David Petraeus, who resigned from his post as CIA director over an affair with his biographer last November, is set to chart a new path for himself in the public sphere.
David Petraeus, who resigned from his post as CIA director over an affair with his biographer last November, is set to chart a new path for himself in the public sphere, according to the New York Times.
Petraeus is due to speak at an event hosted by the University of Southern California Tuesday night in honor of veterans and the school’s long-standing ROTC program. It will be the former four-star general’s first public speech since his resignation, and his first address save for a behind-closed-doors testimony over the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya last September.
With Tuesday night’s Los Angeles venue, Petraeus will test the waters of a future public life against a markedly different backdrop than the political Washington of his recent past. (The Times reports that the event was scheduled before Petraeus submitted his letter of resignation.)
‘Needless to say, I join you keenly aware that I am regarded in a different light now than I was a year ago,” the New York Times writes Petraeus is expected to say. “I am also keenly aware that the reason for my recent journey was my own doing … So please allow me to begin my remarks this evening by reiterating how deeply I regret – and apologize for–the circumstances that led me to resign from the C.I.A. and caused such pain for my family, friends and supporters.’“I know that I can never fully assuage the pain that I inflicted on those closest to me and on a number of others,’ Petraeus will say.”‘I can, however, try to move forward in a manner that is consistent with the values to which I subscribed before slipping my moorings and, as best as possible, to make amends to those I have hurt and let down…[L]ife doesn’t stop with such a mistake; it can and must go on.”
Left in question is how the former ISAF Commander will fill his civilian days. Slate contributor and author Fred Kaplan told MSNBC.com that the options include high-level posts in the corporate sector or with universities or speakers bureaus–”everything except politics.”
“I think he feels he can’t been seen, nor would he want to do something that is just about making money,” Kaplan said. “He very much wants to stay a player in the policy world, if not necessarily making policy, then taken seriously on it and commenting on it. He’ll probably do a mix of things.”
Petraeus, a 37-year Army veteran, was chosen to head the CIA in 2011. Prior to that, he served as commander of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan and oversaw all coalition forces in Iraq, and penned the Army’s counterinsurgency manual.
His affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, became public when the FBI began investigating harassing emails sent from Broadwell’s account to Petraeus’s friend Jill Kelly. He submitted his letter of resignation on Nov. 9, 2012.