‘Benghazi Hoax’ Strikes CBS’ ’60 Minutes’
In what Washington Post’s Karen DeYoung describes as an “explosive report” on CBS’ 60 Minutes on Sunday, the venerable TV news magazine offered “a harrowing account of the extremist attack that killed four Americans” at the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya last year.
Naturally, Fox “News” and others on the Right — such as Sen. Lindsey Graham who promised on Wednesday to block all of President Obama’s nominees following the report — have been trumpeting it all week.
In the report, CBS’ Lara Logan interviews a man pseudonymously identified as “Morgan Jones”, a British supervisor of security guards protecting the mission. He tells Logan that, as the attack that night went on and four U.S. officials were ultimately killed, he scaled the compound’s 12-foot wall, took out an al-Qaeda terrorist “with the butt end of a rifle” and eventually was at the hospital to witness the lifeless corpse of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
But, as reported by DeYoung at WaPo today, that story by “Jones”, as offered on 60 Minutes, appears to be completely untrue. That “harrowing account” by “Jones,” whose real name is reportedly Dylan Davies, is completely at odds, according to the Post, with the written account that he “provided to his employer three days after the attack” when he said he was nowhere near the diplomatic compound on the night of the deadly tragedy…
DeYoung reports that “State Department and GOP congressional aides confirmed that Davies’s Sept. 14, 2012, report, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post, was included among tens of thousands of documents turned over to lawmakers by the State Department this year.”
Davies is the author of a new book on the tragedy, said to have been written by “Sergeant Morgan Jones”, released two days after CBS aired its report. The account in the book reportedly mirrors the one offered on 60 Minutes.
A 60 Minutes spokesperson tells the paper, however, that they “stand firmly by the story we broadcast last Sunday.”
Media Matters for America CEO David Brock, on the other hand, who recently published a book on the The Benghazi Hoax by Rightwingers, penned a letter today to CBS demanding a retraction of the story and a full investigation into how this seemingly-fabricated report made it to air…
MMFA’s Matt Gertz notes that in a Q&A about the story after it aired, Logan, who is said to have spent a year working on the story with producer Max McClellan, claimed that Davies was “tortured by guilt that he was not able to save his friends in the U.S. Compound, that he wasn’t able to save Sean Smith’s life or Amb. Stevens’ life.”
“That may sound ridiculous to people who couldn’t think of anything more insane than rushing towards a burning building that is overrun with al Qaeda terrorists,” Logan continued, “but Morgan Jones is the kind of man who would do that and who did do that. And when he failed the first time, he went back again.”
WaPo’s DeYoung reports that Davies Wales-based employer, Blue Mountain, with whom he filed the reported conflicting account on the day after the incident, says he “no longer worked there.”
She did, however, speak with Damien Lewis, the co-author of Davies’ book. Lewis, reportedly says Davies is “not well” and is in the hospital. He went on to offer this explanation to the Post…
In addition to calling for a full retraction of the story, MMFA’s Brock called on CBS to launch a full investigation akin to the one carried out by the network after questions were raised in 2004 about their report on George W. Bush’s service, or lack thereof, in the Air National Guard.
At the time, the Rightwing blogosphere was furious about what they perceived as a fraudulent report making it on to 60 Minutes. They demanded that Dan Rather and the producers of the report were attempting to embarrass Bush and should be fired. Eventually, they were, even though it was never conclusively determined that the documents at the heart of the story were fraudulent and no evidence was found to suggest that any of those working on the story believed the story was inaccurate when it aired.
No doubt the same Rightwing blogosphere that was so outraged about the last 60 Minutes report to embarrass a sitting U.S. President will be equally outraged and demand retraction and full accountability for the latest 60 Minutes report as well. Right?