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BLITZER'S BLOG: Fired for telling the truth
November 7th, 2011
01:24 PM ET

BLITZER'S BLOG: Fired for telling the truth

By CNN's Wolf Blitzer

(CNN) - Maj. Gen. Peter Fuller has served in the U.S. Army for more than 30 years. He rose through the ranks to become a two-star general. He often risked his life in battle for the United States. Most recently, he’s been in the war zone, serving as the deputy commander of the American-led NATO mission to train and equip Afghan forces. In short, he’s a real military hero.

But it deeply saddens me to learn that Gen. John Allen, the U.S. commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, has effectively fired Fuller for telling the American people the truth.

In an interview the other day with Politico, Fuller called key elements of the Afghan government “isolated from reality,” which is true.

He said that many of the Afghan leaders don’t appreciate America’s sacrifice for their nation, which is also true.

And referring to Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s recent statement that he would side with Pakistan if there were ever a war between Pakistan and the United States, Fuller said Karzai’s comments were “erratic.”

Fuller said: “Why don’t you just poke me in the eye with a needle! You’ve got to be kidding me. … I’m sorry, we just gave you $11.6 billion, and now you’re telling me, ‘I don’t really care’?”

In announcing that Fuller has been relieved of his duties, Allen said: “These unfortunate comments are neither indicative of our current solid relationship with the government of Afghanistan, its leadership or our joint commitment to prevail here in Afghanistan.”

Allen added: “The Afghan people are an honorable people, and comments such as these will not keep us from accomplishing our most critical and shared mission: bringing about a stable, peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan.”

Fuller’s comments were clearly undiplomatic and blunt, but they were true.

For more than 10 years, the U.S. has sacrificed blood and treasure to liberate Afghanistan from the Taliban and al Qaeda. But Karzai has often made erratic statements that seem so out of touch with reality.

U.S. taxpayers are still spending roughly $2 billion a week to maintain 100,000 troops in Afghanistan for at least another three years. That’s more than $100 billion a year – money that could be used to reduce America’s deficit or for other purposes at home.

The fact that an American war hero is fired for telling the truth to the American people is shocking.

I know that Allen is an honorable man. He made a major mistake and should move quickly to fix it.

RELATED STORY: U.S. general relieved of duty for disparaging Afghan government

Post by:
Filed under: Afghanistan • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (458 Responses)
  1. Les Bowron

    I completely agree with Wolf on this one. President Karzai certainly has an incredibly difficult job. Trying to get along with Pakistan, India, the multiple warlords still holding sway over thousands of citizens, and also trying to make the most of all of the American aid his country is receiving....it's no wonder he's erratic at times. However, he and a number of his people seem think that American money and troops grow on trees and that the US has so much to lose in the region that he can insult us while simultaneously holding his hand out for more aid. I think General Fuller said exactly what the majority of Americans are feeling right now, and something President Obama or Secretary Clinton should have said a long time ago. Shame on the Army for treating a veteran leader so poorly.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  2. Rich Evans

    Sorry, Wolf, you missed this one. Every Officer in the United States Military is clearly and fully briefed on this issue when he or she is a cadet or midshipman: Under no circumstances does an Officer publicly question or opine on any political, social, or culture issue outside of the scope of the direct mission or duties of the military. Even if it is the truth. An Officer is always free to resign his or her commission. At that point, this citizen may make any comments he or she desires. A Military Officer defends the freedoms of this country. Said Officer does not necessarily get to enjoy them. Wolf, you have been reporting on the military for many years. You better than most should not confuse the duties and responsibilities of a Military Officer and a Journalist.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  3. The Way It Is

    A flag officer is, or should be, well aware that his or her comments can have real world impacts. Fuller wasn't "telling the American people the truth", he was making a comment for a newspaper that can be read anywhere. I'm not saying he was wrong, I'm saying he was wrong to say it in that forum. Big pressure comes with the big bucks and, simply enough, he blew off steam at the wrong time.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  4. jason

    Now we fire our best for telling the truth...its time to leave that place, we got who we came for...on the way out we should leave a few roadside nukes...just as a reminder lol

    November 7, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  5. Deathstalker

    Seriously not cool. They should leave him alone I agree with him for the most part. That being said we are occupiers in Afghanistan we are not there friends no matter how much money we give them. They do not want us there this is obvious. Yes they need us now but only for a while then they will spit on us on the way out.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  6. Drez

