Pentagon clears McChrystal of wrongdoing

Inquiry questions accuracy of article which cost US commander in Afghanistan his job but Rolling Stone stands by report.

    The report said there was no evidence that McChrystal had violated any applicable legal or ethical standards [Reuters]

    A Pentagon inquiry into a controversial Rolling Stone magazine profile of General Stanley McChrystal that led to his dismissal as the top US commander in Afghanistan has cleared him of wrongdoing.

    The investigation's results released on Monday also called into question the accuracy of the magazine's report last June.

    The magazine quoted anonymously people around McChrystal making disparaging remarks about members of Barack Obama's, the US president, national security team, including Joe Biden, the vice president

    At the time he dismissed McChrystal, Obama said the general had fallen short of "the standard that should be set by a commanding general".

    However, the defence department inspector general's report, concluded that available evidence did not support the conclusion that McChrystal had violated any applicable legal or ethical standards.

    Last week, the White House tapped McChrystal to head a new advisory board to support military families.

    The selection of McChrystal was announced on April 12, four days after the inspector general's report was finished.

    The report's conclusions were first reported on Monday by The New York Times, which obtained it under a Freedom of Information Act request.

    The Pentagon subsequently posted the report on its website.

    'Accurate in every detail'

    The inspector general's report said it had reviewed an unpublished army investigation of the case and interviewed numerous eyewitnesses.

    It said McChrystal declined an invitation to provide sworn testimony, saying he had already testified to army investigators.

    The general also declined to comment on the inspector general's conclusions.

    The Pentagon inquiry also concluded that not all of the events at issue happened as reported in the Rolling Stone article.

    "In some instances, we found no witnesses who acknowledged making or hearing the comments as reported," the report said.

    "In other instances, we confirmed that the general substance of an incident at issue occurred, but not in the exact context described in the article."

    Rolling Stone issued a statement saying it stands behind its story, which it called "accurate in every detail".

    After the magazine article was published, McChrystal was summoned to the White House and dismissed, eventually being replaced by General David Petraeus.

    At the time, Obama called the dismissal the right decision for US national security.

    He said McChrystal's conduct represented in the magazine article "undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system.

    "And it erodes the trust that's necessary for our team to work together to achieve our objectives in Afghanistan."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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