This can’t be good. Foreign Policy reports the man at the center of a bombshell 60 Minutes story on Benghazi may not have been an actual witness to the attack that killed four Americans in 2012.
The story has emboldened GOP efforts to investigate the attack, but “The Cable” blog reports a British security guard, going by the pseudonym Morgan Jones, may not be as reliable of a source as many believe him to be.
But with great impact comes great scrutiny, which has led to more questions about Jones’s role in the incident. What’s beyond dispute is that Jones worked for the Britain-based contractor Blue Mountain, which was hired by the State Department to oversee perimeter security at the compound. On Thursday, the Washington Postobtained Jones’ written account of the Sept. 11 attack that he gave to his bosses a few days after the incident. 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.”
According to the newspaper, “[Jones] wrote that he visited the still-smoking compound the next day to view and photograph the destruction.”
There are also other red flags the Post story doesn’t include. For weeks, it seems, Jones tried to profit off his brush with disaster. In a Fox News report on Monday, reporter Adam Housley said his source relationship with Jones ended after he insisted upon receiving money. “He spoke to me on the phone a number of times and then we stopped speaking to him when he asked for money,”Housley said. On Fox News, that fact is introduced as an incidental footnote to the network’s follow up on the 60 Minutes story. It has become more relevant in light of The Post’s report. (Paying sources for information is typically frowned upon in American journalism.)