CIA Director David Petraeus has submitted his letter of resignation due to an extramarital affair.
The respected military figure stepped down from his post Friday, citing a personal relationship he had with a woman who is not his wife. He has been married to Holly Petraeus for over 37 years.
President Barack Obama accepted his resignation, praised Petraeus for his service to the country.
“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,” Obama said, adding that as CIA director Petraeus “made our country safer and stronger.”
The president further expressed confidence in Acting Director Michael Morell and the CIA to continue on “its essential mission.”
The retired four-star general became the 20th director of the CIA in September 2011 after 37 years of service in the Army. (AP: US military arrived 14 hours after Benghazi attack)
The CIA provided the text of Petraeus’ resignation letter to The Daily Caller:
HEADQUARTERS 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
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
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
Business Insider points out that as the director of the CIA, an affair could have been used as blackmail and been a risk to national security.