Centcom Chief Admiral Resigns After Publicly Opposing Bush on Iran
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Last week, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino downplayed Fallon’s possible retirement, decrying “rumor mills that don’t turn out to be true.”
Fallon opposed the “surge” in Iraq and has consistently battled the Bush administration to avoid a confrontation with Iran, calling officials’ warmongering rhetoric “ not helpful.” He rejected the praise in the Esquire piece, calling it “ poison pen stuff.”
A reporter noted to Gates there was a “ line in that Esquire story that said basically if Fallon gets fired, it means we’re going to war with Iran. Can you just address that?” Gates responded, “Well that’s just ridiculous.”
UPDATE: Sources at the Pentagon said that Fallon was worried the White House would “perceive the magazine piece as a challenge to the president’s authority, and insisted that couldn’t be further from the truth.”
UPDATE II: Last year, Fallon vowed that an attack on Iran “ will not happen on my watch.”
UPDATE III: TPM has Fallon’s statement here.
Faiz Shakir is the Research Director at the Center for American Progress and serves as Editor of ThinkProgress.org and The Progress Report.