From CNN Staff
In a rare public appearance since admitting to an extramarital affair, David Petraeus apologized Tuesday night for the scandal that led to his resignation as head of the CIA last year.
Petraeus, a retired four-star general, has stayed out of the limelight since the affair was revealed in November.
"Please allow me to begin my remarks this evening by reiterating how deeply I regret and apologize for the circumstances that led to my resignation from the CIA and caused such pain for my family, friends and supporters," Petraeus told a crowd gathered at a Los Angeles hotel ballroom. "I am also keenly aware that the reason for my recent journey was my own doing."
His comments came at an annual University of Southern California dinner to honor the military. It was one of the fist major public appearance since the scandal derailed the illustrious career of the decorated Army general.
Petraeus, who once ran the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, resigned from his CIA post in November.FULL STORY
By Larry Shaughnessy
"You've got to be kidding me."
That's how Secretary of Defense and former CIA Director Leon Panetta first responded when asked about David Petraeus's sudden and unceremonial departure from the CIA.
The question was asked during an event Tuesday at the National Press Club.
"As the former head of the CIA, please explain why Gen. Petraeus was forced to resign, rather than a lesser punishment," an unidentified audience member asked.
By Suzanne Kelly
In the aftermath of the affair that led to the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus, his biographer and paramour Paula Broadwell has remained publicly silent, turning instead to family and friends as she tries to assess just how news of the affair might impact her future.
"It's been hard for her family and her to see the picture that's being painted of her," says Broadwell's brother, Steve Kranz, a Washington-based attorney. "Her real focus is her family and her husband and her boys and trying to restore the trust she had with her husband and trying to protect her children from the publicity."
After weeks of media portrayals that have ranged from spurned lover to obsessed stalker, both family and friends of Broadwell have begun to present a fuller picture of her as she grapples with the shock of her affair being thrust into the public spotlight. Part of that outreach included providing photos from the family collection, given first to CNN, of Broadwell with her family and in Afghanistan.
"She's trying to live as normal a life as possible, but there are moments of realizing all that has happened," says a source close to Broadwell who asked not to be identified.
Early on, Broadwell began quietly returning emails from well-wishing friends, but she hasn't done much beyond that, according to sources who have said she is very focused on how the news has affected loved ones. But that strategy appears to be shifting somewhat with the hiring of a Washington-based public affairs group and friends who have known Broadwell for years now going public to combat images of her that they feel are unfair. FULL POST
Americans are giving the White House low marks for how it's handled the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and the resignation of former CIA Director David Petraeus, according to a new national survey.
But according to a CNN/ORC International poll released Tuesday, a majority of the public doesn't believe the Obama administration intentionally tried to mislead Americans on the September attack that left the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans dead. And the survey also indicates a plurality have a positive opinion of Petraeus and are divided on whether the former top U.S. should have resigned as CIA director after acknowledging an extra-marital affair.FULL STORY
South Korea is stripping the title of "honorary consul" from Jill Kelley, the Florida socialite embroiled in the scandal that brought down CIA Director David Petraeus, a South Korean official said Monday.
Kelley will lose that designation after a New York businessman accused her of trying to use the honorary title to solicit business, Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Kyou-hyun told the semi-official South Korean news agency Yonhap.
"It's not suitable to the status of honorary consul that (she) sought to be involved in commercial projects and peddle influence. It's also inappropriate as honorary consul," Yonhap quoted Kim as telling South Korean reporters during a visit to Washington.FULL STORY
By Jennifer Rizzo, with reporting from Pam Benson
Former CIA Director David Petraeus testified on Capitol Hill on Friday that the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was an act of terrorism committed by al Qaeda-linked militants.
That's according to Rep. Peter King (R-NY), who spoke to reporters after the closed hearing, which lasted an hour and 20 minutes.
The account Petraeus gave was different from the description the Obama administration gave on September 14, King said.
Then, the attack was described as "spontaneous," the result of a protest against an anti-Muslim film that got out of control outside the compound.
Petraeus told lawmakers Friday that he had discussed the possibility of it being a terrorist attack in his initial briefing in September, according to King.
"He had told us that this was a terrorist attack and there were terrorists involved from the start," King said. "I told him, my questions, I had a very different recollection of that (earlier account)," he said. "The clear impression we (lawmakers) were given was that the overwhelming amount of evidence was that it arose out of a spontaneous demonstration and it was not a terrorist attack."
The "spontaneous" adjective was "minimized" during Petraeus' testimony Friday, King said.
By Tim Lister and Paul Cruickshank
Former CIA Director David Petraeus is expected to tell House and Senate committees Friday that soon after the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, it suspected Ansar al Sharia was responsible. But just what is Ansar al Sharia, and why wasn't it identified as a prime suspect two months ago?
There is no easy answer.
Ansar al Sharia is more a label than an organization, one that's been adopted by conservative Salafist groups across the Arab world. The name means, simply, "Partisans of Islamic Law."FULL STORY
By Barbara Starr
Former CIA Director David Petraeus knew “almost immediately” after the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi it was the work of Ansar Al-Sharia, a loosely-formed group that has some members sympathetic to Al Qaeda, according to a source who has spoken to him and is directly familiar with his analysis of the situation.
According to this source, Petraeus says the stream of intelligence from multiple sources, including video at the scene, indicated the group was behind the attack. But a separate stream of intelligence also emerged indicating ongoing riots in Cairo over an anti-Islamic film might have motivated the attacks.
The source says there were some 20 different intelligence reports indicating the Cairo film might be responsible. The CIA eventually disapproved all those reports, but not until after Petraeus’ initial briefings to Congress in which he discussed all possibilities, the source said. “All those other reports got disproved over time,” the source says Petraeus told him.
By Suzanne Kelly
In yet another twist in the aftermath of the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus last Friday, the CIA is now opening an investigation into his conduct as Director of the spy agency. The investigation will be led by the CIA Inspector General.
"At the CIA we are constantly reviewing our performance. If there are lessons to be learned from this case we'll use them to improve. But we're not getting ahead of ourselves; an investigation is exploratory and doesn't presuppose any particular outcome," said CIA Spokesman Preston Golson.
Petraeus resigned a week ago citing an extramarital affair as the reason for his stepping down. According to friends of Petraeus, he began an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell shortly after taking the job as Director of the Agency last fall. Ms. Broadwell has not responded to CNN requests for comment.
The announcement of the internal investigation comes on the eve of closed door testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Petraeus is expected to offer his thoughts to the committee members on what the Agency knew and when it knew it in the days after the attack in Benghazi, Libya that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans on September 11.
By Barbara Starr
As a commissioned officer in the military reserves, Paula Broadwell's security clearance would be "secret" or "top secret," which would allow her access to classified documents, according to military officials.
But exercising a security clearance depends on the type of job a person has, said the officials who spoke privately about the matter because Broadwell is entangled in an investigation of her ties to former CIA Director David Petraeus.
She has been identified as his mistress. The affair forced the former four-star general to resign his post last week. She also co-authored a biography about him.
As CNN first reported, her government security clearance was suspended pending the outcome of ongoing investigations, two U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the matter said. FULL POST