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Sarasota News Leader May 24, 2013 OPINION Finally, Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee have falsely portrayed the testimony of Gregory Hicks, the deputy chief of mission in Tripoli at the time of the Benghazi attack, omitting portions of his testimony given during the pre-hearing interview with the committee that did not support the Republicans' anti-Obama narrative. The Right, including your columnist, also have insinuated that Mr. Hicks was demoted because he was not "loyal" to the administration's account of events. A more likely reason for his stalled career might be his failure on two occasions to answer emergency phone calls from Ambassador Stevens during the Benghazi attack, when Ambassador Stevens was trying to alert the embassy to what was happening. Public concern over the IRS' handling of conservative nonprofit applications or the FBI's secret monitoring of AP phone records might be legitimate areas of concern — and fodder for righteous Republican indignation — but the Republicans continue to focus almost exclusively on Benghazi. Why? Because their greatest fear is losing yet another presidential election. They aren't really concerned about preventing future terrorist attacks against American interests. They just want to do anything possible to keep former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton from winning the White House in 2016. Now that is tragic! Page 65 Editor's Note: We appreciate the many expressions of concern we received about the commentary that ran in our May 17 issue. Like most news publications, whether acknowledged as liberal or conservative, we seek to provide essays that reflect the full spectrum of opinion. Regardless, we also recognize that the responsibility of a community newspaper is to provide comprehensive coverage of events in that community and to provide opinion relevant to that primary mission. Accordingly, we will henceforth limit non-editorial commentaries to local and state topics. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Sarasota News Leader welcomes letters to the editor from its readers. Letters should be no more than 300 words in length, and include the name, street address and telephone number of the writer. Letters should be emailed to, with "Letter to the Editor" in the subject line. Letters actually printed will be selected based on space available, subject matter and other factors. We reserve the right to edit any letters submitted for length, grammar, spelling, etc. All letters submitted become the Darryl Wilson Sarasota property of The Sarasota News Leader.

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