With CBS News' venerated 60 Minutes program still reeling over its now-discredited Benghazi report, ordering the story’s reporter Lara Logan to take a “leave of absence” after an internal report showed numerous flaws in how she and her producers assembled the story, the same report says that Logan should never have been placed on the story in the first place, due to her strong, pro-war views.
The Oct. 27 story was based on interviews with a security contractor who called himself “Morgan Jones,” who said he was an eyewitness to the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.
The attacks killed four Americans including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Based on the account given by “Jones,” Logan’s story asserted that the U.S. was unprepared and slow to respond to the attack.
But it turned out that “Jones” whose real name is Dylan Davies, was not anywhere near the diplomatic outpost when the attacks took place. In fact, he had written a book about the incident that was to be published by Simon and Schuster, which is owned by the same parent company as CBS, the internal report noted.
The internal CBS report, written by CBS News Executive Director of Standards and Practices Al Ortiz, says that Logan not only could have known that Davies was lying had she investigated further, but a speech that she delivered in 2012, shortly before beginning work on the piece, should have disqualified her from reporting it.
The Chicago speech was described by one journalist as a “war cry” which left its audience “stunned” with her calls for immediate U.S. military action in Libya and revenge against Al-Qaeda, who Logan believed was behind the attack.
“The last time we were attacked like this was the USS Cole which was a prelude to 9/11. And you're sending in the FBI to investigate?” Logan said in the speech. “I hope to God that you are sending in your best clandestine warriors to exact revenge and let the world know that the United States will not be attacked on its own soil, its ambassadors will not be murdered and the United States will not stand by and do nothing about it.”
One observer later summed up Logan’s speech as “Shoot ’em, bomb ’em, f*** ’em. They will kill your children.”
“There is a conflict in taking a public position on the government’s handling of Benghazi and Al Qaeda, while continuing to report on the story,” Ortiz tersely noted in his report.
Watch Logan’s now-infamous speech in its entirety, below.
SOURCES: Salon, Huffington Post, Daily Beast