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CIA Director David Petraeus Resigns, Citing Affair 401

Posted by timothy
from the he's-no-clinton dept.
Penurious Penguin writes "After serving as Director of the CIA since September 2011, David Petraeus resigned from his position today, November 9. The retired four-star Army general has cited an extramarital affair as reason for the resignation. Michael Morell will now serve as Acting Director of the CIA."
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CIA Director David Petraeus Resigns, Citing Affair

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  • Job Performance (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Friday November 09, 2012 @08:14PM (#41937731) Homepage Journal

    That is the only thing that should be taken into consideration. As long as it was between consenting adults, an affair is between him, the 'afairee' and his family. As long as it doesn't effect one's job performance its really nobody's business.

    • Re:Job Performance (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 09, 2012 @08:18PM (#41937797)

      and if the affair was with a subordinate in the CIA?

    • Re:Job Performance (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Noughmad (1044096) <miha.cancula@gmail.com> on Friday November 09, 2012 @08:20PM (#41937819) Homepage

      Yes, but not being able to conceal an affair doesn't speak well for his performance as a security agent.

      And in case he voluntarily admitted to it, neither does him having a conscience.

    • Re:Job Performance (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sparx139 (1460489) on Friday November 09, 2012 @08:21PM (#41937831)
      That's assuming that the fallout of this affair isn't going to impact his performance. It could be that the fallout of this and setting things right with his family again could keep him from his duties, or it could be as simple as he sees the role of Director as one that should lead by example, in some way embodying the integrity of the organisation. In that case, he wouldn't consider himself fit for such a role.
      • Re:Job Performance (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Obfuscant (592200) on Friday November 09, 2012 @09:12PM (#41938409)
        I think the work you are looking for is "honor". When one makes vows to someone, and then breaks them, it is a sign of a lack of honor. Resigning is a sign that he has more than most people do.
    • Re:Job Performance (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 09, 2012 @08:22PM (#41937845)

      People working in the inteligence and other sensitive business can't afford to have "secrets", because it could lead them to being blackmailed. Maybe Petraeus decided it was the most ethical thing to do (he would probably insist other members of the staff to resign were they in the same situation...)

      • And that's why J. Edgar Hoover had to resign.....oh wait
      • by hawguy (1600213)

        People working in the inteligence and other sensitive business can't afford to have "secrets", because it could lead them to being blackmailed. Maybe Petraeus decided it was the most ethical thing to do (he would probably insist other members of the staff to resign were they in the same situation...)

        But once he went public with it, it was no longer a "secret", so could not result in blackmail.

        • Re:Job Performance (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Shavano (2541114) on Friday November 09, 2012 @08:56PM (#41938239)
          No, but the fact that he kept secrets from the agency that could have been used to blackmail him means he's a security risk and therefore not of suitable character to work in the CIA. When you work for the CIA or any other government agency that keeps the nation's secrets, you can't keep such secrets from the agency.
    • by sumdumass (711423)

      It was probably more for him to pick up the pieces then anything but there is the threat of someone trying to blackmail him or his spouse or a family member if they knew about the affair and he was trying to keep it secrete.

      Of course this could just be an excuse to not wanting to work under another Obama administration considering the flack the CIA received over the Benghazi attacks.

    • by jmichaelg (148257)

      Except he's agreed to abide by the military code of conduct. So it's not as easy to ignore an affair as it is for a civilian. His rank as general is gone.

      There are several odd things about this. First, the FBI investigation should have happened when he was appointed to head the CIA so why is this coming out now? Did the FBI just get around to doing their background check or has the affair been known for some time? Moreover, since the only forced resignation was his generalship, why did he resign from headin

    • Re:Job Performance (Score:5, Insightful)

      by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Friday November 09, 2012 @08:30PM (#41937941)

      That is the only thing that should be taken into consideration. As long as it was between consenting adults, an affair is between him, the 'afairee' and his family. As long as it doesn't effect one's job performance its really nobody's business.

