WASHINGTON (AP) — The resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus (peh-TRAY'-uhs) has brought a sudden and unexpected end to the public career of a four-star general who led U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and was thought to be a potential candidate for president.
Petraeus admitted to an extramarital affair in tendering his resignation, which President Barack Obama accepted Friday.
Several U.S. officials with knowledge of the situation say Petraeus carried on the affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell, a reserve Army officer. Two of the officials say the FBI discovered the relationship by monitoring Petraeus' emails, after being alerted Broadwell may have had access to his personal email account.
For the director of the CIA, engaging in an extramarital affair is considered a serious breach of security and a counterintelligence threat. If a foreign government had learned of the affair, the reasoning goes, Petraeus or Broadwell could have been blackmailed or otherwise compromised.
Failure to resign also could create the perception for the rank and file that such behavior is acceptable.
Broadwell wrote "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus" with Vernon Loeb. The book was published in January. Broadwell has not responded to messages seeking comment.
001-v-32-(Sagar Meghani (SAH'-gur meh-GAH'-nee), AP national security correspondent)--David Petraeus was perhaps this generation's best-known general. AP National Security Correspondent Sagar Meghani reports from the Pentagon. (10 Nov 2012)
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021-w-32-(Jackie Quinn, AP correspondent, with Retired Army Colonel Peter Mansoor, Chair of Military History at the Ohio State University)--Those who know former CIA director David Petraeus say they are stunned by his resignation. AP correspondent Jackie Quinn reports. (10 Nov 2012)
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022-w-37-(Jackie Quinn, AP correspondent, with Conrad Crane, director, Army Heritage and Education Center, West Point graduate)--The resignation of CIA director David Petraeus has shocked Washington's intelligence and political communities, along with military professionals who served with the four-star general. AP correspondent Jackie Quinn reports. (10 Nov 2012)
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026-c-15-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent)-"as the CIA"-AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports David Petraeus is acknowledging he showed "extremely poor judgement" in having an affair. (10 Nov 2012)
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019-w-35-(Sagar Meghani (SAH'-gur meh-GAH'-nee), AP national security correspondent, with former Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen and General David Petraeus)--After serving as America's top commander in two wars and then becoming its top spy, David Petraeus enjoyed a stellar public reputation. AP National Security Correspondent Sagar Meghani reports from the Pentagon. (10 Nov 2012)
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GRAPHICSBANK: David Petraeus headshot, as CIA director, with PETRAEUS RESIGNS lettering , partial graphic (9 Nov 2012)
APPHOTO WX106: FILE - This Sept. 6, 2011 file photo shows Holly Knowlton Petraeus holding the family bible as her husband David Petraeus is sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden as CIA Director, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. Petraeus has resigned as director of the CIA after admitting he had an extramarital affair. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File) (6 Sep 2011)
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APPHOTO NY204: FILE - In this July 26, 2008 file photo, U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, then top commander in Iraq, center, walks with, from far left, Iraqi Police Brig. Gen. Mohammed, Iraqi Army Gen. Farhan, a translator,mayor Najim Abdullah Ahmed, and Maj. Mark Read, at a market in Muqdadiyah, about 90 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad in Iraq's volatile Diyala province. Petraeus, the retired four-star general who led the U.S. military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, resigned Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 as director of the CIA after admitting he had an extramarital affair. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File) (26 Jul 2008)
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APPHOTO NY211: FILE - In this May 14, 2004 file photo, then-Maj. Gen. David Petraeus greets old friends before handing over command of the 101st Airborne Division to Maj. Gen. Tom Turner at Fort Campbell, Ky. Petraeus, the retired four-star general who led the U.S. military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, resigned Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 as director of the CIA after admitting he had an extramarital affair. (AP Photo/Christopher Berkey, File) (14 May 2004)
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APPHOTO NCCHN301: In this Jan. 15, 2012 photo, Paula Broadwell, author of the David Petraeus biography "All In," poses for photos in Charlotte, N.C. Petraeus, the retired four-star general renowned for taking charge of the military campaigns in Iraq and then Afghanistan, abruptly resigned Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 as director of the CIA, admitting to an extramarital affair. Petraeus carried on the affair with Broadwell, according to several U.S. officials with knowledge of the situation. (AP Photo/The Charlotte Observer, T. Ortega Gaines) LOCAL TV OUT (WSOC, WBTV, WCNC, WCCB); LOCAL PRINT OUT (CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL, CREATIVE LOAFLING, CHARLOTTE WEEKLY, MECHLENBURG TIMES, CHARLOTTE MAGAZINE, CHARLOTTE PARENTS) LOCAL RADIO OUT (WBT) (15 Jan 2012)
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