Yet Another Benghazi Story Falls Apart

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Earlier this week I wrote about Lara Logan’s sensationalistic report on Benghazi for 60 Minutes on Sunday. As it turned out, the only new bit of reporting came from a British security supervisor who has written a book and came on the program to publicize it, but even he didn’t really have anything new to add. When he got to Benghazi, he said, he realized it was a dangerous place and that al-Qaeda-affiliated groups were active in the area. This isn’t news.

However, the supervisor, who was dramatically disguised on camera and went by the pseudonym Morgan Jones, did have a very detailed account of his own heroic actions on the night of the attacks. Today, Karen DeYoung of the Washington Post suggests—well, she’s a straight news reporter, so she doesn’t suggest anything. But here’s what she reports:

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 2½-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.”

….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.

….A person answering the telephone Thursday at Blue Mountain, based in Wales, said no one was available to discuss Benghazi or Davies, who no longer worked there. Damien Lewis, co-author of the book, said in a telephone interview that Davies was “not well” and is hospitalized. Lewis said he was unaware that the Blue Mountain incident report existed but suggested that Davies might have dissembled in it because his superiors, whom he contacted by telephone once he was informed that the attack was underway, told him to stay away from the compound.

So here’s what we know: (a) There was really no need for the dramatic pseudonym. Everyone knew who Davies was. (b) His official report differs wildly from his 60 Minutes account. (c) Davies is now conveniently sick and unable to explain himself. (d) Davies never told his co-author about his after-action report. (e) Presumably he never told 60 Minutes about it either. (f) Congressional investigators have had copies of Davies’ report for months.

Needless to say, neither 60 Minutes nor congressional Republicans care about any of this. They have their story and they’re sticking to it. The rest of us can make up our own minds.

 

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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