General Petraeus resigned today over an extra-marital affair. CIA agents are warned against having affairs because it leaves them vulnerable to blackmail.
Petraeus said the following about his resignation:
“After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extra-marital affair. Such behaviour is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organisation such as ours.”
He met his wife Holly as a West Point cadet and while her father was the Superintendent.
The timing of this, five days before his Benghazi testimony and after the election, is interesting. He said his resignation had nothing to do with Libya and he was not pressured to resign.
He will not testify before Congress about Benghazi since he is no longer an employee. He had to be subpoenaed to testify and was not doing so voluntarily.
I don’t know why he doesn’t testify to confirm his statements and the timeline he put out. If he is being truthful, why is it a problem? Why was this held until after the election?
Last week, the WSJ said he was asleep at the switch during the Benghazi attack. There was pressure on him over Benghazi, perhaps only from the WSJ and Fox News, but there was pressure.
Benghazi might have been a CIA operation. Some reports claim the U.S. was supplying arms to Syrian rebels. Business Insider said that, in the least, the CIA and Ambassador Stevens were aware of weaponry moving from Benghazi to Syrian rebels (the rebels are infiltrated with al-Qaida).
“The U.S. effort in Benghazi was at its heart a CIA operation,” officials briefed on intelligence told the Wall Street Journal, and there’s evidence that U.S. agents—particularly murdered U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens—were at least aware of heavy weapons moving from Libya to Syrian rebels.
WSJ reports that the State Department presence in Benghazi “provided diplomatic cover” for the previously hidden CIA mission, which involved finding and repurchasing heavy weaponry looted from Libyan government arsenals. These weapons are presumably from Muammar Gaddafi’s stock of about 20,000 portable heat-seeking missiles, the bulk of which were SA-7 surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles.
What’s odd is that a Libyan ship—which reportedly weighed 400 tons and included SA-7s—docked in southern Turkey on Sept. 6 and its cargo ended up in the hands of Syrian rebels. The man who organized that shipment, Tripoli Military Council head Abdelhakim Belhadj, worked directly with Stevens during the Libyan revolution.
Stevens’ last meeting on Sept. 11 was with Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin, and a source told Fox News that Stevens was in Benghazi “to negotiate a weapons transfer in an effort to get SA-7 missiles out of the hands of Libya-based extremists.”
It is really tragic that this happened. General Petraeus enjoyed his job. He was particularly enthralled with the Utah spy center. He was a great general who cared about his men. His exceptional feats are not erased by an extra-marital affair but we do need to hear from him about Benghazi.
He can still be subpoenaed and should be though the president will undoubtedly invoke executive privilege.
Another interesting piece of information is that General Petraeus’ biographer, Paula Broadwell, is under investigation by the FBI for possibly having access to his classified emails:
Ms. Broadwell has been cited as the woman with whom he had an affair.
There is not enough information at this time to say much more. It might explain General Petraeus’ behavior in the Benghazi aftermath. We need to know more but that might never happen.
More information from the Guardian UK
“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 workforce 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.”
He added: “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.”
Obama issued a statement praising Petraeus for what it called “extraordinary service” to the US 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 Afghanistan, where he helped our nation put those wars on a path to a responsible end,” the president’s statement said.
“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.”
Obama added: “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.”
Eric Holder and Hillary Clinton are also leaving their positions.