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CBS News under fire for airing Benghazi 'witness'

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By The Washington Post
Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, 7:48 p.m.
 

WASHINGTON — In a report on “60 Minutes” that aired on Sunday, the British supervisor of Libyan security guards protecting the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi said he was an eyewitness to the terrorist attack that killed four Americans.

The man whom CBS called Morgan Jones, a pseudonym said to protect his safety, described racing to the compound while the attack was under way, scaling a wall and downing a terrorist with the butt end of a rifle as he tried to rescue the Americans.

But in a written account that Jones — whose real name has been confirmed as Dylan Davies by several officials who worked with him in Benghazi — provided to his employer three days after the attack, he told a different story.

In Davies' incident report to Blue Mountain, the Britain-based contractor hired by the State Department to handle perimeter security at the compound, he wrote that he spent most of that night at his beach-side villa. He attempted to get to the compound, he wrote in the report, but “we could not get anywhere near . . . as roadblocks had been set up.”

Jones said on CBS that he went that night to a Benghazi hospital to view the body of slain U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. But in the report, he said he learned of Stevens' death when a Libyan colleague came to the villa to show him a cellphone photo of the blackened corpse.

The State Department and GOP congressional aides confirmed that Davies' Sept. 14, 2012, report was included among tens of thousands of documents turned over to lawmakers by the State Department this year.

Davies' book on the attack, “The Embassy House,” by “Sgt. Morgan Jones,” was published this week and largely comports with his story on CBS.

Kevin Tedesco, a spokesman for “60 Minutes,” said, “We stand firmly by the story we broadcast last Sunday.”

Administration officials seized on the discrepancies. “The people who were injured and the families of those who died are owed an apology” by Davies and “60 Minutes,” said an administration official.

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