Rolling Stone writer Michael Hastings spent four weeks with Gen. Stanley McCrystal in Europe and Afghanistan in early 2010, listening in on general’s musings, and conversations. To Hastings surprise, almost all of what he saw and heard was on the record.The resulting story in Rolling Stone showing McCrystal criticising Harmid Karzai, Vice Pres. Biden and President Obama, prompted the president to recall McCrystal from Afghanistan and fire him on the spot.
Hastings book, The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan, an expanded work on the original story comes out tomorrow, and the jacket illustration is raising some eyebrows.
It appears to show a man wearing the uniform of former Iraq General Petraus, who had been in the Army since 1974 until retiring in September to head the CIA, balancing a glass of amber liquor in one hand and a service pistol in the other.
In those 37-years, the medals and ribbons he accumulated on his uniform may not have been as unique as his fingerprint, but they’re close.
Greg Jaffe at The Washington Post reports, “The armed and inebriated general on the cover boasts a French Parachutist Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, a 101st Airborne Division Unit Insignia, a Combat Action Badge, an Air Assault Badge, and 10 rows of ribbons. Petraeus’s uniform when he was on active duty included the exact same decorations.”
The publisher and the jacket artist deny any connection to Petraus and maintain the picture is of no particular person.
Jaffe says the combination of the French Parachutist Badge and several others are totally unique to Petraus.
General McCrystal was allowed to keep his four star rank and accept retirement and currently teaches a class on leadership at Yale.
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