Before his downfall, one of David Petraeus's greatest skills was cultivating an adoration from the press — many formerly fawning reporters have admitted as much since the Love Pentagon scandal, and that's not even including the one who loved him. So it was hard not to be just skeptical Thursday morning, when his longtime friend released Petraeus's beautifully handwritten letter of contrition and gave a few news outlets an interview about it. Retired Brig. Gen. James Shelton (left) showed the letter, in which the former CIA director says he "screwed up royally," to theNew York Post, ABC News, and, curiously, the Daily Mail.
In his PR surge, Shelton, explains that Petraeus is "a superb human being" who made a mistake. Petraeus's letter to Shelton includes the obligatory lines about what a great wife he has to stick by him. "Team Petraeus will survive though have obviously created enormous difficulty for us," the letter says. "Holly is however once again demonstrating how incredibly fortunate I was to marry her."