With her career in jeopardy, here’s a look back at the Lara Logan Benghazi segment CBS News never aired.
The following transcript is from "Yes He Kenyan" which was scheduled to air on November 17, 2013. The correspondent is Lara Logan and Max McClellan is the producer. A follow-up segment, also included below, was slated for broadcast on Sunday, November 24, 2013.
From the moment he announced his candidacy for president, Barack Obama has been surrounded by allegations and conspiracy theories calling his citizenship and his patriotism into question. But as our year-long investigation has revealed, all those stories you've heard—about the Kenyan-born, pot-smoking Muslim Marxist sympathizer who abandoned Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Libya—are true.
Tonight, you will hear for the first time from someone who witnessed them all. He calls himself Ben Gazzi, which is a pseudonym he's using for his own safety. A document specialist and small business job creator turned restaurant mogul, Ben Gazzi's life has repeatedly intersected with Obama's for over 50 years. Their first encounter came in 1961 in the city where both were born: Nairobi, Kenya.
LARA LOGAN: In your new book Yes He Kenyan: The Explosive Eyewitness Account of the Lies of Barack Obama, you matter of factly state that Barack Hussein Obama was born at what is now called Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi. How can you be so sure?
BEN GAZZI: I know because I was there. I was born the same day and was in the same maternity ward. My brother, who is 9 years older than me, saw him through the glass. He can still recall my father saying, "What's the matter with Kansas when a young white girl is married to a pointy headed African elitist who's been hanging out in the faculty lounge at Harvard?" We used to laugh all the time at the picture of our two families together.
LARA LOGAN: Do you have that photograph with you?
BEN GAZZI: Sadly, it was lost in the inferno at the Ambassador's residence in Libya.
We later returned to the subject of that inferno in Libya. But first, I had some tough questions for Gazzi about the birthday—and birthplace—he claims to share with President Obama.
Continue reading about Ben Gazzi and Barack Obama, below.
LARA LOGAN: What do you say to those who would point to the August 1961 birth announcement in the Honolulu newspaper for Barack Obama? What about the long-form birth certificate President Obama released in 2011?
BEN GAZZI: I'm glad you asked that question. The ad, the birth certificate? They're both fakes.
As Gazzi went on to explain, both documents were frauds, vital parts of an elaborate scheme to create the appearance of Obama's U.S. citizenship for a future presidential run planned long before his birth. That discovery was the result of years of research by real estate magnate Ronald Trumpet and Gazzi's cousin, a freelance proctologist named Whorely Taint. As it turns out, Obama's Hawaiian creation myth was invented by a young George Soros during breaks in his flight from the Nazis.
As I soon learned, Ben Gazzi and Barack Obama were destined to meet again, this time in Indonesia.
LARA LOGAN: You say that you knew Obama in Jakarta in 1967 after his mother Anne Dunham married Lolo Soetoro. How did that come to pass?
BEN GAZZI: My father's import-export business brought our family to Jakarta. He was the only provider of halal dogs in all of Indonesia. I sometimes went with him on deliveries to Obama's madrassa. I used to play soccer with Barack and some of the other kids. They called their team "the Jihadists." I always used to get mad because he would shout "Allah Akbar" after every goal he scored.
But goals weren't the only thing the young Barry Obama was scoring. Years later at the Punahou School in Hawaii, Obama and his Choom Gang were Ben Gazzi's best customers.
LARA LOGAN: Let me get this straight. You ended up in Hawaii, where you sold marijuana and cocaine to Barry Obama and his friends.
BEN GAZZI: Oh, sure. I used to work at one of my dad's "House of Poi" restaurants. But I used to sell pot and blow out the back. Obama was always there. He always had one of his friends pay, and would joke about needing to be "revenue-neutral." Sometimes we would all get high together. My girlfriend Suzy Dinesh used to hate it when Obama would get really wasted and start going on about his anti-colonial worldview.
LARA LOGAN: You say you were Obama's drug dealer, yet other of his contemporaries have come recently come forward to claim that Barry got his blow from older, gay white men in exchange for, well, blow. Which is it?
BEN GAZZI: It was both. I sold him junk all the time. But he was also a favorite of my crazy gay uncle on my mother's side, Gerald Corsican.
The intertwined lives of Barry and Ben did not end there. In 1979, Gazzi helped his old customer get into Occidental College by forging his high school transcripts. In 1981, he did it again, enabling the disinterested and underperforming Barack Obama get into prestigious Columbia University. (Candidate Obama never released his school records to the public.)
LARA LOGAN: Did Obama ask you to manipulate his college transcripts so he could get into Harvard Law School in 1988?
BEN GAZZI: No. Thanks to affirmative action, he didn't have to. He used to joke that he "pulled a Clarence Thomas" when I saw him in Cambridge. I remember we laughed about it when he showed me the law review article he co-authored with Derrick Bell, "Jury Nullification, Bitches."
LARA LOGAN: What were you doing there?
BEN GAZZI: I was working as a courier for Whitey Bulger's Winter Hill Gang. You could say I got promoted.
