(08-01) 11:42 PDT WASHINGTON -- The House Intelligence Committee, led by Republicans, has concluded that there was no deliberate wrongdoing by the Obama administration in the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, said Rep. Mike Thompson of St. Helena, the second-ranking Democrat on the committee.
The panel voted Thursday to declassify the report, the result of two years of investigation by the committee. U.S. intelligence agencies will have to approve making the report public.
Thompson said the report "confirms that no one was deliberately misled, no military assets were withheld and no stand-down order (to U.S. forces) was given."
That conflicts with accusations of administration wrongdoing voiced by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista (San Diego County), whose House Government Oversight and Reform Committee has held hearings on the Benghazi attack.
Stevens, who grew up in Piedmont, and the other Americans died when Libyans attacked the consulate on Sept. 11, 2012. Among the Intelligence Committee's findings, according to Thompson:
-- Intelligence agencies were "warned about an increased threat environment, but did not have specific tactical warning of an attack before it happened."
-- "A mixed group of individuals, including those associated with al Qaeda, (Moammar) Khadafy loyalists and other Libyan militias, participated in the attack."
-- "There was no 'stand-down order' given to American personnel attempting to offer assistance that evening, no illegal activity or illegal arms transfers occurring by U.S. personnel in Benghazi, and no American was left behind."
-- The administration's process for developing "talking points" was "flawed, but the talking points reflected the conflicting intelligence assessments in the days immediately following the crisis."
Those talking points included assertions that those who attacked the compound were angered by an obscure anti-Muhammad video posted to YouTube in the U.S. There is disagreement to this day about whether that was the case.