President Barack Obama says he wants to have the most transparent administration ever.
There have been some subtle and not-so-subtle administration signals that perhaps General Stanley McChrystal publicly chatting about his views on Afghanistan strategy was not entirely welcome.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Monday urged advisers to offer their views to the president “candidly but privately” about a decision that “will be among the most important of his presidency.”
Gates named no names. But it would be difficult to ignore the timing of the comment, just days after McChrystal in London told the Institute of International and Strategic Studies that a strategy being floated by Vice President Joe Biden to narrow the mission in Afghanistan was short-sighted.
Usually, presidents want their generals seen (behind the Commander-in-Chief) and not heard (in public ahead of them). And Obama barely knows McChrystal. They met last week on Air Force One in Copenhagen for the first time since McChrystal presented a grim assessment of the war and requested more troops.