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The Way CBS Says U.S. Officials Told the Benghazi Hospital to List Ambassador Stevens on His Death Certificate

Bloodstains at the main gate believed to be from one of the American staff members of the U.S. Consulate, after an attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens on the night of Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012, in Benghazi, Libya. (AP)

Bloodstains at the main gate believed to be from one of the American staff members of the U.S. Consulate, after an attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens on the night of Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012, in Benghazi, Libya. (AP)

Ambassador Christopher Stevens was listed as "John Doe" on his Libyan death certificate at the direction of U.S. officials, according to CBS News.

That's because the U.S. wanted it kept quiet how important Stevens was as Americans raced to recover his body after the Benghazi terror assault in September.

An anonymous U.S. official told CBS that they still aren't sure whether Stevens was alive or dead in images of his body being taken from the U.S. compound. They also don't know who actually took Stevens to the hospital where doctors tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate him.

According to the official, Stevens was found in the smoky compound around 11 p.m. local time Tuesday, Sept. 11 by a group of Libyans, possibly looters. Someone took him to the hospital, where it's believed doctors did not initially know who he was. A man speaking Arabic used a programmed number in Stevens' cell phone to call the U.S. embassy in Tripoli and try to convince the Americans to come get him -- which the Americans suspected was a trap, as former deputy mission chief Gregory Hicks testified earlier this month.

It was a local Libyan referred to as "Babakar" who informed the U.S. that Stevens had indeed died, and Babakar's associates who retrieved the ambassador's body, CBS reported. U.S. officials sent word for the hospital to list Stevens as "John Doe."

Stevens' body was flown from Benghazi to Tripoli on Wednesday morning, and then to Germany along with the bodies of the three other Americans killed in the attack. All four victims' bodies returned to the U.S. at Andrews Air Force Base on Friday. A subsequent FBI autopsy found Stevens died from asphyxia, presumed from smoke inhalation.

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