CIA Director David Petraeus tendered his resignation today after admitting to cheating on his wife of 37 years. Petraeus, who became CIA director in September 2011 after commanding the war in Afghanistan, said he had shown “extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair.”
The news comes just days after presidential election, and weeks after Petraeus drew criticism for his handling of September’s terrorist attacks on the American embassy in Benghazi, Libya. As many have pointed out, his resignation comes just a week before he was due to testify before the House and Senate intelligence committees about his role in the aftermath of the attacks.
Petraeus submitted a letter of resignation, which read in part:
“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,” he said. “This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation.”
While the timing is certainly suspect, the timing could have been much for the Obama administration, had Petraeus announced his resignation before Tuesday’s election.
UPDATE: Slate now says that Petraeus was cheating on his wife with the author of his biography! Paula Broadwell, who wrote “All In,” the biography of the former general, is alleged to be the other woman. The two apparently were known for going on long jogs together, and were very friendly.