CIA director resigns over affair
United States Central Intelligence Agency-CIA director David Petraeus admitting to the extramarital affair has resigned, in a surprise move that shocked the intelligence community just days after President Barack Obama was re-elected.
"After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behaviour is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours," Petraeus said in a letter to colleagues, explaining his decision to step down.
"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," he said.
According to a US official, the FBI had a tip that Petraeus was involved with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, and investigated the alleged affair to determine whether it posed a security risk, “the concern was that he could potentially be blackmailed or put in a vulnerable spot," the official said.
Broadwell spent a year with Petraeus in Afghanistan interviewing him for the book she co-wrote, "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus."
It is not clear whether Broadwell is the woman with whom Petraeus has admitted having an affair.
Other sources close to the CIA director said that the woman involved in the affair was not under Petraeus' command.
“The woman was not a member of the armed forces and not a CIA employee,” they said.
Immediate praise for the man poured in. The president Obama hailed Petraeus' dedication and patriotism, while leaders from both parties said he would be missed.
"By any measure, he was one of the outstanding general officers of his generation, helping our military adapt to new challenges and leading our men and women in uniform through a remarkable period of service in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he helped our nation put those wars on a path to a responsible end," Obama said in a statement.
"As director of the Central Intelligence Agency, he has continued to serve with characteristic intellectual rigor, dedication and patriotism," Obama added.
The president expressed confidence that the CIA will continue to move forward, under the direction of Acting Director Michael Morell.
Morell, a career agency officer, was sworn in as deputy director of the CIA in May 2010. He previously served as associate deputy director and director for intelligence.
Petraeus, 60, had a distinguished 37-year career in the military before joining the CIA, helping turn the tide against insurgents while commanding forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Earning praise from both sides of the political aisle, the retired four-star general took the helm of the CIA in September 2011.