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'60 Minutes' apologizes for Benghazi error

Nov. 11, 2013 at 2:15 AM   |   Comments

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NEW YORK, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- CBS News' "60 Minutes" apologized for a report on the U.S. mission attack in Benghazi, Libya, that included a disgraced source who claimed he was on the scene.

The nearly 77-second "correction" read on the Sunday night program by Lara Logan, the on-air anchor for the controversial Oct. 27 segment, did not explain why CBS had trusted Dylan Davies, who said he was at the compound during the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

It also did not mention whether CBS News would review the incident or whether the news unit engaged in any incorrect procedures in vetting Davies. His account of the attack was also published in a book released by Simon & Schuster Inc., a CBS Corp. division. The connection was not disclosed by "60 Minutes" in its first report.

Davies, who appeared on the program under the pseudonym Morgan Jones, said he hit an al-Qaida fighter in the face with the butt of a rifle during the attack and later saw Stevens' body at a hospital.

The report prompted Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to declare he would hold up all White House nominations in the Senate until the administration made witnesses available to testify about the attack.

Some Republicans have accused the White House and State Department of a coverup to protect President Barack Obama during his re-election campaign and Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time and is widely considered a leading 2016 Democratic presidential hopeful.

The White House has acknowledged security failures in Benghazi and said administration officials have testified at 13 congressional hearings, participated in 40 staff briefings and provided more than 25,000 pages of documents.

It also said a diplomatic security agent who survived the attack testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

But the State Department told Graham in a letter last month it was concerned additional congressional interviews could jeopardize a criminal trial in which the survivors could be witnesses.

Graham told CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday the CBS apology did not change his vow to hold up confirmations, including that of Janet Yellen to lead the Federal Reserve.

"I've been trying for a year to get the interviews without holds," Graham told CNN. "And you just can't allow something this bad and this big of a national security failure, for the administration to investigate itself."

Logan said "60 Minutes" realized "we had been misled" by Davies Thursday and realized "it was a mistake to include him in our report.

"For that, we are very sorry," she said.

She said it became clear Thursday Davies gave a different account of his time in Benghazi to the FBI, Logan said.

She did not mention reporting from The Washington Post and The New York Times that brought that information to light.

"The most important thing to every person at '60 Minutes' is the truth, and the truth is we made a mistake," Logan said.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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