    He's in the Military !!! As a Marine i followed orders. It was not his duty to discuss an opinion or try to paint Afghanistan a certain way or discuss foreign policy on the record . Especially when he might be charged to change it for the better . he sounds like a horrible General to put in charge. Besides his 30 years are up. BYE BYE. General should have learned tact>

    November 7, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  7. appcomplain

    Just another instance as how the military burns you (not literally) after they are done with you.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  8. Karl

    "The fact that an American war hero is fired for telling the truth to the American people is shocking." Sorry Wolf, you should know better that each military leader must be in accord with the others. Yes, it may be true. But there are protocols that must be adhered. He broke that protocol. I don't believe he should have be relieve. But those commanders on the ground know what is best. Right?

    November 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  9. USA/Canada

    Hello people this is the military not some private corporation. Soldiers are to do as they are told he knew better than to say what he did in an interview. What after 30 years he forgot that he wasn’t a private citizen? He should’ve soldiered up and shut up he would still have is job
    Now if his superiors asked him the same question than he must tell the truth but not the media

    November 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  10. George

    Perhaps the fired general should run for president. Be great to have an honest straight shooter in the white house.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  11. Jonathan

    General Fuller's comments were naive. Any American who thinks loyalty can be bought with money or through the death of soldier's of an occupying army... especially a foreign one the local population cannot relate to... is mistaken. The people of Afghanistan were never going to be our friends. They didn't ask for us to come and start a war on their behalf (which we didn't... we did it for our own purposes). They didn't ask for our money. Their loyalty is and always was to their own (ie. Pakistan).

    November 7, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  12. Donaldo

    Looks like you have found the true source of why our nation is in decline. The values of honesty and integrity are long gone, replaced by expediency and demanded by fools.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  13. erbotron

    It's true..."No good deed goes unpunished"...sad but true.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  14. MurphInFlorida

    Close all our foreign bases and bring our troops home.
    No one wants us in there country unless we pony up big money!
    LET OTHER COUNTRIES FEND FOR THEMSELVES, we are broke!

    November 7, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  15. nolapearl

    He wasn't fired for telling the truth. He was fired for insubordination. There are rules.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  16. Plague Doc

    "For more than 10 years, the U.S. has sacrificed blood and treasure to liberate Afghanistan from the Taliban and al Qaeda." Bull! Not one drop of American blood spilled or one dime spent in Afghanistan was for the benefit of anyone other than the U.S., with any benefit to Afghan citizens being merely a side effect. The innocent Afghan citizens who were murdered for sport by U.S. soldiers and had their bodies subsequently mutilated so these same soldiers could commemorate their despicable conduct with "trophies", the innocent Afghan families who who die whenever some so-called "hero" sitting in an ergonomic chair in an air conditioned facility in Nevada accidentally fires a missile at their hut from a Predator drone, among others, all belong to the population that Mr. Karzai was elected to protect. We would never tolerate it if the President of the U.S. was appeased by any amount of money from a foreign nation that was responsible for inflicting similar carnage on American citizens. Any nation that would allow someone like Gen. Fuller to continue to have a key role in carrying out its foreign and defense policies deserves to have hijacked planes flown into its financial institutions and government installations and I'm glad that his superiors took a stand to prevent us from sinking to that level. If I was Mr. Karzai, and given the opportunity, I would come up with someplace much more creative than Gen. Fuller's eye to stick that needle.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  17. DCE

    I am GLAD that someone has the balls to tell the truth.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  18. Marian Myron LTC, USAF Retired

    I spent 6 months in the Afghanistan AOR as a flight nurse flying aeromedical evacuation. Based on my experience the operation was dysfuctional and the in theater politics between the Afghans and the American military equally dysfunctional. Maj. Gen. Peter Fuller is a true Ameican hero and a great American for speaking the truth. He has demonstrated the integrity, honor and credibility that so many of our career military leaders lack. Maj Gen Fuller has spoken out at great peril to his career and he may pay a high price, all the more reason to believe him. I do. I wished I had served with more officers like him. Godspeed Maj. Gen Fuller.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  19. Kent Bowen

    Re: But it deeply saddens me to learn that Gen. John Allen, the U.S. commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, has effectively fired Fuller for telling the American people the truth.

