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."
John Hudson reports on national security and foreign policy from the Pentagon to Foggy Bottom, the White House to Embassy Row, for The Cable.