CBS Backs Off Benghazi Source
The CBS newsmagazine 60 Minutes lost confidence in a key source for its report on Benghazi that aired last month after the network confirmed that an FBI interview with the source less than a week after the 2012 attacks did not match the account he gave the network.
The source, a former British military officer named Dylan Davies, claimed in the interview—as well as in his new book—that he scaled the walls of the U.S. compound in Benghazi on the night of the attacks and disabled one of the attackers. He also claimed to be one of the first people to see the body of Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya who was murdered on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11.
In a statement to The Daily Beast, the executive producer of 60 Minutes, Jeff Fager, said, “CBS news confirmed with our own sources at the FBI that the story he told the FBI was not in agreement with what we were told.” The New York Times first reported that two senior U.S. government officials had confirmed the FBI interview of Davies contradicted the account he gave 60 Minutes.
The Daily Beast has not been able to confirm this account.
In his book, Davies (who used the pseudonym Morgan Jones) said he lied on the evening of the attack to his superior who told him three times not to return to the U.S. mission as it was under siege. Davies said he disregarded these orders but did not want to displease a man he respected so much.
This account was challenged last week when the Washington Post first reported that Davies had allegedly signed an incident report sent to his security contractor, Blue Mountain Group, claiming he was in his villa that evening and not attempting to fend off the attackers at the U.S. mission.
Over the weekend, The Daily Beast published an interview with Davies in which he said he never saw or wrote the incident report first disclosed in the Post. In the same interview Davies also said his interview with the FBI would support the account he gave to 60 Minutes and the one he provides in a new book, The Embassy House released last week.
The fate of the book is now in limbo. Jennifer Robinson, a spokesperson for Threshold Editions, the division of Simon and Schuster that published The Embassy House, said the book is now under review. “Although we have not seen the FBI report, in light of these revelations we will review the book and take appropriate action with regard to its publication status,” she said.