Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Agencies in U.S., Canada Stunned as David Petraeus Quits CIA over Affair

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Agencies in U.S., Canada Stunned as David Petraeus Quits CIA over Affair

Article excerpt

Doer on Petraeus: 'Biggest star in the room'

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WASHINGTON - Intelligence communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border were rocked Friday by news of the unexpected resignation of CIA director David Petraeus over an extra-marital affair.

Petraeus disclosed the affair in a memo to CIA staff on Friday afternoon, telling them "such behaviour is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours."

The dispatch came a day after he reportedly told President Barack Obama of the transgression and offered his resignation. Earlier Friday, the president accepted the offer.

Petraeus, one of America's most revered military leaders, had been head of the CIA for barely a year after serving as the commander of international forces in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011.

Prior to that, he was head of the U.S. Central Command and commanding general of American forces in Iraq.

At the CIA, he replaced Leon Panetta, who moved to the Pentagon to become secretary of defence.

Petraeus, 59, was a highly respected figure in the U.S. capital, and an occasional presence on the city's social scene.

Just last month, the retired four-star general rubbed elbows at the Canadian embassy with Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner and John Goodman at a reception for the release of Affleck's film, "Argo."

The critically acclaimed movie tells the story of how Canadian and American officials -- in particular a daring CIA agent -- schemed to help six diplomats escape Iran during the 1979 hostage crisis.

Ambassador Gary Doer, the host of the soiree, later said Petraeus was "the biggest star in the room."

Petraeus has been married for 37 years. His wife, Holly, also works in the Obama administration as an official with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

His resignation marks a stunningly ignominious end to a storied career, made even more sordid by revelations that the FBI is investigating his biographer for improperly trying to access his email and possibly gaining access to classified information. …

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