CBS News' source for their discredited report on the Benghazi attack, Dylan Davies, accused critics of conducting a coordinated smear campaign against him, while simultaneously admitting he falsified statements about his experience of the Benghazi attack.
On October 27, CBS' 60 Minutes featured “Morgan Jones,” -- The Washington Post later revealed his real name, Dylan Davies -- a supposed “eyewitness” of the September 2012 attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities, who claimed that during the attack he scaled a wall of the compound, personally struck a terrorist in the face with his rifle butt, and later went to the Benghazi hospital to see Ambassador Chris Stevens' body.
The story he told CBS wildly diverged from the account he gave his superiors in an incident report that was obtained by The Washington Post. According to the Post, Davies had previously filed a report with his security contractor employer saying that he “could not get anywhere near” the compound the night of the attack.
Now Davies is lashing out at his critics for identifying the inconsistencies in his various accounts of the attack. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Davies accused critics of conducting “a coordinated campaign to smear him”:
Davies said he believed there was a coordinated campaign to smear him. This week, Media Matters, a progressive media watchdog, sent a public letter to CBS News asking it to retract the 60 Minutes Benghazi piece on the basis of the Washington Post article. On the Fox News Channel, reporter Adam Housley claimed on air this week that Davies asked for money in exchange for an interview. Davies denied this charge. 60 Minutes has stood by its reporting.
But in the same interview, Davies admitted to falsifying his incident report of the Benghazi attacks, undermining his credibility and calling into question his various accounts of the attack.
According to The Daily Beast, Davies explained that he had lied to his supervisor at the security contracting company Blue Mountain Group, “because he did not want his supervisor to know he had disobeyed his orders”:
Davies said the version of the events contained in the incident report matched what he told his supervisor, called “Robert” in his book, who is a top Blue Mountain Group executive. Davies said he lied to Robert about his actions that night because he did not want his supervisor to know he had disobeyed his orders to stay at his villa.
The Daily Beast has redacted the true name of Robert out of his concern for his privacy.
“He told me under no circumstances was I to go up there. I respected him so much I did not want him to know that I had not listened to him,” said Davies, referring to Robert. “I have not seen him since.”
Davies also wrote in his book that Robert had instructed him not to go to the compound under any circumstances. Davies called Robert after going to the hospital, he said, but before his first visit to the compound on the night of Sept. 11. Davies says he told Robert the ambassador was dead but did not tell him what he was up to.
Executives at Blue Mountain Group, including Robert, did not respond to emails requesting comment.
In addition to his interview with CBS and the incident report, Davies claims he discussed the Benghazi attack with FBI and State Department officials. He has also written a memoir of the night titled The Embassy House. According to Davies, the incident report is the only account that is inconsistent, but his admission that he purposefully disobeyed and misled his employers calls into question the validity of his current version of the events that night.
Fox News revealed they had previously interviewed Davies as well, but ceased after he demanded money, a charge that Davies denied. Foreign Policy also reported that Davies' memoir was published by “Threshold Editions, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, which is a part of CBS Corporation, which owns 60 Minutes -- a fact not disclosed in the 60 Minutes story.”
For more on conservative media myths about the September 2012 attack, read The Benghazi Hoax, the new e-book by Media Matters' David Brock and Ari Rabin-Havt.
The language in this post has been updated for clarity.