David Petraeus, the national-security golden-boy who rose from commander of CENTCOM to head of the CIA (and was often mentioned as a potential future GOP presidential candidate), has reportedly resigned, citing an extramarital affair.
Why an extramarital affair disqualifies you from overseeing the killing civilians at the CIA isn't clear, unless there are extenuating circumstances. A source who knows Petraeus speculated that the affair was somehow particularly compromising: "It was either a foreign national or a reporter. He loves reporters." Of course, if it were with a co-worker that would also make things complicated.
We hear he had a particular fondness for CBS News' Lara Logan: He's rumored to have asked his public affairs officer in Iraq to keep a folder of photographs of her handy on his computer. According to a source familiar with Petraeus, the general was occasionally seen late at night at the public affairs desk, looking through the photos. (No I am not kidding.)
Here's his resignation letter to CIA employees, via NBC News:
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 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
[Image via Getty]