60 Minutes Apologizes for Retracted Benghazi Story

Correspondent Lara Logan offers brief on-air apology at end of Sunday's broadcast

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CBS’ 60 Minutes apologized at the end of its Sunday broadcast for its flawed story on the 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

Correspondent Lara Logan, who reported the October 27 story, said that 60 Minutes was misled by their main source, British security contractor Dylan Davies. Davies, who has written a book under the pseudonym “Sergeant Morgan Jones,” told 60 Minutes that he fought his way into the compound while the September 11 attack raged and later saw the body of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who was killed that night. Davies’ story unraveled after it was revealed that his account on 60 Minutes and in his book was different from what he told the FBI.

After staunchly defending the story for days, 60 Minutes retracted the report late last week, Logan went on CBS’s morning and evening news programs to issue an apology. Sunday’s on-air retraction was billed as a more comprehensive explanation, but after the 90-second explanation, several media critics took to Twitter to argue that the mea culpa left several important questions unanswered.

[AP]

16 comments
DeanGarr
DeanGarr

CBS, the network of Murrow and Cronkite, should be ashamed, but isn't. Rather, it is busy couching a non-apology-apology in passive voice, as though they are as mystified as any as how they got it wrong. 

High-school journalism teaches a story must have at least two sources. Remember, Woodward and Bernstein scurrying to find multiple confirmations?

FIre Lara Logan immediately, along with any other producer/co-conspirator, who was behind this travesty.


JimWard
JimWard

The outpost in Benghazi was neither an embassy or a consulate. As a clandestine operation in a war zone, it was secured primarily by CIA paramilitary and Pentagon Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) commandos. Three forces were launched: one team from the Benghazi annex to the outpost, a second team from Tripoli to the annex, and a third team from Tripoli to the airport to receive the evacuated wounded and other survivors. In the end, these forces were joined by dozens of Libyan fighters and killed scores of the attacking militants, secured the bodies of our four dead, and safely rescued and evacuated nearly 40 Americans who were on a plane out of Libya in hours. Two members of these paramilitary forces, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, were the CIA Global Response Staff (GRS) soldiers and former SEALS killed in the rescue and evacuation operation.

President Obama, who was visiting wounded veterans at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda when the attack started, was first briefed by his National Security Advisor. He then met with the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They later testified that the President ordered the immediate deployment of all necessary forces and the the White House was fully engaged with the Military Command Center for the duration of the attacks and the subsequent rescue and evacuation operation.

A White House photograph showed the President meeting with members of the National Security Council well into the evening of the attacks. At 10 PM the President was on the phone with Secretary Clinton who had just been briefed by the CIA director. At around Midnight, when the President moved from the Oval Office to the residence, all of the Americans had been rescued and were being escorted to the airport by U.S. forces, friendly militias and Libyan Military Intelligence forces who had arrived in more than 50 vehicles.

The next morning, the President continued to be briefed by members of his national security team. He travelled to the State Department and consoled the grieving colleagues of those we lost in Benghazi. He addressed the nation from the Rose Garden and in an address specific to the Benghazi attacks, called it "an act of terror." (Partisans should consult the dictionary, where they will find "terror" defined as "terrorism."

Later, aboard Air Force One, he would talk to the parents of Ambassador Stevens and the widow of Sean Smith. The President then turned a prescheduled presidential campaign event in Nevada into a tribute to those killed in Benghazi.

The anti-Islam propaganda video was distributed in a fragile Mideast in the midst of a U.S. presidential election by rightwing agents. The video translated to Arabic and was widely televised in the region just days before the Benghazi attacks. It would eventually be linked to protests, riots and attacks on more than 50 U.S. facilities in more than 20 nations. Intelligence, eyewitness reports, statements from Libyan officials, and news reports -- including interviews with armed militants and unarmed protesters at the scene -- all had the attack as being incited by the video and proceeding with no more than hours of planning. Those reporting continue to stand by these accounts.

Nevertheless, Secretary Clinton -- like the President and other Administration officials -- made it clear that it made no difference what the motives of the attacking militants were. There was no excuse for the violence against our people. None.

MacFrite
MacFrite

You would think that after helping Libya rid their country of a tyrant, the embassy could depend on the government forces to protect them, obviously this isn't even close to reality. Further, you would expect someone like Mr. Davies who, supposedly, wrote a book on the events of that tragic night to be able give an accurate account of what took place, this turned out to be not what happened at all. What is the truth of Mr. Davies's story and can you trust anything he says? Trusting the survival of an embassy to just a few armed individuals is, at best, foolhardy

MarcHandler1
MarcHandler1

The 60 Minutes piece makes the point that there was inadequate security at the Libyan embassy; the US government was informed of this in advance, it failed to protect the staff, and people died as a result. The report uses multiple sources to support this point. If you edit out Dylan Davies from the piece, there’s still an extremely strong case for the fact that this was a tragic failure of government. … These kinds of failures happen under both parties and have nothing to do with conservative or liberal ideology. When departments of government fail in this way, it’s right for the media to point it out so that lives may be saved in the future. … 60 Minutes should have checked out Davies more carefully, so it’s fair to criticize them for using statements from a poor source, but their other sources were sound -- and this is a tiny point compared to the larger issue: From Iran to Libya, American embassies have received inadequate protection with tragic results. We need to stop using this as a partisan issue and focus on fixing the problem. 

