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CBS says it was 'misled' in Benghazi report

A vehicle and the surrounding area are engulfed in flames after it was set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi late on September 11, 2012
A vehicle and the surrounding area are engulfed in flames after it was set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi late on September 11, 2012

US broadcaster CBS apologized to viewers Friday, saying it was misled in a report aired last month about last year's attack on a US mission in Libya that left four Americans dead.

In the report, an ex-security officer named Dylan Davies gave harrowing details of what he said he did the night of the attack -- but CBS said it has now learned he was not telling the truth.

"We were wrong," said Lara Logan, the correspondent who prepared the report, on the channel's morning news show.

Davies "described for us his actions the night of the attack, saying he had entered the compound and had a confrontation with one of the attackers, and that he had seen the body of Ambassador Chris Stevens in a local hospital," Logan explained.

But questions arose about his account, and "what we now know is that he told the FBI a different story from what he told us. That’s 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," she said.

The New York Times reported Thursday that Davies had told the FBI he did not arrive on the scene of the attack until the morning after.

Citing two senior government officials, the newspaper said he told the FBI he remained at the villa he was living in that night.

The officials said the FBI account also matches the incident report provided by Blue Mountain security business, which was contracted to provide security in Benghazi.

Davies has denied writing the security company's incident report and said he has never seen it.

Logan said before airing the "60 Minutes" report, the news team had verified that Davies worked at the US mission in Benghazi and was there the night of the attack.

"He gave us access to communications he’d had with US government officials. We used US government reports and congressional testimony to verify many of the details of his story, and everything checked out," she said.

News correspondent Lara Logan is pictured on January 12, 2013 in Pasadena, California
News correspondent Lara Logan is pictured on January 12, 2013 in Pasadena, California

"We take the vetting of sources and stories very seriously at '60 MINUTES' and we took it seriously in this case. But we were misled," she said, adding that the news show plans to run a correction during its normal broadcast on Sunday.

She said Davies has not responded to efforts at contact since news of the FBI report broke.

Davies has just published a book about the events of September 11, 2012, when Stevens, and three other Americans were killed when heavily armed militants overran the mission in Benghazi, and a nearby CIA facility.

The publisher, Threshold Editions, is an imprint of Simon & Schuster, which is owned by CBS Corporation.

Jennifer Robinson, a spokeswoman for Simon and Schuster, said they have not yet seen the FBI report but that "in light of these revelations we will review the book and take appropriate action with regard to its publication status."

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