      Don't know much about the guy, but he seems to be one of the more competent and reliable people on the public scene, and there's one problem with them - they have so much integrity that they resign even for petty reasons where a lesser person would fight tooth and nail to keep his position. Naturally, you end up with a bunch of scumbags, just like in politics.

    • Re:Job Performance (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Culture20 (968837) on Friday November 09, 2012 @08:33PM (#41937987)
      Blackmail. As the head of the CIA, he was right to resign. He probably resigned because someone tried to blackmail him.
    • He could be bribed if he didn't quit or out himself. Didn't have to do both but good for him, I think he's a great patriot.
    • Re:Job Performance (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ghostworks (991012) on Friday November 09, 2012 @08:41PM (#41938069)

      The issue here is his particular job in intelligence. An extramarital affair, heavy drug use, or anything of the like is a job liability (not just a political liability) in public policy because it opens an opportunity for blackmail. That's the first problem. The second problem is that even if nobody finds out, you still have no idea what he's telling his mistress, or when they'll break up and she'll start talking. We can presume that whatever level of commitment she has in the relationship, it's probably not as high an investment as, say, his wife has in their marriage. Eventually, it will end.

      Furthermore, since this whole thing is also supposed to remain a secret, that also minimizes the amount of overt protection he can afford his mistress. (This would be more of an issue, say, during the height of Cold War, when kidnapping an intelligence chief's mistress for interrogation might one day be a tempting enough target for an enemy agency. Still, it's a possibility.) There are a whole slew of operational issues built into the secrecy of this that make mistresses a bad idea for anyone in intel, with the reasons becoming more important the higher up the chain of command you go.

      So now he's come clean. Doesn't that short-circuit the danger of a secret mistress? Sort of, but now you have the inherent personnel problem: it's hard to tell your operational agents about the dangers of secret affairs when you're doing it yourself.

      Then you have the underlying issue of character: if he can't remain loyal to a marriage, why should we assume he can remain loyal to his country. I know that sounds like a leap. It is. But it's still the sort of question that needs to be asked. Secret societies -- even extremely popular ones, like the Masons -- have small secrets like handshakes, passwords, and rituals for a reason: if you can't trust a man with a trivial secret like a handshake, you sure as hell can't trust him with a big, juicy secret. Discipline has to be developed, and lack of discipline anywhere is a bad sign in the long run. Hell, military intelligence frowns on anyone who has more than two drinks per meal as being risky.

    • Re:Job Performance (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Shavano (2541114) on Friday November 09, 2012 @08:50PM (#41938177)

      Not in the CIA. In a position where you carry sensitive information, an affair is a liability for two reasons: (1) the person with whom you're having the affair may be a spy and be working you for information. (2) the existence of the affair can be used to blackmail you.

      Having an affair can therefore cause a person to lose his or her security clearance. It's even worse when it's the head or senior official in the agency because everybody looks to that person as an example. If the DCI's affair is tolerated, everybody else would assume that they could have affairs with impunity and expose the agency to many potential leaks and blackmail situations.

      So in that regard, avoiding affairs and ANY OTHER situation that can potentially compromise security IS job performance.

      Don't imagine Petreus did resigned on his own. His affair was discovered in the course of investigation of a possible security leak. The FBI was investigating and discovered evidence of the affair. Petreus, whatever you may think of him, resigned under pressure if he was not outright fired by President Obama for the security compromising situation.

    • And when china found out about this affair, threatened to tell his wife? Intelligence agents can't have secrets. Affairs, closet homosexuality, drug addictions are all primary ways for foreign governments to blackmail them.
    • by poity (465672)

      Anything embarrassing can be used to blackmail someone, by political opponents and foreign agents alike. He was compromised, and this was the only way to ensure the integrity of the CIA, not just morally, but operationally as well. The latter consideration was likely the more important one.

