When CBS pulled its 60 Minutes Benghazi report last week it cited inconsistencies in the story of security contractor Dylan Davies, but the report it retracted covered much more than just their discredited star witness. Now, based on this report from McClatchy, it's obvious that the problems extended well beyond Davies. For example:
The report repeatedly referred to al Qaida as solely responsible for the attack on the compound, and made no mention of Ansar al Shariah, the Islamic extremist group that controls and provides much of the security in restive Benghazi and that has long been suspected in the attack. While the two organizations have worked together in Libya, experts said they have different aims – al Qaida has global objectives while Ansar al Shariah is focused on turning Libya into an Islamic state.But that wasn't all. Among the other questions:
It is an important distinction, experts on those groups said. Additionally, al Qaida’s role, if any, in the attack has not been determined, and Logan’s narration offered no source for her repeated assertion that it had been.
- Logan said the attack had been long-planned, but McClatchy says that's an open question and has been told it may have been planned in a matter of hours.
- Logan said al Qaeda controlled the Benghazi Medical Center, but McClatchy cited multiple sources and reports rebutting that claim.
- Logan named three suspects in the attack without citing a source or evidence.
- Logan said CBS had obtained Ambassador Stevens' schedule for September 12 in the compound's rubble, but McClatchy offers substantial evidence that this claim could not be true.
All in all, it's a pretty damning report, and makes it clear why CBS is finally acknowledging that it is conducting a "journalistic review" into how the story ever made it on air. So far, however, CBS hasn't said how it is conducting its review, who is conducting it, and whether it will be released to the public, questions that CBS ultimately will have to address.