For reasons that will soon become clear, those are the only words I can quote from The Embassy House.
But a consulate is neither an embassy nor a diplomatic mission and the presence of the ambassador makes no difference. Co-author Damien Lewis, who would be called a ghostwriter if he were not credited in small print, should know that. A consulate is a consulate. The one in Benghazi has an adjacent Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) annex, which is not remarkable.
Two pages into this book, its title and terminology all wrong, I couldn’t decide whether to buy it.
When I returned 24 hours later on Saturday, Nov. 9, I wanted to buy the book – and couldn’t.
“We have withdrawn from publication and sale all formats of this book, and are recommending that booksellers do the same,” Jennifer Robinson, a spokeswoman for publisher Simon & Schuster (a CBS subsidiary), said in a statement. The publisher requested online booksellers such as Amazon to remove links to the book. It had printed 38,000 copies.
“Sergeant Morgan Jones,” as the author’s name appears on the book, was a pseudonym for Dylan Davies, a real security officer who really was in the city of Benghazi that terrible night – but as we now know, was not at the consulate. In my brief look at the book, I did not see an explanation of what kind of “sergeant” Jones is, although some published sources call him a former British soldier.
The book appeared in stores Nov. 5, and on Nov. 7 it was revealed that Davies also told the FBI the same thing he told his boss: He never reached the compound during the attack. CBS pulled the story from its web site.
CBS apparently knew from the beginning that the Jones name was a pseudonym. Davies was “up front,” as 60 Minutes correspondent Lara Logan later put it, about having told his employer that he’d never reached the Benghazi compound. He insisted to CBS and in his book that he had told a different story to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), saying he was on the scene and in the middle of the fight.
The book appeared in stores Nov. 5, and on Nov. 7 it was revealed that Davies also told the FBI the same thing he told his boss: He never reached the compound during the attack. CBS pulled the story from its web site. Logan apologized on a network talk show on the morning of Nov. 8, the day I leafed through the book, and again on the 60 Minutes program on Nov. 10, the day after the book had vanished from stores.