Reed Irvine - Editor
  September B, 1997

'SMEAR' OR SAFETY? NAVY AVIATRIX SCARED PEERS

 THIS ISSUE:
  • The Hidden Agenda Exposed
  • High Risk Affirmative Action
  • Kara Hultgreen The First Victim
  • Navy Coverup #1
  • Jerry Burns' Conscience
  • Lohrenz's "Down" Dossier
  • Burns in Jeopardy
  • What Can You Do?
  • Notes
  • "The Navy returned to flight status yesterday the female fighter pilot it grounded two years ago in the midst of a smear campaign by civilian activists and naval aviators opposed to allowing women to fly fighter aircraft." That was the lead in a news story by Dana Priest in The Washington Post on June 21, 1997. Ms. Priest reported that the pilot, Lt. Carey Lohrenz, "has been given back her right to fly land-based Navy aircraft," although she would not be permitted to return to the F-14 Tomcat or other carrier-based aircraft. Lohrenz's lawyer, Susan Barnes, called the decision a "victory," saying the Navy had done "the best they can do at this time." Barnes lamented that "resistance" among naval aviators "would be too strong against her" if Lohrenz were to return as a fighter pilot.

    Priest contended that "discriminatory treatment" by other pilots and outside activists caused Lohrenz's failure. She wrote, "The campaign, which sometimes calls itself 'the Tailhook Under- ground,' after the infamous 1991 Tailhook scandal, is spearheaded by Elaine Donnelly, who heads the Center for Military Readiness."

    Dana Priest's story gave the impression that Lt. Lohrenz had fallen victim to Neanderthals who oppose combat roles for women. The story is far more complex than what came through her feminist filter. It is a casebook example of how a reporter can purposely distort the facts to mold the readers' thinking-- in this case to promote the feminist agenda.

    The Hidden Agenda Exposed

    Priest wrote that her story was based on an "upcoming Navy Inspector General report." Ten days later, the Navy released that 239-page report, which was compiled to answer complaints by Lohrenz's parents that sexual harassment caused her failure. The report was titled, "Report of Investigation: Integration of Women into Carrier Air Wing Eleven." Priest's story about it in the Post on July 2 confirmed that she was practicing agenda journalism. Placed prominently on page A2, it covered one minor facet of the lengthy report--a charge that the Navy had failed to change the belief of the USS Lincoln's air-wing's commander, Capt. Dennis Gillespie, that women should not be put in harm's way in combat. His actions, she reported, had "created a rift between male and female pilots," the women believing they were singled out for harsh treatment and the men believing that the women were getting preferential treatment. Priest wrote, "The report found that, in general, neither statement was true."

    That last statement was as close as Priest came to reporting that the IG had debunked the feminist claims that Lohrenz was victimized. Here are some things she failed to report.

    --A damning conclusion by the Inspector General (IG) about Lohrenz's flying ability. It said Lt. Lohrenz made her carrier approaches so high and fast that she "consistently... scared everyone" but herself. Stress was one cited reason; hardheadedness was another. According to the IG report, "...[E]vidence suggests Lt. Lohrenz deliberately flew this way in spite of many attempts by landing signal officers [LSOs]...to correct what they believed was an extremely dangerous technique...[A] pilot who cannot, or will not, follow the directions of the LSO is inherently unsafe and must be removed from the carrier flying environment." It called her performance "unsafe, undisciplined and unpredictable."

    --Evidence that Lohrenz and other women received preferential treatment, including testimony from flight instructors that a commander said bluntly that women would be pushed through training regardless of their flying ability.

    --An acknowledgment that the material about Lohrenz's training record that was circulated by Elaine Donnelly was accurate, a direct refutation of Priest's charge that the flier was the subject of a "smear campaign." Although Priest interviewed Donnelly, she did not ask about the alleged "Tailhook Underground." Donnelly tells us she never heard of any such group, informal or otherwise, and that she surely was not its "spearhead," as Priest charged.

