Two and a half weeks ago, a special 60 Minutes report on the 9/11/12 Benghazi attacks poured some more gas onto what had been a dimming fire. A supposed year of reporting had produced a good timeline of Ambassador Chris Stevens’ warnings—which went ignored—and a new witness, a British contractor going by the name “Morgan Jones.” After the report aired. Lindsey Graham demanded more access to witnesses. Rep. Frank Wolf, the House’s Benghazi watchdog, told Virginia voters to watch the special.
But this was before the Washington Post reported that “Jones” had told his employer, initially, that he did not go to the compound during the attack. In an interview with Eli Lake, “Jones” claimed to have lied in that first report. As critics led by Media Matters’ David Brock asked questions, CBS News investigated the report, until issuing this statement:
60 Minutes has learned of new information that undercuts the account told to us by Morgan Jones of his actions on the night of the attack on the Benghazi compound.
We are currently looking into this serious matter to determine if he misled us, and if so, we will make a correction.
I’m pleased that 60 Minutes is beginning to take the necessary steps towards righting a very serious error. However, I reiterate my call for an independent investigative committee to probe all aspects of how the story was reported, as they have done with previous controversies.
It’s a good day for this concerted campaign to debunk the report, and a bad week for Jones, whose book about what he saw was also excerpted in this magazine.