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The Optics of a $15 Million CIA Gym

Kiselev Andrey Valerevich/Shutterstock.com

A potential boondoggle in these times of austerity was apparently headed off at the Central Intelligence recently, according to Sunday’s Washington Post column by David Ignatius.

In a look-back on how Gen. David Petraeus is settling into the top job out in Langley, the columnist mentions that the former commander of U.S. troops in the near East -- a well-known fitness buff -- had planned to spend $15 million on a “first-class gym” at the agency.

Petraeus was dissuaded, Ignatius says, by the agency’s unnamed “top budget official,” who successfully argued that the optics were not right in the current environment.


A CIA spokesman told Government Executive that Petraeus determined "there were more pressing needs for the appropriated funds" after consulting with "the leadership team." 

This post was updated to add CIA comment.

(Image via Kiselev Andrey Valerevich/Shutterstock.com)

Charles S. Clark joined Government Executive in the fall of 2009. He has been on staff at The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, National Journal, Time-Life Books, Tax Analysts, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and the National Center on Education and the Economy. He has written or edited online news, daily news stories, long features, wire copy, magazines, books, and organizational media strategies.

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