Petraeus letter: I showed extremely poor judgment
Petraeus became CIA director in September 2011.
November 9th, 2012
03:19 PM ET

Petraeus letter: I showed extremely poor judgment

Here is the full text of a letter ex-CIA Director David Petraeus sent to colleagues after he submitted his resignation to President Obama:


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

Filed under: CIA
soundoff (342 Responses)
  1. Happy Nemo

    Best luck, man!

    November 10, 2012 at 4:16 am | Report abuse |
  2. Eric in San Diego

    I disagree with the need for his resignation. He is human, this is a personal matter and if opponents were not chomping at the bit to use this as a political football to make Obama look weak, this would be a non-issue.

    I'm disgusted by the "Kenneth Starr" mentality that dictates going for blood on personal human failings when we have so many larger fish to fry. In this case, they beat the Republican pirannahs to the punch. Sad.

    November 10, 2012 at 6:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Lee-Anne

      While I think things can go overboard politically at times, the leader of the CIA with tons of important classified items should not be led by someone who can be blackmailed. That is what it comes down to. It isn't so political. GOP senators also said nice things about him. IT just comes down to trust. Having a security clearance means you can not put yourself into positions where you might be blackmailed. While I doubt he would be blackmailed, he must set the example for the underlings that could easily be blackmailed for cheating on their spouse. If someone can lie to their partner of so many years, doesn't that question his honesty and integrity?

      November 10, 2012 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
    • VinceRN

      If he was VP of marketing at Walmart you would be right. However, he was Director of Central Intelligence. No one so easily compromised can be trusted with that job.

      November 10, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Esprit De Corp

      Those in the Armed Forces are at risk of dishonorable discharge for dating or marrying out of ranks..I think a resignation is well aligned with the integrity and honor he is expected to display!

      November 10, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Splishkid

      Eric: He could be BLACKMAILED!!!!!!!!!

      November 10, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. ME

    OK..SO YOU DID..
    Now folks..can we get to the matters of helping our fellow Americans that are suffering from the most recent Natural Disaster?????

    November 10, 2012 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |
  4. charlie

    He resigned only because he knew he had been discovered. Now his family calls him BETRAYUS. Sad, unfaithful husbands should be shot, not pardoned.

    November 10, 2012 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
    • guest

      Charlie, as a woman I disagree with you. I in NO way condone what he did. He was totally wrong in breaking his marriage vows. But shooting someone over that is just WRONG!!!
      I have never cheated in my life, but I would say things do happen in life that we can't explain. And I don't know how it all happened in this case exactly.
      At least he owned up to his deeds an resigned and didn't lie/deny like Clinton, Edwards, Herman Cain, Weiner and the like.
      I pray his family finds time to heal after this and move on. God forgives and people should too if they can.

      November 10, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Martina

      Hmm... sounds like you speak from personal experience. I feel sorry for you. Bitterness is not pretty.

      November 10, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Brutal Honesty

    Have you seen photos of Mrs. Petraeus and Paula Broadmore? The former makes you think she could help the Redskins upgrade their defensive line, and the latter makes you think she should be hosting "Dancing With The Stars." You can sort of see why a guy would sacrifice his entire career, discard a lifetime of family fidelity, and compromise the security of the free world.

    November 10, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • calla lily

      This is not that simple, about just appearances. If that were the case, 99% of men and women would cheat on their spouses. There's always something much deeper, like receiving attention and adoration.

      November 10, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • R

      YES! This person finally tells it like it is. Excellent comment.

      November 10, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • nelsonleonard

      Really, Brutal Honesty, you have that little self-control that you would throw away everything for a bit of tail? From a photo I saw, his wife was a pretty young thing but is now 60. How will you look when you are 60? How will Paula look when she is 60? I'm sure Paula will be showing more wear and tear than she does at 40.

      November 11, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Name*Tommyboy

    I'd tap her in a New York minute.

    November 10, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  7. Gangnam Dude

    "Yes! All in, General!" says Ms.Paula.

    November 10, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  8. Carney

    The Republicans should have thrown Obama out of office & took control of the dysfuntional country we live in. You would have done Obama & the Cpontry a favor

    November 10, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  9. Carney

    Every move Obama makes he is watched!

    November 10, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  10. Carney

    You didn't have to be President to get re-elected for all the hand outs Obama gave out & put this Country in a Fiscal cliff. Is that what you call LEADERSHIP. The people that voted for him was for Love of Self not for Country!

    November 10, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  11. Carney

    More to it than this!

    November 10, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  12. Michael Simone

    Well, the rumor had to come out eventually. Mr Petraeus is actually a swinger. My wife and I hooked up with Dave and his mistress on a couple occasions. We have a private club here in the greater DC area. He tapped dat bootay on a regular basis! Dave is quite a tiger in da bedroom! Craaazy freak!!

    November 10, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  13. josh rogen

    I would argue that what he did in Benghazi-gate showed "poor" judgment

    November 10, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. oneSTARman

    Anyone who thinks the FBI file on Petraeus' Affair with his Bio Writer was about National Security doesn't remember J. Edgar Hoover and how HE wielded POWER. Petraeus and Obama have NEVER liked each other – but Petraeus liked DRONES more than the Pentagon and Obama was adverse to Nuclear War with Pakistan and Iran. Obama used Petraeus at the CIA as long as he had to – after getting him away from the BUSH Wars of Distraction.
    NOW it is TIME for a New Cabinet and a New Day

    November 10, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. clarke

    Well, he did the right thing, too bad.

    November 10, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
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