The CBS News “Eyewitness” Who Wasn’t There

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from Media Matters,

On last week’s 60 Minutes, CBS News presented an account from a British security contractor who claimed to be an eyewitness to the attack against U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya. But the contractor’s own incident report revealed that he was nowhere near the facilities and was instead at a beachside villa.

The 60 Minutes report largely hinged on revelations from “Morgan Jones,” who CBS News claimed “witnessed the attack.” In an interview with correspondent Lara Logan that sounded like the script for an action movie, “Jones” described scaling the wall at the burning compound, fighting off terrorists inside, and gaining access to the hospital to view the remains of Ambassador Chris Stevens.

The CBS News report quickly fueled the ongoing right-wing politicization of the terror attack and provided renewed vigor to accusations of a “Benghazi cover-up.

The problem? “Jones,” whose real name is Dylan Davies, previously wrote that he “could not get anywhere near” the diplomatic compound that night. In the incident report submitted to his employer, Davies stated that, due to roadblocks, he spent most of the night of the attack at his Benghazi beachside villa, only learning of the Ambassador’s death from a Libyan colleague’s cellphone picture. Davies later claimed that he lied in the employer report, not the story he gave to the media. Either way, the discrepancy is troubling.

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