The harmful impact of the Rolling Stone induced retirement of Gen. Stanley McChrystal extends beyond the top-level shake-up at a critical juncture in the Afghani war. Whatever the motivation behind reporter Michael Hasting’s revelations and the general and his staff’s serious indiscretions, media access to military operations and personnel has already changed. Never easy to begin with, the adversarial relationship between military command and the reporter will henceforth be less open.
Jed Babbin has experience on both side as a deputy undersecretary of defense and a civilian reporter and columnist. He was my boss during a stint writing for a Washington, D.C. paper last year. His column on Bigjournalism.com accurately describes the military/media conundrum and suggests a cooperative scenario beneficial to both sides. It’s the path I would followed had a military publication hired me for a position for which Babbin wrote me a recommendation.
A scenario for an attack
Babbin’s piece for the American Spectator is fiction based on the real-life tensions in the Middle East. Iran’s refusal to bow to international pressure to monitor their nuclear development program and the Obama Administration’s wallowing on sanctions and support for Israel makes a pre-emptive strike inexorably likely. It could go something like this.
Can’t disagree with Frank Ross. Hardly surprising, eh?