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. UsedbyDems

    Was the extramarital affair with a man or a woman?

    November 9, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Chuck

    This country is done for,

    November 9, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • rick1948

      If that's what you really think, shouldn't you move? I hear Libya is accepting immigrants.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. fire0bama

    Why didn't Bill Clinton resign after he had multiple affairs?

    Is the "affair" the real reason for Petraeus' resignation? I seriously doubt it. He is gone because of the American death in Libya.

    November 9, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharky

      Ya got it, Libya is the sword of Damocles. Clinton never resigned, Kennedy never resigned, yet Nixon DID resign, but hey NO ONE died in Watergate.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • bantum

      Or MAYBE he's ssick and tired of working for Obummer.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • JoJo

      Sharky: GW Bush never resigned either. He unnecessarily killed at least a hundred thousand in the trillion dollar Iraq holocaust, including 4000 of our own.

      November 9, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dude

    An extramarital affair is a betrayal of one's spouse and family. Thus, it is an indicator of character and trustworthiness. To the extent that the General wants to keep it private, it opens him up to blackmail. In addition, his paramour may be a foreign agent and may have an agenda aimed at eliciting the disclosure of secrets or influencing his policy judgment. It is also distasteful conduct that is unbecoming of an officer or senior government official. While I am disappointed in the moral lapse, I applaud the General for addressing the issue, recognizing it for what it is, disclosing it in a forthright manner, and stepping aside. In doing so, he is probably showing more character than most bureaucrats and elected officials in Washington, D.C.

    November 9, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • josh

      Perfectly stated.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • beth

      He's right. I used to know someone in military intelligence and even a HINT that he'd committed adultery would mean he'd lose his security clearance. The military views it as a lack of judgement. I might not agree with them that is the way they normally handle it.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharky

      And yet Clinton is STILL revered around the country. Fancy that one.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • gdt.johnson

      thank you very much for a refreshing, concise, dose of reason.

      November 10, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Louiethelooper

    This is good old dirty Republicans tactics. They told Petraeus to point fingers and blame OB on Benghazi, or else we'll leak to the press about your extramarital affair. Petraeus beat them to the punch by resigning and now congress won't call on him.

    Good old Republican blackmail at work!

    November 9, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee-Anne

      Then how would you explain that he is still going to testify?

      November 9, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • VinceRN

      The point you are missing is that's why you don't put a guy like Patreus in that job. You don;t want a director of the CIA that can be compromised that easily.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharky

      Doesn't the buck STOP with the President? Obama repeatedly, along with Biden, touted that Al Qaeda was dead, or on the run or weakened, etc etc etc, terrorist attack happens, killing 4 Americans in a country Obama was determined to take out that head of country, Qaddafi. Obama NEVER calls it a terrorist attack, he blames a video, has all his people blame a video, and it now shows the video was NOT the culprit. Repeatedly the Consulate in Libya sent out pleas and helps and needs of protection, well before the final attack and what did Obama do? NOTHING, why because it would destroy his narrative about Al Qaeda.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharky


      Actually he will not be testifying. The new acting director of CIA will be instead. Amazing all this info coming out now. At least in Watergate NO ONE died.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • DogHaus

      Then why didn't he do it before the election?

      November 9, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • bantum

      And you know this how??????????

      November 9, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. PCmaineman

    After spending most of his life away, He most likely found dinner with his bride difficult.
    Maybe The Donald can help him out! He has over 2m tweeter fans that will mourn the generals short comings.
    Imagine How many open exec positions that would be available if Honesty were ever to prevail on wall st.

    November 9, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Olaf Big

    Who cares? We had a great president who in his off time got a BJ in the White House! Petraeus was not a priest. He was a CIA director, and surely could do his job, but politics is politics and the President did not want such a distraction in the transition time.

    November 9, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. fstaff

    At least the pres knows all about extremely poor judgment.

    November 9, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. VinceRN

    Handing out the directorship of the CIA as a political reward is just insane.

    November 9, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lee Alderman

    Hilarious comments: "He will be testifying." "Take off the tin foil hat; he WILL be testifying." "Why would his resignation stop him from testifying? He will testify."

    I wish there was some sort of repercussion for being wrong on the Internet; like maybe an electrical shock.

    November 9, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. kalesh

    Odd. The man that saved Iraq...quites after the election??? There is more to this story....

    November 9, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. oldsoldier

    He just remembered and elected to live by the old West Point honor code: "A cadet will not lie, cheat or tolerate anyone who does" and did the honorable thing. As any good officer should.

    November 9, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. kalesh


    November 9, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. DrastikMeasurz

    Ever since Clinton these pimps confess. They are always Liberals. So Hot as Paris would say!

    November 9, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • rlr1

      He's a LIBERAL? Could have fooled me.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Clearly only liberals cheat

      November 9, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mlr

    probably making room for someone obama owes for stealing the election... powell perhaps taking defense, and pinetta moving back to his role... good riddance petraeus... you were great at one time, and then you followed hillary and obama's lead and started negotiating with the enemy... you forgot your men, and paid more attention to your wallet... so good riddance...

    November 9, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
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