The Spectacle Blog

When Fallon Resigned, Dems Criticized Bush for Punishing Truth Tellers

By on 6.23.10 | 4:49PM

Today's ouster of Gen. Stanley McChrystal was the just the latest in a line of conflicts between top military commanders and presidents. But what's interesting is that the ouster of McChrystal is being portrayed as the proper course of action to restore unity and reinforce civilian control of the military, but when Admiral William Fallon resigned as head of Central Command in 2008, it was covered as if the Bush administration couldn't handle disagreements, and Democrats went on the attack.

For instance, here's the Bloomberg account:

Admiral William Fallon's resignation as U.S. commander in the Middle East provoked criticism that President George W. Bush won't tolerate dissent and fed speculation his Iran policy could become more confrontational.

``Congress needs to determine immediately whether Admiral Fallon's resignation is another example of truth tellers being forced to the sidelines in the Bush administration,'' said Senator John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat who lost to Bush in the 2004 election. ``His departure must not clear the way for a rush to war with Iran.''...

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, a U.S. senator from New York, called Fallon a ``sensible voice'' that supported ``engaging Iran.'' She urged her colleagues to back a bill requiring Bush to get congressional approval before taking any military action against Iran.

Meanwhile, here was Sen. Harry Reid's statement:

"I am concerned that the resignation of Admiral William J. Fallon, commander of all U.S. forces in the Middle East and a military leader with more than three decades of command experience, is yet another example that independence and the frank, open airing of experts' views are not welcomed in this Administration.

"It is also a sign that the Administration is blind to the growing costs and consequences of the Iraq war, which has so damaged America's security interests in the Middle East and beyond. Democrats will continue to examine these matters very closely in the coming weeks and months."

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