They say Dylan Davies lied about one part of his story, so you should ignore ALL of his story.
Now, you get to make that decision for yourself.
Less than two weeks after 60 Minutes ran a segment feasting Dylan Davies, the former head of security for the consulate in Benghazi, unnamed Obama administration officials have disputed part of this account and 60 Minutes retracted the story and his book The Embassy House has been pulled by the publisher.
Amazon has already removed the book for sale.
The only disputed section was the claim by Mr. Davies that he went to the consulate and to the hospital that night.
Everyone acknowledges that Davies was the head of security. No other claims have been challenged.
This is important because the Benghazi scandal allegations have never been about whether Dylan Davies was there or not.
And the allegations that Davies makes–according to this own words from the now removed book-have little do with whether the disputed section is true or not.
Because of this controversy and the fact that the book has been removed, I’m publishing nine pages of the book, unedited — the section where Davies discusses his dealings with the State Department and the FBI.
I know of no better way to provide context for what Davies actually said.
Read for yourself.
Here’s that section of the book, unedited.[note note_color="#e6f7fd" radius="5"]
Barely minutes later my phone rang. “Morgan Jones.” “Mr. Jones, this is Sam Peterson from the U.S. State Department. I think you were expecting our call.” “Yes. I’m good to talk.” “Right, thank you, sir, because right now we really do appreciate it. Stay on the line: it’ll take a few moments to get everyone patched in and seated and listening.” I supped some more beer as I waited. “Okay, we’re all in now. So, Mr. Jones, please tell us everything that you have seen and heard over the last forty-eight hours.” Fuck me, where did I start? I began relating the lead-up to the attack, then moved on to the events of the night just gone. I found myself reliving it all, and at one moment I found myself breaking down again and the words just wouldn’t come. I heard another voice break into the call.
“Look, this guy just isn’t up to this
Pause. “Sir? Mr. Morgan, we can get someone to that airport to sit with you until your flight is called.” “No, no. It’s okay. I’m fine.” “If you want out of that place we can get you to the Embassy.” “No, I’m okay. I just want to go home.” “Understood, sir. Well, if you think you’re able to continue?” I said I was. I talked them through the events leading up to now, and somehow I got through it all. Then the questions began. “How many attackers were there?” “I don’t know, but I was told two hundred minimum. Maybe as many as six hundred.” “What time did you find the Ambassador dead?” “Sometime around two in the morning.” “Who were the attackers?” “Shariah Brigade.” The questions went on and on. When they were finally done, I mentioned the fact that I had the photos from the compound, those that I’d taken when I’d gone back to document the crime scene. “Hell, we need those ASAP. We have zero. We got nothing.” “I’ll email them as soon as I get home. I’ll need an email address.” “We’ll get one to you. We would really, really appreciate those photos.” “You know about the Libyan policeman taking the recce photos?” “Say again.”
I related the story about the Libyan cop— or the guy posing as a cop— who’d taken all the shots of the Mission’s front entrance the morning before the attack. “No shit. We gotta get someone over to the U.K. to talk to you. Are you up for that?” I told them that I was. “So first priority is to email us those photos,” the guy from State summarized. “Then we’ll see about getting our people to you for a face-to-face.” That was the call. I downed a few gin-and-tonics just for the extra peace of mind, then made my way toward the gate.
I’d barely settled into my seat before I’d fallen into the sleep of the dead. It was a good nine or ten hours later by the time I finally reached home. Robert was waiting for me, and he warned me that the media had started hounding already. He told me that my default response should be “No comment.” I told him that I didn’t need this shit. I just wanted to be around those I loved in peace and in quiet. I emailed all the photos that I had taken to the guy I’d spoken to at the State Department. I got a response back almost instantaneously: “Thank you very much for all of them. Brilliant. This is all we have.” That evening the four dead Americans were named on the news: Ambassador Stevens, Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, and Sean Smith. Hearing of Sean’s death was heartbreaking. He’d been there only a week and he wasn’t even a soldier. He was the IT man and a State Department guy through and through.
I remembered telling Sean just a day or so before not to worry, for we’d never had a serious attack at the Mission. I’d said it just to put his mind at rest. Now he was dead, and there was a grieving wife and two children in The Hague. I still had the fifty-euro note that Sean had given me to change into Libyan dinar so that he could buy some silk scarves for his wife. I pulled it out of my wallet, but I couldn’t even bring myself to look at it. I locked it away in a drawer. Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods I didn’t know if I’d met. I’d run into guys from the Annex, but we’d never properly swapped names. Both men were ex– Navy SEALs, and they’d been working at the Annex as private security guys. Their acts during the Embassy siege would turn out to be utterly selfless— the deeds of true heroes. I still didn’t know exactly what had happened to Dave or Scotty, or the Ambassador’s close protection team, and there was little peace to be had at home.
