(LOS ANGELES) — Not quite six months after he left public life in disgrace, former CIA Director David Petraeus appears to be mounting an attempt at rehabilitating his tarnished image.
Petraeus, a former four star general credited with helping to turn around the war in Iraq, addressed veterans and ROTC students at a USC dinner in Los Angeles Tuesday evening.
The speech marked his first comments since abruptly retiring as CIA chief last November after admitting to an extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. His dalliance was revealed when a friend of Petraeus told the FBI about receiving threatening emails, which turned out to come from Broadwell.
Petraeus conceded that he is “regarded in a different light now” and then launched into a public apology.
The former general said his fall from grace “was my own doing…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.”
Petraeus used most of his remarks to praise veterans and to ask for continued support for the difficult transition they and their families must make after long deployments overseas.
He concluded by again acknowledging past mistakes and appreciating words of encouragement he and his family have received, adding, “Life cannot stop. It can and must go on…as best possible I will strive to make amends with those I hurt.”
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Ariane de Vogue and Laura Jarrett, CNN
Julia Horowitz, CNN
Eliza Mackintosh, CNN