I recently watched the Brad Pitt Netflix movie “War Machine”, which was loosely based on the time that Gen Stanley McChrystal spent as commander in Afghanistan. It’s a terrible movie, less than one star. Brad Pitt should be embarrassed to have had a leading role. But my point is not to criticize the movie but rather to object to the emphasis in the movie on Gen McChrystal’s criticism of President Obama in Rolling Stone Magazine and his subsequent firing. This is a very superficial incident that has been blown out of proportion by the media coverage. The rah-rah enthusiasm of some members of the military over Gen McChrystal’s “standing up” to President Obama obscures a much more significant part of McChrystal’s career that should have led to his termination (and maybe to his court martial).
This was McChrystal’s role in the cover up of the friendly fire killing of Cpl Pat Tillman. McChrystal not only contributed to the cover up (so that Tillman could continue to be used by the Army as a recruiting tool) but McChrystal also signed off on the award of a Silver Star to Tillman. It goes without saying that our nation’s highest combat awards are not given to men who are killed by their own troops. Thus, McChrystal not only committed one of the most egregious acts of dishonor in military history, but he also demeaned one of our nation’s most important recognitions for combat heroism.
This point should have been included in the movie. It might have given the movie a few redeeming qualities.