David Petraeus: 'I Screwed Up Royally'

Ex-CIA head's wife is sticking by him, letter to friend reveals

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 29, 2012 8:05 AM CST

(Newser) – Holly Petraeus is standing by her man, despite the sex scandal that booted him from Langley, a letter from David Petraeus to longtime Army buddy Brig. Gen. James Shelton reveals. "I screwed up royally," reads the handwritten letter, which Shelton apparently chose to share with the New York Post. "I paid the price (appropriately) and I sought to do the right thing. … Team Petraeus will survive though [I] have obviously created a difficulty for us. Holly is, however, once again demonstrating how incredibly fortunate I was to marry her."

The letter is signed "ATW," which Shelton explains is short for "All The Way," the Army's call for parachutists. "It means, 'I'm going to give it everything I got. That's David Petraeus," Shelton says. He's known Petraeus since the 1970s, and still sings his praises, blaming Paula Broadwell for seducing the "naive" CIA head. "He’s a superb human being. What happened to him happened to a number of people."

In this July 18, 2011 file photo, Gen. David Petraeus salutes during a changing of command ceremony from Petraeus to Gen. John Allen in Kabul, Afghanistan
In this July 18, 2011 file photo, Gen. David Petraeus salutes during a changing of command ceremony from Petraeus to Gen. John Allen in Kabul, Afghanistan   (AP Photo/Musadeq, File Sadeq)
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