President Obama accepted the resignation this afternoon. Petraeus issued a short statement:
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
Of course an extramarital affair is a legitimate reason for a leader in the intelligence community to step down but this comes at a time of incredible tension both within the intelligence community and between the various players involved in the Benghazi incident.
This was not just an affair. There are politics behind his firing.
— joshuafoust (@joshuafoust) November 9, 2012
— Robert Caruso (@robertcaruso) November 9, 2012
— DCGomez (@AllThingsHLS) November 9, 2012
Fmr. CIA Director Petraeus will no longer testify at next week’s Senate Intelligence committee hearing on Benghazi.
— margaret brennan (@margbrennan) November 9, 2012
So is there more to this story? You bet. But the details will likely fall short of the elaborate conspiracy theories that are flooding social media at the moment. Well, that’s a given. Much more will follow as the media searches for the story behind the story.
Once again we’ll be watching to see how the balance of power shakes out within the intelligence community, how the defense intelligence establishment responds (there’s blood in the water…), and where the agency goes from here. At this moment there is only uncertainty.
I’ve modified the Petraeus Monitor at Covert Contact to track this event. I have also added a monitor for Acting Director Michael Morell highly recommend it if you want to watch this story play out in real-time over the next few weeks.