No one knew whether McChrystal would keep his job; NATO officials had prepared two press releases — one for if he stayed, another for if he was fired. Even the military's top brass was kept out of the loop: Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell, viewed as particularly untrustworthy by the Obama administration, was frantically calling NATO headquarters in Brussels to find out what was happening across the Potomac at the White House.The emphasis, of course, is mine.
So now I've got to ask: WTF did Morrell ever do to you, White House? He's loyal to his boss, he tap-dances like crazy to pitch the administration's line to an adversarial press corps, he traded in a pretty good gig on the outside for this thankless bitch of a job, and he's "viewed as particularly untrustworthy"? If by "the Obama administration" you mean Tom Donilon and Mark Lippert, then I can buy this, but it seems like a pretty unfair and unsupportable characterization. Of course, Hastings won't support it -- anonymous sources, you see. Ethics and whatnot.
The rest of the piece is about how Petraeus has been boxing in the president and vice versa, etc etc, a whole bunch of stuff that seems basically true to me, and that there's already generally pretty broad (if speculative) consensus about. But I guess it's flashier stuff when you run it under this byline, so there you are.