Nytt

David Petraeus trakk seg fredag som CIA-sjef med øyeblikkelig virkning pga en utenomekteskapelig affære og antydning om brudd på sikkerhetsregler. En av de mest lysende karrierer i nyere amerikansk historie er over.

Nyheten slo ned som en bombe, ingenting visste noe. Bare seks timer før kunngjøringen ble ledende Kongress-medlemmer informert.

Petraeus er nærmest blitt en legende i levende live. Han formulerte en ny counterinsurgency strategien som la større vekt på å beskytte sivile enn å drepe fienden, og var den som styrte surge-strategien i Irak, som snudde USAs engasjement fra en sikker katastrofe til et brukbart resultat.

Petraeus avanserte til øverste leder for Centcom som hadde overkommandoen i både Irak og Afghanistan. Han ville vært naturlig som ny forsvarsminister, men ble noe overraskende CIA-sjef. Det er 14 måneder siden han overtok.

FBI etterforsket brudd på sikkerhetsreglene i bruk av en datamaskin da de kom over at Petraeus hadde en utenomekteskapelig affære. Det sies at han gikk av pga denne og «other security concerns», hva disse går ut på, nevnes ikke. Det virker usannsynlig at Petraeus kan ha begått alvorlige sikkerhetsbrudd. Hvis det er seksualmoralen reiser dette alvorlige spørsmål om moralisme trumfer faglige kvalifikasjoner og integritet. Faglig integritet er noe annet enn privat.

Har USA så god råd på lederemner? Verden har vanskelig for å forstå denne moralismen. Blir Petraeus en dårligere leder om han privat sviker sin kone gjennom 37 år?

“After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair,” Mr. Petraeus said in his statement, expressing regret for his abrupt departure. “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.”

Mr. Petraeus’s admission and resignation represent a remarkable fall from grace for one of the most prominent figures in America’s modern military and intelligence community, a commander who helped lead the nation’s wartime activities in the decade after the Sept. 11 attacks and was credited with turning around the failing war effort in Iraq.

……

Administration and Congressional officials identified the woman as Paula Broadwell, the co-author of a biography of Mr. Petraeus. Her book, “All In: The Education of General David Petraeus,” was published this year. Ms. Broadwell could not be reached for comment.

Ms. Broadwell, a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, spent 15 years in the military, according to a biography that had appeared on her Web site. She spent extended periods of time with Mr. Petraeus in Afghanistan, interviewing him for her book, which grew out of a two-year research project for her doctoral dissertation and which she promoted on a high-profile tour that included an appearance on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.”

Married with two children, she has described Mr. Petraeus as her mentor.

 

 

Benghazi?

Fremstillingen av hvordan Obama ble informert skurrer. Er det sannsynlig at presidenten først får vite om at han skal miste CIA-sjefen torsdag morgen?

Petraeus skulle neste uke ha forklart seg bak lukkede dører om Benghazi-angrepet som kostet ambassadør Christopher Stevens livet. Det er en story som kan få store følger for Obama.

Det virker underlig at Obama skulle blitt holdt uvitende om en så alvorlig utvikling til dagen før han gikk av.

At the C.I.A., Mr. Petraeus maintained a low profile, in contrast to the celebrity that surrounded him as a general. But since the attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans two months ago, critics had increasingly pressured him to give the agency’s account of the chaotic night. Mr. Petraeus was scheduled to testify before a closed Congressional hearing next week.

White House officials say they were informed on Wednesday night that Mr. Petraeus was considering resigning because of an extramarital affair. Intelligence officials notified the president’s national security staff. Mr. Obama at the time was on his way back to Washington from Chicago, where he had gone to receive election returns.

On Thursday morning, just before a staff meeting at the White House, Mr. Obama was told. “He was surprised, and he was disappointed,” one senior administration official said. “You don’t expect to hear that the Thursday after you were re-elected.”

Petraeus Quits; Evidence of Affair Was Found by F.B.I.