Because of an editing error, Sen. Jon Kyl's (R-Ariz.) name was misspelled in his Oct. 23 Free for All letter. (Published 10/27/1999)

The Senate's rejection of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty last week has generated a tempest of overreaction and outright hysteria among members of the media and Washington elites. Mary McGrory's column "Petty Politics, Nuclear Fallout," [Oct. 14] is wrong on some facts. So that the historical record is correct, please be advised that neither Sen. Jesse Helms nor I "raged" at Majority Leader Trent Lott for considering President Clinton's belated request to remove the treaty from Senate consideration.

On the contrary, all conversations we had with the majority leader were collegial and thoughtful, expressing concern for the responsibilities of the Senate as a co-equal partner with the president in evaluating treaties.

In the end, a majority of senators voted against the treaty because it would have done little to prevent proliferation while doing great harm to the reliability of our nuclear deterrent, and because the treaty could not be unilaterally improved as hypothesized by the administration. It was better to defeat this fatally flawed treaty and send a signal to our U.S. arms control negotiators to address the Senate's concerns before signing a treaty, than to delay consideration of a document that could not be modified sufficiently.

While I realize McGrory's column is meant to be opinion and not factual news reporting, I believe your paper has an obligation to provide its readers with an accurate historical representation of events in the nation's capital.

--John Kyl

The writer, a Republican senator

from Arizona, is a member of the

Intelligence Committee.