|NY Times, May 13, 2009
Man in the News
A General Steps From the Shadows
By ELISABETH BUMILLER and MARK MAZZETTI
WASHINGTON — Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the ascetic who is set to become the new top American commander in Afghanistan, usually eats just one meal a day, in the evening, to avoid sluggishness.
He is known for operating on a few hours’ sleep and for running to and from work while listening to audio books on an iPod. In Iraq, where he oversaw secret commando operations for five years, former intelligence officials say that he had an encyclopedic, even obsessive, knowledge about the lives of terrorists, and that he pushed his ranks aggressively to kill as many of them as possible.
But General McChrystal has also moved easily from the dark world to the light. Fellow officers on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where he is director, and former colleagues at the Council on Foreign Relations describe him as a warrior-scholar, comfortable with diplomats, politicians and the military man who would help promote him to his new job.
“He’s lanky, smart, tough, a sneaky stealth soldier,” said Maj. Gen. William Nash, a retired officer. “He’s got all the Special Ops attributes, plus an intellect.”
If General McChrystal is confirmed by the Senate, as expected, he will take over the post held by Gen. David D. McKiernan, who was forced out on Monday. Obama administration officials have described the shakeup as a way to bring a bolder and more creative approach to the faltering war in Afghanistan.
Most of what General McChrystal has done over a 33-year career remains classified, including service between 2003 and 2008 as commander of the Joint Special Operations Command, an elite unit so clandestine that the Pentagon for years refused to acknowledge its existence. But former C.I.A. officials say that General McChrystal was among those who, with the C.I.A., pushed hard for a secret joint operation in the tribal region of Pakistan in 2005 aimed at capturing or killing Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden’s deputy.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld canceled the operation at the last minute, saying it was too risky and was based on what he considered questionable intelligence, a move that former intelligence officials say General McChrystal found maddening.
The Daily Telegraph (Australia), March 28, 2007
Friendly fire death cover-up
By Richard Sisk
WASHINGTON: Four generals and five other officers were involved in a plan to cover up the friendly-fire death of football star-turned-soldier Pat Tillman, the US Army has admitted.
Their actions ''brought discredit on the army'' -- and let the Tillman family go to his nationally televised funeral believing their son had died charging an enemy position, acting Army Secretary Pete Geren said…
Former army Special Operations Command head Lieutenant General Philip Kensinger met the Tillman family at the funeral but said he believed ''it was not the right time'' to disclose details of the death.
Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal allowed false information to be entered in the citation, posthumously awarding the Silver Star to Corporal Tillman, investigators said.