    He wasn't fired for telling the truth. He was fired for going public with his opinion. I don't believe anyone really disagrees with what he said, but that isn't the point. And, he obviously isn't all that smart since he didn't learn from the McChrystal episode.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  20. tom

    A General should know better. To fire him is a little harsh though.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  21. Pete/Ark

    Patton to McArthur to Clark to...General Officers are sent to school to learn the art of diplomacy...those who choose to disregard the lessons are told to stand down regardless of the validity of thier expressions. Risk is by choice... the end result is virtually certain.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  22. dave l

    Wolf is entirely correct. He just leaves out one thing. This officer's duties were as much political as military. The worst thing politicians can do is say something uncomfortable which is also true. This soldier "committed truth", and that was the problem.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  23. Game-over

    I'm not surprised at all that he was fired. He told the truth and the US Government doesn't allow anyone to tell the American people the truth. It's all "Top Secret" to the "Gov". They hide all of their embarassing mistakes under the guise of "National Security", and do everything in their power to keep the people from knowing squat.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  24. coder

    soldiers see a problem and resolve it – politicians see a problem and try to make you afraid it, they tell who to blame for it, but politicians do not solve the problem... In this case, it seems that the politicians are still trying to work out 'how' they are going to 'rule' over the people – while the soldiers are just trying to get home, by solving the problem. Political catch 22's will always remove the one guy trying to solve the problem the quickest, because that guy isn't worried about politics.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  25. eddie santos

    let them bomb each other bring the man home and and get our country in order

    November 7, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  26. 535watcher

    Way to go Wolf! You said it, it is sad that some of the leadership in the military cannot express the honesty that Major General Fuller has expressed, goes to show just how misaligned most of our so called leaders are. Give the man, General Filler the respect he it so overwhelmingly due. Fire Allen instead!

    November 7, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  27. DoNotAsk

    "He often risked his life in battle for the United States" – that's his job. And as for $2 billion a week we are spending on troops there, how about we do a tally of how much it costs the US to sponsor, support, protect Israeli foreign policies? What the general did, indeed, is a mistake; for a moment he was speaking as a professional with experience, not as a military personnel. No military personnel should ever express their political views as that is not their job and expressions like that could topple governments.... and it happens in many developing countries.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  28. Paul

    Since when Blitzer know better than Allen how he should do his job? In the armed forces, the chain of command is sacred like God is for gullible people. Too bad Fuller is right ..

    November 7, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  29. Sean

    Mr. Blitzer you are correct in your assessment. However, you disregard the fact he is a commissioned officer in the United States Military. He doesn't do whatever he wants, even as a two-star general, he does what he is told. If you don't do what you are told you risk being "fired". That's as simple as it is.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  30. BubbaGump

    Never happen Wolf. An unfortunate prerequisite of military command is that you will never – under any circumstances – countermand an order you have given.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  31. Marty

    The Afghan people are noble. Unfortunately their leaders are not....General Fuller was just stating the facts. The Afghan people would rather have others in power but have no real choices. Money as usual prevails...

    November 7, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  32. Tom Stott

    As a retired Senior Military Officer, I stand solidly behind GEN Allen's decision. MG Fuller knows the bounds of what he is able to say and under what circumstances; he learned that as a Lieutenant. He knew better.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  33. Blah.....Blah.....Blah

    typical reaction from whinny politicians. They cant handle the truth. They know nothing about honor and sacrifice

    November 7, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  34. teena

    we need to let them fight their own battles and STOP spending precious American resources (our military men and women) and dollars!
    Take care of our country first and extend a helping hand to those who will appreciate it.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  35. Marc Weintraub

    Wolf...really? You think Gen Allen acted unilaterally in firing MGen Fuller? How about asking the questions to get the whole story. President Obama and SecDef Panetta definitely had a role in this. Everytime a General / Admiral was replaced or fired between 2001 & 2009, you and your network called out President Bush and SecDef Rumsfeld. And in this piece you don't even mention the current top tier of the chain of command. This is a good candidate for CNN to do a "Keeping Them Honest" segment on itself?

