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Friday, November 9, 2012

Saint Petraeus Resigns as CIA Chief

UPDATE #2  Richard Engel on MSNBC just now says FBI looking at Paula Broadwell (left), for some reason, as someone "close to Petraeus"--wrote flattering book about him, All In,  and "ran with him."  She's at Harvard now.  Also, she's a former West Pointer and Army officer.  David Ignatius then said much the same thing.  Says timing may have led to today's resignation.  Here's clip of Broadwell on "The Daily Show" not long ago.  And here on "Charlie Rose."  Some news outlet saying flatly that she is "the other woman," others are not.  She is married and has two kids, in any case. 

UPDATE  #1 Best early piece on Petraeus exit with great analysis and speculation here from the estimable Amy Davidson at The New Yorker.  She raises a dozen questions, from policy to borderline gossip, all in context of the general being "overpraised" for so long.  The "so smart man" as dumb ass.  Or: "Was someone trying to destroy him? Did it involve a subordinate—and what was the timing, and did it extend to his tenure as an Army general; did it involve his command?"

Earlier:  MSNBC reports Gen. David Petraeus has quit as CIA chief--due to extramarital affair.   One can't help recalling his most famous quote about Iraq early on: "Tell me how this ends."  Given the fawning over him for years, I'd guess Petraeus's affair was with a journo, not a a Mata Hari.

Fox, in any case, already claiming some kind of link and cover-up.  Petraeus was to testify on Libya next week. And see my piece on his link to a high-ranking suicide in Iraq.

Now: Cue the "Banghazi" jokes.  My own:  One surge that got out of hand.  They are changing name of Stuxnet to Studnet.  Petraeus had to quit because he was shielding Nick Brody.   I am leaking name of Valerie Plame for new CIA chief.  And so on.

NBC's Andrea Mitchell said the resignation was submitted in a letter dated Friday and was accepted by the White House.  "Petraeus noted that he had been married for 37 years and had exercised 'extremely poor judgment' in conducting an extramarital affair.'"  Wonder if affair was with a doting journalist?  His wife Holly is a fairly prominent figure in D.C. herself, in a high post at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and has worked with both Michelle Obama and Elizabeth Warren.

His resignation letter:

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

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