Well, it looks as though we’re on the brink of a big sexy government scandal and only three days out of election time. It may have been a sleepy November Friday afternoon, but that’s probably why CIA director David Petraeus took it upon himself to officially resign his from position, telling President Obama that he had strayed from his marriage. And the President accepted his resignation. Never a dull moment.
The BBC reports that Petraeus believes that he should no longer hold his position given how he has failed his family:
“After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extra-marital affair,” Mr Petraeus said in a statement.
“Such behaviour is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organisation such as ours. This afternoon, the president graciously accepted my resignation.”
Petraeus became head of the CIA in 2011 and can be credited with heading up that whole “surge” effort in Iraq as well as performing a counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan. His actual letter that was released to the CIA can be found here.
The President described Petraeus’s career as “extraordinary service to the United States for decades.” CIA deputy director Michael Morell will serve in his place for now. Obama will have to pick a new director who will also need to be given the OK by the Senate. But until then, the President has nothing but kind words for the father of two:
“By any measure, through his lifetime of service David Petraeus has made our country safer and stronger.”
“Going forward, my thoughts and prayers are with Dave and Holly Petraeus, who has done so much to help military families through her own work.”
Despite Petraeus’s newfound honesty, The New York Times states that he has put the CIA in quite the tight spot:
By acknowleding an extramarital affair, Mr. Petraeus, 60, was confronting a sensitive issue for a spy chief. Intelligence agencies are often concerned about the possibility that agents who engage in such behavior could be blackmailed for information.
And an ID on his mistress sure didn’t take long. Slate reports that the CIA director was sleeping with his biographer Paula Broadwell (talk about ego stroking), but that assertion has not been confirmed by her, Petraeus, or The White House:
It had long been rumored that something was going on between Petraeus and Broadwell. Her book, co-written with Vernon Loeb, is widely regarded as a valentine to the general. When she was embedded with him in Afghanistan, they went on frequent 5-mile runs together. But Petraeus went on 5-mile runs with many reporters, and few people who knew him took the rumors seriously. In his personal life, he’s always been seen as a straight shooter, a square. Few could have imagined that his end would come as the result of a morals scandal.
Yet, given that Petraeus was scheduled to testify at the Benghazi hearings next week, that detail complicates his resignation more than a little. Skeptics have already starting speaking out about the legitimacy of his infidelity claim given the convenient timing.
Obviously many more miles to go on this one as we’re only in the beginning of this sexy scandal — and it may not even be about sex.