Gen. Stanley McChrystal didn't seem to understand at first how career-limiting his loose-lipped interview with Rolling Stone was, says Mike Allen in Politico, but the White House decided early on that his disrespect of his civilian bosses was a fireable offense. "McChrystal already had two strikes" going into the mess, and once it was decided that replacing him wouldn't harm the mission in Afghanistan, he had one narrow window to convince President Obama he should stay on. He didn't. Here's an excerpt:

"Vice President Joe Biden was the first top administration official to know about the Rolling Stone article. He was flying back from Chicago after a campaign event when Gen. Stanley McChrystal called him on Air Force 2 around 5:30 p.m. to apologize for comments in the article. The vice president had no idea what he was talking about, so the call was brief, and Biden asked his aides to get a copy of the story....

"From the moment the president read the article's opening paragraph ('"How'd I get screwed into going to this dinner?" demands Gen. Stanley McChrystal....'), it was more likely than not that the Afghanistan commander would be sacked. Officials who participated in the discussions say no single passage was fatal to McChrystal. But the opening was really bad...."

Read the entire article at Politico.