WASHINGTON -- A House committee chairman has withdrawn a subpoena to compel a retired diplomat to answer questions in private about an independent investigation of last year's attack in Benghazi, Libya.

Rep. Darrell Issa (EYE'-suh) says he acted after Thomas Pickering agreed to meet with the House Oversight and Committee Reform Committee behind closed doors.

Pickering and former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen led the investigation into the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. diplomat mission. Four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador, were killed.

Pickering had offered to testify before Issa's committee in public. But Issa said a private meeting was needed first so the committee could understand how the investigation was conducted.

Issa had summoned Pickering to appear Thursday, but his appearance is now being rescheduled.

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  • U.S. President Barack Obama

    "The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. ... Make no mistake: We will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people. ... We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, but there is absolutely no justification for this type of senseless violence, none." (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

  • British Prime Minister David Cameron

    "This senseless attack ended the lives of people who had worked selflessly alongside Libyans during their darkest days. ... We look to the new Libyan authorities to do all in their power, as they have pledged to do, to bring the killers to justice. Britain stands ready to assist Libya and the United States in that task. Above all, we will honor the memory of these dedicated people by continuing their work to help Libyans build a secure and free country." (AP Photo/Ben Stansall, Pool)

  • Hamid Karzai

    "The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan strongly condemns this inhuman and insulting action (the film) and shows its strong hatred against this action. Insulting the messenger of Islam is to insult the values of 1.5 billion Muslims around the world. This insulting action will cause enmity and contrast between religions and cultures in the world and will be a strong punch to peace and harmony between humans."(AP Photo/Ahmad Massoud / Xinhua, Pool)

  • Pakistan's Foreign Ministry

    "Such abominable actions, synchronized with commemoration of atrocious events like 9/11, provoke hatred, discord and enmity within societies and between peoples of various faiths. The event has deeply hurt the feelings of the people of Pakistan and the Muslims all over the world." (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)

  • Hezbollah

    The movie is an "immoral act that represents the highest levels of aggression against human rights that is represented by the respect of people's beliefs. ... The United Nations should issue laws that criminalize such acts similar to laws that criminalize anti-Semites." (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

  • NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen

    "It is important that the new Libya continues to move toward a peaceful, secure and democratic future."(AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov, Pool)

  • Libyan interim President Mohammed el-Megarif

    "We extend our apology to America, the American people and the whole world." (AP Photo)