    High Risk Affirmative Action

    The Lohrenz affair began in 1994, when the Clinton Administration commenced its campaign to put women into combat billets. Stung by the Tailhook scandal, the Navy leaped at the opportunity to redeem itself with feminists. Carrier assignments are avidly sought by Navy aviators, and the 1994 competition was fierce, with military downsizing cutting the number of berths available for fliers. Lohrenz had completed flight school for ground-based planes, with an outstanding record. But according to the IG report, men with equal or better records had waited a year or more for carrier training. The discrimination had a cost. The IG wrote: "The decision to move females ahead of males in the training pipeline, necessary to get them to the targeted carrier/air wing before deployment, contributed to the perception that women would receive preferential treatment to satisfy political objectives, a message that hurt morale and teamwork."

    Lohrenz, Lt. Kara S. Hultgreen and two other women were among the 10 pilots assigned to Fighter Squadron VF-124. The training was supposed to be "gender neutral," but according to three flight instructors interviewed by the IG, reality was another matter. By their accounts, Cmdr. Tom Sobiek, the commanding officer, convened instructors who had expressed concerns about the women's flying. Sobiek allegedly said that "the women are going to graduate regardless of how they performed." One officer summarized Sobiek as saying, "you guys don't understand, this is bigger than all of us, these women are going to graduate no matter what."

    Sobiek denied making any such statement. "That is a flat **** lie," he said. "And whoever told you that, if they were under oath, should be taken to task." The IG concluded "it is more likely than not" that Sobiek said something to indicate that the women "are going to make it to the fleet."

    The IG said the Navy wanted to use the women carrier pilots as symbols to counter Tailhook and that overly zealous press agents helped create a climate that led to Lohrenz's failure. They used women fliers to prove that sexual integration of the military was working. One commander told investigators that the Navy was in a race with the Air Force to get the first female fighter pilot. The IG suggested that publicists wanted fliers to earn their wings regardless of their performance: "The failure of any single female aviator would have implications (at least in the media) far greater than the concerned individual. Failure would be portrayed as a failure of the female gender."

    Kara Hultgreen The First Victim

    It was against this backdrop that the women entered carrier training. We shall discuss two of them, Kara Hultgreen and Carey Lohrenz, to explain how the issue became so controversial in the Naval aviation community.

    According to Navy training procedures, a flier who makes a serious error is given a "down." As few as one or two downs can result in the flier being dropped from the program, depending on the severity of the glitch and overall performance. The safety of the pilot is one concern; another is that of crew members who could be killed or injured in plane crashes.

    Hultgreen had earned her wings in 1989 flying the land-based A-6 bomber. She had difficulties from the outset with carrier training, commencing with exercises on a land strip simulating a carrier deck. She was repeatedly warned about landing at what the Navy calls "a high elevation"--that is, approaching the field at too high an altitude. If this is done in a carrier approach, the pilot must make a rapid descent and risk slamming into the deck in what is called a "ramp strike." The F-14 Tomcat, much heavier and more unwieldy than land-based planes, does not respond quickly to power corrections, so a proper approach is important.

    Despite the warnings about her "high elevation." Hultgreen got into trouble on Oct. 29, 1993, on her third familiarization flight. She came in high and hit her brakes so aggressively that she blew out both main mount tires. She was given her first down. The second came on March 22, 1994, for failure to make power corrections to correct glide slope deviations. The third came nine days later, for "making power corrections that were erratic and unpredictable," in the words of her Landing Signal Officer [LSO], the person charged with guiding her onto the flight deck.

    Despite mistakes, Hultgreen was allowed to continue training. She failed her first carrier qualification [CQ] attempt on April 12-13, 1994, with a score of 2.60, with 2.90 required for passing. She was returned to land training in preparation for another CQ. In a "pop-up" delivery maneuver with simulated bombs, she made a too-shallow dive and released her bombs so low that had the ordnance been live, the explosion would have destroyed her and her plane. After prolonged additional training not given other students, Hultgreen finally qualified as a carrier flier in late July 1994. Only three months later, on Oct. 25, 1994, she was killed while attempting to land on the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in clear daytime conditions.

