West Wing Report: Judgment Day. Will President Obama fire his top general in Afghanistan for those incendiary comments in Rolling Stone magazine? The betting in most of Washington is that the General is through. More from Paul Brandus at the White House:
The Rolling Stone article. You know all about it by now: the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan damning in his criticism of key U.S. officials running the Afghan war – including the President himself.
But now Gen. Stanley McChrystal is singing a different tune.
McChrystal has apologized to half of official Washington, including Vice-President Biden and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who hand-picked the general for the job.
Today: more groveling. This time before the President himself, who has summoned the General to appear in person at today's national security meeting in the Situation Room. Obama says he’s made no decision yet:
"General McChrystal is on his way here and I am going to meet with him. Secretary Gates will be meeting with him, as well. I think it’s clear that the article in which he and his team appeared showed a poor -- showed poor judgment. And -- but I also want to make sure that I talk to him directly before I make any final decisions."
But it’s clear to just about everyone that the General simply cannot remain in such a position of authority. Sandra Erwin is the editor of National Defense magazine:
"The commander-in-chief may not be able to trust the general at this point. And once that trust is broken, he can't continue in that position. He has put himself in an untenable position. As for what it means for the war, for the troops, they need to have a commabder who has the full confidence of the commander-in-chief, meaning the president."
Meantime, the fighting in Afghanistan itself goes on. The U.S. death toll for this year is 183. Since U.S. combat operations began nearly nine years ago, 1,130 Americans have been killed in Afghanistan, which has now become the longest running war in American history.
At the White House – I’m Paul Brandus – West Wing Report – for Capitol News Connection.
9:00AM In-Town Travel Pool Call Time
11:35AM THE PRESIDENT meets with his national security team on Afghanistan and Pakistan
1:10PM THE PRESIDENT has lunch with senators
Old Family Dining Room
2:50PM THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY attend the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Nutrition Event
Columbia Heights Educational Campus
In-Town Travel Pool Coverage (Gather Time 1:55PM – North Doors of the Palm Room)
4:30PM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT meet with Secretary of State Clinton
5:00PM THE PRESIDENT meets with senior advisors