June 22nd, 2010
12:30 PM ET
5 years ago

Gates: McChrystal has apologized for 'significant mistake'

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in a statement Tuesday that Gen. Stanley McChrystal ‘made a significant mistake’ and ‘exercised poor judgment.’
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in a statement Tuesday that Gen. Stanley McChrystal ‘made a significant mistake’ and ‘exercised poor judgment.’

(CNN) - Defense Secretary Robert Gates issued a statement Tuesday noting that Gen. Stanley McChrystal "has apologized to me and is similarly reaching out to others named in (the Rolling Stone) article to apologize to them as well. I have recalled Gen. McChrystal to Washington to discuss this in person."

Gates said he read "with concern" the Rolling Stone story, and he believes McChrystal "made a significant mistake and exercised poor judgment in this case."

"We are fighting a war against al Qaeda and its extremist allies, who directly threaten the United States, Afghanistan, and our friends and allies around the world," Gates said. "Going forward, we must pursue this mission with a unity of purpose. Our troops and coalition partners are making extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our security, and our singular focus must be on supporting them and succeeding in Afghanistan without such distractions."


Filed under: Robert Gates • Stanley McChrystal
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. why

    Bottom line is top military personnel should not be giving media that type of access. We have a military spokesman at the Pentagon. Just as the lowest ranking soldier is to report to his commander so is the General. Service men and women have a job to do and that is not talking to the media or doing cover stories for a magazine.

    June 22, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  2. Darth Vadik, CA

    Military is not a Democracy, you do NO open your mouth and bash your superiors without consequences, McChrystal needs to give his resignation ASAP, he can not in good conscience resume to be a military leader in any shape way or form.

    If he is dumb enough to open his trap to a magazine, then he's just not someone smart enough who I would trust to lead troops into combat.

    June 22, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  3. Peter s

    The general was caught in gotcha games!!!. He might be clean as a whistle!. Look at the bigger picture its, jannes wenner and matt nye trying to destabilize the military while pushing their dubious devious agenda!!!!

    June 22, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  4. Helena Montana

    Recall? He should be fired!

    June 22, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  5. Ken in NC

    This is the second time the General has violated the UCMJ directly relating to the President. It cannot continue. As much as President Obama may want to keep the General in place, he must allow him to retire (fire him).

    June 22, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  6. Wmscot

    Politics aside that was a very stupid act from a commander of the armed forces. If it had been done when Nixon or Bush was in they would have found themselves on the street !

    June 22, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  7. No Apology Necessary

    The man called it like he saw it, and he probably knows better than anyone how it is on the ground.If the politicians got their feelings hurt, they need to get over it.Let him do the job he was given to do without all the whining from a bunch of super egotistical people.

    June 22, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  8. haren

    Nothing new, a white general can not take order from a black president like all republican.

    June 22, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  9. The Real Me

    Having spent 22 years in the Air Force, Gen. McChrystal's remarks much worse than a "Significant Mistake". If this had come from the mouth of a junior officer or any enlisted member, they would be removed from their position and prosecuted under the UCMJ. Of course he is a "4-Star", so he will be allowed to retire and avoid any further embarassment.

    June 22, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  10. Mickey, NY

    Send a message...fire McChrystal.

    June 22, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  11. Dan Emmons

    A 4 star General should be judged on his service record to this
    country, not a few words mentioned in a Rolling Stones article. This
    is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. What are we living in
    the 50's? I can't believe the President is about to fire a General
    that may go down as one of the best Generals in U.S history. He
    probably would disagree with Douglas MacArthur as well..... Although
    he was not good for press, he was probably the best General in U.S
    history.

    Sincerely, Dan Emmons
    Seattle, WA.

    June 22, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  12. Baby Boomer

    Just not enough this time. He needs to resign...

    June 22, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  13. juge

    'Significant Mistake' How does one take back such a MISTAKE. Who remembers General MacArthur – McCrystal should FADE AWAY!

    June 22, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. NiceGirl

    United State of APOLOGIES!

    June 22, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  15. Terry

    I recall that General MacArthur was relieved of his command by Truman for similar insubordination. Seems to me that generals get caught up in their own importance and forget that our military reports to civilians to prevent what has occurred throughout the world when the military thinks it is bigger than the sum of the nation. No offense, General Westmoreland caused the death of many of my friends in Viet Nam, and we joked about him all the time. Westmoreland tended to stretch the truth about enemy casualties and the enemy's ability to sustain an offensive. We use to joke that we had killed every living person in Viet Nam based on the casualty figures coming out of MACV.

    June 22, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  16. Dan, TX

    Do we want a general who admits he has poor judgment to be in charge of the Afghanistan strategy?

    June 22, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
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