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<b>New light on Benghazi</b>

EDITOR: On April 29, Judicial Watch made public 41 new Benghazi-related State Department documents, secured under court order because the Obama administration had withheld them when responding to a congressional committee subpoena.

Among these documents was a newly declassified email showing then-White House Deputy Strategic Communications Adviser Ben Rhodes and other public relations officials attempting to orchestrate a campaign to "reinforce" President Barack Obama's image and to portray the Benghazi consulate terrorist attack as being "rooted in an Internet video, and not a failure of policy" — this coming just weeks before the November election and after Obama had declared al-Qaida on the run.

The argument over Benghazi has been going on for a long time. With these documents and a select congressional committee's work, following up on this new material, we now hope to get the full truth of what happened and where accountabilities should reside. Resolving this issue (before moving on) is the best way to honor the four Americans whose lives were taken in Benghazi. Surely most Americans would want that.

I hope The Press Democrat will keep its readers fully informed in this matter as the congressional probe progresses.



<b>Rush to judgment</b>

EDITOR: I hope your editorial board carefully read the Close to Home column by Catherine Bartolomei and Anysia Fritz ("Putting the trials of Efren Carrillo in perspective," Sunday). It would have been good if it had been read prior to your editorial ("Efren Carrillo should step down," April 29).

It was disturbing to me that The Press Democrat was so ready to judge and condemn without any perspective on his professional, legislative record. No one could deny that what Carrillo did was grievously wrong. It was a personal failure he fully admitted on the witness stand before a jury of his peers and the entire public. He went through the democratic process as he should have, and now he is being excoriated because the jury didn't perform the way you and some members of the public thought it should.

He did not defraud the public and has, in fact, worked hard to be an effective, thoughtful legislator. Many of us who are not so quick to judge are wishing him the best in dealing with his personal inadequacies so the full potential of this talented man can be reached. The public and certainly our 5th District will be well served by that outcome.



<b>Affront to women</b>

EDITOR: Shades of O.J. We are shocked that the Efren Carrillo jury had so little regard for the right of a woman to be safe in her own home that they absolved this man of such a blatant crime. It was bad enough that the charges were whitewashed to "peeping," an obvious attempt to make his actions sound cute, even boyish, as opposed to what they really were.

That he will not resign speaks even more about his character and disregard for the public office he holds. The verdict of not guilty for Carrillo sets the rights of women back 100 years. As women and west county constituents, we are ashamed.



<b>Terms for surrender</b>

EDITOR: Being that I am the only Republican north of the Golden Gate Bridge, I personally surrender to the Democratic Party. I can no longer beat your numbers in an election. With all of the minorities, unions, teachers, news media, movie makers, gays, welfare recipients and old people selling you their votes, there aren't enough of the rest of us to count anymore.

I only ask for the sake of our country and our children that you aim a little higher when you pick our future leaders. Please, please, no more sex addicts (Bill Clinton, Efren Carrillo, Eliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner, etc.) or liars (both Clintons, President Barack Obama) or on-the-job training (Obama) or socialists (Obama).

I have traveled to more than 40 countries, and I have seen firsthand that socialism will not work. It doesn't bring the bottom people in society up, it brings everyone down.



<b>Trial by newspaper</b>

EDITOR: I want to publicly thank the Efren Carrillo jurors, who, despite extensive trial publicity, carefully listened to the case and conscientiously rendered a verdict. Paul Gullixson, on the other hand, said he was left "scratching his head" by the verdict ("A verdict that just raises more questions," Sunday). The "facts" he cited to support his opinion, however, were the exact words used by the prosecutor in his final argument — and not evidence.

Gullixson also took a swipe at the prosecutors: "I think they tried to throw the book at Carrillo. They just missed. Maybe they threw the wrong book. I don't know." He's right. He doesn't know the law. As a former Sonoma County prosecutor for 35 years, I know that district attorneys aren't supposed to "throw the book" at anyone but file only charges supported by the evidence.

Finally, Gullixson said that "we live in an age when our distrust of institutions is at an all time high," and that the verdict was the "worst outcome" for the judicial system. Does he complain about our right to a jury trial? Thank goodness, in this country we have trial by jury, not trial by newspaper.