 

aztecian
aztecian

they were making a story from very little evidence and a ton of holywood conjecture.  the next thing the right will try and do is tie benghazi to some huge conspiracy theory in order to destroy hillary's chances in 2016. 

rcampbell
rcampbell

Now if the POTUS was only 1/2 as honorable.

notLostInSpace
notLostInSpace

If Cbs was part of the vast "liberal media" would this story have run in the first place?

daridekas
daridekas

A simple apology is not enough.This is just another example of how low cost has a human life for the media.

admin2:invetrics 

0pointsmortgage
0pointsmortgage

@JimWard by right-wing agents?  Come on.  Who made a commercial one week after the events and televised all over the Mid east?  The WH.  Seems they were promoting the video.  Why would you make a commercial 1 week after the events and admit you didn't know anything?  DO you work for the WH or ACORN?

JimWard
JimWard

The Benghazi outpost was not an embassy or a consulate. This was a clandestine CIA/JSOC operation trying to create a centralized Libyan state military out of the many militias while recovering the many MANPADS that were looted from Qaddafi's arsenals during the war. As such, security -- in addition to the Diplomatic Security Services (DSS) force and contractors from British Blue Mountain Security -- included the three responding U.S. forces comprised of CIA Global Response Staff (GRS) paramilitary soldiers and Pentagon Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) commandos.

The Benghazi rescue and evacuation operation was implemented the same way that the Libyan war was waged: the U.S. forces utilized indigenous fighters as "force multipliers." These included dozens of battle-hardened fighters from Libyan Shield, 17th of February Brigade, and Libyan military intelligence soldiers who arrived in more than 50 vehicles.

In the end, these forces combined to kill dozens of the attacking militants; they secured the bodies of our four dead; and they rescued and evacuated nearly 40 Americans who were on a plane out of Libya within hours.

JimWard
JimWard

But this clearly has become a partisan issue and you continue to spread disproven partisan talking points. At the time of the Benghazi attacks, polls showed the American people trusted President Obama by large margins over his Republican contender in the areas of national security and fighting terrorism. Republicans exploited this national tragedy, misrepresented the facts, doctored White House email, and concocted phony books and news reports. It was not just about bruising the President during the campaign or trying to weaken a likely 2016 campaign opponent. They continue to latch onto this because they are petrified of losing a percentage of the white male vote. Remember, on President Obama's watch, America's homeland remains safe, bin Laden was killed, scores of al Qaeda leaders and foot soldiers have been killed or captured, and dictator Qaddafi -- who President Reagan called the "Mad Dog" of the Mideast -- was overthrown with minimal American losses (especially compared to the thousands of Americans lost as a result of the Bush quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan.)

The Benghazi outpost was not an embassy or a consulate. It was a clandestine operation working to organize the various rebel factions -- the militias -- into a centralized security state and to recover the many MANPADS looted from Qaddafi's arsenals during the war. There were no specific threats regarding the attacks, but even if there was it is unlikely -- considering the threat to commercial aviation and the fact that we led the "secret" war in Libya -- that we would have abandoned the post.

Before he was an Ambassador, Christopher Stevens -- as a "special envoy" to the rebels -- arrived in Libya on a Greek cargo ship along with the CIA and other personnel. They slept on the ship at first and then set up shop in a hotel in Benghazi, the rebel capital, before moving the operation to the more secure outpost. Before he left the U.S., Stevens told friends and family that it was going to be like the "Wild West" and did not shy away from the danger involved. Both Commanding General Ham and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff testified that Stevens himself -- likely due to the clandestine nature of the operation -- refused multiple offers of an increased military presence at the outpost. Nevertheless, the compound had multiple security upgrades, housed the barracks of the 17th of February Brigade and a Tactical Operations Center (TOC) staffed by Diplomatic Security Services (DSS), additional contractors from the British Blue Mountain Security, and -- most importantly -- was protected by teams of CIA and JSOC forces leading dozens of indigenous forces.

Three U.S. forces comprised of CIA Global Support Staff (GRS) paramilitary soldiers and Pentagon Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) commandos responded -- the first within 25 minutes. A U.S. Predator drone was launched and provided overhead video images to the JSOC operators below to map out escape routes to evacuate nearly 40 Americans.

Had the compound's "safe haven" had an oxygen tank, Stevens and Smith would have rescued with the others instead of dying from smoke inhalation in the fire started by militants in the first 15 minutes of the attack. I guess partisans have every right to hold the Secretary of State and the President accountable for a missing oxygen tank in one of the hundreds of U.S. facilities around the world. They have already taken such responsibility. Most of us, however, but the blame squarely on the attacking militants.

bnhappy55
bnhappy55

@MarcHandler1 I hate to be partisan but the pubs have blocked better funding for embassy security many times . Do they have any accountability??

0pointsmortgage
0pointsmortgage

@aztecian Hillary is aweful.  I mean what type of women stays with a man after he cheats on her multiple times and will at the drop of a hat sleep with more woman. 

BobBobbley
BobBobbley

@0pointsmortgage @JimWard Acorn, the organization that no longer exists? 

You wouldn't happen to be a Goober, would you?

0pointsmortgage
0pointsmortgage

@bnhappy55 @MarcHandler1 The person that headed up the funding testified to congress that NO funding was ever blocked.  She was brought to testify as some Dems (Boxer among others) tried to tie the sequestration to the lack of security.  These accusations were false.  There were no funding issues...in fact 1 week after the attack the WH had enough funding that it made a mid east commercial apologizing for the Youtube video...Seemed to me they were trying to promote the video.

PaulChristie
PaulChristie

@0pointsmortgage @bnhappy55 @MarcHandler1  

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) acknowledged on Wednesday (10-10-12) that House Republicans had consciously voted to reduce the funds allocated to the State Department for embassy security since winning the majority in 2010.

"Absolutely," Chaffetz said. "Look we have to make priorities and choices in this country...