CBS apologizes for airing fake Benghazi eyewitness: “We Were Wrong. We Made A Mistake”

CBS News apologized this morning for airing the accusations of a now-apparently-fake Benghazi whistleblower, Dylan Davies.

Davies is the author of a new bombshell book accusing the Obama administration of massive security failures leading up to the fatal attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya in September of 2012.

Davies repeated his fanciful story on this past Sunday’s 60 Minutes television show, in which Davies claimed to have been at the Benghazi consulate during the attack, and heroically recounted how he climbed the compound’s 12 foot wall and clocked a terrorist with the butt of his rifle, and how he personally witnessed the charred remains of US Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed in the attack.

Or at least, that’s what Davies told 60 Minutes.  What he reportedly told the FBI is another story entirely.

Benghazi attack “witness” Dylan Davies told FBI he was nowhere near the attack

According to a blockbuster story last night from the New York Times, Davies told the FBI that he was never anywhere near the US consulate in Benghazi during the firefight.  He told the FBI that he didn’t get to the consulate until the next morning, long after the fighting was over.

Faux Benghazi whistleblower Dylan Davies appearing on 60 Minutes.

Faux Benghazi whistleblower Dylan Davies appearing on 60 Minutes.

Adding more credence to the FBI version of events, the Washington Post revealed that Davies, a private security contractor hired to protect the consulate, filed an incident report with his company claiming the same thing he told the FBI – that he was unable to get to the Benghazi consulate that evening, and that, rather than witnessing Ambassador Stevens’ remains in person, someone had shown him a photo.

Said 60 Minutes reporter Lara Logan this morning in response to the new revelations, “we were wrong, we made a mistake.” (Video of Logan’s mea culpa below.)

Logan also revealed that 60 Minutes has been unable to reach Davies since the newest allegations undercutting his story were revealed.

Did faux-Benghazi witness Davies lie to 60 Minutes and in his book, or lie to FBI?

Now, it’s still possible that Davies simply perjured himself to the FBI during an investigation of a terrorist attack. Of course, that would tend to undercut Davies’ credibility, as he would then be a proven liar who actively tried to obstruct a terrorism investigation.  In addition, is it more likely that Davies would lie to the FBI, knowing that the lie could likely send him to prison, or lie to 60 Minutes?

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who put a hold on all Obama administration nominations in response to Davies’ now-debunkt accusations, has yet to apologize and admit his error.

When will GOP Senator Lindsey Graham apologize for promoting the story of a Benghazi Truther?

Graham has been grandstanding on the Benghazi issue from the beginning, including using the attack in campaign ads, and as a list-building opportunity, only two months after it occurred. Here’s the campaign ad:

grahambengazi (1)

And here is Graham’s attempt to use Ambassador Stevens’ death as an opportunity to build his campaign email:

Lindsey Graham campaigning on Benghazi, Libya tragedy

Lindsey Graham campaigning on Benghazi, Libya tragedy

Graham is being challenged by a Tea Partyer in his upcoming primary for re-election, and is apparently using the death of our ambassador as an opportunity to show his straight-and-narrow fidelity to the Tea Party cause.

No word yet from Graham on why he wanted a hoaxster to testify before Congress.

Video of CBS’ Lara Logan apologize for faux Benghazi story

Here’s 60 Minutes’ Logan apologizing on CBS this morning (transcript is below):

Transcript of CBS’ Lara Logan apologize for faux Benghazi story

Transcript courtesy of Media Matters:

NORAH O’DONNELL: 60 Minutes has learned of new information that undercuts its October 27 account of an ex-security officer who called himself Morgan Jones. His real name is Dylan Davies, and he recounted to Lara Logan in great detail what he claimed were his actions on the night of the attack on the Benghazi compound. Lara joins us this morning, Lara, good morning.

LARA LOGAN: Good morning Norah, well. You know the most important thing to every person at 60 Minutes is the truth and today the truth is that we made a mistake, and that’s very disappointing for any journalist. It’s very disappointing for me. Nobody likes to admit that they made a mistake, but if you do, you have to stand up and take responsibility and you have to say that you were wrong, and in this case we were wrong. We made a mistake. And how did this happen?