    Navy Coverup #1

    When the Navy announced Hultgreen's death, the mantra was that mechanical failure, not pilot error, caused the crash. The cited cause was compressor failure in her left-side engine. This occurs when a pilot turns too wide on an approach and compensates by making an overly-aggressive turn back to the center line. The abrupt turn can cause the engine to stall due to the normal air flow being disrupted by being blocked by the nose of the aircraft. But pilots are put in stall situations in simulator training, so the failure does not necessarily result in engine failure.

    Selective portions of Hultgreen's records were released that suggested her qualifications were above average. There were murmurs from Navy fliers that there was more to the story, sotto voce complaints which The New York Times characterized as "spurious accusations against her flight record...from disgruntled male aviators, raising questions about her flight tests." [Oct. 30, 1994]

    Meanwhile, separate investigations were commenced, one by the Judge Advocate General, a panel dominated by lawyers, not fliers, and a separate Mishap Investigative Report [MIR], the work of aviation specialists. MIRs are bitingly candid confidential in-house report cards the aviation community gives itself to determine what caused a crash.

    The JAG report, issued in February 1995, adopted the line that mechanics were at fault. Hultgreen's parents got an advance look at the report, and their comments set the pattern for media coverage: that "It was engine failure." A Navy press release stated, "The emergency resulting in the mishap was precipitated by a left engine malfunction at an extremely vulnerable moment as the aircraft was approaching the carrier to land." The commander of the Naval air fleet, Vice Adm. Robert J. Spane, said, "this pilot did her best to keep this aircraft flying under conditions that were all but impossible." The report mentioned pilot "inexperience" but the possibility of pilot error was not raised until the last of 29 pages.

    The Navy's deception was deliberate. At a press conference where the JAG report was issued, a reporter knowledgeable about carrier training asked Rear Adm. Jay B. Yakeley, a carrier group commander, whether Hultgreen had any downs on her record. After a long pause, he replied that she had only one, when in fact her records showed she had at least four, plus the carrier qualification glitches.

    Most of the media bought the Navy's explanation. Anchor Peter Jennings claimed on ABC's World News Tonight on Feb. 28 that Hultgreen was "blameless" and that persons suggesting otherwise were "vicious." He charged that "a lot of men took [the crash] as an opportunity to say that women were not up to the job." On Feb. 28, ABC's Nightline ran a program concluding that Hultgreen had been "vindicated" and "cleared of blame" for the crash. But aviators who had flown with Hultgreen knew better. One of them put his career on the line and decided to turn whistleblower, disclosing records of both the deceased Hultgreen and another woman who had trained alongside her, Lt. Carey Lohrenz.

    Jerry Burns' Conscience

    Lt. Patrick J. Burns, "Jerry" to his shipmates, came into the Navy as an enlisted man and rose to officer rank as a carrier pilot. He was still in his early 30s in 1994, when he became one of the instructors for the pioneer women fliers. Persons who know Burns say that he says little about integration of women into the combat military; but he is a zealot on safety. He and other instructors raised questions about Hultgreen and Lohrenz early in their cycle. Respectful of protocol, he worked through the chain of command, to the squadron's operations officer, training officer, executive officer, and finally to the CO, Sobiek, who allegedly pronounced that the women were going to graduate regardless of their records.

    Burns was worried. As he would later tell the IG, "the majority of the officers felt that safety was being compromised...[they] almost universally felt that...Hultgreen was a marginal pilot at best, [who] required very close scrutiny if she was to graduate to the fleet, and that Lt. Lohrenz was a substandard pilot [who] should not graduate..." The Navy chose to push the women through to graduation anyway. As Burns testified, "I...specifically told individuals that I expected a catastrophic mishap to take place concerning one of these individuals sometime during their fleet tour." In three months, Hultgreen was dead, victim of her own error and the Navy's lowered standards for women pilots.