An FBI team was due to fly in from the States to speak with me. Every agency from America kept calling and asking me to tell them my story, and while I knew how important this was, repeating it over and over and over was cracking me up inside. Laura and Lewis were with me, but I didn’t feel as if I was with them. I was in a dark and shadowed place, and mostly they were leaving me well alone. I decided that I’d do what I had to do, and then I was going to go get myself gone. I was going to go incommunicado. I phoned a maritime security— antipiracy— company that I’d worked for a lot and asked if they had any jobs going. They said they had a ten-day transit starting in forty-eight hours, sailing from Dubai to Jeddah. I signed up to be team leader on the job.
I’d been home for less than forty-eight hours when a pair of plainclothes Special Branch officers turned up at our door. It was a guy and a woman, and they were actually as polite and helpful as can be. “We just want to make you aware that the FBI has asked if they can come to see you,” they explained. “What d’you mean?” I asked. “They’re coming at twelve midday tomorrow. It’s all arranged.” “Are they fucking really?” the guy responded. “Just give me a minute, will you.” He stepped outside and I could see him making a phone call. He came back in. “Are you happy for them to come?” he asked. “Yeah. Of course. Nothing to hide.” “Do you want us to be here with you?” “No. I’m okay.” He handed me his card. “Any time you’re not happy with their line of questioning or anything, you phone me and I’ll get them the fuck out of here.” “Thanks.” He glanced at me: “Phone and emails . . .” “Yeah, I know. They’ll be monitored.” He nodded. “Yeah.”
A little later I had a call from a guy named “Bill,” who said he was phoning from the U.S. Embassy in London. “So, this FBI team flying in— hey, you sure you can’t make it down to London?” I could not believe what I was hearing. “Listen, mate, they either come here or they can fuck off.” “Okay, no problem,” he responded, hurriedly. “They’ll come to you.” “Why did you ask then? Hear this: I am not coming to London.” The following day a five-person team turned up at my house. Three were FBI guys, one was State Department, plus there was a lady in her late fifties who introduced herself as a head prosecutor from New York. They’d caught the train to the nearest station, then a taxi from there. We paused in my garden as they took a second to admire the view. Living on a Welsh mountaintop the scenery is stunning, with an avenue of majestic, windblown oaks marching off into the gray-green distance. “Hey, man, it sure is beautiful up here,” one remarked. “Yeah. It’s nice and quiet. Normally.” They’d paid their taxi driver to wait. I could see him staring at the lot of us, thinking: What in God’s name is going on? I showed them to the living room, then made coffee for all. The questions began, with the senior of the FBI guys leading. We talked through the attack and the lead-up to it. We talked through the previous security incidents. Then he asked me what I thought of the QRF.
“Utterly fucking useless,” I responded. “Cowards who ran away. Not a man among them could use a weapon, and they turned their backs and ran— just as myself and the RSOs had warned they would.” “So did you trust the QRF in any way?” “Trust them? I wouldn’t trust those fuckers as far as I could throw them.” The FBI guy asked me a bunch more probing questions about the QRF. I could understand the gist of his inquiries. He was trying to ascertain if I thought the attack on the Embassy could have been an “inside job”— that the QRF had been in league with the Shariah Brigade attackers. I told him it wouldn’t surprise me, but I had no evidence either way. All I did know was that the QRF were useless, untrustworthy cowards who ran at the first sign of any trouble.
“What did you think of the RSOs?” “Utterly faultless. They were brilliant and they worked tirelessly in tough, shitty conditions. They continuously asked for more manpower, weaponry, and equipment and they were continuously denied.” I caught the eye of the guy from the State Department. “If they’d got it we wouldn’t be here now, obviously.” “Right, okay, this is all important stuff.” How the hell could they not know this, I found myself thinking. Lee, Rosie, Justin, Jeff, and the others had sent through the same feedback, repeatedly: We need to get rid of the QRF; we need U.S. Marines to replace them; we need more physical defenses; we need more firepower. Did none of these people ever talk to each other? “So who do you think carried out the attack?” “I don’t think. I know. I saw them. It was the Shariah Brigade militia.” “Did you have any other concerns about security prior to the attack?” “Where d’you want me to start? We had fucking loads of concerns. We— or rather the RSOs— detailed those concerns in numerous emails to the State Department. Nothing was ever done.” I paused. “And you know what— I feel guilty as fuck because we failed to get the security sorted, and because on the day of the race I let the RSOs down . . .”
