Report: Petraeus to apologize for affair in public speech

Former CIA Director David Petraeus will apologize for the extramarital affair that ended his storied military and intelligence career in a speech Tuesday night at the University of Southern California (USC), The New York Times reported.

In the speech, early excerpts of which were obtained by the paper, Petraeus offers a contrite account of the scandal that dominated political and tabloid headlines.

“Needless to say, I join you keenly aware that I am regarded in a different light now than I was a year ago,” Petraeus will say.

“I am also keenly aware that the reason for my recent journey was my own doing,” he will continue. “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.”

Petraeus looks as if he is hoping to move beyond the scandal, as he plans to tell the crowd that “life doesn’t stop with such a mistake; it can and must go on.”

Petraeus resigned on Nov. 9, just two days after the presidential election, when an FBI investigation discovered an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell.

“I know that I can never fully assuage the pain that I inflicted on those closest to me and on a number of others,” he 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.”

The speech, which was scheduled before his resignation and will honor military veterans and USC's ROTC program, also includes passages that underscore the difficulty of returning to civilian life after serving abroad.

“There is often a view that, because an individual was a great soldier, he or she will naturally do well in and transition effortlessly to the civilian world,” Petraeus will say. “In reality, the transition from military service to civilian pursuits often is quite challenging.”

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