Lufkin general gives thoughts on McChrystal

Lt. Gen. Orren Whiddon.
Lt. Gen. Orren Whiddon.

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Jena Johnson - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The news of the general's resignation has ignited conversation of concern in East Texas.

A former Vietnam general who sheds light on the president's ultimate decision.

East Texas native Lt. Gen. Orren Whiddon served in Vietnam. In his 35 years of service, he says he never publicly questioned superiors.

"It is not orderly or a good thing to do to criticize the president of the United States. If this criticism results in deterioration of good and discipline then it can justify someone being relieved for doing that," said Whiddon.

Some say the comments made by McChrystal in Rolling Stone magazine are no more than an exercise of free speech. Whiddon said free speech doesn't apply in the military.

"Simply because freedom of speech might jeopardize the operation or mission the unit is involved in," said Whiddon.

He says the comments highlight insubordination and that is unacceptable in the military.

"If you're criticizing your boss or a soldier that works with you in the open without reservation then your ability to work with that person is automatically jeopardized," said Whiddon.

A cracked relationship, he says, could disrupt the mission in Afghanistan. He understands the president's decision.

"They would jeopardize the ability of the political team in Washington to work effectively with General McChrystal in Afghanistan," said Whiddon.

As Americans watch the general walk out of his position, some fear the change couldn't come at a more critical time in the war.

"To the families who have loved ones in Afghanistan who are concerned about their safety and what impact this will have on their safety and their ability to do their job, I would tell them it would probably not impact them very much," said Whiddon.

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