A Strange Inconsistency In "Morgan Jones'" The Embassy House

Blog ››› ››› SIMON MALOY

CBS News is still trying to evade some uncomfortable questions surrounding its controversial 60 Minutes segment on the 2012 Benghazi attacks, which prominently featured "eyewitness" Dylan Davies, a security contractor identified by the pseudonym "Morgan Jones." A number of irregularities have emerged regarding Davies' account of the attacks, including an incident report that states he was nowhere near the compound during the attack he claimed to have witnessed, and undisclosed financial entanglements between Davies and CBS, which owns the publisher of Davies' book, The Embassy House.

Like the 60 Minutes segment, The Embassy House recounts Davies' experiences on the night of the Benghazi attacks. In the book, Davies claims to have been the first person to identify slain ambassador Chris Stevens at a Benghazi hospital, and writes that he conducted a one-man incursion into the besieged diplomatic compound after the attack had subsided. While it's extraordinarily difficult to confirm or deny much of Davies' story, there is a strange, internally inconsistent portion of his narrative in The Embassy House concerning whether Ambassador Stevens was conscious or unconscious upon arriving at the Benghazi Medical Center.

In chapter fifteen of The Embassy House, Davies writes that he and a Libyan associate sneaked into the Benghazi Medical Center and encountered a doctor who took them to see the body of an American, whom Jones identified as Ambassador Stevens. In Davies' retelling, by the time he'd arrived to the hospital Stevens had already been declared dead despite the doctors' efforts to resuscitate him. "He was brought in here unconscious," Davies quotes the anonymous doctor as saying. "He was unconscious upon arrival. We tried to resuscitate him for thirty minutes, but he had inhaled too much smoke. We could not reach him. Finally, we had to give up and accept that he was gone." 

Later, in chapter 17, Davies describes his incursion into the diplomatic compound to ascertain the fates of the other Americans caught in the attack. According to Davies, he sneaked over the compound wall and stealthily made his way to the burned-out VIP villa, where Stevens and foreign service officer Sean Smith had succumbed to smoke inhalation.

Davies writes:

Thick smoke still billowed from the VIP Villa's shattered windows, but there were no flames anymore. If, as I suspected, the Ambassador had been trapped in the Villa's safe room, there was no way he would have survived the firestorm that had swept through this place. In that kind of inferno he'd have lasted no more than a few minutes, before the heat and the fumes overcame him.

Yet the doctor at the 1,200-Bed Hospital had said that he was still conscious when he arrived. Maybe when the fire had hit, his close protection guys had got him onto the roof, where Dave and Scotty were making their heroic stand. I scanned the rooftop, searching for signs of life. I was dying to see just the hint of a head popping up with an M4 and loosing off a burst of rounds.

But that's not what the doctor had told Davies, according to his own account. Davies quoted the doctor saying that Stevens "was brought in here unconscious" and "was unconscious upon arrival."

It's a strange inconsistency in Davies' story -- and another one to add to the already sizable pile.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, Terrorism
60 Minutes, CBS News
Libya, Benghazi
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