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Petraeus affair: From romantic jealousy to the downfall of 'King David'

Details are emerging about the extramarital affair that led to CIA Director David Petraeus's resignation. Some in Congress want to know why the FBI waited so long to inform them.

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As a civilian now, Petraeus does not fall under the UCMJ. But an extramarital affair leaves one vulnerable to blackmail that could threaten national security, and it’s hard to set an example for proper conduct to others in the spy agency – until now, Petraeus has had a reputation for probity and integrity – when the director has been caught up in a very public scandal that demonstrated “very poor judgment,” as he put it in his resignation letter to the President.

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“Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours,” he acknowledged in a statement to CIA employees.

The coming week will see a scramble in Washington, not only to find a permanent replacement for Petraeus but also over the ongoing controversy involving the CIA’s response when terrorists attacked the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in September, killing Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans – including two former Navy SEALs working on contract for the CIA.

Some lawmakers wonder why the FBI didn’t notify the White House and relevant congressional committees earlier – before the election – that the CIA director was under investigation.

“The FBI should have had an obligation to tell the president,” Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Peter King (R) said Sunday on CNN. “It just doesn’t add up.”

"I have real questions about this. I think the timeline has to be looked at," Rep. King said. "I'm suggesting there's a lot of unanswered questions."

King also says Petraeus still should testify before his committee this coming week on the Benghazi attack.

"David Petraeus testifying has nothing to do with whether or not he's still the CIA director, and I don't see how the CIA can say he's not going to testify," King said. "He was at the center of this, and he has answers that only he has."

Meanwhile, the story of two families impacted by personal scandal continues, played out in the media, including Saturday Night Live. Both Petraeus and Broadwell are married with children. Broadwell has yet to comment publicly, nor has Petraeus since his resignation Friday.
 
Despite Petraeus’s military accomplishments covering an extraordinary career, “critics fault him for ambition and self-promotion,” Broadwell wrote in her glowing biography, “All In: The Education of David Petraeus.” His nickname – “King David” – was not always used by subordinates as a compliment.

“As word of his resignation resounded across the Pentagon on Friday,” the New York Times reported, “more than one officer cited the biblical adultery of King David and Bathsheba.”

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