It was a well-established rumor that when Admiral Fallon was first considered for Centcom that the administration wanted a carrier expert in that position for Iran. Was it a bad rumor, did they not vet him properly, did he change his mind, or did he keep quiet on his true beliefs? I am leaning toward the latter.
Admiral Fallon was out of line. Peter D Feaver sums it up quite nicely. From the Washington Post:
Peter D. Feaver, a former staff member of Bush's National Security Council, said that the public nature of Fallon's remarks made it necessary for the admiral to step down. "There is ample room for military leaders to debate administration policy behind closed doors," said Feaver, a political scientist at Duke University. "However, taking such arguments into the media would violate basic democratic norms of civil-military relations."
The following statement is an example of the violation to which he was referring. Fallon was ‘playing’ to the press:
The article quotes Fallon as saying one day in Cairo that "I'm in hot water again" with the White House, apparently for telling Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that the United States would not attack Iran.
The possibility of such results which he mentions below should have caused him to reconsider the interview in the first place. Again from the WP:
Asked about the article yesterday, Fallon called it "poison pen stuff" that is "really disrespectful and ugly."
Lastly, another statement to which I take issue.
Fallon, a career naval aviator
Fallon is not a Naval Aviator. He is a Naval Flight Officer. Huge difference. See the Naval Aviator vs Naval Flight Officer
section of the following link:
What irritates me about this is that I have been following his career for the last dozen years or so and have read all his official biographies. They have evolved from correctly stating that he is an NFO, to implying that he is a pilot. A single episode could be written off as an over zealous flag secretary, but for it to happen a half dozen times implies the admirals intent. So strong an implication that both the Esquire article and the Washington Post has mistakingly referred to him as a pilot/Naval Aviator. Someone through such an innocuous deception might possibly ‘need’ an article to tell the world how ‘important’they are. This was not such a misquoted journalist with an agenda but someone who was 'embedded' for a year.
And the more I think about it, the more certain that Obama has already awakened an assistant this morning and asked him to locate Fallon's phone number.