Retraction by ‘60 Minutes’ of Benghazi story adds to confusion
Security contractor’s account differed greatly from other witnesses
By Nancy A. Youssef
CAIRO — CBS on Friday retracted its account of what took place last year at the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, a stunning setback for its venerated “60 Minutes” news show that underscored another reality: Fourteen months after jihadists stormed the complex and a nearby CIA compound — killing four Americans, including the ambassador — there’s still no accepted narrative of what happened.
It was security contractor Dylan Davies’ unheard account of the events of Sept. 11, 2012, that made the “60 Minutes” piece a journalistic sensation after what the news program said was a yearlong investigation. That account differed dramatically from what other reporters and witnesses had said about that night, and it prompted Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to threaten to block all White House appointments until the Obama administration released notes from the interviews the FBI conducted with survivors of the attack to congressional investigators.
In the end, however, Davies’ claims to “60 Minutes” that he’d jumped a 12-foot wall to get into the compound, where he clubbed an attacker in the head with the butt of his rifle, were undone by statements he’d given to the FBI two days after the assault. Those indicated he’d been nowhere near the compound when the attack took place, which matched a report Davies had given his bosses at the Blue Mountain security company — a document that somehow escaped the notice of “60 Minutes” investigators.
Other parts of his “60 Minutes” account didn’t match published reports of what happened that night. For example, Davies claimed he’d sneaked into the Benghazi Medical Center and spotted the body of Ambassador Christopher Stevens lying on a gurney. The doctor who treated Stevens, however, had told McClatchy that no Westerners arrived to pick up the ambassador’s body until 6 a.m. Sept. 12, more than six hours after Libyans had taken the unconscious Stevens to the facility.
Davies’ statement to the FBI two days after the attack said he’d learned of Stevens’ death on Sept. 12, around the time when Libyans and Americans confirmed it.
On Friday, CBS correspondent Lara Logan, whose “60 Minutes” piece aired Sunday, appeared on the network’s “This Morning” show and apologized for the piece, saying Davies was no longer credible. Logan said she was misled, adding: “We made a mistake.”
She said she didn’t know about the FBI incident report until after her piece aired, but she offered no explanation for how it had escaped notice. CBS had removed the story from the “60 Minutes” website and apps overnight.
“What we know now is he told the FBI a different story to what he told us,” Logan said. “That was the moment for us when we realized that we no longer had confidence in our source and we were wrong to put him on air, and we apologize to our viewers.”
Publisher Simon & Schuster said Friday it was withdrawing Davies’ book, “The Embassy House: The Explosive Eyewitness Account of the Libyan Embassy Siege by the Soldier Who Was There.” It was published on the conservative Threshold Editions imprint two days after the “60 Minutes” story.
Davies had written the book under the pseudonym Morgan Jones, which is how “60 Minutes” identified him in Logan’s story about Benghazi.
Within hours of the attacks, they became fodder for opponents of the Obama administration.
This report includes information from the Associated Press.
CBS correspondent Lara Logan said security contractor Dylan Davies was no longer credible.
Yes, Henry, I had already read about the 60 Minutes retraction. The link I posted is not related to that individual that I could see.
Just trying to keep things fair and balanced. :) All kinds of articles out there in recent days about the guy that lied, yet nothing posted here...here... here.....here....
Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy
Truthfully, I didn't see anything in the 60 Minutes witness's story that wasn't pretty much already known from the Congressional testimony, so I really didn't pay much attention to it.
Had a chance to look up a few thinks. The attack started at 3:40 EDT. The best that I could figure cased on a video of the consulate burning was at 6:20 EDT. 2 hours 20 minutes maximum. Amb. Stevens called for help, but wasn't answered till the third call. That person called DC but also had trouble getting help. No way of telling the exact times, but fair to say there was a delay. In Tripoli, Italy there were two Delta Operators who volunteered to go. The fastest most reasonable way to get them there was by Black Hawk Helicopter. A Black Hawk Helicopter flies at a max speed of 222mph and the distance from Tripoli to Benghazi is 405 miles. If those operators were on the tarmac armed and ready to go at 3:40 p.m. EDT. and they happened to have a fully armed and crewed Black Hawk waiting the earliest they could have been there would have been a little before 6:00p.m. EDT. It is unreasonable to think that they were armed and ready to go or that a helicopter was fueled and ready to go. A rescue from Tripoli seems to be impossible. The attack did continue for hours, but had moved down to the CIA annex a mile away from the Annex.
I do not understand why the African needed approval from Washington to send troops either. It was an attack on what was effectively U.S. soil in their area of operation against military and government resources. They clearly could have launched a rescue mission on their own authority.
I then occurs to me, Henlee. If the POTUS told his "people" to do everything possible, who countermanded that order?
The Blackhawk(s) might have arrived too late to save the ambassador, but the two former SEALS might have been saved?
In your study of the timeline, were you able to figure out why that quick response team was not able to actually reach the annex? I think they were supposed to be using an aircraft that might have been faster than the Blackhawk(s). That was just my sense from the various reports. I think that was the aircraft that Hicks secured for the rescue attempt.
I am still left with the feeling that Hicks was a brave and resourceful guy. Hicks deserves more recognition for what he did (or tried to do) that night.
A team did arrive at the annex at about 1 a.m. local time. The seals were killed after their arrival in a pair of mortar attacks.
I figured that a helicopter would be the fastest way to deliver troops o the consulate. If a faster fixed wing craft was used it would have had to land at the airport and ground transportation would have to be secured. I reasoned that it would have added time to the rescue than take away. I consider both timelines though as unreasonable and was only using it to illustrate my belief that a rescue would not have been possible.
The expanded security request was for 12 more officers at the consulate. With an attacking force of a 125 to 150 armed militants it is unlikely that the additional security would have been a game changer in the battle. I do feel though that they should have been in place at the time however.
I am searching for information if the AFRICOM chief should have launched the mission. It is my understanding that it would have been his responsibility, even without orders from POTUS or the SECDEF.
The story we got (can't say it's the correct one) was that AFRICOM could not enter Libyan airspace (from outside Libyan borders) without POTUS approval or permission from the Libyan govt. Don't know why/if someone other than POTUS could have asked for such permission of POTUS approval was not in place.
POTUS orders were supposedly, "do everything we can to" protect the people in Benghazi ... but I guess that approval to cross that airspace requires something more "formal"?
When will you accept the fact that this whole thing is nothing but a witch hunt, intended to hurt Hillary's chances if she decides to run for president?
I don't recollect - r u a vet? - wasn't your dad a FF - somewhere in your post I sense a disdain for those who put themselves in harms way for the country's sake under leadership's direction - & that bothers me because I did not think you were that kind of person.
Originally Posted by Buzz