Know the rules of engagement
After Gen. Stanley McChrystal lost his command, a headline in the June 27 edition of Stars and Stripes read “Command claims magazine broke rules for interview.” As reported in the story, “McChrystal was betrayed when the journalist quoted banter ... much of which they thought was off the record.”
So, if I understand the facts of the story correctly, McChrystal and his senior staff members agreed to an extended interview with a reporter for Rolling Stone magazine. That publication has never been known for its journalistic excellence in these types of stories, so my question to the general and his staff is: What positives could you have possibly thought would come out of an interview with this guy?
One of the basic rules when dealing with media is to always treat what you say as being on the record; it doesn’t matter what you think the ground rules are going in, if you say it and the reporter thinks it will sell magazines, you can bet that what you say will wind up in print.
Granting that interview was, at best, ill-advised. Stupid might be a better descriptive.
Master Sgt. Wally Cornelison (retired)
Still technically a resignation
Shame on you, Stars and Stripes, for your June 24 front-page headline “BOOTED: Obama relieves McChrystal of command: Petraeus to take over.”
Although it was quite obvious that Gen. Stanley McChrystal was summoned to the White House because he was going to be relieved, President Barack Obama was on all of the news channels stating that McChrystal tendered his resignation. Who are you to call the president a liar?
Capt. Deanna Carr
St. Augustine, Fla.
Service to country appreciated
I want to thank, as a citizen of the United States, Gen. Stanley McChrystal for his fine service to the country. I also respect the president of the United States, but disagree with his decision. My best wishes also go out to Gen. David Petraeus. He has a difficult job ahead of him.