Lawmakers react to General McChrystal ousterby Dara Kam | June 24th, 2010
Sen. Mike Bennett, who served four tours of duty in Vietnam in the U.S. Navy, harshly criticized Obama in part because McChrystal had such a good relationship with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and was making progress in the war although some critics question how successful the campaign has been thus far.
“I think both of them expressed very bad judgment. Two wrongs actually don’t make a right. I don’t think that telling the truth is something you should get fired over. He exercised extremely bad judgment. I think the president firing him was just as bad a judgment. He should have figured out another way to reprimand him,” Bennett, R-Bradenton said.
But Rep. Rich Glorioso, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel who spent 27 years in the military, disagreed.
“If I was the president I would have fired him also. Even if what he’s saying is absolutely correct, there’s a way for him to do that. But putting it out in a magazine like that..You can’t have a general do those kinds of things. It doesn’t lead to good order and discipline,” Glorioso, R-Plant City, said. “If it was one of my squadron commanders, I’d have fired him. You may not like the person but you have to respect the position. There’s a proper place for you to exercise your beliefs within the chain of command and that’s where it belonged.”
“In a war, breaking the chain of command is unacceptable. It can severely affect the morale and motivation of the troops. Before going to the public you work through your chain of command. That process did not take place under this current situation,” said Rep. Joe Abruzzo, D-Wellington, a U.S. Coast Guard reservist.
Because he is on active duty, Abruzzo said he could not comment on the president’s decision to remove McChrystal.
“I am a member of the military. He is my commander in chief. He is my boss. Literally,” Abruzzo said.