A sample of the conversation that got him there:

"I'd rather have my ass kicked by a roomful of people than go out to this dinner," McChrystal says.

He pauses a beat.

"Unfortunately," he adds, "no one in this room could do it."

With that, he's out the door.

"Who's he going to dinner with?" I ask one of his aides.

"Some French minister," the aide tells me. "It's fucking gay."

What's really poignant to me about this story is the quickness with which it unfolded. Rollingstone.com published The Runaway General at 10 am yesterday, and The Administration knew of its contents immediately, if not before. By the time the print edition of Rolling Stone hits the stands Friday, anyone who cares will have already learned what they want to know. Also, by the way, Petraeus will replace McChrystal.