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After McChrystal Profile, 'Rolling Stone' Journalist Denied U.S. Army Embed

US commander in Afghanistan General Stan

A Rolling Stone profile of Gen. Stanley McChrystal led to his resignation, then retirement. Jim Watson/AFP hide caption

itoggle caption Jim Watson/AFP

The freelance journalist who penned "The Runaway General," a Rolling Stone profile of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, will not be allowed to embed with U.S. troops in Afghanistan, The Associated Press reported yesterday.

Early this morning, Michael Hastings disputed that characterization on his Twitter page: "to clarify @AP story: the embed had already been approved for september. now it has been disapproved."

According to reporter Anne Gearan, "the rejection came as the Pentagon ramped up an internal investigation into the circumstances behind some of the most salacious material Hastings used in his article in Rolling Stone."

The Army inspector general is interviewing current and former McChrystal aides, The Associated Press has learned.

The inspector general's review began shortly after Rolling Stone published the article that torpedoed McChrystal's three-decade Army career.

The inspector general, an independent investigator, is considering whether officers were insubordinate and how far up the chain of command responsibility for decisions involving the Hastings interviews extended, officials said. Defense officials outlined the investigation on condition of anonymity because it is ongoing and has reached no conclusions.

Hastings has said he "declined to be interviewed and refused to participate in the army's IG investigation."

According to Col. David Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman, "there is no right to embed."

It is a choice made between units and individual reporters, and a key element of an embed is having trust that the individuals are going to abide by the ground rules. So in that instance the command in Afghanistan decided there wasn't the trust requisite and denied this request.

After the piece was published, McChrystal was summoned to Washington, where he resigned from his command, then retired from the Army.

UPDATE at 1:01 p.m. ET: According to a spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Hastings "was denied a future embed as a result of his treatment of ground rules during the Rolling Stone project."

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