Well, Dylan Davies worked for the State Department in Libya. He was the manager of the local guard force at the Benghazi special mission compound, and he described for us his actions that night, saying that he had entered the compound and he had a confrontation with one of the attackers, and he also said that he had seen the body of Ambassador Chris Stevens in a local hospital. And after our report aired, questions were raised about whether his account was real.

After an incident report surfaced that told a different story about what he’d done that night. And, you know, he denied that report. And he said that he told the FBI the same story that he had told us, but what we now know is that he told the FBI a different story to what he told us. And, you know, that was the moment for us when we realized that we no longer had confidence in our source, and that we were wrong to put him on air, and we apologize to our viewers.

O’DONNELL: Why were you convinced that Dylan Davies was a credible source, that the account that he provided was accurate? How did you vet him?

LOGAN: Well, we verified and confirmed that he was who he said he was, that he was working for the State Department at the time, that he was in Benghazi at the special mission compound the night of the attack, and that, you know, he showed us — he gave us access to communications he had with U.S. government officials. We used U.S. government reports and congressional testimony to verify many of the details of his story, and everything checked out.

He also showed us photographs that he had taken at the special mission compound the following morning and, you know, we take the vetting of sources and stories very seriously at 60 Minutes. And we took it seriously in this case. But we were misled, and we were wrong, and that’s the important thing. That’s what we have to say here. We have to set the record straight and take responsibility.

O’DONNELL: Last Thursday, The Washington Post ran a report that questioned the central parts of what Davies had told you. They cited this incident report right after the attack that he gave to Blue Mountain, the security firm that he worked for. He told them that he never made it to the compound, that he was at his villa there. Did you know about that report, that incident report?

LOGAN: No, we did not know about that incident report before we did our story. When The Washington Post story came out, he denied it. He said that he never wrote it, had nothing to do with it. And that he told the FBI the same story as he told us. But as we now know, that is not the case.

O’DONNELL: But why would you stand by this report after Dylan Davies admitted lying to his own employer?

LOGAN: Because he was very upfront about that from the beginning, that was always part of his story. The context of it, when he tells his story, is that his boss is someone he cared about enormously. He cared about his American counterparts in the mission that night, and when his boss told him not to go, he couldn’t stay back. So, that was always part of the record for us. And, that part didn’t come as any surprise.

JEFF GLOR: 60 has already acknowledged it was a mistake not to disclose that the book was being published by Simon & Schuster, which is a CBS company. There are also these reports now that Davies was asking for money. Did he ever ask you for money?

LOGAN: He did not. He never asked us for money. It never came up.

O’DONNELL: So how do you address this moving forward? Are you going do something on Sunday on 60 Minutes?

LOGAN: Yes. We will apologize to our viewers, and we will correct the record on our broadcast on Sunday night.

O’DONNELL: And have you been in touch with him since?

LOGAN: We have not. We, after we learned of the latest news about the FBI report, we tried to contact him but we haven’t heard back from him.

O’DONNELL: You have had no contact with him since then.

LOGAN: Not so far.

O’DONNELL: And not about this latest news about the FBI report.

LOGAN: No.

GLOR: Lara Logan, thank you very much.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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58 Responses to “CBS apologizes for airing fake Benghazi eyewitness: “We Were Wrong. We Made A Mistake””

  1. mike says:

    tea baggers very clever!

  2. Daniel Sloan Johnson says:

    This story seems too easy. I’m willing to bet everything I own including my soul CBS was told to take the fall and to find scape goat.

  3. lihartke says:

    Lets hook him up to a lie detector test. i bet he was just saying he wasn’t there so he wouldn’t get in trouble for disobeying orders. OBAMA is a pure SC*M. And so is Hillary.

  4. test says:

    everyone working for zionist bankers…agents AIPAC

  5. karmanot says:

    But, there is a book out called Spam Haiku….

  6. karmanot says:

    Comfort food: Spam and eggs!

  7. Houndentenor says:

    and the producers and everyone up the chain that approved the story. Anything this explosive should have required confirmation. They obviously didn’t have it. Everyone who green-lit this story for airing should be fired.