    November 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  36. A friend

    Clearly, the statement made by Nicholson's character in "A Few Good Men" was as true as it has been and will be prophetic: "[We] can't handle the truth." Semper Fi, General Fuller. Sadly, the "we" here refers to the American people.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  37. DanielD

    Maj. General Fuller: Your service to this nation IS appreciated and please know that your courage and honesty will be valued in the private sector. The military has done you a service by removing you from their ranks. Diplomacy does not mean lying.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  38. John/kc

    I agree. Obama should have Allen trade jobs with Fuller. What is wrong with telling it as it is? We need more of this instead of the pussy footing around that some of our leaders practice.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  39. HJA

    Keep politics out of the military. If it's the truth it is what it is. Nothing will change it. Now that Fuller needs a job maybe we should give Allen's job to him. We need more like him in the military.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  40. Jack

    Allen doesn't need to fix his mistake. Allen needs to be fixed. Just fire him and move on.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  41. Jay

    This is PC run amok. We waste billions of dollars on these ingrates when we have serious issues needing to be addressed for our own people. Just another reason to be disgusted with our politicians and alledged leadership.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  42. Gloria

    If everything that Wolf reports here is true, it is a travesty to fire this man. Commander Fuller must know the situation, and is probably speaking the truth, albeit "bluntly" as Wolf said. However, I believe the U.S. needs to take a hard look at our ongoing role in Afghanistan and act accordingly. While a necessary move after 911, we got off track and our priorities seem to have suffered. Our own nation needs these resources, and while the Afghans still need our presence, the blinders need to come off once and for all.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  43. Bilbo

    I served this country too and unfortunately, we have buffoons that run this country and will fire a war hero over someone who voices a true opinion. It disgusts me to read about our leaders being politically correct and careful not to offend Karzai. As Americans, we need to bring our troops home, save our money and wait to strike when the time is ready.
    "I know that Allen is an honorable man. He made a major mistake and should move quickly to fix it." He didn;t make a mistake, HE TOLD THE TRUTH!

    November 7, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  44. JD in Moraga, CA

    In a nation where ignorance is the new virtue, it is hardly surprising that truth is held in such low esteem.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  45. Roy, Boston Massachusetts

    It is a sad day when Americans get fired for telling the truth. We obviously should not be in Afganistan and any politician that wants to keep us there for one more day should fire Gen. John Allen for selling out a true American. He told the truth and if the Afgans don't like it too bad.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  46. joesmith

    too bad mr blitzer doesn't see the same truth coming from Ron Paul on vertually every issue that is facing the AMERICAN people..perhaps General Allen , and Mr. Paul could hook up, and finally win an election in this country based on our integrity, and our good old American ingenuity.instead of special interest always influencing our body politic, like AIPAC, now we are almost broke, we owe our very souls to the Chinese..we need men of character, not a bunch of characters..

    November 7, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  47. Bennett hall

    Actually Mr. Blitzer I have a better Idea:
    How about our President develop a spine, go on your show live right away, today, and with this fired General at his side, tell the American people the truth, and then relive Gen. Allen of his duties.

    Occupy if for no other purpose, is demanding our Government be accountable and tell the truth and this would be a good moment to start. Then move on to the Banks, the bought congress, the Fed, the military industrial complex, and the criminal corpratacracy collisions that are extracting the resources of everyone on the planet.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  48. KenX

    The federal govt often punishes people for telling the truth.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  49. Steve

    We need more truth and less political cr*p. Allen should have been fired and Fuller promoted.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  50. Chalupa

    This highlights a major problem with the military and the government. Unpleasant truth is not tolerated. We have become a nation that says what others want to hear, not what they need to know.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  51. Mike

    The Army “can't handle the truth”. Give him back his job.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  52. rachel pierri

    Insanity! The truth shall set you free. and the USA needs to be free of Pakistan and Afghanistan, Israel, Iran, N Korea, etc... They don't want us there, don't appreciate the work being put in and will not be our "allies". EVER. Lets listen to Fuller and put it to use. Lets be FREE from Afghanistan!

    November 7, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  53. Mike Johnson

    As an American and a taxpayer ... Gen. John Allen is the one who should be fired for incompetence by not seeing the truth over political correctness. Maj. Gen. Peter Fuller is 200% correct.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  54. SayWhat

    LOL if it's such a problem then the US should just leave. After all, Afghanistan is a rocky craphole that the US shouldn't be concerned about, but for some reason they are... It must be America's love of the Afghani people and nothing to do with Afghanistan's strategic importance, thereby making the line about sacrifices for the Afghan people a load of bull. The US always acts in its own interests.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  55. John Brooks (United States Marines)

    Every Marine and Army soldier is told to follow the orders of the commander in the field or bacicily anywhere else as that goes. But here we see a decive trend on President Obamas part to just fire his best commanders when they really tell the truth. Obama has never been any further in Afghanistan than Bagram AFB. Just about the safest place in the whole dam country. Is he really so blinded by his ownego that he can't see whats really going on in Afganistan,Pakistan and Iran. Don't relect this idiot fire him and put three good Generals in charge and the war will be over in 3 weeks.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  56. lee baumann

    no good deed goes unpunished

    November 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  57. Lori

    Seriously? He only spoke the truth and what we are all thinking! He should be promoted, not fired!

