pakistan War.
' The new US commander in Afghanistan, Lt-Gen Stanley McChrystal, is likely to be willing – unlike his predecessors – to fight on both sides of the border with Pakistan, the New York Times has announced. McChrystal, it says, is a counterinsurgency expert who for years has viewed the violence in Afghanistan and Pakistan as a single problem. Senior US officials told the paper that Gen McChrystal would have no “explicit mandate” to carry out military strikes in Pakistan. At the same time, current and former officials said he was ideally suited to carry out a White House strategy that regards Afghanistan and Pakistan as a single problem. “For him to be successful, he’s going to have to fight the war on both sides of the border,” said Robert Richer, a retired CIA officer who has worked with McChrystal. Two officials said McKiernan had resisted the creation of a new operational command in Afghanistan that Gates announced on Monday. McChrystal not only supported the plan, but has also pressed for the creation of a new cadre of American officers who would specialise in Afghanistan and serve repeated tours there. '
THE COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
"Biography of Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal "
Well, the Illuminati seem to like him. Hm. I thought Obama was against them?
' Assignment: Aug 99 - Jun 00 Military Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations, New York, New York '
More on McChrystal tomorrow.
Labels: abuse of prisoners, Afghan War, black ops, Camp NOMA, civilians, General Stanley McChrystal, JSOC, lies, military spooks, murder, Pashtun, political assassinations, Special Operations, torture
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