    At this point, Burns made a calculated decision that put his career at risk. He passed copies of training records to Elaine Donnelly, who runs a watchdog group, the Center for Military Readiness. A former army officer, Donnelly served on the Defense Department task force which studied whether women should be put into combat situations, something she opposed. Her center monitors the sexual integration of the military. Burns realized he was violating the Federal Privacy Act, but he had been ignored by superiors. He explained, "If I was walking down the street and I saw somebody's house on fire and I knew there were people inside and I knew I could get them out, I wouldn't be concerned about dragging them out in their underwear because of their privacy concerns."

    Donnelly took the material to the Senate Armed Services Committee, disguising Lohrenz as "Pilot B." The committee staff quizzed brass about whether preferential treatment was given the women, and whether this could have caused the death of Hultgreen. Word that the program was under attack quickly circulated among aviators.

    Concurrently, someone leaked the technical report on Hultgreen's accident, putting the lie to the claim that mechanical failure caused her death. [The source of this leak remains unknown; Burns told the IG he did not release the document.] But most of the media ignored a story that would have cast doubt on the earlier lionization of Kara Hultgreen. Notable exceptions were Rowan Scarborough of The Washington Times, and Robert Caldwell of the San Diego Union; both wrote extensively about the failed coverup. A Navy Times reporter put the full document on the Internet. Nonetheless, the mainstream media would not admit that a woman aviator had failed. There were no major TV stories about the finding. Meanwhile Lohrenz continued carrier training, with the Navy now fully aware that its women-in- combat experiment was in jeopardy.

    Lohrenz's "Down" Dossier

    Whatever her skills as a land-based pilot, Lohrenz's problems as a carrier flier began even before she got into the cockpit of an F-14. On Oct. 27, 1993, in a flight-simulator, she landed 4,000 feet long during a simulated emergency. Rather than come around for a second pass, she "stayed on the ground, ran off the runway and into the water...and was simulated 'killed' when she failed to eject." This was Down Number One. According to records which Burns gave to Donnelly, this failure resulted in favoritism that continued until she washed out of the program months later: extra training, specialized one-on-one tutoring, and concessions denied to other pilots. During one period Lohrenz's classmates were required to "double cycle" their training: completing in a day both a tactics flight and a Field Carrier Landing Practice [FCLP] flight--i.e., on a dry land field configured like a carrier deck. Lohrenz couldn't handle both flights, so superiors permitted her to concentrate on FCLPs to enhance her chances of becoming carrier-qualified.

    Down Number Two came on Nov. 15, when Lohrenz failed to secure an engine when entering a refueling area. Ground refueling is normally done through "hot pitting," with crews attaching a fuel line just forward of the engine intake while it is still running. According to Donnelly, "A pilot's failure to secure the right engine during this process, which takes place in a high- noise environment, can result in a crewman being sucked into the intake and killed." Down Number Three came on March 3, 1994, when Lohrenz was cited during an FCLP for "overshooting starts" and "finessing a low," showing her inability to follow signals given by the Landing Signal Officer. Down Number Four came on March 4, when Lohrenz got a grade of 2.85 on a tactics flight exercise. Grading criteria is that any grade below 2.90 is "unsatisfactory" and that the failure must be documented. Lohrenz's commanding officer changed the grade from "unsatisfactory" to "incomplete," and wrote on the evaluation sheet, "Count this as a warm-up."

    Lohrenz made her first carrier qualification attempt on April 12-13 and couldn't get onto the deck. She was given a day grade of 2.46 and night grade of 1.25, far below the failure line: her "boarding grade" was zero. The night grade was the lowest in the squadron, excluding incomplete flights. The LSO evaluated her performance as "well below average," words he emphasized in his report.