    November 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  58. James

    I wholeheartedly agree. We need this man back!

    November 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  59. Ex-Military

    The military is a "good Ole Boys" network. It always will be. General Allen should resign in disgrace.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  60. old soldier

    There is NO suprise here. Karzai is as crooked as anyone else in the political processes in this region. Our Special Forces saved his life just before he came to prominence. He has no loyalty to anyone but himself, his money, his power, and his control of the region.

    It suprises me not at all to hear the statement from Karzai whatsoever. It's very much like Pakistan. They (the governments) do NOT want us there. They want our money to further their own agendas.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  61. GI Joe

    There's a time and a place for making those kinds of statements. He obviously chose the wrong place and the wrong time to say them.

    Trying to stir up more dissatisfaction Wolf? We saw the chicken way you ducked and hid in one of the 1st Gulf wars. Put a lid on it. Our diplomats would have NOT been quite so "crass" in what is a volitile situation. THINK.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • rick

      I totally agree, whether right or wrong is irrelevant, it was not his place to comment on policy.

      November 7, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  62. daveinohio

    KILL THE MESSENGER! KILL THE MESSENGER! KILL THE MESSENGER!

    Just days before veteran's day, another military hero is thrown under the bus. When will we get rid of this amateur president?

    November 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • rick

      MacArthur was General of the Army (5 star), a national hero, and he was fired when he did just about the same thing. He was not fired by Obama.

      November 7, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  63. Trafduolaru

    Right on – this is an absolute travesty, both to the American people, and our troops who deserve to be led by people that they can count on to be professional, skilled, and above all, truth-tellers! Allen is another in a disgustingly long line of political Pentagon "perfumed generals" who spend more time in Washington in dress blues than in camos out on the ground. Fuller is a warrior, Allen a phony, ass-kissing, gelding who takes no action when Karzai and our Taliban and Al Queda-complicit "allies" laughingly conspire to allow dozens of American troops get killed and wounded by fuel truck bombs sent in from Pakistan.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  64. JMM

    The first casualty of any war..................the truth. Americans are lied to every day by our government and news agencies. For those that cannot read between the lines and decipher where reality ends the BS begins, I feel bad for you. Its just sad that most american are ignorant and haven't a clue about domestic propaganda. It is even more sad that a man who dedicated 30 years of his life to serving his country was fired for telling the truth. Way to go America!

    November 7, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  65. jordan

    We do need to bring our troops home from that place.There is a reason it was nicknamed The Graveyard Of Empires.
    Such a waste of money and men and American Lives.
    Talk about budget cutting this one is a no-brainer !

    November 7, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  66. Mt1

    It's interesting there are not any comments on this story, but he Kim Kardashian divorce is loaded with comments.

    I agree that telling the truth is not a crime, but I'm not sure if this was a case of insubordination, speaking without permission, or the purpose of him expressing opinions in an official capacity. The more important issue is if these are true, the US has know it for a while and why are we spending this much money when we have issues in our own country?

    November 7, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  67. DAN

    Wolf; You touched on the salient point only long enough to discount it... "Fuller’s comments were clearly undiplomatic and blunt, but they were true." It is the undiplomatic and blunt part that is germain here, not the truth. Telling the truth did nothing to further or improve relations; the undiplomatic blunt remarks almost certainly did the opposite.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  68. Buzz Mann

    "I know that Allen is an honorable man. He made a major mistake and should move quickly to fix it.".....Huh,what mistake did he make?Telling the truth?Telling the truth is not a mistake for an honorable man.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  69. Tom in Illinois

    Not much appreciation shown to the General for 30 years of service. If the truth hurts so be it.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  70. Don

    Thank you Wolf for your honesty. Fuller is a senior official and should be aware that his comments will be closely scrutinized. However, the punishment did not fit the crime. Karzai's should also have known better than to say what he said, and to have Secretary Clinton defend his remarks, makes it look like Fuller was fired so as not to offend Karzai. Is that what things have come to? Our bravest soldiers must be publicly flogged to appease the public relations machine in Afghanistan?

