— Domani Spero
The 60Minutes’ Benghazi segment with Lara Logan aired on Oct. 27, 2013 and reignited the Benghazi controversy once again. It included interviews with former US Embassy Libya DCM Gregory Hicks, and Green Beret Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Andy Wood. We’ve heard from Mr. Hicks previously and blogged about it here: “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” Features Former Embassy Tripoli DCM Gregory Hicks and Benghazi Hearing: No Kaboom as Promised, But More Details Fill Up the Dark Space of Sadness.
We’ve also heard from Colonel Wood once before: Benghazi Hearing: Looking for Truth Amidst a Partisan Divide, Outing OGA, Zingers
But we haven’t heard previously from this Morgan Jones fellow. That’s apparently a pseudonym used by a former British soldier who has been “helping to keep U.S. diplomats and military leaders safe for the last decade.” He was reportedly the “security chief for Blue Mountain Security” in charge of the Libyan guard force.
Shortly after the segment aired, Media Matters cited Fox News correspondent Adam Housley as having said that he had previously spoken to the man “a number of times and then we stopped speaking to him when he asked for money.”
The same day that the 60 Minutes segment aired, Los Angeles Times’ Richard A. Serrano reported that two of theDOJ’s key witnesses in the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack were summoned to the Oversight Committee earlier in October and “grilled for hours in separate legal depositions” conducted in “a highly guarded and secret interviews.” The report identified the Diplomatic Security agents as Alec Henderson, who was stationed in Benghazi, and John Martinec, then based in Tripoli. Henderson was reportedly interviewed on Oct. 8 for eight hours and Martinec was interviewed for five hours on Oct. 10. The report further says that Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa earlier had also demanded access to a third agent, David Ubben, who was seriously injured in the Benghazi attack. According to LAT, Mr. Issa learned the identities of the three agents from Gregory Hicks, the former deputy chief of mission in Libya, who testified before the committee in spring.
On a related note, did you hear that Senator Graham is exceptionally pissed about Benghazi and has promised to block “every appointment in the US Senate” until the Benghazi survivors are produced? Apparently, he did not know that two DS agents were right next door on October 8 for legal depos that lasted for altogether 13 hours. Pardon me? Is it purely coincidental that there are bad news in the polls, and that a primary is potentially a headache? Well, is it?
In any case, on October 28, Julia Frifield, the State Department’s Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs responded to Senator Graham’s previous September 24 letter concerning the Benghazi survivors availability. Read the response here.
On October 29, Mr. Morgan’s book, The Embassy House published by an imprint of Simon & Schuster went on sale; available in hardcover, Kindle and Audible; the cheapest edition via Kindle currently selling at $10.99.
Previously, in September 2013, Deadline reported that Thunder Road has acquired The Embassy House to use as the basis for a feature about the 2012 attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya,
“The film will be written by Taylor Sheridan, whose adaptation of Comancheria has Marc Forster attached. Thunder Road is producing Sheridan’s script Sicario, and they’ve set him to script a look at Benghazi that is one part Black Hawk Down and another Lawrence Of Arabia. //UK-based Luke Speed of the Marjacq Agency repped the book and Gersh’s Bob Hohman and Bayard Maybank and Elevate repped the scribe. Thunder Road used its own resources to buy the book and will fund development, and hasn’t yet enlisted a studio.”
Also in September, The Hollywood Reporter says that HBO has optioned another book, Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi, with Jerry Weintraub on board to executive produce. Under Fire is authored by former DSS Agent and Stratfor VP Fred Burton and Samuel M. Katz and is “Based on the exclusive cooperation of eyewitnesses and confidential sources within the intelligence, diplomatic, and military communities” according to the book’s Amazon page.
If they start filming soon, will the movies be ready in time for the 2nd anniversary of the attack or the 2014 election?
On October 31, WaPo’s Karen DeYoung threw some more fuel on the Benghazi fire:
“[I]n a written account that Jones, whose real name was confirmed as Dylan Davies by several officials who worked with him in Benghazi, provided to his employer three days after the attack, he told a different story of his experiences that night.
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.”
On November 1, The Cable’s John Hudson reported that Star Benghazi ‘Witness’ May Not Have Been an Actual Witness:
“In contrast with the 60 Minutes account, which saw him knocking out terrorists with the butt end of his rifle and scaling a 12-foot wall the night of the attack, the Blue Mountain report has Jones at his beach-side villa for the majority of the night. Despite an attempt to make it to the compound, Jones wrote that “we could not get anywhere near … as roadblocks had been set up.”
Further The Cable points out that “the book titled The Embassy House was published by Threshold Editions, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, which is a part of CBS Corporation, which owns 60 Minutes — a fact not disclosed in the 60 Minutes story.
Oh, dear …. is that what’s called cross promotion or something?
On November 2, The Daily Beast’s Josh Rogin and Eli Lake reported that Dylan Davies, aka: Morgan Jones denied writing the incident report cited by Karen DeYoung’s report in WaPo. The Daily Beast had obtained a copy of the Blue Mountain Group 4-page incident report that lists Dylan Davies, “PM” as the “Name of Person Reporting.” The report is dated 13:00 hours, September 14, 2012, unsigned and the published copy does not include any indication whether the report was emailed or faxed to the Blue Mountain Group. See for yourself here via Josh Rogin/ScribD.
