CIA Director David Petraeus Resigns, Cites Extramarital Affair


David Petraeus is stepping down as director of the CIA. In his letter, which he submitted to President Barack Obama, he attributed his resignation to an extramarital affair.

“After being married for over 37 years I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair,” Petraeus said in the letter. “Such behavior is unacceptable both as a husband and as a leader of an organization such as ours.”

Petraeus, a four-star retired general, took over as head of the CIA in September 2011. Previously, he was commander of U.S. and allied forces in Iraq and Afghanistan — and served in the military for 37 years.

In a statement, Obama lauded Petraeus’ service, calling him “one of the outstanding General officers of his generation” who “has made our country safer and stronger.”

Multiple sources told 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.”

The full resignation letter, via NBC News:

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

MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell‘s report on the news, below:

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