    November 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  71. Eric Paulak

    Whether you agree with his comments or not, MG Fuller should face consequences for what he said. Every military officer is taught that you do not challenge the decisions or policies of your chain of command, whether military or civilian, in public. It has gotten generals from Patton to MacArthur to Fuller fired.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  72. Zenichi-maro

    There is no honor left in the US military. It has been cynically turned into a mercenary force by the oligarchs who benefit from its efforts; no more, no less. I respect and admire the soldier, less so the soldier's modern army.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  73. J

    Well there's one thing Major General Fuller forgot to consider; the Afghan government never asked the US to invade their country.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  74. John

    It saddens me beyond words that our country is in this position. Why do we continue to accept the militaries assessent that this is a winnable war? Its not and never will be. Here's a thought. Lets have every politian in Washington serve six months active duty in a combat zone and bring back the draft. Then we will see the American peoples true appetite to fight someone else's battles..

    November 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  75. outdoorsnut

    What a shame to be treated like that for telling the truth. We have the best government money can buy and they'll do anything to stay in power. They have set a fine example of the corruption here at home!

    November 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  76. armybrat

    He was not fired for telling the truth. He was fired for making political comments/expressing personal opinions. It is not his place to make such comments in such a forum. Review Patton's career if you doubt that.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  77. jw

    Why would you (Wolf) be surprised that someone is fired for telling the truth? Really?

    November 7, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  78. Bill

    If your wife asks you "Does this dress make me look fat?" What do you say?

    Call it tact, P.R., whatever.

    Just because what you say is the truth doesn't mean you were right to say it, or that you shouldn't suffer the consequences of undermining the plans of your superiors. You don't tell somebody to their face that they're full of s41t unless you're trying to start a fight 😐

    November 7, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  79. Ric1816

    Our republic was conseived to be ruled by civilians not the military. Even our greatest generals, no matter how heroic they qwere perceived (ie: Douglas McCarthur) had to abide by the simple fact that, no matter what they think the truth to be, policy is not made by the military. As a two star general Peter Fuller knew or should have known this simple truth, so should Mr. Blitzer. Instead of inflamatory opinions designed to provoke dissent with our system of government he should educate the public on why it is the way it is and why it should be enforced.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  80. Hawkeye1974

    Wolf, you're not a reporter, you're a gossip columnist. You're barely more than a blogger. Anyone who knows anything about the military (as a career journalist such as yourself should) would know that General Fuller was discharged because he's an officer that questioned our mission, not because he told the truth. Anyone in the military can have doubts about our mission, and officers have a responsibility to voice their concerns. When a General chooses to do so in an interview with Politico... yeah, that'll get you fired every time.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  81. Jon

    The General was absolutely right in his comments and who ever fired him should be fired instead. I'll support men like General Fuller in a heartbeat and spit on the jack ass that fired him.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  82. PatriotVet76

    Excellent synopsis, Wolf! Your story is spot on!

    General Fuller is guilty of an honest mistake, a mistake in diplomacy, and a mistake in tact.

    Fortunately, he's NOT guilty of misleading the American people, and he tells it like it is.

    Remember General George S. Patton in WWII? Many similarities here, and we continue to honor Patton as one of the greatest military leaders in history.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  83. Brian

    So which of our great corporate greed mongers are reaping the most of this war money. When will we learn this lesson. The old sacrifice the young warriors, while reaping vast sums from munitions and the graft that goes along with it. If a few more generals spoke the truth we could save some of our young American lives, never mind the money.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  84. joshua strebler

    In times of universal deceit telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  85. greg kerr

    General Fuller illustrated the blindness that Karzai and the Afghan government suffer from. Our leadership, which I'm sure put pressure on Allen to fire Fuller, has provided American citizens with a perfect illustration of what the BLIND LEADING THE BLIND looks like!

    November 7, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  86. BMG

    Throughout history, the United States has assisted nations who by choice or by force has requested our help along with the lives of our men and women and our money. We feel it a human rights issue so there is no argument for most of the nation.
    This is another example where we give and give and the other side takes and takes then flips us the middle finger (so to speak). I say withdrawl our soldiers, our money and the infrastructure from these countries. They've existed for thousands of years without our help; let them do so now. Just throwing our money and innocent lives away. General Fuller, thank you and those under your command for your service to this great Nation.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  87. Terry Gutschenritter

    The only honest way to fix this is to fire Gen. John Allen!!