    By now, Lohrenz's instructors were losing patience. As one told the IG, "She was kind of a whiner. She had trouble accepting that she had made a mistake." On her first attempt at a night landing, an instructor said, Lohrenz came around "I forget how many times...the captain of the ship said he needed a howitzer to shoot her down because he kept seeing her going past his window..."

    The landings Lohrenz made were under ideal sea conditions. What alarmed the LSOs was what might happen when she began flying in rough seas, where the flight deck was unstable. One wrote that if she tried to land, "if the deck moves, we've lost that airplane." The LSOs said she would not listen when they urged corrections. One worried, "she was going to potentially crash the airplane." In their IG testimony the instructors were emphatic in denying sexual discrimination. As one of them said, "The ramp knows no gender."

    On Jan. 25, Lohrenz took four attempts to land her F-14 on the Lincoln. Her commanders convened a "human factors board" [HFB] to determine if any outside stresses were affecting performance. The warning was that unless her flying improved, she would be washed out. It was during January that Burns sent the material on Lohrenz and Hultgreen to Elaine Donnelly. Lohrenz would later claim, in a slander suit against Donnelly, that the "stress" caused by negative commentary hurt her flying ability. Donnelly's position is that Lohrenz's decline commenced long before her commentary.

    By May, Lohrenz ranked 113 out of 133 pilot trainees, and the wing's commanding officer, Cmdr. Fred Killian, had seen enough. He told the IG, "I'm dealing with an aviator at this point who is below the...standards to qualify in the F-14 initially. And here I have this aviator who has exhibited unsafe tendencies, who has demonstrated boarding rate problems, who has trouble debriefing with the LSOs. I'm saying to myself, 'I can't allow this to go on. This is unsafe.'" He denied that Lohrenz's sex was a factor. "In fact," he said, "if I did anything that showed gender bias, I probably let her fly a couple of days longer than I should have. "A Navy board, after reviewing her record, dropped Lohrenz from carrier training.

    Burns in Jeopardy

    The Inspector General's report closes out the issue of Carey Lohrenz flying off carriers. But one disturbing problem remains--the fate of whistleblower Burns. Now in his 17th year in the Navy, Burns faces a board for promotion to lieutenant commander later this year; if he is passed over, he could be out of uniform. And colleagues fear that a politically- correct Navy will exact revenge for his disclosures about the women fliers.

    In a preemptive move, Burns has hired a lawyer, Robert Rae, of Virginia Beach, an Annapolis graduate and a onetime federal prosecutor. Rae pinned the Navy to the mat in several Tailhook cases, and he is ready to fight in court to save Burns' career, if necessary. "Lives were at stake," Rae told us. "Burns followed the book and no one would listen. I think the Navy would be well-advised to leave this man alone."

    No fewer than five times The New York Times has trumpeted the cause of State Department whistleblower Richard Nuccio, who lost his security clearance for giving classified information to then-Rep. Robert Torricelli. Predictably, the secrets found their way to the front page of the Times, whose editors now demand protection for Nuccio.

    We'd like to hear similar editorial support for Burns and Elaine Donnelly. We don't expect it from papers like The Washington Post and The New York Times, who support the social experiment that is rapidly diminishing our military's ability to fight wars, but you can be of help.

    What You Can Do

    Send the enclosed cards or your own letters to Jerry Burns, (in care of Robert B. Rae, 2600 Barrett Street, #100, Virginia Beach, VA 23452), Elaine Donnelly and an editor of your choice.

