Helicopter Use

* Re "Clinton Aide Resigns Over Golf Outing," May 27: The unauthorized use of government helicopters for a golf outing is inexcusable. The initial attempt to cover up this deed with lies ("on the way back from Camp David" and "were scouting the course for the President to play") is just another example of the lack of honesty and integrity in the senior officials of the Administration.

All of this is detestable but what really got to me was the photo showing a Marine in full dress uniform saluting these men as they boarded the helicopter. The President, despite his miserable reputation as a military man, is entitled to a salute because he is commander in chief. Why is a senior aide to the President accepting military honors while on his golf outing?

When are we going to once again be able to respect our Administration?

WILLIAM C. THOMAS

Glendale

* "The cost of the (golf) round trip (by aide David Watkins) was estimated at $5,000. Clinton promised that the Treasury will be fully reimbursed," your article states.

Times article on Clinton's appearance at the Arkansas-Michigan basketball game earlier this year in North Carolina: "And, even if the presidential party does not stay overnight, there is the cost of running the presidential party down to Charlotte on an aircraft that, according to a congressional panel, costs $40,243 an hour to operate" (March 29). Why bother with small change?

JOHN ESTERLINE

Claremont

* If my tax dollars are used to train a Marine to salute a golf bag, I'm really teed off!

VIRGINIA MARTIN

Desert Hot Springs

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