    November 7, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  88. Unplugged

    I completely agree. I don't think even the military should fire generals for speaking the truth.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  89. TheChief

    We live in a world that is complicated. Was it the truth, possibly. But what good did it do? Why do we need to know it? Diplomacy is difficult and multi-faceted. Major General Fuller knows this and should not have spoken out publically as he did. He had an agenda of some type other than letting the American People know. He made a bad judgement call and was relieved for it. On the surface it may appear unfair but you need to look deeper. Generals and Diplomats do not operate in a simple one problem one solution world and they need to look at all the different aspects of the decisions they make. This was a bad one by Major General Fuller.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  90. AFSOC1stSgt

    If Gen. Allen truly believes Gen. Fuller is making untrue statements and disobeyed orders on the types of statements to made public then he is acting within military protocol and tradition in "firing" Gen. Fuller – although I think the punishment in this case is far in excess of the infraction. If Gen. Allen knows that Gen. Fuller is correct then he should resign his own position and tell the American people the truth. I suspect Gen. Allen was instructed to take the action he did by the WH.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  91. Carole Clarke

    Karzai's truth is not our truth – two different cultures. Remember he has to live out there, we do not. General Fuller also spoke truth but at his level, truth takes a back seat to what we need to say to accomplish our mission. Sometimes a sweet lie gets you further down the road than the blunt truth – Fuller knew that. Whenever you speak on the record you must be very careful not to tread on toes heading in a different direction – that's just the way it is. Since he said it publicly he left his superiors no alternative but to put him down publicly. It's been thqat way for centuries.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  92. Michael Bellomo

    We the people can handle the truth. Commanders and politicians can't. It's a shame that Maj. Gen Fuller has been let go for speaking his mind and at the same time " we the people" will respect the man for his service and honesty. I just wish we could get the same respect in turn from our leaders.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  93. Moira

    I'm sure that Gen. John Allen is "just following orders". God forbid anyone in the United States know the truth about anything! As far as I'm concerned, three cheers for Maj. Gen. Peter Fuller. He obviously cares about the US, and the world for that matter, and has not sold out. We need far more Fullers and the fewer Allens the better.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  94. Cranky John

    What a disgrace A general (or any American) fired for telling the truth about our backstabbing so called friends in Pakistan or Iraq The sooner we get our American soldiers out of that antiAmerican Muslim region and save the money to support Amerivan enterprises and jobs and let their warlords kill each other into oblivian the better off we will all be

    November 7, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  95. Whatheck!

    Let our troop pack up and come home. This one sided war is not worthy of our lives and money.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  96. Lone

    I think we're all past anything particularly shocking at this point. The strain on the game face is near a breaking point.

    The US has accomplished the majority of its goals in that part of the world, for better or worse, and as much as I'd like to say we should stay and finish the job (or in actuality heal some of the damage) there just isn't much to show for what has already been thrown at it. You cannot fight terrorism in a static position so our being there serves no purpose in that respect. This war was based purely on revenge and was not a nation building project. We started playing friendly GI far too late and all efforts on that front have continually been undermined by factions within the region and government. Third-party aid and development is regularly threatened for simply running counter to the mind-set.

    Despite the massive growth and progress happening all around them them Karzai, his Pakistani opposites, and the tribes can't think past their little hills of dirt. That pocket of the planet, sitting between China, India and the Middle East will have its "spring" but we cannot afford to wait around for it.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  97. USTaxPayer

    That's unfortunate that we have all have to be silenced in the name of political correctness and hypocritical diplomacy. Where does one draw the line!
    Thanks for sharing Mr Blitzer.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  98. Army SGT

    There is a difference between telling the truth and not knowing when to keep your mouth shut. If your wife is fat, does that mean she won't get upset if you "tell her the truth"? No difference here, just because the general doesn't like the afghan soldiers or government, doesn't mean they won't get upset if he "tells the truth" about them. And since when is it a good idea, politically or militarily, to upset your allies?

    November 7, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  99. Rafael

    Fired for telling the truth? You mean people do that?

    November 7, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  100. Vicki

    It's really sad that this man is going to be fired for telling the truth.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
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