Goldberg spouts more right-wing rhetoric

Re: the May 11 column "Libya hearings show Obama and Clinton lied, and lied again."

The recent revelation that the account of chief Benghazi whistleblower Gregory Hicks has been undercut by embassy staff, along with the GOP's long record of scandal-mongering, is a clear indication that columnist Jonah Goldberg's recent allegation that Obama lied and lied again is nothing more than Goldberg's predilection toward right-wing rhetoric.

When ideology trumps common sense, you end up with idiocy.

Robert Epstein

Green Valley

Benghazi threat showed Clinton's ineptitude

Re: the May 13 article "Two officials blast State Dept. on Benghazi."

Thomas Pickering absolves then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying, "We know where the responsibility rested." Really?

It has been reported that Benghazi personnel made repeated requests for means and personnel to defend the station, and that the murdered ambassador himself had pleaded for the means to defend the station in Benghazi. A large hole, still unrepaired, previously had been blown in the station's wall.

The British had abandoned their embassy because of the terrorist actions against foreign personnel. It strains credulity to think that Clinton wasn't aware of the threats to one of her stations and its personnel. There are lots of excuses from all areas of government for the lack of action taken before, during and after the attack to help our citizens in Benghazi.

The only plausible reason I can imagine for Clinton's irresponsible conduct in this matter is that she takes lessons in management and leadership from her boss.

Richard R. Gallimore

Retired civil engineer, SaddleBrooke

Budget cuts a factor in Libya security woes

Re: the May 13 article "Two officials blast State Dept. on Benghazi."

Republican congressmen have made Benghazi a watershed effort to tarnish Hilary Clinton in anticipation of 2016's presidential election. In fact, since 1980 nearly 90 embassy personnel have been lost and yet security has deteriorated because of Congress. In 2011 and 2012 alone, Congress cut $296 million from embassy security and construction.

Ambassador Stevens was correct in his concern for security in Benghazi, but primarily because his consulate building in no way met the standard security requirements that many other U.S. embassy buildings possess, including the one in Tripoli. Therefore, it is problematical whether additional security personnel alone would have prevented any loss of life in the Benghazi terror attack.

Chuck Cabrera

Retired, Oro Valley

Gas tax is fairer way to pay for road repairs

Re: May 6 editorial "Should a mileage user fee replace the current gas tax?"

The gas tax does not provide enough revenue because it has not kept up with inflation. Raising it is a simple, efficient way to fund road construction. It should be modified to automatically increase with the consumer price index so revenue would increase along with road maintenance costs. The gas tax lets heavy, fuel hogging vehicles pay more, since they inflict more wear and damage on our roads and streets. It also encourages more fuel efficient vehicles, which helps slow global warming. Changing to a miles traveled system would be expensive, intrusive into privacy, and open to cheating.

Bruce Billings

Retired professor of economics, Tucson

Obama responsible for all war talk

Re: the May 7 editorial cartoon by David Fitzsimmons.

The inane cartoon portrays a "chicken hawk" as the Republican elephant making the statement "You up for Syria?" to a soldier who is being crucified. Ignoring the profanity, Fitzsimmons chose the wrong symbol for the chicken hawk. Who got us involved in Libya and is now talking of "crossing red lines" and making threats of all kinds toward Syria?

It's the donkey, led by our Nobel Peace Prize recipient, President Obama.

In spite of his campaign promises in 2008 and 2012, we're also still fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan with little end in sight. It's a sad day when the polar opposite of the facts are published in the name of journalistic freedom.

Tom Vana


Fitz gets award for Capitol satire

I award the Arizona Daily Star's David Fitzsimmons the Jonathan Swift Award for Satire, specifically for his May 11 column titled "Arizonapithecus tribe, found at Capitol, frets about fluoride, Kenyans." Congratulation, Dave!

Burgess Needle