June 22nd, 2010
12:30 PM ET
4 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. Video Guy

    Remove a star or two and send him packing.

    June 22, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Well said SecDef. But can you tell me why XE is still getting contracts in Afghanistan? If they are going to be in theater, I think the American people need to know what their mission is........

    June 22, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  3. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Holbrooke and Biden are 2 of the smartest people in all of Washington.
    If McCrystal can't handle it, then he needs to resign. Otherwise shut-up.
    McCyrstal is no McArthur and has done virtually nothing to earn his big ego and poor attitude. FIRE HIM!

    June 22, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  4. get real

    Going forward you need to appoint men and women with good judgment!

    June 22, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    McChrystal "made a significant mistake and exercised poor judgment in this case."

    -------------------------------–

    Yes. He did. He made a HUGE mistake flapping his gums the way he did. I agree with Gates that we must present a united front and not indulge in ego-out-of-control antics for the whole world to read.

    Poor judgement on an interview. I wonder how far the jump would be to poor judgment on the battlefield?

    June 22, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    It is hard to create a unity of purpose with a rogue general. Fire his sorry butt.

    June 22, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. Bruce

    Well spoken Mr. Gates and that's exactly why McCrystal must go!!! THIS IS A MAJOR SCREW UP AND A TOTAL LOST OF DISCIPLINE!!! The military must not lose it's focus and to have one of it's top generals act in this manner is unquestionably the biggest act of insubordination ever! It's no wonder the outcome, since the recent surge, is mediocre. I wonder if he's carrying out the mission as planned!?!?!? This guy cannot be trusted...period.

    June 22, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  8. jbb

    He is a disgrace and needs to go. NOW!!!!

    June 22, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  9. sonny chapman

    Just like Ollie North. Conservative military leaders think that anyone who doesn't share their views is the enemy–& the Right cheers them on! There is no longer a United States of America, only Blue Tribes & Red Tribes. Yes, America is in danger of serious decline. But it's not from the moral decay of the Hippies, it's from the greed, Corporate Imperialism, military worship & xenophobia of the self proclaimed Patriotic & Holy Right.

    June 22, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  10. Julian Tidwell

    Sec Gates, you got it all wrong, and why are you still supporting the whacked-up Obama Afghanistan policy yourself? You have sent our young to die in useless battles even when The Anointed One has said we will pull out of Afghanistan next year? This sets up an automatic defeat of the supposed policy. Have you gone senile that you can do all this in good conscience? If you were the honest man I always had thought you to be, you would pull out of that stupid administration. Gen Mc is the only one involved with that war that will tell the truth. Shame on you for staying with that administration, and shame on Obama for setting such a stupid, totally political, policy that kills our young for no good reason.

    June 22, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  11. obama victim

    at what point did telling the truth become a mistake and poor judgment??

    June 22, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  12. PalmReader

    Evidently McChrystal wants out. Guess the troop surge McChrystal insisted on getting and HIS carefully laid out plans to take out Al Qaeda aren't working so well for him after all.

    So, yes, Mr. Gates, I agree. McChrystal has made significant mistakes AND exercised poor judgment, including – but not limited to –
    insubordination.

    The only unity of purpose surrounding McChrystal seems to be keeping his EGO fed.

    June 22, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. BJs65

    Apology Schmology – Fire his butt.

    June 22, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  14. ConsiderThis - FL

    McChrystal should be relieved of his duties immediately. When a General begins to publicly bad-mouth his Commander-In-Chief's administration and allows his personal, petty, ego-driven criticisms of high-ranking people (in the administration) to be published, IT IS TIME FOR HIM TO GO. With generals like him, who needs enemies? If he is not relieved of his duty, it will send the wrong message to the remainder of the militay. This is just another example of how comfortable people are publicly criticizing and humilating the Obama administration in ways that people have never done so before, even when the (Bush) administration led the military into war based on known lies and faulty intelligence. Where were McCrystals' criticisms of the Bush administration????????????????????????

    June 22, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  15. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    At this point, I would not put McChrystal in charge of a one car funeral. He and his bagger friends continue to do more harm to our country than good.

    June 22, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  16. Dano

    Generals and their civilian overseers are always going to disagree on strategy and tactics. Generals want to defeat the enemy at all costs, while politicians have to deal with the rest of the world once the fighting has ended.

    June 22, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  17. Nancy Goethe

    The good general either has an ego problem or a drinking problem to run his mouth like that. What was he thinking?

    June 22, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  18. Hendrik

    General McChrystal is a sorry excuse for a soldier. He is an out of control petulant child without any sense of decorum. This better get him fired NOW. This is not how professionals behave. And this clown is going to demand that his subordinates treat him with respect.

    June 22, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  19. Bob from MD

    He'll probably lose his job for speaking the truth. He should have choose different words, but I believe that the people he mentioned are incompetent. Our country needs 2012 to get here fast!

    June 22, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  20. Stephen in Bedford, TX

    McChrystal needs to loose his job over this.

    June 22, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  21. Annie, Atlanta

    If I were President Obama, Gates and McChrystal would both be shown the door. Personally I don't understand why either men are still in their positions. Gates pushed Obama into a 1 year study in how to get rid of DADT. They're already in the military for crying out loud. We've got 2 wars going on. Do we really want to exlude people based on who they are attracted to. And, honestly, I have no words for McChrystal. He based his Commander in Chief – twice now. He's a disgrace and should be dishonorably discharged of his duties.

    June 22, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  22. Ron

    McChrystal was out of line for making such remarks and should be reacted to accordingly. However, it certainly says a great deal when there is such frustration on the part of the general to criticize the current administration. It just confirms that Obama is so far out of his league being the president that Obama has no idea what he is doing. Just look at the economy, the oil spill, Iraq/Afganistan, immigration, stimulus, etc. Everything Obama touches becomes a mess. This should be a wake-up call to every kool-aid drinking liberal that Obama is running this country into the ground. Add to that his inability to know how to protect this great country of ours is very very scary. I hope we can keep him from screwing it up any further before the 2012 election.

    June 22, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  23. Independent One

    By all means FIRE McCrystal.....He's an idiot!!!!

    June 22, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  24. Debra

    Gates should in NO way defend this man who has exhibited extremely poor judgment, bordering on treason, for his role in being insubordinate to the President, who is the Commander In Chief, and ultimately his boss. Treason, because this country was founded on civilian rule over military and McChrystal's comments and those of his subordinates, put in question, the competency of the President and Commander In Chief, an act that cannot be tolerated. I hope Gates understands that whether the mission can proceed further under this General's leadership is wholly within the judgment of the President. The men and women who serve under McChrystal, have had their lives put in that much more danger because of his lack of discipline. It is questionable whether they should continue to risk their lives under the leadership of a man who is more concerned with covering his rear than in doing his job.

    June 22, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  25. Charlie in Maine

    Loose lips sink ships. Loose cannons are even worse. As Colonel Klink used to say" Diismiiissed.

    June 22, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
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