The Daily Beast report described Jones/Davies as a “Benghazi Whistleblower” and says that “Davies said he did not know who leaked the report to the Post but said he suspected it was the State Department, an allegation that could not be independently corroborated.” More below:
“A State Department official confirmed it matches the version sent to the U.S. government by Davies’s then-employer Blue Mountain Group, the private security company based in Britain, on Sept. 14, 2012, and subsequently provided to Congressional committees investigating the Benghazi attacks.
Davies said he believed there was a coordinated campaign to smear him. This week, Media Matters, a progressive media watchdog, sent a public letter to CBS News asking it to retract the 60 Minutes Benghazi piece on the basis of the Washington Post article. On the Fox News Channel, reporter Adam Housley claimed on air this week that Davies asked for money in exchange for an interview. Davies denied this charge. 60 Minutes has stood by its reporting.”
Continue reading Benghazi Whistleblower Says He Was Smeared.
Media Matters and Fox News in a coordinated smear campaign? If I were drunk at 10 o’clock in the morning, that still sounds crazy bad.
The Blue Mountain Group was snared early on in the Benghazi controversy. Remember that time when the State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said this three days after the attack: “I can tell you that at no time did we contract with a private security firm in Libya – at no time.” That turned out to be false. This was covered by Danger Room in September 2012: Feds Hired British Security Firm to Protect Benghazi Consulate.
The contract is a curious one, of course, since security in the State Department falls under the Worldwide Security Protection (WSP) program which has core funding for the protection of life, property, and information of the agency. WSP funding supports not just domestic facilities but also worldwide guard force protecting overseas diplomatic missions and residences. Defense Industry Daily has a list of contractors for the 5-year $10 billion WPS security contract inked in 2010. The Blue Mountain Group is not on that list. One wonders, given the presence of OGA in Benghazi, if this was in fact an OGA contract, though the paperwork does say it is a State contract. Or it is possible that none of the WPS contractors are allowed to operate in Libya, so State had to procure services from another provider? But then, that does not explain why three days after the attack, the State spokesperson was adamant that “at no time did we contract with a private security firm in Libya.”
A redacted copy of the Blue Mountain Group contract has now been released after a FOIA by Judicial Watch and can be read/downloaded here.
One thing more. On October 14, 2012, UK’s The Telegraph reported about Blue Mountain, described as a small British firm based in south Wales:
“Blue Mountain, which is run by a former member of the SAS, received paper work to operate in Libya last year following the collapse of Col Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. It worked on short term contacts to guard an expatriate housing compound and a five-star hotel in Tripoli before landing the prestigious US deal.
But Blue Mountain’s local woes appears to have hampered a coordinated response by the compound’s defenders when the late assault kicked off.
Darryl Davies, the manager of the Benghazi contract for Blue Mountain, flew out of the city hours before the attack was launched. The Daily Telegraph has learned that relations between the firm and its Libyan partner had broken down, leading to the withdrawal of Mr Davies.
Abdulaziz Majbiri, a Blue Mountain guard at the compound, told the Daily Telegraph that they were effectively abandoned and incapable of defending themselves on the night of the attack.”
So far, no one has gone back to clarify or straighten out that story.
And because the Benghazi controversy simply refuses to die, CNN is reporting that a CIA operatives will testify behind closed doors at a classified Benghazi hearing on the week of November 11.
Then yesterday, Politico reported that Rep. Jason Chaffetz “slammed the source behind a report that revealed the real name of a British security agent in Benghazi, which was published in The Washington Post.”
“I don’t know who did it, but to release a covert agent’s name to endanger his life should be an absolute outrage in this town,” Chaffetz said Monday on Fox New’s “Fox and Friends” when asked if he thought the White House was behind the leak.
I was seriously looking for something like this to pop up because … hey, it’s too attractive to pass up if you want some screen time. But now Morgan Jones/Dylan Davies is not only a “whistleblower” he is also a “covert agent”?
Well, I’ll be …. the Oversight Committee hearing is coming soon.
Have you noticed that Benghazi is not only a popular subject with politicians, it has also gained popularity in the Amazon marketplace? The Benghazi tragedy has spawned not just books but also bumper stickers, a Benghazi album from Moon Records, Cover Up (The Benghazi Song), a Benghazi Memorandum Book,a Benghazi Record Book, whatevs. There are also Benghazi cartoons, mousepads, coffee mugs, coasters, bottles, tshirts, a pinback button, and a Benghazi memorial license plate. There are more Benghazi-branded products available via Cafepress.com including Benghazi underwear and panties; don’t miss the Benghazi Blame and Good Riddance classic thongs. Benghazi products are also available at Zazzle.com; don’t miss the doggie clothing line.
If you’re renovating, there is even a Benghazi light switch cover for a 2 plug outlet.
And now my grey matter is seriously hyperventilating and need to drown itself in sorrow.
* * *