The Commander Bush 43 Fired For Insubordination: William “Fox” Fallon

For those who want to portray President Obama as “weak” because he had a general bad-mouth him, it is useful to remember William “Fox Fallon, who was fired for George W. Bush in similar circumstances.

…[what] ended his 41-year military career was a fawning profile in…Esquire magazine — an article that pitted him against President Bush, and one with whose author Fallon had cooperated. “He jumped,” one Navy officer said, “on a hand grenade that he threw.”

Fallon had held his command, which included Iraq and Afghanistan, for [a] year. A Navy pilot, he liked to “push the envelope” both in the air and in his comments on U.S. policy in the region. In the April [2008] Esquire, Thomas Barnett, a former professor at the Naval War College, wrote that Fallon was “brazenly challenging” the Bush Administration’s push to go to war with Iran, fighting “against what he saw as an ill-advised action.” The lengthy article claimed that while President Bush wants war with Iran, “the admiral has urged restraint and diplomacy,” adding, “Who will prevail, the president or the admiral?”

Does this sound familiar?

Pentagon officials were upset that Fallon had allowed the Esquire writer Barnett — who said Bush “regularly trash-talks his way to World War III” — travel with him to Afghanistan and Egypt, granted him several interviews, and posed for a photograph that accompanied the article. “There was a pattern of behavior by Fallon,” a senior Pentagon official said. “He seemed to be saying things that were out of step with the Administration.

And Fallon wasn’t the first commander in recent times to meet this fate.

General Michael Duggan was fired as Air Force chief of staff by then-defense secretary Dick Cheney in 1990 for telling reporters traveling with him about Air Force attack options to help drive Iraq out of Kuwait following Saddam Hussein’s invasion of that country earlier that year. In 1995, Admiral Richard Macke, then the head of Pacific Command, was ousted after telling reporters over breakfast that sailors and Marines who beat and raped a 12-year-old Japanese girl should have hired a prostitute instead of paying for the car they rented and used in the crime.

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