    • That is the only thing that should be taken into consideration. As long as it was between consenting adults, an affair is between him, the 'afairee' and his family. As long as it doesn't effect one's job performance its really nobody's business.

      Personally, It seems to me that someone with a demonstrable lack of integrity is not suited for the job of the director of the CIA.

    • by vux984 (928602)

      As long as it doesn't effect one's job performance its really nobody's business.

      On the one hand there is the leverage and liability angle that he exposed the organization to.

      One the other hand there is the whole basic integrity issue; which he's just demonstrated he lacks.

      You don't want someone with that kind of character weakness heading the CIA. Period.

    • It's been reported that she had been given the password to his email account, to help her research her book.

      Does that change your opinion?

  • The News For Nerds: (Score:5, Informative)

    by retroworks (652802) on Friday November 09, 2012 @08:17PM (#41937787) Homepage Journal
    SOME guys get to have TWO girlfriends...
    • by Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) on Friday November 09, 2012 @09:12PM (#41938413)

      And some girls get to have two boyfriends. Really, its no big deal, if people were meant to be monogamous we wouldn't need marriage in the first place. I mean of course it served a purpose in the medieval past as regards child protection and so on, but these days its a most peculair institution. If two (or three or four) people love one another they don't need legal contracts to petrify the emotion.

      As for sex, come on. Why do love and sex have to be the same thing? Cats have sex, dogs have sex, animals have sex constantly without ever having to form lifelong bonds. Its an activity, no different to any sport. People should enjoy themselves as they see fit without having to swear fidelity or mutual ownership, jealousy is a poisonous emotion.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jamesh (87723)

      SOME guys get to have TWO girlfriends...

      That's fine, as long as all parties involved are aware of the situation. I guess you were so excited at the prospect of TWO girls that you forgot about that bit. This guy didn't have two girlfriends, he had a wife and a secret lover. There are enough diseases floating around these days that if i was the wronged partner i'd be pretty pissed off on that basis alone, and that's before you bring all the trust issues into it.

      If you would violate the trust of someone you made a marriage vow to, I wouldn't trust y

    • Girlfriend 2.0 can be very expensive if you already have wife 1.0 [infolanka.com], look:

      Wife 1.0 has an undocumented bug. If you try to install Mistress 1.1 before uninstalling Wife 1.0, Wife 1.0 will delete MS-Money files before doing the uninstall itself. Then Mistress 1.1 will refuse to install, claiming insufficient resources.

  • Sounds good. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 09, 2012 @08:19PM (#41937803)

    I wish other department heads would resign for things trice as bad as cheating on their wives.

  • I could care less where he sticks his dick. all i care about is does he get the job done. look at clinton he was getting office nookie and he got the job done anyway.
    • I could care less where he sticks his dick. all i care about is does he get the job done. look at clinton he was getting office nookie and he got the job done anyway.

      Uhm, I don't think it was Clinton who got the job done.

    • I could care less where he sticks his dick.

      So you do care, then?

  • by Dan East (318230) on Friday November 09, 2012 @08:23PM (#41937859) Homepage Journal

    He resigned 5 days prior to the congressional hearing on what transpired at the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and other US personnel. Hillary Clinton took full responsibility for the lack of security, and of course the media let it die out right there and not have any negative repercussions on Obama or his administration in general. The buck stops with Hillary. Or whomever else it can stop at short of Obama.

    • by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki AT gmail DOT com> on Friday November 09, 2012 @08:26PM (#41937897) Homepage

      Doesn't matter, they should subpoena his ass. This doesn't make the information in your head go away, or any less valid. Over all, it seems like the underside of the Benghazi bus is getting pretty crowded with all the people being thrown under it.

      • And this is why he had to resign...the Republicans would have made political hay out of the situation, his past service to our country notwithstanding.
      • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Friday November 09, 2012 @10:13PM (#41938887) Homepage Journal

        Doesn't matter, they should subpoena his ass. This doesn't make the information in your head go away, or any less valid. Over all, it seems like the underside of the Benghazi bus is getting pretty crowded with all the people being thrown under it.

