The Overton Window, a thriller by Glenn Beck
GLENN: So General McChrystal did an interview with Rolling Stone magazine. The article is Runaway General. What was he thinking?
PAT: Pretty interesting. Looks like he voted for Obama and now maybe having second thoughts, maybe he was surprised by his management style or the way in which he was going to conduct the war? I mean, I don't know how you could be if you are an intelligent guy, and obviously McChrystal is, but interesting article.
GLENN: Okay. So here's what I think happened. I could be wrong on this, most likely am. McChrystal is not a dumb guy. You don't become a three star if you don't know where the land mines are. I mean, how did you become a three star without stepping on land mines? Because you're smart. So the — let's just play this out with me for a second. (Phone ringing). "General McChrystal's office." "Yeah, man, this is Rolling Stone magazine and, like, dude, we'd like to do, like, an interview with, like, the guy who heads up all the baby killers." "Just a minute, I'll put you right through." (Phone ringing). "Yes?" "General McChrystal?" "Yes." "Some dope smoking hippie is on the phone, wants to do an interview. "Oh, is it Rolling Stone?" "Yes." "They hate the military. Put them right through." How did that happen? How did that happen? Now, is a guy who is a three star actually do the interview and say, "Now, listen, I'm going to say a few things." "Yeah, I know, man. That's why I wanted to talk to you." "Yeah, I'm going to say a few things and I can trust you to keep it off record, right?" "Sure, dude. You got some Doritos?" There's no way that McChrystal didn't know that he was walking into hostile territory. He knew he was walking into a minefield. Now, the question is why did he step on the land mines? I contend, I contend because, A, he really feels this way about Barack Obama, and I want you to know in no uncertain terms I think it is wrong what the general did. If you want to speak out against the commander in chief, you resign and then you say these things. If you disagree with the president, you should resign or keep your mouth shut. I think that he's sending a message. I think he's sending a message to the troops and I think he's sending a message to the administration: You're a clown; military doesn't buy into your leadership; you are the commander in chief. And this is where I have a problem with it. You are the commander in chief. That doesn't mean we like you. That doesn't mean we buy into you, but you are the commander in chief, and the U.S. military is bound by oath to protect and defend the Constitution, and I believe they will do that, and the commander in chief is in charge of military by the Constitution. But I think these guys have had enough, you know. When you look at what this president has done to the military, especially those in Afghanistan, how do you take him seriously? How do you think he's on your side? I mean, there's one thing to say I disagree with his policies. It's another to say, you know, I question whether he is — I mean, is he aware that we can get killed? Is it just me? I mean, if I'm the general over in Afghanistan, I'm thinking to myself, how long did it take you? How long did it take the commander in chief to make a decision? We're over here risking our lives and what are you doing exactly? You are playing golf and you couldn't get a decision for how long? Six months? How is that working out for you? Because it's not working out for us. I think he was sending a message. Now, he's coming back and he's probably going to get fired, and he probably should. With that being said, I don't like the idea of this commander in chief appointing new generals. I mean, I don't trust this guy at all. I mean, who is he going to put in there?
STU: That's probably why he kind of came out with a strong apology there
GLENN: No, I don't think he — he didn't apologize. He didn't retract it.
STU: He said here's the quote. Throughout my career I have lived by the principles of personal honor and professional integrity. What is reflected in article falls short of that standard. I have enormous respect and admiration for President Obama and his national security team.
PAT: When you read the article, I think you'll realize that's not exactly true.
STU: But what I'm saying
GLENN: Here is the best —
STU: At least he is trying to hold his gig, right?
PAT: I don't know.
STU: He thinks it's important to stay there.
GLENN: He's not a dummy.
STU: No, I know.
GLENN: Listen. Here's the next, here's the next line in the statement: Throughout my career I have lived by the principles of honor and professional integrity. What is reflected in this article falls far short of that standard. That's true. And this is why we like our military because they are honorable, and George Washington would have never, would have never put up with this, never put up with that. In fact, he didn't, did he?
GLENN: I mean, that was —
GLENN: That was the problem with Arnold, Benedict Arnold.
PAT: Yeah. He was not for giving for people who dishonored their post or
PAT: I mean, there were hangings involved.
PAT: You didn't mess around.
GLENN: I don't think we need to go to hangings
PAT: Well —
GLENN: It shouldn't be tolerated.
PAT: Probably not.
GLENN: It shouldn't be tolerated.
GLENN: I have enormous respect and admiration for the president and his national security team. I can't make that one work with what I've read in the article. I can make it work with, I live by the principles of personal honor and professional integrity and what's in this article falls short of that. That I respect and I understand. But the other
PAT: Uh huh.
GLENN: The other one you don't?
PAT: No. And why did you do the article in the first place? I don't understand that.
GLENN: Well, because the secretary put him right through.
STU: Right. Because there are reports that he's fired the aide who booked the interview.
GLENN: The aide — let me ask you this. Let's just say I'm fighting a war. You're my aide. I'm the general. You come to me and say, General Glenn, I just have to tell you, I think it would be a really good idea for you to do an interview with Rolling Stone magazine. Do I fire you after the interview or after the suggestion?
STU: Yeah, all I have to do is bring it up and I'm gone.
PAT: Yeah. And then you don't do the interview.
GLENN: You don't do the interview.
PAT: You don't do the interview.
STU: They are not going to attempt to treat you fairly.
STU: Like they are going to attempt to treat the military fairly or abide by any sort of agreements they made before the interview. That's not how they run things.
PAT: Rolling Stone was looking for just exactly what they got. They were looking for this. They want to create a huge controversy and cause problems. And McChrystal had to know that going in. He's, you know, like you said, he's a smart guy.
[NOTE: Transcript may have been edited to enhance readability - audio archive includes full segment as it was originally aired]