The woman prosecutor stepped in now. “No, no, no— let’s be clear on one thing: you let no one down.” “Dead right,” the FBI guy added. “Without you we’d have no information at all right now. Since the attack no one has been on the ground in that compound apart from you, and we cannot thank you enough for all those photos.” “I still feel guilty that I didn’t make it over the wall the first time I tried.” I went to make them all another coffee. The lady prosecutor came into the kitchen. “Hey, you know, Morgan— you did a good thing,” she volunteered. “You did the right thing. Do not beat yourself up over this, okay? You’re a good man. A good man, you hear me?” I was tearing up. She was the motherly, kindly figure that I needed right now, and it was good of her to say those words. She stayed with me as I made the coffees, but in the background I could hear the guys firing questions back and forth at each other in hushed voices. You ask him . . . No, you ask him . . . Who knows how he’ll take it . . . Yeah, but that’s what we need to know . . .
I took them in the tray of drinks. “Guys: Listen up. I heard you whispering. I heard you saying ask him this; ask him that. You have something you want to ask me, or that you think might upset me or is insensitive— just ask. Let’s get it out there. I will not be offended.” “No, no, man, everything is okay,” the FBI guy who’d led the questioning reassured me. “And hey, thanks for the coffees.” I went to see if the taxi driver wanted a cup. Apart from anything else it was an excuse to get some air. He stared at me for a long second: “Who the hell is that lot? And what the hell are they doing here— five scary Americans on the top of a Welsh mountain?” I shrugged. “They’re just some people I work with.” “Fuck off.” I started laughing. He was, too. “Come on, tell me. What the fuck are they doing here, bud?” “I can’t. They’re just friends. Kind of.”
Three hours after they’d started their questioning the team was finally done. They asked me if I had any questions for them. “Three,” I told them. “First: Scotty and Dave— are they okay?” “They’re both badly injured, but they should pull through okay.” Shit. Well, at least they were alive. “Tell them from me: I’m sorry, but I tried.” I could see that they were choked up. “Yeah, yeah— they know.” “Two: Sean gave me fifty euros to change into Libyan dinar.” I handed the note across to them. “I can’t look at it. Please, just take it— maybe give it to the family.” They were even more choked up now. “Jeez. Yeah. Thank you very much.” “Three: Did my guard force definitely press the duck-and-cover alarm at the start of the attack?” “From the people I have spoken to— yes, they did,” the FBI guy confirmed. That was a massive weight off my mind. It was crucial to me. If they’d hit the alarm at least it meant the Americans had had warning, and a bit of time to do something— if only to grab weapons and body armor and get into fire positions.
It was time for the team to leave. They thanked me for all that I had done in Benghazi. I asked them to pass my warmest regards to Scotty and Dave. They told me they’d need me to fly to the United States at some point, to give my side of the story in full. I said I’d be happy to go. Whatever it would take to try to right the wrongs perpetrated on that hellish night, and to ensure the lessons would be learned. The lead FBI agent gave me his card: “You ever need anything ever, you just call me.” The guy who was the most choked-up among them embraced me. The lady prosecutor gave me a hug as well. “You did the right thing,” she told me again. “You did the right thing.” They got into the cab. The driver leaned out of his window with an odd expression on his face. “You’re not going to believe it, bud: they want me to drive them up the mountain!” They did just that, heading on up the track toward the summit of the hill. As I knew fully well, it was beautiful up there. Fifteen minutes later they passed back down again. I waved from the window and they waved back, and then they were gone. I put a call through to Robert. “The FBI are done, mate.” “Was it okay?” he asked. “Yeah, they were fantastic.” I told him I was off on the maritime security job the very next day. “You can’t do that,” he objected. “You can’t just disappear. There are loads more people need to talk to you.” “Listen, mate, I’m done talking. I’m all talked out. They need to start talking to each other and sharing info. I can’t do it anymore.”
Jones, Morgan; Lewis, Damien (2013-10-29). The Embassy House: The Explosive Eyewitness Account of the Libyan Embassy Siege by the Soldier Who Was There (p. 258-267). Threshold Editions. Kindle Edition.
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Note from Lee: Here’s a scene from my upcoming film The Caliphate, which will also address Benghazi. More info about The Caliphate here.