        The Senate Intelligence Committee has already removed him from the schedule. This is how you cover up that the US State Department operation in Benghazi was a cover for a CIA operation (they were watching Libyans smuggle Gadaffi's weaponry to the Syrian rebels).

        You don't talk about inconvenient things [youtube.com] during a Congressional hearing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by DigitAl56K (805623)

      The buck stops with Hillary. Or whomever else it can stop at short of Obama.

      The President stood up during the 2nd Presidential debate, in front of the entire nation, and clearly stated the buck stops with him, and not Hillary Clinton. He made this point very clearly.

      But don't let the very public and easily accessible facts get in the way of your rant.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by macwhizkid (864124)

      He resigned 5 days prior to the congressional hearing on what transpired at the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and other US personnel.

      Oh, for crying out loud. Look, maybe there was a genuine conspiracy relating to the Benghazi attack. Or maybe there wasn't and shit just happens.

      But, if you want to convince anyone else of your case, you have to stop treating every shadow like it's a smoking gun and every government official like they're a co-conspirator until you have real, substantial evidence. That's the way it works: you don't get to claim conspiracy just by randomly picking facts to be a story and hoping some of it pans out.

      If Congress

    • the media let it die out right there

      Yes, I haven't heard anything about this attack. Those darn media, keeping it a secret like that.

    • Hillary Clinton took full responsibility for the lack of security, and of course the media let it die out right there and not have any negative repercussions on Obama or his administration in general.

      No, "the media" did not stop once Queen Hillary claimed responsibility. I heard an awful lot about it after that, and I still do. It isn't the number one most important issue we have, but it did not go away because of some massive conspiracy designed to keep Obama in office, nor has it gone away yet. I think you phrased it wrong and what you meant to say is, "I'm a right-wing extremist and a sore loser who blames everything I don't like on vast, unprovable, vague conspiracies." Sorry if our guy isn't perfec

  • by dbIII (701233) on Friday November 09, 2012 @08:23PM (#41937867)
    Those guys in Washington D.C. cavort like rabbits so what is the real situation? Is he being moved aside to give somebody else a high profile job or was he unfit for the position and only got it in the first place by having a high public profile due to Afganistan?
    A vet from Afganistan I know describes Petraeus as a clown (but won't elaborate unfortunately), anyone have any ideas why?
  • by macwhizkid (864124) on Friday November 09, 2012 @08:36PM (#41938013)

    There are plenty of jobs where you can hold personal secrets without exposing yourself or your subordinates to real danger.

    Being CIA director is not one of them.

  • Sorry, that sounds mean.
    Hey, do you know his definition of 'incomplete'?
    Balls and all!
    Sorry again.
    Thought of that because I heard the alleged affair was with his biographer Paula Broadwell.
    Title of the book coincidentally is "All In".

  • by electron sponge (1758814) on Friday November 09, 2012 @08:58PM (#41938277)

    Petraeus' biographer Paula Broadwell under FBI investigation over access to his email, law enforcement officials say [nbcnews.com]

    Petraeus Resigns Over Affair With Biographer [slate.com]

    He had an affair with his biographer, which apparently began while he was active duty military in Afghanistan. Extramarital affairs are illegal under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. He'll be lucky if the DoD doesn't bring him out of retirement just to take a star off his shoulder.

  • Next time ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PPH (736903) on Friday November 09, 2012 @09:04PM (#41938323)

    ... hire someone with an open marriage.

  • Slashdot: News for _____
  • He should call up Mike Quinn over at Cisco. I heard Mike has a new hobby that he could use some help with. http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/cisco-vp-memo-leaker-finding-you-now-my-hobby [networkworld.com]

  • someone got caught cheating and resigned from a govenment position.
    I'm not sure why this is here.

  • I'm just trying to work out where the IT / news for nerds connection is here?

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