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. chrisn

    I regard CIA director's decision. He was great liberal-minded guy! My local federal MP Vic Toews (Canadian Parliament) refused to resign as result of scandals including adultery and got an kid, it led divorce. He STILL serves as CAbinet Minister, that conservative PM Harper knew Toews's scandal and kept him as his job since 2008. High-rank job is never easy or facing risks of being suddenly resigning as result of scandals, but canadian politicans don't care about personal matter such as affairs, drunkenness or smoking weed if it's not related to ethnic rules of Ottawa Parliament.

    Unfortunately, US politician spy each and demand anyone to resign. CIA Director made right decision that he resigned for personal reason. It sounds sad!

    November 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. kafrancis

    spread the wealth:

    November 9, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Greg C.

    Payback is hell; wonder if friends of those that died as a result of the President standing down on the request for help during the Benghazi attack was the impetus behind his resignation; someone in the know probably didn't like the fact that the General essentially caved to Obama by not disclosing Obama's negligence in the matter. I suspect someone was about to spill the beans as a form of retribution.

    November 9, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cricket666

      Get a life, Greg C, and move on to better things. The election is over and the best man won.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan Halen

      You are all over the map with your paranoia today. Didn't you get the memo? You all lost. Go crawl back under a rock.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Howard

      Are you nuts? Presupposing your allegation is correct, why would he embarrass his wife with this kind of story? You've got your head so far up your butt about Obama you can't even think straight in 50 words or less.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • gino

      You must have some wonderful inside intelligence to be able to figure out what happened and to find still another way to blame the President for something. Why don't you try to find someone else to hate for a while? The election is over, but hatred and paranoia seem to bloom still.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Of COURSE you know better than anyone when it comes to Benghazi, right?
      Cut your BS speculation, a d just call it what it is: somebody who doesn't want to further disgrace his country after disgracing himself...he did the right thing.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. GJGVT

    what are you yapping about? Petreaus has barely been on TV.

    November 9, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ai

    Yea..yea...hypocrite! Don't cover up you deeds with lofty words now!

    November 9, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jerry Pomeroy

    He did Petray-Us!!!!!

    November 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Chuck

    What does one have to do with the other?

    November 9, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Trex

    another great American becomes falls prey to the evil whisker biscuit.

    November 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. MarK

    Don't know if it was his decision, or he was pressured into it. Either way, if you can betray your wife and family, you can betray your country. Glad he is removed from his official duties.

    November 9, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ADSOG Two

    I have had the privilege to serve under this man; he is one of our Nations best. He has committed a foul one that he finds unacceptable and holds himself to account. How this affects his personal life is between himself and his wife, but for those who may wish to degrade the man I would ask you pause. As I said I have served under this man and would expect nothing less than holding himself to account he is a great leader and it was my privilege to risk my life under his command. I wish him the best and hope that he and his family can find resolution to the trouble they find themselves in.

    November 9, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • yogi

      Everybody read these this post and be quiet!

      November 9, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. gameWwarden

    Come on people, he's not exactly james bond.

    November 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Butch

    The power of the strange continues to go unmatched!

    November 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ryan7777

    Um, the CIA is actually one of the harder orgs to pass a security background check for. Out of all practicality its a good thing he is stepping down having cheated on his wife. Lower level people would have been outright fired. If you can't be faithful to your wife, it calls into question your overall trustworthiness which is imperative for this kind of job. Yes adultery isn't a crime, but lying certainly can be.

    November 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. truth1063

    hmmmm...he was just about to testify to congress on Benghazi-gate – and gets his affair exposed and forced to retire. Chicago style politics anyone?

    November 9, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      What would prevent him from testifying to congress after stepping down?

      November 9, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • ro

      Not everything is a conspiracy.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Wow tinfoil types are just way too funny. You do realize that if Congress needs to subpoena him they still can even if he is no longer the director?

      November 9, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • ctbeckyw

      I wish people would stop speculating on this. Petraeus is one of the most decorated and respected Generals since Eisenhower. What makes him so well respected is that he will take the heat and fallout when he is wrong. He WILL testify before Congress. He resigned because the infidelity opened him up to blackmail with his post at CIA.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zod

      Seriously?! And how would his stepping down keep him from testifying anything? Get a grip!

      November 9, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • yogi

      Conspiracy is for the shallow minds, and you name beginning with truth might be just a little much. Process all the information about Benghazi, and then compare it with what the Bush administration knew ahead of the 9/11 attack and you should feel ashamed of even bringing up your conspiracy ideas.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Nick

    David Petraeus, or as his wife calls him, David Betray-Us.

    November 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
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