Afghan War Commander Recalled to Washington Over Rolling Stone Interview (Updated)

General Stanley McChrystal, commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, along with aides in an upcoming Rolling Stone profile blasts senior Obama administration officials, like Vice President Joe Biden: "Biden? Did you say: Bite me?" Update: Story is online.

The article, "Runaway General," written by former Gawker guest editor Michael Hastings (aka K. Eric Walters) will be out on Friday, but was sent to reporters yesterday. In it, according to the New York Times, one of McChrystal's aides calls National Security Advisor Jim Jones a "clown," and after getting an email from senior diplomat Richard Holbrooke, the general says "Oh, not another e-mail from Holbrooke. I don't even want to read it." An advisor goes on about Holbrooke, "The Boss says he's like a wounded animal. Holbrooke keeps hearing rumors that he's going to get fired, so that makes him dangerous." A great New Yorker profile of Holbrooke can be read here. As for Jim Jones, the linebacker-esque former Commandant of the Marine Corps, well, my money would be on him in a fight with McChrystal and probably all of his aides any day.

General McChrystal also goes after the US ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry. Last year, secret cables were released in which Eikenberry questioned why the US was trusting corrupt scumbag Afghan president Hamid Karzai and the whether the overall US strategy in Afghanistan was flawed, which infuriated McChrystal, who told Rolling Stone, "Here's one that covers his flank for the history books. Now if we fail, they can say, 'I told you so.'" McChrystal also said he was "disappointed" in President Obama.

Today, General McChrystal released a statement, saying, "I extend my sincerest apology for this profile. Throughout my career, I have lived by the principles of personal honour and professional integrity. What is reflected in this article falls far short of that standard." He was recalled to Washington today. After this profile of Admiral William "Fox" Fallon in Esquire, why McChrytal thought speaking so candidly with a Rolling Stone reporter was a good idea is pretty baffling.

In other war news, US taxpayers are paying protection money to Afghan warlords.

Update: Rolling Stone has put the entire story up on its website.

[Image via Getty]

(thanks to Peter Feld for the Hastings/ed tip)