The Republican-led House Select Committee on Intelligence on Friday released its report on the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and it found that the military and the Central Intelligence Agency responded appropriately during the attacks.
The investigation, which took nearly two years and thousands of hours of work, found the CIA had “ensured sufficient security” and “bravely assisted” on the night of attacks that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. The panel also found no intelligence failure prior to the attacks.
The committee said it found no evidence that the military was ordered to “stand down” during the attacks in Benghazi, as some had claimed, and that “appropriate U.S. personnel made reasonable tactical decisions that night.” It also found no evidence of similar claims that the CIA was involved in arms shipments or other unauthorized activities.
The report did say that the initial narrative by the White House that the attack stemmed from a protest was not accurate, but it blamed that on contradictory intelligence assessments in the attack’s aftermath rather than an effort to obscure the truth. The committee said it found “no evidence that any officer present during the attacks was intimidated” to prevent them from addressing Congress or revealing what they witnessed.
Ahmed Abu Khatallah, 43, the alleged leader of the Ansar al-Sharia militia, was captured in a June raid and currently faces charges in the U.S. that could include the death penalty.