CBS News correspondent Lara Logan was suspended today by the network in the wake of an internal report that determined the Oct. 27 "60 Minutes" story on the U.S. Embassy attack in Benghazi, Libya, was "deficient in several respects." CBS did not disclose terms of the suspension.
"60 Minutes" and Logan had earlier apologized for the story - which had extensively quoted a contractor, Dylan Davies, whose account was later determined to have been fabricated. But the report by the news division's director of standards and practices, Al Ortiz, cited other lapses, including a speech Logan had given a year ago in which "she took a strong public position arguing that the U.S. Government was misrepresenting the threat from Al Qaeda,” saying she had been "in conflict" by taking a position while reporting the story.
It went on to say that "from the start, Lara Logan and her producing team were looking for a different angle to the story of the Benghazi attack. They believed they found it in the story of Dylan Davies[and] purported to be the first western eyewitness account of the attack,” but did not thoroughly cross check his story with the FBI and the State Department.
Davies told the program that after the assault began, he went to the compound - where four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed. In fact, Davies had been no where near the compound during the attack. In another rebuke, the report said that "Al Qaeda’s role [in the attack] is the subject of much disagreement and debate.
While Logan had multiple sources and good reasons to have confidence in them, her assertions that Al Qaeda carried out the attack and controlled the hospital were not adequately attributed in her report." The now-partially disavowed Oct. 27 "60 Minutes" story - one of the most serious lapses in the show's 45-year history – had placed the program squarely in the debate over the the U.S. has been withholding information about the attack. The producer of the report was also placed on leave.