General Petraeus Heads Out to the Pineapple Fields

Multiple news outlets are reporting that General Petraeus just resigned as Director of CIA because of an extramarital affair.

Update, From his statement:

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.

[snip]

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.

 

Also note that people are reporting the affair was with an Elizabeth Warren aide.

 

[See below]

Here’s Obama’s statement. Note he doesn’t say it was about an affair.

David Petraeus has provided extraordinary service to the United States for decades. By any measure, he 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. As Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, he has continued to serve with characteristic intellectual rigor, dedication, and patriotism. By any measure, through his lifetime of service David Petraeus has made our country safer and stronger.

Today, I accepted his resignation as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. 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. Going forward, my thoughts and prayers are with Dave and Holly Petraeus, who has done so much to help military families through her own work. I wish them the very best at this difficult time.

Both Jason Leopold and Tim Shorrock have tweeted what Petraeus said when Kiriakou pleaded guilty:

Oaths do matter & there are indeed consequences for those who believe they are above the laws.

Multiple sources are now confirming what was my first guess: Petraeus’ affair was with Paula Broadwell, his biographer. She posted this list of Petraeus’ list of rules to live by Monday.

We all will make mistakes. The key is to recognize them and admit them, to learn from them, and to take off the rear­ view mirrors—drive on and avoid making them again.

Here’s a picture of the happy couple.

Update: Here’s Broadwell on TDS earlier this year. With lots of now double-entendres. “Did you pinch him?”

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

62 replies
  1. Scarecrow says:

    So, I wonder how long the head of a huge intelligence agency managed to keep a compromising personal matter secret.

  2. Commode Flush says:

    that run for the 2016 prez position just went down the crapper!!! LOLOLOL

    HILLARY in 2016 !!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. eCAHNomics says:

    I want to know what the real story is. He’s not resigning bc of an affair, I’ll betcha. Something much darker. I haven’t any clue, or rather I have a gagillion clues, but no reason to pick one over any other.

  4. bmaz says:

    Apparently, contra Adm. Fox Fallon, Patraeus has been doing MUCH more than kissing asses. Who’d a thunk it?

  5. phred says:

    @Scarecrow: Given the rumor of his paramour being a Warren aide, I would venture to guess not long. Also, the odds of competing spy agencies, or even allied spy agencies, missing the head of CIA getting up to a bit of hanky panky is zero. So I’m guessing someone discreetly pointed out his staggering stupidity to him and suggested the time was ripe for looking for new career challenges. Couldn’t happen to a nicer spook.

  6. rg says:

    Can’t help but wonder if Warren knew (or now thinks about) the director if the cia had (having)his nose inside her campaign tent. Welcome to the big top, Ms Warren.

  7. Mauimom says:

    Okay, I’ll go ahead and be rude/politically incorrect: Petraeus’ wife looks like she’s come directly from Central Casting to play the “husband left her for a younger, hotter woman” role.

  8. eCAHNomics says:

    Presstv on its news summary said (and I quote): “His [Petreaus’s] deputy, Michael Morell, will now be in charge of affairs.”

  9. jo6pac says:

    Maybe State knew of this and got tired of taking the fall for cia failures. Just saying, pay backs are a good think. Oh another repug practicing family values;)

  10. Teddy says:

    Maybe now my mom’s house in McLean will sell, without his three helicopters traveling overhead at all hours of the day and night. Prick.

  11. Teddy says:

    I wonder if he would have resigned had Scott Brown been re-elected. I mean, did this resignation depend on the results in Massachusetts?

  12. GKJames says:

    @ Commode Flush: My hunch is the opposite. Petraeus has long been rumored to be interested in elected office. Now that Republicans are focused on 2016, the disclosure pre-empts this being an issue three years from now, and the resignation lets him focus on mobilizing support in the party as well as among the public. And keep in mind that the Right is selective in its moralizing.

  13. Jim White says:

    It’s really something that this would come out exactly a week to day after the Scott Shane blowjob at New York Times where he claimed that Petraeus and Obama were now best buddies and all the previous tension between them was gone. Looks like there’s been maneuvering over this for some time.

    http://www.emptywheel.net/2012/11/02/nyt-kisses-david-petraeus-boo-boos-to-make-them-better/

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/03/world/africa/petraeuss-lower-profile-at-cia-leaves-void-in-benghazi-furor.html?pagewanted=all

  14. pdaly says:

    Does this mean Petraeus will have to cube his own pineapple now?

    Has anyone asked Kiriakou for a statement about Petraeus’ betrayal?
    At least Kiriakou was trying to bring war crimes to light in breaking his oath. By contrast Petraeus aimed for a lower objective in breaking his oath.

