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MEXICO’S fevre Aeuittaftee L LD 64 ellief t Here in the world’s most magnificent playground is the lovely LAS HAMACAS, which means “The Hammocks.” At the edge of sparkling Acapulco Bay. New rooms and suites, air-conditioned. Finest food. English is spoken. Credit cards honored. MOTOR HOTEL For beautiful color folder or information write to: Arturo Cordova, Manager HOTEL LAS HAMACAS P.O. Box 399, Acapulco, Mexico . . . the peccadillos of this urbane but professional pimp, the admittedly effective operations of this connoisseur of plush living and lush flesh as the ready accessories of money, influence and power, even when wrapped in the magic mantle of being one of “the most trusted, most loyal, and most competent” of Lyndon Johnson’s friends, was not enough within itself to make a ripple on what was once the honest and open stream of American life and affairs. With this kind of prose Haley hardly needs facts. All he needs to do is to discredit all other sources of information save himself. To this old pastime of the right and left wings, and more recently of the GOP, Haley brings few new twists. Here are the same old allegations against Left-winger Drew Pearson,, radical professors of the University of Texas, and Walter “Fabian Socialist” