ONTD Political

CIA Director David Petraeus resigns, cites extramarital affair

3:57 pm - 11/09/2012
CIA Director David Petraeus resigned Friday, citing an extramarital affair and "extremely poor judgment."

As first reported by NBC News and in a letter released to the CIA work force on Friday afternoon, Petraeus disclosed the affair, and wrote: "Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours."

Petraeus told President Obama of his affair and offered his resignation during a meeting on Thursday, a senior official told NBC News. In a phone on Friday, Obama accepted the resignation.

In a letter released to the CIA work force on Friday afternoon, Petraeus disclosed the affair, and wrote: "Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours."

President Obama "graciously accepted my resignation," he wrote.

Petraeus was appointed CIA director in April 2011, replacing Leon Panetta, who moved to the Pentagon to become defense secretary.

Petraeus served as commander of the war in Afghanistan in 2010-2011. Because of that role, he was seen as bringing a “customer’s eye” to the intelligence job. Before that, he served as commander of the U.S. Central Command and as the commanding general of U.S. forces in Iraq.

Multiple sources tell NBC News that Mike Morrell, the deputy CIA director and a longtime CIA officer, would likely be offered the job as acting director but with the understanding that he may be elevated to the job permanently at some point.

That's how George Tenet got the job, first as deputy director in July 1995, then acting director following the resignation of John Deutch in December 1996 and finally as director in July 1997, staying on in the Bush Administration.

Morrell is a longtime CIA analyst and was an eyewitness to two of the most momentous events in recent U.S. history. He was traveling with President George W. Bush on Sept. 11, 2001, as the president's briefer, and was in the Situation Room on May 1, 2011, as deputy CIA Director, when Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden.

Here is the full text of Petraeus' letter:

HEADQUARTERS Central Intelligence Agency
9 November 2012
Yesterday afternoon, I went to the White House and asked the President to be allowed, for personal reasons, to resign from my position as D/CIA. After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation.

As I depart Langley, I want you to know that it has been the greatest of privileges to have served with you, the officers of our Nation's Silent Service, a work force that is truly exceptional in every regard. Indeed, you did extraordinary work on a host of critical missions during my time as director, and I am deeply grateful to you for that.

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.

Thank you for your extraordinary service to our country, and best wishes for continued success in the important endeavors that lie ahead for our country and our Agency.

With admiration and appreciation,
David H. Petraeus


angi_is_altered 9th-Nov-2012 09:17 pm (UTC)
Damn....talk about embarrassing for his family.
kitanabychoice 9th-Nov-2012 09:20 pm (UTC)
I think I am missing some context...? I mean, that seems like a strange thing to resign from your post over.
sihaya09 9th-Nov-2012 09:22 pm (UTC)
That's what I was thinking.
mollywobbles867 9th-Nov-2012 09:23 pm (UTC)
I think it's possible that someone found out or the mistress threatened to tell the press and so he beat them to the punch. I hesitated to tag it with "scandal" since it's rather boring.
alryssa 9th-Nov-2012 10:16 pm (UTC)
No, it's more like the fact that the military, especially when it comes to people with high security clearances, has a VERY firm policy on adultery. It's not just a guideline, it's a matter of national security.

intrikate88 9th-Nov-2012 10:39 pm (UTC)
It's not just high security clearance, I don't think. My former coworker's ex-husband wasn't very high ranking (I don't know specifically what he was) but when she caught him cheating she reported him, got him and his mistress dishonorably discharged, and the divorced him.
bestdaywelived 10th-Nov-2012 01:24 am (UTC)
Good for her! Actions have consequences.
alryssa 10th-Nov-2012 06:45 am (UTC)
Which is why I said 'especially' - it's not limited to those with high security clearance, but it's especially sensitive in those cases.
serendipity_15 10th-Nov-2012 03:05 am (UTC)
But isn't he retired from the military? I thought that only mattered if you were active duty.
alryssa 10th-Nov-2012 06:44 am (UTC)
He's still involved with military and intelligence, which is the reason for the rule in the first place. Either way, he's HUGELY compromised himself and possibly put some national secrets in jeopardy, if the FBI investigation I'm hearing about is true.
anolinde 9th-Nov-2012 09:24 pm (UTC)
Same here.
the_physicist 9th-Nov-2012 09:33 pm (UTC)
i can't be the only one who while trying to answer your question immediately came up with a generic 007 plotline involving 'sexy spies'...?
agentsculder 9th-Nov-2012 09:53 pm (UTC)
I think it has a lot to do with the fact Petraeus' background is the military where adultery is considered a crime, and if you get caught, the very LEAST that will happen to an officer is being forced to resign. He probably feels that it's his duty. I think it's good he has a moral code, but I don't think it's strictly necessary.

A part of me is wondering though: how long did he sit on this? If this story had broken before the election I can imagine the GOP trying to use it to insinuate that Obama has made poor executive decisions by hiring a man who cheated/cheats on his wife.
chaya 9th-Nov-2012 09:56 pm (UTC)
Pretty anyone with a high enough clearance can get fired for something like this - anything that could be used as blackmail material, meaning even if it's something that's solidly in the past it can still get you in trouble. This is a huge part of why the interview process for high clearances is so intense - to make sure that if even if you're a good person, there's nothing in your past that could be used against you.
sfrlz 10th-Nov-2012 01:27 am (UTC)
This. If any of his CIA employees had an affair, they would probably lose their clearance/job, so the same should be expected of him.
belleweather 9th-Nov-2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
I imagine you'd need to hold at least a top secret clearance to be the director of the CIA. Concealing an extra-marital affair would be grounds to revoke your clearance.
fragbert 9th-Nov-2012 10:26 pm (UTC)
The head of the CIA as a potential target for blackmail is a disaster waiting to happen.
shhh_its_s3cr3t 9th-Nov-2012 09:32 pm (UTC)
I think though as a director or a very very sensitive post he resigned because it left a very big point of weakness. I don't think he wanted to be compromised either professionally or personally. It also could be that he's taking the time to work things out on a personal level. I just wish him and most of all his family the best healing from this.
ayarane 9th-Nov-2012 09:33 pm (UTC)

Well, he gets points for honesty and coming forward before it could have been leaked in an uglier context, I suppose. :|
thefathomist 9th-Nov-2012 09:40 pm (UTC)
Also for waiting until the Friday immediately after the election so as not to create a political issue out of it for either Obama or Romney.
klutzy_girl 9th-Nov-2012 09:37 pm (UTC)
Wait, I heard that the affair wasn't true. So which it is?
layweed 9th-Nov-2012 09:43 pm (UTC)
hire meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee aggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh

sorry this comment brought on by extreme FAWEFPO@#@#$)@#$( over not being able to get a fucking government job
belleweather 9th-Nov-2012 10:05 pm (UTC)

Hang in there, bb. It took me 5 years from the initial application to getting hired for my job with the feds. They're slooooooooooooooow.
layweed 9th-Nov-2012 10:08 pm (UTC)
omfgggggggg wat.

It's been 6 months and I haven't had squat from the feds.

State government has been a wee bit more responsive with 2 interviews but no offers.
belleweather 9th-Nov-2012 11:52 pm (UTC)
6-12 months seems like about the usual response time for the feds.

And don't worry too much... the five years was a special program for a very specific job and included all their zillion levels of interviews and background investigations and whatever, and then waiting for there to actually be a job available after they got that far. So most jobs (I think!) aren't THAT bad.
layweed 9th-Nov-2012 11:59 pm (UTC)
I dunno, I would appreciate some feedback on the process so at least I know if I'm still in the running for these jobs. Some of them have been stuck on "Application Received" or "Reviewing Applications" for months now. =\
bestdaywelived 10th-Nov-2012 01:26 am (UTC)
It's nearly impossible to break into government, unless you're ex-military or working in a legal context.
layweed 10th-Nov-2012 02:05 am (UTC)
Idk. I do have a friend who managed to get in after graduating, but I definitely agree that it's nearly impossible to break in unless you have veteran preference or a serious work history and a solid resume.

I'm really hoping something at the Pathways Recent Graduate Program will get me in the door, but so far it hasn't happened.
purplerains 9th-Nov-2012 09:56 pm (UTC)
General Dronestrike will just be replaced with General Dronestrike 2.0.
blondebeaker 9th-Nov-2012 10:11 pm (UTC)
Wow, I wonder if he waited until his daughter (she is a well-ish known healthy living blogger) was married first before resigning.
snoozeen 9th-Nov-2012 10:16 pm (UTC)
I wonder that too. Either way, poor Anne P, poor her brother, and especially poor her mother.
halfshellvenus 9th-Nov-2012 10:17 pm (UTC)
I would much rather have him resign now than sit on it and embarrass the administration for something that was only ever his own fault.

Sad for his family, though.

Overall (tangent!), I'm wondering whether Obama will turn over his assigments much in his second term, or (employees willing) go with the idea that the best people are still the best people. I mean, wouldn't you hate to lose Hillary Clinton after the job she's done? I just hope she wants to stay.
belleweather 9th-Nov-2012 11:53 pm (UTC)
She doesn't, sadly. She's been really clear for the last few years that she was done after his first term. :( x a million. She's been a wonderful secretary.
fishphile 9th-Nov-2012 10:20 pm (UTC)
I'm not big on conspiracies, but I do think the timing is odd for Petraeus to resign. Aren't they about to start digging into the Libya situation?

Anyway, good luck to him, I guess.
effervescent 9th-Nov-2012 10:28 pm (UTC)
There's already rumbling on Twitter about that - people saying that there was no affair, and it's just because of Libya... Someone else is testifying instead of Petraeus now, apparently. :/
fishphile 9th-Nov-2012 10:37 pm (UTC)
Hmm, I do think there was an affair. I just don't think anyone gives a fuck about that and it would be easy to use it as an out.

We'll probably never really know.
teacoat 9th-Nov-2012 11:26 pm (UTC)
I'm not big on conspiracy theories either, but it does seem like the CIA was pretty heavily involved with the Libya incident, and possibly primarily responsible for security at the consulate/compound, so, yeah, I don't know.
blackjedii 10th-Nov-2012 01:01 am (UTC)
FWIW I'm watching MSNBC right now and it sounds like the FBI is investigating his mistress.

I wonder about the conspiracy but it may be as simple as "this is someone who you could have told VERY high-profile information to without clearance and you either get out or we show you the door"
agentsculder 9th-Nov-2012 11:10 pm (UTC)
NBC is reporting that the woman who wrote a biography about Petraeus who he is very "close" to is under investigation by the FBI. The concern being that she was given access to classified material or possibly email. NBC can't confirm that the investigation and his resignation are related, but it sounds like the only thing that may be holding them back is getting additional sources.
fishphile 9th-Nov-2012 11:15 pm (UTC)
Ahh, this makes a lot of sense and goes one step further than "I cheated on my wife".
agentsculder 10th-Nov-2012 01:45 am (UTC)
When Richard Engel said that I was like, "Ohhhhhhh, he really did FUCK up." Cheating on your wife is bad enough in the eyes of the public, but possibly revealing classified stuff is SO much worse.
crossfire 10th-Nov-2012 12:03 am (UTC)
In a phone on Friday, Obama accepted the resignation.

But why was he in a phone? D:
mirhanda 10th-Nov-2012 12:48 am (UTC)
They left out the word "booth." Phone Booth. He is Superman!
illusivevenstar 10th-Nov-2012 01:51 am (UTC)
quick, someone needs to save him!
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