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CIA Director David Petraeus Resigns, Citing Affair 401

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?

  • 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.

  • 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 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...)

  • by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Friday November 09, 2012 @08:23PM (#41937859) 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 ) <mashikiNO@SPAMgmail.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.

  • 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, Insightful)

    by TWX ( 665546 ) on Friday November 09, 2012 @08:40PM (#41938063)
    To you it might not matter, but to him it certainly did. More insidious, the blackmailer could have simply required him to omit or downplay information being reported to the President or for subordinates in investigations, with no actual lying or outright obstruction necessary. His choice to prevent that is noble, even if the actions that he took that facilitated the situation weren't.
  • 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.

  • by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Friday November 09, 2012 @08:47PM (#41938139)
    No, because too many people don't care that the Administration left an American Ambassador out to die without protection and made no attempt to save him while watching the attack invade American soil in real time.
  • Sometimes shit happens and there's no way to plan for it.

    'Shit' didn't just happen. A pending attack or assassination was a big concern for Ambassador Stevens months beforehand, and his requests for more security went nowhere.

    Past that, there's some concern that Obama failed miserably when Hillary Clinton's legendary '3 am phone call' came.

    Even if you want to say 'shit happens' for the latter, the former is still a good reason to look into the deaths of 4 Americans.

    In any case, your absolute lack of curiosity on the subject makes you every bit the mindless partisan you accuse republicans of being.

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

    by __aaltlg1547 ( 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.

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

    by __aaltlg1547 ( 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.
  • Next time ... (Score:4, Insightful)

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

    ... hire someone with an open marriage.

  • 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.
  • 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.

  • by jamesh ( 87723 ) on Friday November 09, 2012 @09:36PM (#41938593)

    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 you with state secrets. All the enemy has to do is set a few hot babes onto you and you'd cave instantly.

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

    by blade8086 ( 183911 ) on Friday November 09, 2012 @09:41PM (#41938645)

    Right. Because the order of importance goes: POTUS, JSC, DCI and then, immediately after that, nurb432.

    Who gives a crap what you think?

    And its not about whether *you think* it would be a blackmailable incedent - because *you dont care* it IS ONE.

    The point is:

    a) He might not *want* to be outed - and willing to e.g. trade state secrets to prevent it from happening if someone finds out
    b) Since he's broken a critical mega-life-impacting vow (and if he has sincere religious beliefs, had a religious wedding, etc -
            essentially put his desires above all of that as well, making it in effect multiple vows at once), he cannot be trusted
    c) Even if he wouldn't sell state secrets and would let himself be outed, there is no way to know this a priori, because he
            has been proven to be untrustworthy in many levels
    d) Allowing him to continue in the position when a,b,c are known (even in 'secret'/'classified' capacity is a HUGE political liability)

            e.g. Fox News Headline: Barak HUSSAIN obama permits ADULTERER to run CIA. More proof that he is a closet islamist by supporting
            ISLAMIC POLYGAMY and other related crap, etc.

    e) Probably lied about the affair or nature of the relationship with whomever his partner was many times in the course of internal audits ( you do know intellegence professionals are required to register and discuss the nature of relationships with all aquaintences, and are frequently 'checked up on' by other groups of intellegence professionals - e.g. 'compartmentalized security', etc.)

    f) Probably 1000 things I'm not thinking of
    g) He knows all of these things to be true, took vows keeping these in mind, probably thought them over 1000 of times every time he got turned on by women, and STILL DID IT.

    So.. what kind of 'good job' is he actually doing when all of the above is true?

    We're not talking about a gas station attendant, or even a surgeon here.
    We're talking about one of the most powerful people in the world. Literally. He is in charge of information that has a direct impact to your life. No matter where you live in the entire planet.

    Or I just got mega trolled. Thats how stupid your commment is.

  • by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Friday November 09, 2012 @09:52PM (#41938721)

    Oh please, if he had come out and immediately called it a terror attack, you'd accuse him of fearmongering in the run-up to an election.

    He waited until all the facts were in. That's commendable.

    But you know what? Keep banging that drum. Keep trying to get political benefit from the deaths of innocents. While you're at it, keep treating minorities like shit and keep calling rape-babies gifts from god and keep white-knighting for the super-rich. You're just making life easier for the rest of us.

  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday November 09, 2012 @09:53PM (#41938735) Homepage Journal


    "killing a US Ambassador and dragging his body through the streets is a massive incident."
    yes it is. It's so important you should get some facts straight.

    "t. The fact that he requested additional support and was refused"
    the request was for a different embassy.

    " The fact that the same people who should have gotten him more security lied about"
    which has been shown to be wrong over and over again. Ever wonder why Romney didn't harp on about it? Becasue Obama didn't lie.

    " And this event isn't worth discussing?"
    not with people who can't even get the most basic facts about it correct. i.e. YOU.

  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Friday November 09, 2012 @09:59PM (#41938785) Journal

    How did he lie?

    Intelligence reported it as a protest which is exactly how the attack played out. He referred to it as a terror attack 2 days later. Please give it up? I look at is a fishing expedition to help Romney out and out of desperation this is the best the Republicans could find.

    FYI Bush lied on a constant basis and the media did not go after him nearly as much.

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

    by wealthychef ( 584778 ) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:00PM (#41939259)
    It's not the lack of ability to conceal the affair that is a problem, it's the intention to conceal it that is a problem.
  • Re:Job Performance (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tangential ( 266113 ) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:13PM (#41939311) Homepage

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

    It was his biographer. Not an employee or subordinate.
    br Who really cares? His private life is just that...Private. If we have determined that bad judgment disqualifies a person from a leadership position then America is leaderless.

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

    by 1u3hr ( 530656 ) on Saturday November 10, 2012 @12:20AM (#41939707)

    it is a sign of a lack of honor.

    But he was working at the CIA. Honor is only an impediment there.

    And how is this remotely "news for nerds"? Civil servant has an affair?

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 10, 2012 @02:21AM (#41940215)

    Who really cares? His private life is just that...Private.

    What an incredibly naive statement. His private life, as director of the CIA, is NOT as private as that "civilians". There is a very long list of people in sensitive positions that were blackmailed / recruited by foreign intelligence agencies for just this type of sexual impropriety. Doing what he did shows incredibly bad judgment, especially considering his military leadership experience and age.

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