    AIM Report NOTES FROM THE EDITOR'S CUFF

    LANDING A FIGHTER PLANE ON THE HEAVING DECK OF AN AIRCRAFT CARRIER IS ONE OF the most challenging jobs in the military. The pilot's life is at risk, as are those of the crew. The Navy's ill-con- ceived effort to put unqualified fliers into the cockpits of carrier planes has already cost one life. But to some in the media, anyone who challenges a woman on the basis of flying ability is ipsofacto an anti-feminist. This report shows that women reporters such as Dana Priest of The Washington Post don't hesitate to censor unwelcome facts in their zeal to push the feminist agenda. When I asked Ms. Priest if her June 21 story about Lt. Carey Lohrenz's "victory" in her battle with the Navy was based on an advance copy of the Navy Inspector General's report on the Lohrenz case, she admitted that it was not. She quickly volunteered that she should have attributed her loaded lead paragraph to "defense sources," but she wouldn't say who that "defense source" might be. She said she had written a story on the IG's report, which was released on July 1, but she professed not to remember the date on which it was published. It was on July 2, and it was another example of what I have decided to call "agenda journalism." It was a long story, but it failed to tell readers the main message of the IG's report: that Lt. Lohrenz lacked the skill needed to fly carrier-based fighter planes without endangering lives, including her own.

    ELAINE DONNELLY, A FORMER ARMY OFFICER, PUTS OUR MILITARY BRASS TO SHAME with her exposure of their folly in surrendering to the demands of the radical feminists. Donnelly served on the Defense Department task force that studied whether women should be assigned to combat roles. She was in the minority that opposed it. She now runs the Center for Military Readiness (CMR), which monitors the progress and problems of sexual integration of the combat forces. Her work in exposing the so-so record of Lt. Lohrenz resulted in her being made the target of an expensive slander suit, along with The Washington Times and The San Diego Union. The Navy Inspector General's report should knock the Lohrenz suit out of court, but in the interim, the legal bills continue. If you agree with Elaine Donnelly, you can show your support by signing up for a one-year membership in CMR for $25 and sending a tax-deductible contribution to the CMR Legal Defense Fund, P.O. Box 51600, Livonia, M148151. CMR members receive a regular newsletter, which exposes the problems being caused by the reckless sexual integration of the military--news the media won't give you.

    FOLLOWING UP ON OUR REPORT, "SODOMY DEADLIER THAN SMOKING," I MUST TELL YOU about a video titled "It's Elementary--Talking About Gay Issues in School." New York Post columnist Ray Kerrison describes it as "78 minutes of relentless propaganda to advance the acceptance of homosexuality, as distinct from tolerance." I have seen it, and I agree. It shows how this is being pushed in schools throughout the country, using footage taken in classes taught by homosexual teachers ranging from first grade through middle school in New York City, Massachusetts, California and Wisconsin. The video, which is being sold for $200 a copy, is being used to show other teachers how to go about brainwashing the children and getting the approval of their superiors. This is brainwashing, i.e., giving impressionable youngsters the impression that there is no other side to this story and that criticism of homosexuality is evil. AIDS is never mentioned. One student was shown mentioning disease, and the teacher immediately responded that diseases are also transmitted by heterosexuals.

    KIDS "ARE BEING DRAFTED AS GUINEA PIGS IN A MASSIVE SOCIAL ENGINEERING EXPERI- ment designed to strip them of their natural innocence and brainwash them into accepting homosexuality," Ker- rison says. "The film is essentially a wholesale rejection of family traditions held sacred by 5,000 years of Judeo- Christian belief. It is being distributed, promoted and taught chiefly without parental knowledge and consent." A teacher is shown saying, "There is no right way, no wrong way. There isn't a good way, there isn't a bad way. The way that it is, is what it is." Kerrison rightly says this is "a campaign to corrupt the morals of the young."

    WHAT IF TOBACCO COMPANIES GOT TEACHERS WHO SMOKE TO UNDERTAKE A SIMILAR campaign to convince students, beginning in the first grade, that there is nothing wrong with smoking and that those who criticize it are misguided, intolerant haters? What if they then had a camera crew go into the classes where this was being done to make a video to show other teachers how to go about doing this? Following the script of "It's Elementary," they could have a third-grade girl read a little story about how nice it is to have parents who both smoke, and the teacher leading the class in applauding her. Nothing would be said about lung cancer or any of the other smoking related diseases that reduce the life expectancy of smokers by an average of 12 years, just as nothing is said in "It's Elementary" about AIDS, which reduces the life expectancy of between a third and a half of the homosexual males by an average of 36 years. They could show how to handle any student who might mention that smoking causes diseases. The teacher would just remind the student that non-smokers also get lung cancer and heart disease.

