McChrystal Allies Say Reporter Broke Ground Rules Military, Rolling Stone offer differing accounts By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Jun 26, 2010 10:56 AM CDT 24 comments Comments A 2009 file photo of Stanley McChrystal. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File) (Newser) – Stanley McChrystal's allies are pushing back against the notion that he and and his staff made their disparaging remarks on the record and had no qualms about seeing them published. They tell the Washington Post that Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings broke agreed-upon ground rules by quoting them in off-the-record settings. A "senior military official" says all of the article's "salacious quotes" came under such circumstances. The magazine's executive editor calls the allegations "absolutely untrue," insisting that Hastings "abided by all the ground rules in every instance." Another official provides the Post with an email from the magazine's fact-checkers, who don't ask about the sensational stuff. "They don't come close to revealing what ended up in the final article," he says. Still, nobody's denying that McChrystal and crew said what they said, and Joint Chiefs chairman Mike Mullen says the general's tolerance of that atmosphere is grounds for dismissal no matter the context.