DENVER (CBS4)– There is a question about why Resigned CIA Director David Petraeus’ affair is such a concern to the government. Turns out, his personal life has a big impact on matters of national security.
Petraeus’ affair with biographer Paula Broadwell lead to his resignation as head of the CIA.
Affairs involving national figures are not a surprise but when it comes to national security the stakes are higher.
“This is an incredibly complicated story,” said Dr. Robert Hazan, a political science professor with Metro State University of Denver.
Hazan said the affair is only a small piece of the puzzle. The bigger issue is the consequences of the liaison, specifically possible email leaks and Petraeus’ discussion of classified information with Broadwell.
“In his mind, he wasn’t compromising anything that was critical to national security but from the government’s point of view this is a breach of security, period,” said Hazan.
Under the uniform code of military justice, adultery is a crime. For intelligence officers, the threat of blackmail makes the crime especially risky.
Hazan said said a high profile affair involving the leader of the secretive CIA is unprecedented.
The CIA Code of Conduct talks about “upholding the highest standards of conduct.”
“This is a distinguished man with a distinguished career and he understood he could not perform well and this was the time to go,” said Hazan.
As the CIA deals with Petraeus’ fall from grace, Hazan believes the government’s loss may be Hollywood’s gain, “But I can tell you, Ben Affleck is thinking about another movie.”
Petraeus has indicated a willingness to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, according to the head of the committee, though it has not been decided when he will testify.