  8. Ty Morgan says:

    That’s true, so the question is, when is Logan going to be fired?

  9. Melinda Li says:

    Didn’t this guy testify before Congress saying the same thing?

  10. BillFromDover says:

    Or camos?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Add them to the scrap pile with Fox News and CNN.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Keeping the people divided is a good distraction from the incompetence of the higher-ups

  13. cole3244 says:

    lies & hate trump truth & love in todays america.

  14. Zorba says:

    Thanks, Mike, but I think I’ll pass. On both the Spam Museum and the diner.
    ;-)

  15. BeccaM says:

    My guess is Davies may have thought that his FBI testimony and reports with his security company would be classified, and so they wouldn’t care if he told a completely false story to the media.

  16. BeccaM says:

    Scarcity — plus the fact it can be shipped and stored without refrigeration.

  17. BeccaM says:

    A long, long time ago, Spam used to be very cheap. And being shelf-stabilized canned sorta-meat, my grandfather used to keep his hunting cabin stocked with about a dozen cans of the stuff in the winter, just in case.

    My recollection was that if fried, it wasn’t all that bad.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Lies sell more copies.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The media tends to give them a platform, in the sole interest of sensationalism.

  20. Anonymous says:

    CNN won’t apologize for lies, bias, and insensitive journalism. That’s become clear over the past few “Teabagger-friendly” years.

  21. BeccaM says:

    So… Main story proven in all likelihood to have been a complete fabrication: Broadcast Sunday night on prime-time on one of CBS’s most watched shows. Story accompanied with massive pre-show advertising to promote the blockbuster nature of the ‘revelations.’

    Retraction broadcast at 7:15 AM EST during a single short interview on a morning news program.

    Guess which will be remembered?

    And as I remarked in the other thread’s comments: Lying to the FBI can get you charged and put in jail; lying to a book publisher and the media, in this case, earned Davies a huge pile of money. I think it’s beyond obvious which was the lie Davies chose to tell.

  22. Stratplayer says:

    This, of course, will have absolutely no impact whatsoever on the right-wing obsession with the Benghazi non-scandal. They will continue to believe what they want to believe and no amount of fact-checking and debunking will change that. This is how sophisticated propaganda operations work.

  23. nicho says:

    I looooove Spam.

  24. nicho says:

    In which one document that was accurate appeared to be forged. The basis of the KKKarl Rove claim was that the typeface used in the letter wasn’t around when the letter was supposed to have been written. The media took that and ran with it. But it turns out that the typeface was used — and the woman who supposedly typed the letter claimed the text in the letter was accurate.

  25. nicho says:

    Or John Kerry in his clean-room suit?

  26. cole3244 says:

    fact checking, fact checking, this is capitalist america and all that is important is getting the story out first, ratings, and the bottom line, you will wait a long time for fact checking in todays supposed journalism.

  27. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    You need to visit Minnesota. The Spam Museum is very interesting, and much of it is interactive. There is a diner across the street that serves everything Spam. My companions got things like scrambled eggs with Spam and Spam sandwiches. I got a salad. Sometimes it pays to be a vegan.

  28. Houndentenor says:

    While we’re at it there’s the NYTimes that printed Judy Miller’s outright lies about WMDs. It’s an epidemic.

  29. Houndentenor says:

    Does anyone do any fact-checking these days? At what point did gossip become news? And yes, the “liberal media” (*rolls eyes*) bends over backwards to be extra “fair” to Republicans. What a mess. Meanwhile I get regular forwarded emails from relatives that are quickly debunked on snopes. Who is creating these outright lies to be distributed to the know-nothings (who repeat them endlessly no matter how many times you tell them that they aren’t true)? You’d think that would be a worthwhile news story. Yet, silence.

  30. Zorba says:

    LOL! I’ve only tasted Spam once in my life, and it was very salty and totally uninteresting. I tasted a bite first straight out of the can (really vile) and then the rest of it fried, like bacon. Barely palatable, but more or less edible. If you’re hungry. And if you smother it with a fried egg.

  31. Houndentenor says:

    CBS fired Rather for a story that was true but in which one document appears to have been forged. This is a lot worse.

