’60 Minutes’ Benghazi report completely implodes

Dylan DaviesCBS News issued a statement a little over an hour ago announcing that they were reviewing their “60 Minutes” report on the attack against the United States Special Mission in Benghazi last year.

The statement ran just 52 words:

60 Minutes has learned of new information that undercuts the account told to us by Morgan Jones of his actions on the night of the attack on the Benghazi compound.

We are currently looking into this serious matter to determine if he misled us, and if so, we will make a correction.

CBS News is in panic mode right now. All video and clips from the special have been pulled offline.

The special featured an interview with Dylan Davies, a security contractor employed be the British security firm Blue Mountain last year, who is selling a book based on his alleged experiences on September 11th, 2012.

Davies told 60 Minutes — and claimed in his book — that he twice went to the Mission in Benghazi while it was under attack, and even that he took out a terrorist by smashing him in the face with the butt of a rifle.

But Davies had told the FBI that he never made it anywhere near the Mission on September 11th because of roadblocks, and that he spent most of the night on the beach in his villa. Davies either fabricated his part in the Mission attack or more seriously, lied to the FBI about his role in the attacks, and 60 Minutes didn’t do even basic fact checking on his claims while allowing him to profit financially by promoting self-serving falsehoods from his book.

Fox News turned down the book promotion tour when Davies started asking correspondent Adam Housley for money. It’s not currently clear if CBS News paid for the interview at this time.

Look at some items from the Amazon page for Davies’ book that should have raised red flags before CBS News and 60 Minutes decided to go forward with the special:

The Embassy’s secret access that no one but Jones knew about-and that allowed him entry as the savage firefight raged on

Davies wrote the book under a pseudonym. There is no “Sergeant Morgan Jones”, for the record.

There are two big problems with this claim. First, it seems unlikely that one security contractor working for a British firm would know about a secret entrance to an American diplomatic building — or that it would even have such a thing — while no one guarding the compound did.

Second, if such a secret access existed and Davies knew about it and he didn’t tell anyone else, that would raise a serious questions about Dylan Davies’s conduct before the attack.

Then there’s this:

Jones’s discovery of the murdered ambassador’s body and his confirmation that the killing was indeed targeted and sadistically brutal

I’ve never heard evidence or even a claim that Ambassador Stevens was targeted in the attack, so that appears to have been fabricated.

It’s a well known fact that Stevens died from smoke inhalation due to a fire at the Mission and had no other injuries. The facts of his death hardly live up to the description of a “sadistically brutal” targeted killing, also.

The mainstream media has spent a serious chunk of 2013 chasing imaginary scandals ranging from the supposed IRS scandal that turned out to be nothing to Benghazi, while ignoring real scandals like unprecedented and unconstitutional spying on the American people by the National Security Agency, mounting civilian casualties in Pakistan from drone strikes that the United Nations has called war crimes, political oppression and civilian massacres in Egypt that up until last the last month or so were partially funded by American foreign aid.

I’ll leave it to others to explain why the media constantly chases fake right-wing scandals and never learns anything when it blows up in their face like this. It simply happens too frequently to get that worked up about anymore.

Update

Simon and Schuster is reviewing Dylan’s book. It’s hard to believe that they won’t pull it off the shelves. Actually, it makes you wonder what the publishers at S&S were thinking that they let something with such easy to find fabrications get published. Is anyone doing their job anymore? For fucks sake, even Fox News didn’t want a piece of this.

Fox News is a net negative, no doubt. But give credit where it’s due. They had better judgment than CBS News this day.

Paul Tenny

Paul Tenny

I'm not a journalist but I do it anyway. I cover elections and have interviewed television writers and producers.
Paul Tenny

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