News / USA

Petraeus Resigns as CIA Chief Over Extramarital Affair

Resigned CIA Director David Petraeus (Jan 2012 photo)Resigned CIA Director David Petraeus (Jan 2012 photo)
x
Resigned CIA Director David Petraeus (Jan 2012 photo)
Resigned CIA Director David Petraeus (Jan 2012 photo)
VOA News
Retired U.S. General David Petraeus, the man who was credited with helping to turn around the war in Iraq, has resigned as chief of the Central Intelligence Agency, citing an extramarital affair.

Petraeus wrote in a letter to CIA staffers that he submitted his resignation in person to President Barack Obama Thursday. Petraeus writes that he showed "extremely poor judgment" and that such behavior is unacceptable in a leader.

The former general says it has been the greatest of privileges to serve in the CIA, and he thanked its workers for what he called their "extraordinary service."

President Obama says through Petraeus's lifetime of service in the military and as American intelligence chief, he has made the country safer and stronger.

U.S. media reports say the affair was uncovered when the FBI began investigating journalist Paula Broadwell, who wrote a Petraeus biography, for allegedly trying to gain access to classified information and the general's email.

The reports say Broadwell had almost unlimited access to Petraeus in Afghanistan.  But the FBI did not name Broadwell as the woman with whom Petraeus was having an affair.  The general also did not disclose any names.


Making of a Military Leader

The 60-year-old Petraeus joined the military right out of high school when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Petraeus spent 37 years with the U.S. Army, becoming one of the world's best known military leaders before retiring and taking over the CIA last year.

The four-star general was the mastermind of the U.S. troop surge in Iraq under former President George W. Bush and also led a similar surge in Afghanistan.

As the commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq from February 2007 to September 2008, he is widely credited with turning around the Iraq conflict and pulling the country back from the brink of a full-fledged sectarian war.

He assumed command of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan in July of 2010, after overseeing a wider region encompassing Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Yemen for nearly two years as the head of U.S. Central Command.

Appointing Petraeus to the post of CIA director, President Obama called the paratrooper one of the nation's "leading strategic thinkers" and one of the "finest military officers of all time."

Education and Personal Life

Petraeus was born in the eastern state of New York on November 7, 1952. His mother was a librarian and his father a Dutch sea captain.

Petraeus married his wife, Holly Knowlton, the daughter of an Army General, in 1974, two months after graduating from West Point.

About a decade later, he earned a Master's degree in public affairs from Princeton University and later, a doctorate in international relations.

He and his wife have two children, a daughter and a son. Their son also joined the Army and served in Afghanistan, while Holly Petraeus has helped military families through her own work with the Obama administration.

CIA Tenure

Petraeus kept a lower profile in his position as spy chief than he did in the military. But his time at the CIA was tainted recently by questions over the killing of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on September 11. Two of the Americans killed were security officers working for the CIA.

Petraeus was scheduled to testify before lawmakers next week about the incident, which has seen officials arguing over who was responsible for the security breakdown.

ABC News quotes an unnamed U.S. official as saying Petraeus' decision to step down had "absolutely nothing to do with Benghazi." ABC says congressional hearings on the Benghazi incident will continue as planned with CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell testifying in Petraeus' place as acting director.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: danah from: hawaii
November 10, 2012 4:34 PM
It's Paula D. fault. She probably doesn't care about him but want information about him so she used him by letting her body be the bait for him. Her husband shouldn't tolerate this kind of behavior, many fish in the sea and he could do better.

Petraeus probably was paid well to resign also. He got paid well to shut his mouth about Benghazi.

by: Lela from: nm
November 10, 2012 10:51 AM
This is sad ,I feel much sympathy for the families of both partys involved . It wasn't easy for him to come forth and be truthful about something that he knew would end his beloved career and possibly his family relations .We all have to admire his truthfulness , and thank him for his services well rendered , above and beyond services to his country . There is more to this then what we think , and the " other woman " , what role does she have in this ? , Re; whose fault ? .
In Response

by: Ken from: Canada
November 10, 2012 4:34 PM
This issue is all about trust, if Mr. Petraeus cannot be trusted with his own family, then he cannot be trusted with deeper things as with the USA.. His hand was shown on the Holy Bible as well, adultery is a very serious crime, may God forgive him.

by: KARUNA KARA SWAIN from: INDIA
November 09, 2012 10:49 PM
money lost , some thing lost , health lost some thing lost. but if character lost every thing lost.

by: Noma from: Philippines
November 09, 2012 10:25 PM
His alleged extramarital affair is his personal concern hence it is nobody's business. On the other hand, if proven true and somehow jeopardizes his duty as CIA Chief then the government needed to follow certain protocol in order not to endanger the safety of the agency particularly the country. His resignation is expected yet it is way scripted, it is just another tactic of him to gather sympathy. With his credentials, he could do a lot better to clean his mess.

by: Jill from: Los Angeles
November 09, 2012 6:41 PM
The key question is - did David Petraeus have an affair or "An Affair"?

http://mankabros.com/blogs/onmedea/2012/11/09/did-david-petraeus-have-an-affair-or-an-affair/

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More