Long-time friend of Petraeus speaks out about scandal - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Long-time friend of Petraeus speaks out about scandal

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Lieutenant General Russel Honore Lieutenant General Russel Honore
David Petraeus David Petraeus

The threat of a looming financial hardship is how President Barack Obama began his first national news conference after re-election. But it was the imploding military soap opera sex scandal that drew the first media question.

Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Russel Honore has commanded hundreds of soldiers and has served alongside thousands in his 37 years in the military. He said he "grew up" in the army with former CIA Director David Petraeus, who later became a four star general. Honore said he would have never suspected Petraeus to be unfaithful. 

"I'm totally surprised because it's not the character of the man I came to know and respect. He has always presented himself as a photogenic warrior," Honore said.

The decorated soldier resigned on Friday citing an affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell. All while the FBI launched an investigation into the killings of a U.S. Ambassador and three Americans in Benghazi, Libya.

"It's amazing how it happens. That's what made this a real disaster as opposed as inconvenience of timing. It's bed. When you do something stupid you are expected to take responsibility for it you're expected to take responsibility for it and that's what he's done at this point."

Honore said if investigators learn Petraeus was in uniform while the extramarital affair took place, he could be called back to active duty or face a reduction in rank, meaning he probably would not face jail time but will be charged under the uniform code of military justice.

"People already know he's held his soldiers to a high standard and many of them have lost rank or have had to leave the Army because of an illegal affair."

As for Petraeuses role in the FBI's investigation, the retired army general believes the former CIA director's testimony is critical in finding out what happened overseas.

"I think there is critical information that he knows and that people who work for him know that will dispel any concern of the American people or people in our government in the congress who are held or hold public servants accountable that everything was done that could've been done to have prevented the deaths of this ambassador."

Petraeus is expected to testify before congress.

Copyright 2012 WAFB. All rights reserved.

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