In contrast with the 60 Minutes account, which saw him knocking out terrorists with the butt end of his rifle and scaling a 12-foot wall the night of the attack, the Blue Mountain report has Jones at his beach-side villa for the majority of the night. Despite an attempt to make it to the compound, Jones wrote that “we could not get anywhere near … as roadblocks had been set up.” [Foreign Policy]
THE BENGHAZI furor has led to yet another embarrassment for the conspiracy theorists, led by Fox News channel and now, sadly, “60 Minutes.” It was reported in the Washington Post late this past week that the so-called “witness” had written a different explanation to the State Department than the one he told “60 Minutes”
But in a written account that Jones, whose real name was 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 of his experiences that night.
In Davies’s 21 / 2-page 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 Benghazi beach-side villa. Although he attempted to get to the compound, he wrote in the report, “we could not get anywhere near . . . as roadblocks had been set up.”
He learned of Stevens’s death, Davies wrote, when a Libyan colleague who had been at the hospital came to the villa to show him a cellphone picture of the ambassador’s blackened corpse. Davies wrote that he visited the still-smoking compound the next day to view and photograph the destruction.
The State Department and GOP congressional aides confirmed that Davies’s Sept. 14, 2012, report, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post, was included among tens of thousands of documents turned over to lawmakers by the State Department this year.
The whole story is being pushed, because of Hillary Clinton’s expected run for the presidency. It was sucked up by Chris Matthews last week on “Hardball,” a show that continues its race to the bottom.
The falsity of the “60 Minutes” report has led David Brock of Media Matters to call on CBS to retract their story, writing a letter to CBS president Jeff Fager.
From Foreign Policy, the problem with the report begins with the “witness” not even being present the day of the terrorist attack.
But with great impact comes great scrutiny, which has led to more questions about Jones’s role in the incident. What’s beyond dispute is that Jones worked for the Britain-based contractor Blue Mountain, which was hired by the State Department to oversee perimeter security at the compound. On Thursday, the Washington Post obtained Jones’ written account of the Sept. 11 attack that he gave to his bosses a few days after the incident. In contrast with the 60 Minutes account, which saw him knocking out terrorists with the butt end of his rifle and scaling a 12-foot wall the night of the attack, the Blue Mountain report has Jones at his beach-side villa for the majority of the night. Despite an attempt to make it to the compound, Jones wrote that “we could not get anywhere near … as roadblocks had been set up.”
According to the newspaper, “[Jones] wrote that he visited the still-smoking compound the next day to view and photograph the destruction.”
There are also other red flags the Post story doesn’t include. For weeks, it seems, Jones tried to profit off his brush with disaster. In a Fox News report on Monday, reporter Adam Housley said his source relationship with Jones ended after he insisted upon receiving money. “He spoke to me on the phone a number of times and then we stopped speaking to him when he asked for money,” Housley said. On Fox News, that fact is introduced as an incidental footnote to the network’s follow up on the 60 Minutes story. It has become more relevant in light of The Post’s report. (Paying sources for information is typically frowned upon in American journalism.)
Of course, in the middle of it all is Senator Lindsey Graham, whose smelling salts are never far away when it comes to Benghazi. His latest fainting spell comes with the threat of holding nominations, because witnesses of Benghazi haven’t been interviewed! See Darrell Issa’s Benghazi circus. Of course, Mr. Graham’s idea of “witness” comports with “60 Minutes,” which has been disgraced by their sloppy vetting.
That Lara Logan was involved in this farce is very disappointing.
Administration officials seized on the discrepancies to again criticize GOP zeal in pursuing the Benghazi incident.
“The people who were injured and the families of those who died are owed an apology” by Davies and “60 Minutes,” said a senior administration official who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. “There were real heroes that night, including the quick response team that actually got into the U.S. compound and saved lives. Davies was, according to his own after-action report, not one of them.” [Washington Post]
If Republicans and other critics of Hillary Clinton want to lay a glove on her over foreign policy they’ll have to be smarter and use facts, not emotional hyperbole for political gain, and charlatans.