CIA Director David Petraeus has given his resignation to President Obama today, citing having an extra-marital affair.
Petraeus vacated his rank of General in the U.S. Army to take command at the CIA in 2011 following Leon Panetta’s move to the Department of Defense. Petraeus, the architect of the U.S. counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq, had previously been seen as unassailable politically by many on the right and left.
President Obama issued a statement on Petraeus’ resignation, saying, “By any measure, [Petraeus] was one of the outstanding General officers of his generation, helping our military adapt to new challenges, and leading our men and women in uniform through a remarkable period of service in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he helped our nation put those wars on a path to a responsible end.”
“I am completely confident that the CIA will continue to thrive and carry out its essential mission, and I have the utmost confidence in Acting Director Michael Morell and the men and women of the CIA who work every day to keep our nation safe,” the President’s statement continued.
Petraeus’ wife, Holly Petraeus, also serves in the administration at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The abrupt resignation comes days ahead of hearings before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee and House Select Intelligence Committee over the Obama administration’s handling of Benghazi.
The Washington Post reports: “The collapse of the impressive career of CIA Director David H. Petraeus was triggered when a woman with whom he was having an affair sent threatening e-mails to another woman close to him.” That woman has been said to be Paula Broadwell, a former military officer and a Petraeus biographer.