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. Critical Thinker

    General Betray-us should be courts-martialed. His adultery obviously occurred while he was on active duty. Crucify him just like an enlisted person would be for adultery.

    November 10, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. What Burns My Bacon

    I just wrote about this on my blog. Now I'm a reporter for a long time and I can't help but think there is something more to this story.

    Isn't it a bit odd that the best man for the job when it comes to dealing with terrorists just happens to resign right before he was called to testify next week on the Libya terrorist attack?

    November 10, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • melena

      maybe it was the lesser of two evils!!!!!! Evil #1, what do you really know about the attack and EVIL#2 your wife, will find out!

      November 10, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Moonshyne

      Yeah so he decided to go along with this "conspiracy" to get out of testifying. He was a ok with this "cover story" that would humiliate and ruin his name..please!! It is what it is! You conspiracy nuts are way off on this one.

      November 11, 2012 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Leif

      Writing a blog does not make you a reporter. The fact that you felt it necessary to identify yourself as a blogging "reporter" only emphasizes the fact that you are not a real reporter. Your opinion is worthless.

      November 11, 2012 at 4:11 am | Report abuse |
    • BigBill

      There is more to this story, but I'd bet that it is not about Benghazi. It's probably personal and something I don't want to know. Given the instincts of the news media, however, I'm afraid we will be made privy to every disappointing detail.

      November 11, 2012 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Writing a "blog" doesn't necessary make you a reporter, it just provides you with the means - at no cost - to offer your opinions. And while some (including many In the GOP who would like to deflect attention away from the shellacking they just took in the election) will try to find a conspiracy in this, it’s just the age old story of an older man and a younger woman, or two as the case may be. As for not being called to testify, CIA director or not, David Petraeus will be call to give evidence.

      November 11, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • BiteMeBarry

      There is and here's my take on it. In DC many Dept Heads like Petraeus have affairs, it's usually OK UNLESS it's with a foreign national. We all remember Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski. So what's different here.

      On Sept 11th the US Consulate and the CIA annex in Benghazi came under attack. The two SEALS/CIA contractors were on the roof of the annex laser targeting a mortar crew for a air or drone strike. You normally only laser target if you know there's inbound assets coming in.

      The air strikes never took place and that mortar crew killed the two SEALS/CIA contractors.

      On Friday a retired CIA agent complained bitterly how other current CIA agents hated Petraeus. CIA agents are professionals and they will only dislike or hate their DCI if he interferes with their ability to do their work or gets them injured or killed.

      FBI counterintelligence normally does not handle threatening emails. This is a cover story to walk back from the first one that they were watching a reporter's email. Because that's not even something they are really supposed to be doing.

      It's far more likely that a Deputy Director at the CIA contacted FBI counterintelligence and blew the whistle on the affair to get Petraeus kicked to the curb. And he did it because Petraeus was the one who gave the STAND DOWN order that got the two SEALS/CIA contractors killed in Benghazi.

      November 11, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • pwinwilliams4439

      l. What Petraeus knew he knew because someone else told him. 2. If he knew it so did other people.
      3. He wasn't forced to resign. Instead of lying and engaging in a cover up that would go and on and
      he decided to resign, get it over with for the sake of his family, and cut his losses. He is still a noble
      man, and this was the noble thing to do. 4. The fact that he resigned doesn't get him off the hook.
      Congress can not only call him, they can compel him to testify, and if he lies the consequences are just
      as serious as they would be if he were still in office.

      If the President of the United States were the manager of the universe we wouldn't need God....and we
      wouldn't need the CIA, the FBI, the military or the Congress. The President of the United States, regardless
      of who he is, relies upon other people for the information he needs to make decision. They, in turn, rely upon
      other people for the information they give him. He can't run the show by himself, and neither can they.

      Some of you people need to think more and comment less.

      November 11, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. melena

    yeah this homegirl knew exactly what she was doing, ruining two families, taking advantage of a man that was lonely, loves his country, a brave soldier, a weak minded man who has zero control over his desires. So now ma sister has a nice book in motion and probably a nice movie, and she is an author, girl was it worth destroying your own marriage another family and a career. My brother Mr. P just did not see this one coming, pardon the pun, too too too late, damage done!

    November 10, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • linus

      yep, ans dont forget the publicity and limelight and million copies the book will sell that she will collect

      November 11, 2012 at 3:44 am | Report abuse |
  4. Planner 922

    IMO his resignation doesn't prevent his testimony. If he thinks it is valuable, I hope he does. But if he does, I hope he makes his private life COMPLETELY off limits for questions unless it has something to do with that night.
    His private life is none of our business.
    But HER HUSBAND is another matter altogether. He should be, if he isn't already under investigation for Treason. He was giving interviews to the NYT in July about things he should not have known as threats for more of her mney? Trash!

    November 10, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jan

      I agree that Petraeus' personal life should be off the boards – but what was he thinking when he sent that internal memo? That made it everyone's business. If he had not sent the memo, a few people would know, but now the whole country knows more than we wanted to know about a man who's done so much for our country.

      November 11, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joe

    Not everything is a conspiracy folks.

    November 10, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. H3MDALL

    He may have quit for the sake of protecting the president from embarrassing disclosures he was bound to make on the Libyan incident. Al Qaeda scored a double coup in Benghazi, knocking over the American chief of intelligence and stalling the career of a US diplomat

    November 10, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jas495

    Yes he should take responsibilty for his actions, but for God's sake why did she have to take everyone down in the process. She is trash and hope she gets exactly what she deserves! Another *itch wanting her 15minutes, now she has destroyed her family and General Petreaus.

    November 11, 2012 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Cathy

      Because this all came to light because she got jealous of other women and sent one harassing emails

      November 11, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  8. bigfoot

    Now, if he is truly honorable, he will do whatever he can to ensure the prosperity of his family and then quitely end his own life.

    November 11, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  9. oldman100

    CORRUPTION is more rampant now in Washington, DC than it has ever been in this country. Thanks for nothing, Barry!

    November 11, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. oakville1958

    Why must we always doubt that there has to be some sort of conspiracy? Couldn't it be, just what we have been told has happened, actually happened. Also, just because he is not with the CIA anymore, does not mean he cannot be called for questioning, during the inquiry. Just by doubting everything, we put so much energy into worrying about something, that really should not be a matter of concern, and instead we could be attending to other things that are of more importance.

    November 11, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Michael

    A very sad ending to a great career. Thank you for your honarable service to this country.

    November 11, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joseph Riddick

    i wasn't aware that having an extramarital affair was a crime at all. Please show me the statute or law that would warrant the F.B.I. to investigate an affair. sending a harrasing email does not violate any federal laws I know about. I wonder what charge the U.S. Justice Department could levy against someone for commiting adultery? Not any federal (or state) laws that I know of. So why would the F.B.I. be ivestegating this at all? It does stink. Reeks of a coverup. My opinion is this is a convenient way for Petraus to not have to testify about Bengahzi.

    November 11, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. CaringFool

    I sincerely hope the halls of congress never see his face. Time for the 5th amendment to be used against the nut bag King and his ilk.

    November 11, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. dscon

    Bill Clinton Esque........
    that means Patty is a lib..............

    November 11, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. illuminated genius

    The man is human, but he did a great service to his country. Petraeus could take a lesson from Bill Clinton on being able to recover from things like this.

    November 11, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14