Petraeus’ staff in Afghanistan similarly had been concerned about the time Broadwell spent with their boss on her multiple reporting visits to the war zone. Following standard military procedure with senior officers, they almost always had another staffer present when she met with him at his headquarters, though they did have some meetings alone. Military officers close to him insist the affair did not begin when he was in uniform.
In the preface to her book, Broadwell said she first met Petraeus in the spring of 2006. She was a graduate student at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard; he was visiting the university to discuss his experiences in Iraq and a new counterinsurgency manual he was working on.
She had graduated from West Point with academic, fitness, and leadership honors, according to a biography posted on her publisher’s website that lists authors available for speaking engagements.
Harvard invited some students to meet with Petraeus, and Broadwell was among them because of her military background, which she wrote included being recalled to active duty three times to work on counterterrorism issues after the Sept. 11 attacks.
After Obama put Petraeus in charge in Afghanistan in 2010, Broadwell decided to expand her research into an authorized biography.
Broadwell has deep ties and friendships throughout the Washington media sphere and often was sought for comment on Petraeus’ viewpoints as he proved harder and harder to reach.
The CIA director had lowered his media profile, stopping his practice of emailing reporters and ending once-common background interviews by the agency. That was especially the case after GOP allegations last spring that the Obama administration was leaking sensitive material to burnish its foreign policy reputation ahead of the presidential election, after a series of stories appeared about top secret operations aimed at al-Qaida in Yemen, and Iran’s nuclear program. A White House-ordered investigation of those leaks continues.
Petreaus’s resignation comes just before a crucial scheduled appearance before congressional intelligence committees next week to testify on what the CIA knew, and what it told the White House, before, during and after the attacks that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Libya on Sept. 11.
Congressional officials say Petraeus’ deputy, Michael Morell, will testify instead, as acting director of the CIA.
Associated Press writer Adam Goldman contributed to this report.