The Cable

Petraeus' statement to CIA staff on his resignation

The following message was released to the CIA workforce this afternoon:

Yesterday afternoon, I went to the White House and asked the President to be allowed, for personal reasons, to resign from my position as D/CIA.  After being married for over 37 years, I showed 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.

As I depart Langley, I want you to know that it has been the greatest of privileges to have served with you, the officers of our Nation's Silent Service, a work force that is truly exceptional in every regard. Indeed, you did extraordinary work on a host of critical missions during my time as director, and I am deeply grateful to you for that.

Teddy Roosevelt once observed that life's greatest gift is the opportunity to work hard at work worth doing. I will always treasure my opportunity to have done that with you and I will always regret the circumstances that brought that work with you to an end.

Thank you for your extraordinary service to our country, and best wishes for continued success in the important endeavors that lie ahead for our country and our Agency.

With admiration and appreciation,

David H. Petraeus

UPDATE: Statement by President Obama on the Resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus

David Petraeus has provided extraordinary service to the United States for decades. By any measure, he was one of the outstanding General officers of his generation, helping our military adapt to new challenges, and leading our men and women in uniform through a remarkable period of service in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he helped our nation put those wars on a path to a responsible end. As Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, he has continued to serve with characteristic intellectual rigor, dedication, and patriotism. By any measure, through his lifetime of service David Petraeus has made our country safer and stronger.

Today, I accepted his resignation as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. I am completely confident that the CIA will continue to thrive and carry out its essential mission, and I have the utmost confidence in Acting Director Michael Morell and the men and women of the CIA who work every day to keep our nation safe. Going forward, my thoughts and prayers are with Dave and Holly Petraeus, who has done so much to help military families through her own work. I wish them the very best at this difficult time.

Statement from Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA):

I very much regret the resignation of David Petraeus as director of the CIA. This is an enormous loss for our nation's intelligence community and for our country.

Director Petraeus is an individual who has devoted nearly 40 years of service to his country, rising through the ranks to become a distinguished four-star general and commander of American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

At CIA, Director Petraeus gave the agency leadership, stature, prestige and credibility both at home and abroad. On a personal level, I found his command of intelligence issues second to none. He was especially cooperative with Congress as we executed our oversight responsibility, and he was responsible for improving American relationships with intelligence agencies in countries around the world.

I wish President Obama had not accepted this resignation, but I understand and respect the decision. David Petraeus is one of America's best and brightest, and all Americans should be grateful for his service. Deputy Director Michael Morell will serve as acting director, so I am confident the agency is in very good hands until the president selects a replacement."

The Cable

Google confirms traffic drop-off in China

Just in time for its once-a-decade leadership handover, the Chinese government appears to have blocked all access to Google and its services, including Gmail, inside China.

According to Google's own online transparency reporting, which provides realtime traffic data for Google sites around the world, a precipitous drop-off of traffic to Google sites began at exactly 5 p.m. China time Nov. 9, and is still ongoing.

The Cable asked Google what was going on and a spokesperson replied simply: "We've checked and there's nothing wrong on our end."

Websites that monitor Internet censorship in China report that attempts to access various Google services inside China right now are met with a redirection to a non-functional IP address.

"The subdomains www.google.com, mail.google.com, google-analytics.com, docs.google.com, drive.google.com, maps.google.com, play.google.com and perhaps many more are all currently DNS poisoned in China. Instead of the real IP addresses, any lookups from China to any of these domains result in the following IP: 59.24.3.173. That IP address is located in Korea and doesn't serve any website at all," reports the site greatfire.org. "This means that none of these websites, including Google Search, currently work in China, unless you have a VPN or other cirumvention [sic] tool."

Chinese netizens have also been grumbling about Google over the past few hours. "What's wrong with the Google browser," wrote one Weibo user in Fujian. "It's been stumbling through just to get an order on Taobao [China's largest e-commerce website]. Not easy..."

"Without Google, I can't access any basic apps. It has the ability to shut down the entire web," wrote another.

Washington Post blogger Max Fisher noted that the move is the second time Google has been blocked in China and is part of an overall set of restrictions imposed this week.

"Is this Web freedom in the Xi Jinping era, which begins this week as the vice president starts a 10-year term leading China?" Fisher wrote. "The state has been clamping down all week for the once-in-a-decade Party Congress, so it's not clear if this is a temporary move or a permanent one. But, either way, China has made clear that, if it ever considered Google beyond blocking, it doesn't anymore."

The last and only other time Google was blocked in China was in 2010 shortly after Google announced it would no longer censor search terms on Google.cn and moved the bulk of its Chinese operations to Hong Kong. That move followed a series of Gmail attacks in 2010, directed at Chinese human rights activists, which were widely suspected to be linked to the Chinese government.

More recently, Google has taken an aggressive approach to helping users combat government cyber censorship, by doing things such as warning Gmail users when Google suspects their accounts are being targeted by state-sponsored attacks and telling users when search terms they enter are likely to be rejected by Chinese government censorship filters.

In a July interview with The Cable, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said that China's "Great Firewall" will eventually crumble and that when the Chinese Internet censorship regime fails, the penetration of information throughout the country will also cause political and social liberalization that will fundamentally change the nature of the Chinese government's relationship to its citizenry.

"I personally believe that you cannot build a modern knowledge society with that kind of behavior, that is my opinion," he said. "I think most people at Google would agree with that. The natural next question is when [will China change], and no one knows the answer to that question. [But] in a long enough time period, do I think that this kind of regime approach will end? I think absolutely."

GOH CHAI HIN/AFP/Getty Images