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The Boston Globe

Nation

Obama begins search for new CIA director

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has begun searching for a new Central Intelligence Agency director at what many administration officials say is an especially awkward time: in the midst of investigations about the killing of the U.S. ambassador in Benghazi, Libya, at a crucial moment in the covert war against Iran, and just as the administration is considering a more active role in Syria.

In each of those arenas, David Petraeus, who resigned Friday because of an extramarital affair with the author of a flattering book about his military career, provided Obama with both experience and political cover. A hero among Republicans for his service in Iraq and Afghanistan — and his occasional public disagreements with the president over troop withdrawals — Petraeus had just returned from a long trip to Libya and the Middle East when news of the scandal broke.

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