The ouster of Afghanistan commander David McKiernan could make?or break?the Obama presidency. - By Fred Kaplan - Slate Magazine
The Secretary of Defense, in consultation with Dear Leader, replaced the commander in Afghanistan, General David McKiernan, with General Stanley McChrystal.
Dear Leader must be presumed to know of these harsh interrogations, because Secretary Gates explicitly stated he conferred with Dear Leader over the firing of McKiernan and the elevation of McChrystal:This appointment will not be without controversy. McChrystal's command also provided the personnel for Task Force 6-26, an elite unit of 1,000 special-ops forces that engaged in harsh interrogation of detainees in Camp Nama as far back as 2003. The interrogations were so harsh that five Army officers were convicted on charges of abuse. (McChrystal himself was not implicated in the excesses, but the unit's slogan, which set the tone for its practices, was "If you don't make them bleed, they can't prosecute for it.")
There's not a lot of mystery to why Secretary Gates made the switch. Things aren't going well in Afghanistan. Gates and Dear Leader want a new strategy.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.
So, to get that fresh thinking, Dear Leader's Secretary of Defense turns to someone involved in the same "harsh interrogation" techniques elsewhere being vilified as "torture".Gates emphasized at a press conference today that McKiernan didn't do anything specifically wrong but that "fresh thinking" was needed urgently. The United States couldn't just wait until the current commander's term ran out.
Of course, since McChrystal has been blessed by Dear Leader, the actions of his elite team interrogating at Camp Nama could never be considered "torture." Dear Leader's blessing is sufficient to remove that taint from one and all.