CIA director quits over affair

Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 3:26 PM
Last updated 6:21 PM
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WASHINGTON — David Petraeus, the retired four-star general who led the U.S. military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, abruptly resigned Friday as director of the CIA after admitting he had an extramarital affair.

The affair was discovered during an FBI investigation, according to officials briefed on the developments. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter. It was unclear what the FBI was investigating or when it became aware of the affair.

The resignation shocked Washington’s intelligence and political communities, bringing a sudden end to the public career of the best-known general of the post-9/11 wars.

Petraeus, who turned 60 on Wednesday, said in a statement to CIA employees that he had asked President Obama on Thursday to allow him to resign and on Friday the president accepted. Petraeus said he had shown “extremely poor judgment” in having the affair.

“Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours,” Petraeus said. He has been married for 38 years to Holly Petraeus, whom he met when he was a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. She was the daughter of the academy superintendent.

Obama said in a statement that the general had provided “extraordinary service to the United States for decades” and had given a lifetime of service that “made our country safer and stronger.” Obama called him “one of the outstanding general officers of his generation.”

The president said CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell would serve as acting director. Morell was the key CIA aide in the White House to President George W. Bush during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“I am completely confident that the CIA will continue to thrive and carry out its essential mission,” Obama said.

The resignation comes at a sensitive time. The administration and the CIA have struggled to defend security and intelligence lapses before the attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three others.

The CIA has come under intense scrutiny for providing the White House and other administration officials with talking points that led them to say the Benghazi attack was a result of a film protest, not a militant terrorist attack. It has become clear that the CIA was aware the attack was distinct from the film protests roiling across other parts of the Muslim world.

Morell rather than Petraeus now is expected to testify at closed congressional briefings next week on the attacks on the consulate in Benghazi.

For the director of the CIA, being engaged in an extramarital affair is considered a serious breach of security and a counterintelligence threat. If a foreign government had learned of the affair, the reasoning goes, Petraeus or the person with whom he was involved could have been blackmailed. Military justice considers conduct such as an extramarital affair to be possible grounds for court-martial.

Holly Petraeus is known for her work helping military families. She joined the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to set up an office dedicated to helping service members with financial issues.

Though Obama made no direct mention of Petraeus’ reason for resigning, he offered his thoughts and prayers to the general and his wife, saying Holly Petraeus had “done so much to help military families through her own work. I wish them the very best at this difficult time.”

Petraeus said in his statement to CIA employees, “Teddy Roosevelt once observed that life’s greatest gift is the opportunity to work hard at work worth doing. I will always treasure my opportunity to have done that with you, and I will always regret the circumstances that brought that work with you to an end.”

The director of national intelligence, James Clapper, said Petraeus’ departure represented “the loss of one of our nation’s most respected public servants. From his long, illustrious Army career to his leadership at the helm of CIA, Dave has redefined what it means to serve and sacrifice for one’s country.”

Former CIA officer Bruce Riedel, now with the Brookings Institution, noted that other directors have “resigned under unpleasant and unflattering circumstances.” Jim Woolsey left “under embarrassing circumstances over the discovery of a KGB mole, and director John Deutch left after putting some classified information on his home computer,” Riedel said

Before Obama brought Petraeus to the CIA, he was credited with salvaging the U.S. war in Iraq.

“His inspirational leadership and his genius were directly responsible - after years of failure - for the success of the surge in Iraq,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Friday.

President George W. Bush sent Petraeus to Iraq in February 2007, at the peak of sectarian violence, to turn things around as head of U.S. forces. He oversaw an influx of 30,000 U.S. troops and moved troops out of big bases so they could work more closely with Iraqi forces scattered throughout Baghdad.

Petraeus’ success was credited with paving the way for the eventual U.S. withdrawal.

After Iraq, Bush made Petraeus commander of U.S. Central Command, overseeing all U.S. military operations in the greater Middle East, including Afghanistan and Pakistan.

When the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, was relieved of duty in June 2010 for comments in a Rolling Stone story, Obama asked Petraeus to take over in Kabul and the general quickly agreed.

In the months that followed, Petraeus helped lead the push to add more U.S. troops to that war and dramatically boost the effort to train Afghan soldiers and police.

House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King, R-N.Y., said he regretted Petraeus’ resignation, calling him “one of America’s most outstanding and distinguished military leaders and a true American patriot.”

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein also regretted the resignation but gave Morell high marks, too.

“I wish President Obama had not accepted this resignation, but I understand and respect the decision,” she said.

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seenitB4
86692
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seenitB4 11/09/12 - 04:36 pm
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1
No one is perfect

I still like the guy myself...

dichotomy
32710
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dichotomy 11/09/12 - 04:40 pm
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Hmmm, had not even heard a

Hmmm, had not even heard a rumor of Petraeus having an affair but it sure is convenient timing since Congress was going to grill him over Benghazi next week. Wonder if Hillary, and Susan Rice will disappear too?

seenitB4
86692
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seenitB4 11/09/12 - 04:53 pm
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No I doubt that dich

Don't see them going away.....& Hillary will probably run for President again....I read today in the AJC that more than 60% of the single women voted for Pres O.......I know some of my Rep friends will dispute that...but facts are facts....these women will more than likely vote for Hill too.....

Gage Creed
17100
Points
Gage Creed 11/09/12 - 04:55 pm
5
3
Monica for Vice-President!

Monica for Vice-President!

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 11/09/12 - 05:16 pm
4
4
Only know of the man through friends

It does not sound like the person they knew at FT. Bragg or Ft. Campbell.

But if he had done this, he knew full well it would be exposed quickly.
Given that the eyes watch the eyes are watched by the Political world. NOTHING can tolerated that could be used as blackmail.

Question becomes. Will Obama try to place one of his Socialist leaning friends in the position?

Fiat_Lux
15342
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Fiat_Lux 11/09/12 - 05:06 pm
3
4
Dichotomy

Can't Congress still call Petraeus to testify? I would assume they could.

It is my dearest hope that what comes to light about the Benghazi massacre nails that sorry Obumpintheroad's hide to the wall.

OpenCurtain
10049
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OpenCurtain 11/09/12 - 05:19 pm
1
3
Fiat_Lux - Congress calling

To answer.
It depends on what the nature of the affair was.
The deal for him to leave may also include immunity (under a national security cover) not to discuss.

CobaltGeorge
157909
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CobaltGeorge 11/09/12 - 05:26 pm
5
3
Question?

How can a President mess up dresses and play with cigars and that is OK, but a great General has an affair has to resign?

Jane18
12332
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Jane18 11/09/12 - 05:44 pm
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3
Another Officer and No Gentleman?

Someone, anyone, please tell me why a man(in this case), who went to West Point, had a very good military career, is a General, holds the office of Director of the CIA, and been married now for 37 years, why would he jeopardize all of that on "something" that could and would destroy all he had worked for and accomplished? I cannot believe he thought he could get away with an affair! Something stinks here, and I believe it"s the "bull" being told to us........................

CobaltGeorge
157909
Points
CobaltGeorge 11/09/12 - 05:59 pm
5
3
Jane, Jane

you are not implying that the new elected SCDK was an accessory to the murdering of good Americans in Benghazi. He has an alibi, he was in Vegas campaigning. Let not down our great King!

seenitB4
86692
Points
seenitB4 11/09/12 - 06:01 pm
3
3
Other sources

Other news are saying there is more to this story.......hinting that it has something to do with Libya.....many in the CIA were involved with that......he may be the fall guy for many......who knows.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 11/09/12 - 06:08 pm
0
0
The next
Unpublished

4 years will show a lot of shenanigans from the prez's crew and himself.

dichotomy
32710
Points
dichotomy 11/09/12 - 06:45 pm
7
3
"he may be the fall guy for

"he may be the fall guy for many"

You betcha. The timing is just TOO coincidental considering the Benghazi testimony next week. The coverup is getting deeper. Obama can't throw Hillary under the bus since he owes Bill. We know why he won't throw Susan Rice under the bus. One white guy down and Leon Panetta probably standing in the door with no parachute.

KSL
128772
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KSL 11/09/12 - 06:54 pm
2
2
There is that gun walking

There is that gun walking thing. The CIA was involved in that.

Willow Bailey
20580
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Willow Bailey 11/09/12 - 07:19 pm
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1
Why you ask, Jane18? Because

Why you ask, Jane18? Because he thought he was smart enough to get away with it.

And if it is a lie, which I do not for one second believe that it is, cancer would have been a kinder excuse for his family.

Jake
32497
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Jake 11/09/12 - 07:22 pm
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0
Speculation

Other than speculation about the timing, I hate to see Gen Petraeus leave. I was initially a critic (wrongly) of the surge and of Gen Petraeus but he proved otherwise. A very good soldier who made a costly mistake. I feel sorry for his wife having to bear the burden of a cheating spouse, I know what it is like. I wish the best for their marriage.

KSL
128772
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KSL 11/09/12 - 07:28 pm
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0
Jake

I agree with you on all points of your post.

Riverman1
83469
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Riverman1 11/09/12 - 07:37 pm
4
2
Clinton??

You've got to be kidding me. President Clinton was a serial fill in the blank and he is a loved and honored person? Does no one see the similarity in this and Clinton's escapade? Denial?

dichotomy
32710
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dichotomy 11/09/12 - 07:36 pm
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2
Well, NBC news just said that

Well, NBC news just said that Petraeus will NOT have to testify next week since he has resigned. Yep, IT'S A COVERUP.

Riverman1
83469
Points
Riverman1 11/09/12 - 07:40 pm
3
1
Let Dianne Sawyer interview

Let Dianne Sawyer interview him about what happened. THAT could be interesting.

Dichotomy, yes, I got that, too.

Willow Bailey
20580
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Willow Bailey 11/09/12 - 07:44 pm
6
2
Clinton is a high profile

Clinton is a high profile charismatic. Petraeus, not.
Even with his terrible lapse of good judgment, I still have respect for him, but absolutely none for Bill Clinton.

Willow Bailey
20580
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Willow Bailey 11/09/12 - 07:48 pm
7
2
It does sound very much like

It does sound very much like a cover up NOW.

Riverman1
83469
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Riverman1 11/09/12 - 07:46 pm
10
2
I don’t mean to get into some

I don’t mean to get into some kind of weird Illuminati rant, but this is so bizarre. Is there some kind of conspiracy with the press to hide wrong doings with the Obama administration? Obama appointed Petraeus to head the CIA. He resigns and nothing links him to Obama and the Libya debacle? He knows all about Libya, but now can’t be questioned? I mean this is all crazy…and transparent, yet the national media doesn’t get IT???

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 11/09/12 - 07:49 pm
5
3
If I were Hillary, I'd be

If I were Hillary, I'd be worried....

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 11/09/12 - 07:53 pm
4
3
How's that transparency thingy working now?

It would be very interesting to keep a journal of every newsworthy event post election. I have a good feeling, no time is going to be wasted without an avalanche of notable circumstances.

CobaltGeorge
157909
Points
CobaltGeorge 11/09/12 - 08:11 pm
4
2
What Is The Big Surprise,

This same kind of cover up has been happening for the past 4 years. This is only going to get worst. So many things in the past has been grounds for Impeachment but never spoken. No way can America survive except in the close minds of some on here and throughout the US.

KSL
128772
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KSL 11/09/12 - 08:12 pm
5
3
Thug

What kind of hold or blackmail does the thug in chief have on other people? And why do people take the heat for him?

If Obama thinks he can get away with this, it proves we are closer to a dictatorship than we could imagine.

Don't forget for one second the words of Vallerie Jarrett. It's payback time. If you aren't with us, you are against us. And it's our turn.

KSL
128772
Points
KSL 11/09/12 - 08:22 pm
4
2
She said that in Chicago

She said that in Chicago right before the election. Obam and the folks around him are truly frightening.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 11/09/12 - 09:22 pm
3
1
Imagine that...

He will not testify. He can, but he has chosen not to. More Obama transparency. Awesome timing for his confession.

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