On Nov. 9, David Petraeus, retired four-star-Army general, resigned from his position as director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), a move that shocked many and appeared to come out of nowhere. In his resignation letter, Petraeus cited “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.”
The affair came to light after the FBI investigation “discovered 20,000-30,000 emails between Petraeus and Paula Broadwell,” reported CNN. Broadwell had been Petraeus’ biographer, and had worked with the former director for several months and released the book “All In” in January 2012.
Petraeus did not deny the affair when the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) confronted him upon their discovery of the scandal. Petraeus, who gained widespread recognition for commanding U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, posted his resignation almost immediately, according to the Washington Post.
The situation became more complex with the involvement of Jill Kelley. Kelley, a “volunteer military social liaison,” according to CNN, was a close friend to the Petraeus family. After receiving anonymous, threatening emails, Kelley alerted the FBI, who then investigated and discovered that Broadwell was sending the emails. The FBI investigation revealed emails between Broadwell and Petreaus, and, through further investigation, a large amount of emails between Kelly and Marine Gen. John Allen, who succeeded Petraeus to become the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan and was in line to be Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.
Furthermore, worry of a possible security breach is at the center of the controversy with Petraeus and the various other people involved. Petraeus has stated repeatedly that he has not leaked any classified information. Despite his claim, police and the FBI launched an investigation of Broadwell, according to The New York Times. Examining her laptop and Broadwell herself, the FBI concluded that no classified information was discovered or appeared to be leaked.
Congressional leaders have also pressured Petraeus, the CIA and the FBI. Outside of the security breach, questions have been raised as to when the FBI discovered the affair and why Congress was not notified sooner. Rep. Peter King, chairman of the Congressional National Security Committee, in particular, has vocalized his criticism of the situation, saying elements of the story “didn’t add up.”
“I don’t think this is going to affect anything that is going on the ground,” said Jesus Cuevas, former specialist, Army medic and current UTSA student. Having served under Petraeus’ command in the Army for two tours between 2006 and 2010, Cuevas is not worried about the scandal compromising the military in any way. “I think everyone knows what the mission is and how to accomplish it. This [scandal] might have happened, but it’s not going to change what happened and what’s going on,” Cuevas stated.