Advertisement

Petraeus apologizes for affair

Former CIA director and retired four-star general David Petraeus makes his first public speech since resigning as CIA director at University of Southern California dinner for students Veterans and ROTC students in Los Angeles on March 26, 2013. Petraeus apologized in his speech for the extramarital affair that ended his career. UPI/Jim Ruymen
Former CIA director and retired four-star general David Petraeus makes his first public speech since resigning as CIA director at University of Southern California dinner for students Veterans and ROTC students in Los Angeles on March 26, 2013. Petraeus apologized in his speech for the extramarital affair that ended his career. UPI/Jim Ruymen | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, March 27 (UPI) -- Former CIA Director David Petraeus, during a dinner in Los Angeles, apologized for an affair that led to his resignation.

Petraeus, the U.S. Army general who led coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, has maintained a low profile since he resigned the directorship after admitting to an extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, in November.

Advertisement

Petraeus told about 600 guests at Tuesday's event honoring veterans and ROTC students at the University of Southern California he is "regarded in a different light now" than he was a year ago, the Los Angeles times reported.

"I am also keenly aware that the reason for my recent journey was my own doing," he said. "So 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."

RELATED John Brennan sworn in as CIA director

Petraeus, 60, considered the architect of the U.S. military's counterinsurgency doctrine, also said he wants to move forward, the Times said.

"One learns after all that life doesn't stop with such a mistake," he said, "it can and must go on."

Before his speech, Petraeus generally stayed out of the public eye.

RELATED The Year in Review 2012: Petraeus affair led to resignation, series of revelations

"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 said Tuesday. "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."

One friend told the Times Tuesday, "I don't think it's in his DNA to just retire."

Petraeus has been mum about his plans, except to say he agreed to support several non-profit organizations that assist veterans.

RELATED Gen. David Petraeus named Most Fascinating Person of 2012

Petraeus received two standing ovations during his speech in which he said the nation has a responsibility to look after families of fallen soldiers, care for the wounded, help veterans move into to civilian life and honor their service.

"We can and must do more," he said. "Helping those who have given so much is simply the right thing to do."

RELATED Jill Kelley not planning Petraeus tell-all

RELATED Ailes encouraged Petraeus to run for prez

RELATED FBI probes Petraeus staff in secret papers

Latest Headlines