Share This Page

CBS News under fire for airing Benghazi 'witness'

| 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.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.