David Petraeus Gets His Mea Culpa On, Kicks Off Comeback Tour


Well, that didn’t take long. David Petraeus, the revered soldier-scholar who became CIA director before stepping down due to an extramarital affair, is embarking on a new path that is quintessentially American: The comeback tour.

Speaking to what appears a friendly audience at an annual University of Southern California event honoring members of the military, Petraeus went all mea culpa. The comeback tour has begun, and only about five months since Petraeus was forced to resign after his affair with his biographer became public. But when will the retired Army four-star counterinsurgency expert be all the way back?

“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,” Petraeus said, opening his speech by going directly after the giant elephant in the room. “I am also keenly aware that the reason for my recent journey was my own doing.”

Few defense sources and congressional aides to whom your correspondent has chatted about Petraeus thought he would stay out of the public eye for very long. And he didn’t. In scrolling through wire photos from the USC event, it became apparent Petraeus was all smiles for much of his appearance back in the spotlight. So it’s safe to say the general isn’t going away any time soon — and, let’s face it, America loves second chances.

But when is he all the way back? When he is a [insert cable news network here] contributor? When he is a regular panelist on [insert Sunday morning political talk show here]? Or when [insert future president here] later this decade appoints Petraeus as Washington’s special envoy to [insert Middle East/North African nation here], which could be battling an insurgency in its attempt to establish a pro-U.S. government?

Go ahead, chuckle now. But when this pops up in a future Google search…

(Video from CNN.com)

John T. Bennett

John T. Bennett

Bennett is the Editor of Defense News' CongressWatch channel. He has a Masters degree in Global Security Studies from Johns Hopkins University.
John T. Bennett