  32. BillFromDover says:

    Fuckin’ Soylent Green in a can is ya ask me!

  33. BillFromDover says:

    Oops, where is Michael Dukakis riding in a tank when we need him?

  34. tsuki says:

    She should be fired. CBS fired Dan Rather.

  35. karmanot says:

    My thoughts exactly.

  36. Zorba says:

    It’s hugely popular in Hawaii and other Pacific Islands as well. Also, apparently, among Japanese and Koreans. For all of them, too, it had to do with the scarcity of fresh meat during and right after WW II. They not only got used to eating it, they acquired a taste for it.
    And now I think we’re sort of hijacking the thread. Sorry, John! ;-)

  37. FLL says:

    I think that’s all the British had available in place of meat during WWII, hence it’s reputation for something you just put up with but don’t really like.

  38. Monoceros Forth says:

    Does Spam go well with anything? :p I actually once bought the stuff from time to time, to slice thin and brown in the pan like bacon, but really it’s not at all cheap. I don’t know how the stuff got the reputation of being a budget foodstuff.

  39. FLL says:

    Moderators: Spam below. Does spam go well with graham crackers?

  40. FLL says:

    My thanks to ehmkec for his comment below. And now, question and answer time.

    Q: Why won’t South Carolinians vote a senator who is more competent than a GOP idiot that obstructs progress?
    A: Because they’re Graham crackers.

  41. FLL says:

    Thank you for your brilliant new definition (which I might quote):

    South Carolinians who vote for obstructionist Republican senators = Graham crackers

  42. Dave of the Jungle says:

    “Did faux-Benghazi witness Davies lie to 60 Minutes and in his book, or lie to FBI?”

    Clearly.

  43. dula says:

    The shocking thing is that he felt so emboldened to lie when he knew there was conflicting statements filed with FBI and his company out there. The sociopaths in society really feel invincible at this point.

  44. cole3244 says:

    fox disease has spread to most of the media, don’t fact check with at least three sources, report rumors, favor republicans, attack democrats.

    morrow is rolling over as we post and he cries for america, as do i.

  45. TheOriginalLiz says:

    Never let facts stand in the way of a hissy fit. Same mentality as a 3 year old.

  46. nicho says:

    GOP — masters of phony outrage..

  47. noGOP says:

    I tend to be a CBS news follower but I am at the point that I am ready to change the channel.

  48. Drew2u says:

    First: There’s a CBS news?
    Second: when are they going to apologize about airing false info about the lady who “lost her healthcare because of Obamacare!”
    Third: CBS is seeming worse than FOX because while FOX blatantly lies, CBS just seems to be lazy parroting with no actual journalism involved.

  49. dommyluc says:

    Well, I’ll say one thing about the Lindsey Graham Benghazi website: it uses the words “Lindsey Graham” and “bottom” on the same page. Props for correctness.

  50. RobT says:

    Hopefully this event will help put Benghazi to rest. Any normal, sane person will think twice about going forward with lies for fear of getting burned. Damn! I guess I just proved the opposite. There are very few normal sane right wingers.

  51. PeteWa says:

    oh Lara, it was just an oopsie on one of the most obviously manufactured stories of the last few years.
    let us know when 60 boring Minutes does an exposé on all of the embassy deaths under Bush the lesser, and the profound lack of outrage on all of those attacks.
    I’d greatly appreciate a special segment on the Republican defunding of embassy security prior to the attack of the century® .
    TIA

  52. pappyvet says:

    When will Lindsey Graham apologize ? That would be never. He got his mileage.

  53. lynchie says:

    Dan Rather was fired for his report on GW. I would hope the same standards apply to Lara.

  54. ehmkec says:

    I’m sure Graham crackers will do the right thing. Yea, I’m sure. (Who am I kidding)

  55. noGOP says:

    Will they address what happened to Dan Rather as a result of a semi-erroneous story? what will happen to Laura Logan?

  56. HereinDC says:

    I tend to think it won’t be 100% irreversible….but it will not be the “big” issue that it has been.

  57. Cletus says:

    Of course, as with anything the right-wing hate machine sinks its claws into, the damage is already done and irreversible…

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