In 1991, Gazzi was promoted again, this time by his father. He moved to Chicago to run all of the locations of his family's new chain of Middle-Eastern restaurants, Shawarma Mecca. There, Ben again crossed paths with community organizer turned University of Chicago law professor, Barack Obama. And as Gazzi explained to me, Obama really was "paling around with terrorists."
LARA LOGAN: Did you ever see Obama with Reverend Jeremiah Wright?
BEN GAZZI: All the time. From time to time, Shawarma Mecca catered gatherings at Trinity United Church of Christ. One night when I brought the food over, Obama and Wright were drunk. They were doing Jell-O shots and taking turns yelling, "Goddamn, America." Then they burst out laughing and couldn't stop.
LARA LOGAN: What about Bill Ayres?
BEN GAZZI: Oh, sure. I brought over chicken kabobs, hummus and falafel when Ayres hosted Obama's first campaign meeting in his living room. I still think it's funny that Obama's favorite is falafel, just like Bill O'Reilly. Anyway, that wasn't the only time. They used to meet at our Hyde Park restaurant near the U of C campus where Ayres would show Obama the latest pages he had written for Dreams of My Father. One time, I overheard Obama tell Ayres, "If I make it big from this book, I'm not spreading around the wealth. I don't care what Frank Marshall Davis would say!" Bill thought that was the funniest thing he ever heard.
Ben Gazzi never saw Barack Obama again, but remains haunted by him to this day. Shawarma Mecca, the family business, went global. Gazzi helped direct its expansion across Europe and the Middle East. After opening new locations in Beirut, Baghdad, Cairo, Algiers, Tunis and Ramallah, in 2012 he turned to a new emerging market: Libya.
When Chris Stevens was killed in Benghazi, Libya, on the anniversary of September 11th last year, it was only the sixth time that the United States had lost an ambassador to its enemies. The events of that night have been overshadowed by misinformation, confusion and intense partisanship. But for those like Ben Gazzi who lived through it, there's nothing confusing about what happened, and he has a sense of profound frustration because he says he saw it coming.
On a night he describes as sheer hell, Ben Gazzi snuck into a Benghazi hospital that was under the control of al Qaeda terrorists, desperate to find out if one of his close friends from the U.S. Special Mission was the American he'd been told was there.
BEN GAZZI: I was dreading seeing who it was, you know? It didn't take long to get to the room. And I could see in through the glass. And I didn't even have to go into the room to see who it was. I knew who it was immediately.
LARA LOGAN: Who was it?
BEN GAZZI: It was the ambassador, dead. Yeah, shocking. I mean, I had just seen him the previous day. I walked into his residence to deliver dinner in person. No one stopped me; I just went right to the door and rang the bell. I told him it wasn't safe.
LARA LOGAN: You also kept saying, "If this place is attacked these guys are not going to stand and fight?" Why did you tell Stevens that?
BEN GAZZI: There were Al Qaeda flags flying everywhere. And these militias hired by the State Department used to hang out at Shawarma Mecca with the guys from Ansar al Shariah. I knew it wasn't going to end well for the folks at the consulate. I think about it every day.
The U.S. pulled out of Benghazi and al Qaeda has grown in power across Libya. When a member of our team went to the U.S. compound earlier this month, he found remnants of the Americans' final frantic moments still scattered on the ground. Among them was the ambassador's calendar. Stevens's official schedule for Sept.12, 2012, a day he didn't live to see. On his calendar for that day? Lunch at Ben Gazzi's Shawarma Mecca.
STATEMENT FROM LARA LOGAN, November 24, 2013:
The most important thing to every person at 60 Minutes is the truth, and today the truth is that we made a mistake. That's very disappointing for any journalist. It's very disappointing for me. Nobody likes to admit that they made a mistake, but if you do, you have to stand up and take responsibility and you have to say that you were wrong. And in this case, we were wrong. We made a mistake.
And how did this happen? Ben Gazzi said he had met Barack Obama many times from 1961 through the late 1990's when they each lived in Nairobi, Kenya, Jakarta, Indonesia, Honolulu, Hawaii, Boston, Massachusetts and Chicago, Illinois. Gazzi also told 60 Minutes that during his time in Benghazi, Libya, he repeatedly warned Ambassador Chris Stevens and State Department staff about the dangerous security situation at the U.S. Consulate there.
And after our report aired, questions were raised about whether his account was real. We have since learned that Ben Gazzi's real name is Jeb Stuart Haney. Born and raised in Dothan, Alabama, Haney is not 52 years old, but in fact only 27. An enthusiastic tea party activist, he works part-time as a clerk at a local gun store in Dothan, where he has lived all his life. Haney has never traveled outside the United States and does not have a passport. CBS has also determined that Barack Obama and Derrick Bell never jointly published a Harvard Law Review article titled, "Jury Nullification, Bitches." In addition, we omitted to mention that Yes He Kenyan is published by Threshold Editions, a division of Simon & Schuster, a CBS company.
We now know that what Mr. Haney told us is a different story from the truth. That's when we realized that we no longer had confidence in our source, and that we were wrong to put him on air, and we apologize to our viewers.