'60 Minutes' to air correction, publisher pulls Benghazi book

Nov. 8, 2013 at 5:23 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- The publisher of the book at the center of an erroneous CBS News report on a 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, said it is pulling the book from publication.

Threshold Editions, a division of Simon & Schuster, owned by CBS, said Friday it was withdrawing "The Embassy House" from publication "in light of information that has been brought to our attention since the initial publication" of the book. Spokeswoman Jennifer Robinson said Threshold -- which publishes a roster of conservative and right-wing authors -- was recommending booksellers follow suit, and has notified booksellers they may return the book to the publisher.

"60 Minutes" plans to air a correction Sunday to its Oct. 27 report by correspondent Lara Logan, based on the book by Dylan Davies, writing under the pseudonym Morgan Jones.

CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager, who is also executive producer of "60 Minutes," told Variety Davies deceived Logan when he said Obama administration officials did not do all they could in response the Benghazi attack, in which U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

"We made a mistake," Fager said. "We are sorry."

CBS said Thursday its "60 Minutes" newsmagazine learned of new information that contradicts Davies' account.

"The most important thing to every person at '60 Minutes' is the truth, and today the truth is we made a mistake," Logan told CBS News Friday. "That's very disappointing for any journalist, it's very disappointing for me. Nobody likes to admit they made a mistake, but if you do, you have to stand up and take responsibility and you have to say that you are wrong. And in this case, we were wrong. We made a mistake.

"And, how did this happen? Dylan Davies worked for the State Department in Libya. He was the manager of the local guard force at the Benghazi special mission compound, and he described for us his actions that night, saying that he had entered the compound and had a confrontation with one of the attackers and he also said that he had seen the body of Ambassador Chris Stevens in a local hospital," Logan said. "And after our report aired, questions were raised about whether his account was real after an incident report surfaced that told a different story about what he'd done that night."

The New York Times reported Thursday that, Davies, a Blue Mountain security officer hired to help protect the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, told the FBI he was not on the scene until the morning after the attack. Two senior government officials said the information Davies provided in the FBI interview was consistent with an incident report filed by Blue Mountain.

CBS News had acknowledged that Davies was interviewed by the FBI, but intimated the FBI interview would support Davies' account on "60 Minutes."

"He [Davies] denied that report and he said that he told the FBI the same story he told us, but what we now know is that he told the FBI a different story to what he told us and you know, that was the moment, for us, when we realized that we no longer had confidence in our source and that we were wrong to put him on air and we apologize to our viewers," Logan said.

Throughout the week, CBS News defended Davies, suggesting he was the object of a State Department campaign to quell questioning about the attack. CBS also vouched for the authenticity of Davies' account on "60 Minutes."

In a statement to CNN this week, Davies said, "The account in my book is consistent with what I gave to the FBI and U.S. authorities about what happened in Benghazi."

CIA employees are scheduled to testify about the attack at a closed-door congressional hearing next week.

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