As more information comes out about Dylan Davies, the supposed eyewitness on whose book and testimony Lara Logan based her 60 Minutes “exposé” of the events at the Benghazi Consulate, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to understand how Logan and the producers of the piece were so badly misled.
Davies continues to deny that he ever gave a statement to the FBI, which contradicts the account he gave on 60 Minutes and in his book, which the publisher, Simon & Schuster, has dropped and urged retailers to pull from the shelves.
In his after-action debriefing, Davies told the FBI that he had never gotten to the compound on the night of the attack, an account which apparently agrees with the account he gave to his employer, Blue Mountain, a private security firm hired to provide protection for the mission in Benghazi. Davies has asserted that the account he gave his employer was the lie and that he had lied to them because he had been ordered to stay away that night, and he may have faced termination had he admitted to having ignored those orders.
A passage in his book describes his initial meeting with FBI agents, as well as a woman whom he identifies as “…a lady in her late fifties who introduced herself as a head prosecutor from New York.” He gives no explanation as to why a New York City prosecutor would be involved in the investigation of an attack on a diplomatic mission in Libya. She simply seems to be a mother figure, à la Moneypenny from the James Bond novels, which he feels is a necessary part of the narrative.
This passage reads like a poorly written novel of international espionage and intrigue:
[box type=”shadow”]’Where d’you want me to start? We had fucking loads of concerns. We—or rather the RSOs [Regional Security Officers]—detailed those concerns in numerous emails to the State Department. Nothing was ever done.” I paused. “And you know what— I feel guilty as fuck because we failed to get the security sorted, and because on the day of the race I let the RSOs down…’
The woman prosecutor stepped in now. ‘No, no, no—let’s be clear on one thing: you let no one down.’ ‘Dead right,’ the FBI guy added. ‘Without you we’d have no information at all right now. Since the attack no one has been on the ground in that compound apart from you, and we cannot thank you enough for all those photos.’ ‘I still feel guilty that I didn’t make it over the wall the first time I tried.’ I went to make them all another coffee. The lady prosecutor came into the kitchen. ‘Hey, you know, Morgan— you did a good thing,’ she volunteered. ‘You did the right thing. Do not beat yourself up over this, okay? You’re a good man. A good man, you hear me?’ I was tearing up. She was the motherly, kindly figure that I needed right now, and it was good of her to say those words. She stayed with me as I made the coffees, but in the background I could hear the guys firing questions back and forth at each other in hushed voices. You ask him…No, you ask him…
I took them in the tray of drinks. ‘Guys: Listen up. I heard you whispering. I heard you saying ask him this; ask him that. You have something you want to ask me, or that you think might upset me or is insensitive—just ask. Let’s get it out there. I will not be offended.’ ‘No, no, man, everything is okay,’ the FBI guy who’d led the questioning reassured me. ‘And hey, thanks for the coffees…’
It was time for the team to leave. They thanked me for all that I had done in Benghazi…They told me they’d need me to fly to the United States at some point, to give my side of the story in full. I said I’d be happy to go. Whatever it would take to try to right the wrongs perpetrated on that hellish night, and to ensure the lessons would be learned. The lead FBI agent gave me his card: ‘You ever need anything ever, you just call me.’ The guy who was the most choked-up among them embraced me. The lady prosecutor gave me a hug as well. ‘You did the right thing,’ she told me again. ‘You did the right thing.'[/box]
Anyone reading this passage alone should step back and start asking questions about the reliability of this man’s testimony, it just does not have the ring of truth, it sounds more like a grade school child making up a fantastical story for his classmates to demonstrate his childish concept of what makes an heroic figure.
It only adds to the questions which CBS and Logan have yet to answer about the supposedly in-depth investigation they conducted:
- They never bothered to vet Davies story, nor have they explained why they didn’t.
- They never attempted to get hold of a copy of Davies’s report to the FBI, nor have they offered an explanation as to why they failed to do so.
- They have said nothing about the fact that Logan – who had called for “revenge” as far back as a year ago – was so focused on the question of a lack of an immediate military response, even though that issue was addressed shortly after the attack by the Pentagon, which explained that there had been no viable military response available at the time.
- CBS and Logan have not explained why they chose to air Gregory Hicks’s testimony as if it was some new and damning revelation, never mentioning the fact that he had testified before Congress months ago, nor that his testimony had already been called into question.
- They have not offered an explanation as to why they would continue to stand by the report – and Davies’s account – for a full week after it was shown that his allegations were in direct conflict with the statement given to the FBI, and his explanation of the discrepancies was so blatantly implausible.
Perhaps one of the most damning points that CBS has failed to offer an explanation for is the fact that they embraced a source which had been dropped by Fox News, an openly right-leaning organization, when he demanded to be paid for his testimony.
CBS may have issued a sort-of apology, but it still has a lot to answer for if it intends to save the reputation of 60 Minutes, a program which has enjoyed a reputation for honest reporting for forty-five years. CBS is going to have to issue a much stronger statement than Logan’s milquetoast “apology” on last Sunday’s show, and address these unanswered questions. It would be much if they did so sooner rather than later.
h/t: Mother Jones