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November 01, 2013 11:34 AM “Outside His Narrative Of His Own Actions….”

By Ed Kilgore

As you probably know, the latest round of Benghazi! fever—leading, among other things, to the taking of Janet Yellen’s confirmation as Fed Chairman as a hostage—was touched off by a dramatic 60 Minutes feature on the saga, heavily based on the account provided by a British contractor pseudonymously identified as “Morgan Jones.”

Now it seems the contractor—whose actual name is Dylan Davies—filed a contemporaneous report of his activities on the fateful period in question with his employer that totally contradicts the account he gave to 60 Minutes. WaPo’s Karen DeYoung has the story:

In Davies’s 2 1/2-page incident report to Blue Mountain, the Britain-based contractor hired by the State Department to handle perimeter security at the compound, he wrote that he spent most of that night at his Benghazi beach-side villa. Although he attempted to get to the compound, he wrote in the report, “we could not get anywhere near . . . as roadblocks had been set up.”
He learned of [Ambassador Chris] Stevens’s death, Davies wrote, when a Libyan colleague who had been at the hospital came to the villa to show him a cellphone picture of the ambassador’s blackened corpse. Davies wrote that he visited the still-smoking compound the next day to view and photograph the destruction.
The State Department and GOP congressional aides confirmed that Davies’s Sept. 14, 2012, report, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post, was included among tens of thousands of documents turned over to lawmakers by the State Department this year.

Well, clearly, Davies was either prevaricating to his superiors then or is prevaricating to the rest of us now (not only via 60 Minutes, but in a book under his pseudonymous byline published this very week, in a nice media parlay).

I don’t know which it is, but this obviously raises questions about the man’s credibility. It doesn’t, however, seem to trouble a spokesman for Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Oversight Committee, the locus of much of the Benghazi! agitation over the last year:

“Outside his narrative of his own individual actions that night, [Davies’s] information about key Benghazi events appeared consistent with a well-established consensus of an inadequate security posture,” said Frederick Hill, a spokesman for House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). Hill said the committee had not spoken to Davies and had not requested an interview with him, though administration officials confirmed that the FBI has interviewed him.

Translation: Davies’ account reinforces our lurid account of what happened that night, so he cares what he said at the time?

The worst thing, though, is that the apparent implosion of this sensational new Benghazi! “report” will just become another conservative excuse for obsessing about it even more, even if that means taking hostages and giving Lindsey Graham a fresh opportunity to prance and posture for the benefit of Republican primary voters in South Carolina.

UPDATE: A number of hours have gone by, so I don’t know if commenter JoyousMN will see this or not, but I was not consciously alluding to anything about Lindsey Graham’s alleged sexual orientation in using the word “prance” for his egregious pandering to the SC conservatives who might soon considered purging him. I would have likely used the same verb if I had been talking about Ted Cruz, not that he needs to pander to anybody on the Right. As it happens, I agree with JoyousMN’s discomfort with the gay-baiting that seems to go on with respect to Graham, and I guess I’ll be more careful next time to avoid even the slight appearance of participating in it.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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