  15. Teddy says:

    The woman with whom Gen. David Petraeus was having an affair is Paula Broadwell, the author of a recent hagiographic book about him, All In: The Education of General David Petraeus.

    from Slate

  16. 1970cs says:

    “CBS News has learned that for the last few months the FBI has been investigating the communications of Petraeus. Law enforcement sources tell CBS News’ Bob Orr that there was concern about emails the CIA director was sending and receiving involving a female journalist. Additional sources tell CBS News the communications involve his biographer, Paula Broadwell.

    A Justice Department official tells CBS News that Petraeus’ name surfaced while the FBI was undertaking a separate investigation into whether Petraeus’ computer might have been compromised.”

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57547958/cia-director-david-petraeus-resigns/?tag=AverageHero

  17. CTuttle says:

    @P J Evans: Naturally, the sheer irony is lost on the Reich-wingers, in that he would still be required to testify to the already ‘closed’ Senate hearing…! Which almost surely will be canceled/postponed, but, certainly not for the reasons they’re screeching over…! ;-)

  18. CTuttle says:

    Btw, Don’t you find it curious that Sen. DiFi had this to say: “I wish President Obama had not accepted this resignation, but I understand and respect the decision.”

    Is her Hubby’s war mongering ways coming to light…?

  19. joanneleon says:

    Tangled webs have been woven…

    I just hope they don’t give John Brennan the job. I guess he already has too good a gig though, and head of the CIA would require confirmation.

  20. Jeff Kaye says:

    @joanneleon: Hm. Good point. But then it took Gates a few tries, so there is precedent. I don’t think the liberals have it in them to fight a Brennan nomination — not that I predict Brennan will be nominated.

  21. emptywheel says:

    @Brindle: Timing doesn’t add up. Per the stories, the affair would have been over at that point. Plus, DCI doesn’t exactly lead a “project.”

  22. prostratedragon says:

    @1970cs:

    Oh, geez! (ibid)

    In explaining why the FBI would be investigating the communications of the CIA director, CBS News’ John Miller reported that what is more likely is that that the communications of someone else– possibly in a foreign country that are now touching the C.I.A. director’s communications– would rise to their attention. What happens here is they’re looking at these messages that seem to be cryptic in nature and raises the question, “Who is this person?” “What are these communications about?” “Why are they cryptic?”

    Says that Broadwell (There is no name in this matter that doesn’t scream something, is there?) is a doctoral candidate at King’s College over in the Merry Old.

  23. orionat says:

    @Scarecrow:enti
    g on tje weblog world.

    best wishes, scarecrow!!!.

    your captaincy of the coverage of the fukishima nuclear disaster for fdl was, in my view, the single
    most educational and moment-by-moment informational series i have ever read and participated in commenting on in nearly a decade of weblog commentary.

    yours was pulitzer prize quality editing/leadership!!!

  24. x174 says:

    the timing of the (oh how convenient!) extramarital affair is telling.

    less than 24 hrs after obama was re-elected.
    less than a week before he was to testify about Benghazi.
    sounds like obomber’s cleaning house.

    wonder if petraeus will still get his full pension and how Paula Broadwell’s book will do with all of this advertising?

    what i want to know is how much longer till hillary’s gone?

  25. Jim White says:

    Going back one more time to the Scott Shane blowjob in the NYTimes from last week, this paragraph stands out a bit to me now:

    Inside the agency, some subordinates say, he has largely defused the skepticism that initially greeted a celebrity general whose stated views of progress in the war in Afghanistan, among other things, were far rosier than those of C.I.A. analysts. But by comparison with Mr. Panetta, who wooed the work force and often did not question operational details, Mr. Petraeus is a demanding boss who does not hesitate to order substandard work redone or details of plans adjusted.

    That bit can be taken two different ways. It can be, as it reads on the surface, that Petraeus was already getting good enough at his job that he could detect substandard work and send it back to be redone. But it also could be more in line with what the Counterterrorism Center was doing when it ordered so many waterboarding sessions because the prisoners weren’t yet saying what we “knew” they should say. In other words, if field people weren’t telling him what he wanted to hear, did he send them back to change their reports? And is that why Petraeus kept telling Obama and Congress the Benghazi attack was over the film even when field folks had told him several days earlier that it was a planned terrorist action?

  26. scribe says:

    @prostratedragon: One should assume that all electronic communications to and from the CIA director would be monitored by FBI counterintelligence officers. The DCIA would not necessarily be emailing about particular projects, but the FBI would be duty bound to make sure he wasn’t being blackmailed or selling the country out (at a minimum).

  27. DonS says:

    In Jon Stewart’s Jan ’12 segment with Broadwell, you could almost read his thoughts that how could she not be boinking the great general? And the he gave a stroke to her “integrity” for not speculating on Betraeus’ presidential aspirations.

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