    NO ONE WOULD DARE SUGGEST THAT TEACHERS OR TOBACCO COMPANIES SHOULD promote acceptance of smoking in their classes. No one would argue that this would not increase the number of young people who take up smoking. But this is exactly what is going on in schools throughout the country to promote a sexual practice that is far more deadly than smoking. And what does Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna E. Shalala think of all this? You may recall that I sent her a letter on Aug. 27, asking if she would agree to publicize the fact that the number of years of potential life lost from AIDS exceeds those lost from lung cancer. I also asked if she would agree that there should be a campaign to discourage male-on-male sex compa- rable to the one that has been launched to discourage smoking cigarettes. I said, "If not, I would be most inter- ested in learning why you think we should not discourage a habit that kills so many people at a very early age." Finally, I invited her to critique my numbers and see if HHS could improve upon my analysis and come up with more and better figures.

    ON SEPT. 23, SEC. SHALALA'S PRESS SECRETARY, VICTOR ZONANA, CALLED TO GIVE ME her answer. It was, "We have no comment." He repeated that three more times as I tried to get him to tell me if there was anything wrong with my statistics. I tried a different tack, saying, "Look, Victor, HHS, Health, that's the first word of the title, right?" He conceded that, and I asked how, with their concern about health, they could refuse to comment on statistics that show that sodomy is causing three times the loss of years of potential life (for each death) as smoking, a habit that concerns them deeply. Zonana replied, "I have said what I am going to say. Thank you very much." Asked if Sec. Shalala didn't want to discuss this matter, he gave me his fifth "no com- ment." I said, "I've taped this. I'll write it up in my report. I think it's very expressive of what HHS stands for." Click! Cliff Kincaid reported in Human Events in July 1993 that Zonana, a homosexual, was co-founder of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. He also reported that Sec. Shalala had been outed as a closeted Lesbian at the April 1993 gay rights march because the homosexuals felt that she had done nothing to advance their agenda. Shalala denied being a lesbian, but she hired Victor Zonana soon after. She and Victor are now helping them by protecting their killer--sodomy.

    IT WAS ANNOUNCED RECENTLY THAT DEATHS FROM AIDS IN THE U.S. FELL 26 PERCENT in 1996. The costly new drugs now taken by many AIDS patients are reducing the years of potential life lost from AIDS by a few years, but the White House Office on AIDS Policy says that the success of these drugs has encouraged more risky behavior on the part of homosexual men and that there has been no slowdown in the number of new HIV infections. We are adding another card, one that you may send to Sec. Shalala.

    NORTHERN CALIFORNIA AIM MEMBERS MAY BE INTERESTED IN A CONFERENCE BEING organized by AIM friend and San Francisco activist Peter "Pedro" Paul, that expands on the talk he gave at the AIM conference in San Francisco last year. The title is, "Urban Guerrilla: A Citizen's Primer For Taking Back Your City, Government, Schools, Jobs and 501 C-3 Organizations." Peter, who describes himself as "a graduate of the Cook County School of Real Politics," edits Veritas, an eclectic underground monthly whose target is what he calls "the urban renewal pimps" of San Francisco. For more information on the conference, which will be held on Saturday, Nov. 1, in Burlingame call Peter at 415-621-0690.

    IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS FOR THE AIM REPORT'S 25th ANNIVER- sary conference and dinner at the Army-Navy Club in Washington on October 18. Not wanting to deny anyone a chance to hear the outstanding speakers and rub shoulders with the many great friends and supporters of our cause who will be there, we have succeeded in getting the club's main dining room for the banquet, making it possible to accommodate more people than the maximum that we were first given. If you have not sent in your reservation, call 1-800-787-4567 now. I hope to see you there.


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