General Petraeus

When CIA Director, David Petraeus resigned just a few weeks after the re-election of President Obama the country was still in the throes of confusion and anger over what had happened in Benghazi. Certain media outlets had led people to believe that Obama had abandoned two former Navy SEALs in a combat zone, callously handing them a death sentence. However, even those who were skeptical of these media reports had to admit that the timing of David Petraeus’ resignation was absolutely devastating. For all intensive purposes, it appeared that he had to resign over something to do with Benghazi.

SOFREP received word that Petraeus was going to resign a full three weeks ahead of the public announcement. What we were not expecting was the reason cited for him stepping down. Not long after Benghazi happened, Petraeus began interviewing for a job at Princeton University and was planning to quit as Director of the CIA.

The overrunning of the Consulate, and the killing of two GRS employees, would have come to him as a shock. John Brennan was running his own operations and probably briefing the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper on to the bare minimum needed to keep these secret missions legal. Likewise, a Congress member with budget oversight responsibilities was probably being read on, but the briefings kept vague to the point of uselessness. Brennan just needed a rubber stamp.

Kept in the dark to these compartmentalized JSOC operations, the Ansar Al-Sharia retaliation caught the CIA by surprise. They had no idea that Special Operations missions would be kicking the hornets nest in Libya and therefore could not prepare for the likely fallout that would result. Realizing this after the consulate attack, Petraeus knew for certain that he was a perpetual outsider in the administration. More specifically, he was furious about being left in the lurch by the Obama administration.

Like a good soldier, Petraeus was waiting until after the election season to resign but CIA officials behind the scenes apparently had other ideas. The Director had made plenty of enemies on the 7th floor of CIA headquarters in Langley by pursuing para-military operations and moving the agency even further from its roots in intelligence collection.

The reason for this is partially because there were budget incentives to pursue para-military operations as the funding was there for them but many long time CIA Officers did not appreciate the direction that Petraeus was taking their agency in. They also did not like the fact that the director was still acting like a four-star General and throwing his weight around at Langley.

One of the authors was near General Petraeus and his wife Holly at the Veteran’s Day parade in New York City in 2011, who by this time was sworn in as Director of the CIA. While Petraeus was surrounded by friends who respected him and was never in any danger, it was disconcerting how easily his own Personal Security Detachment lost track of him. For at least an hour, the General was out there flapping in the breeze without any security around him because the SUV filled with his bodyguards was stuck in traffic at the end of the parade.

What the PSD personnel may have lacked as bodyguards, they made up for by knowing the intimate details of his personal life. One of those details was Paula Broadwell.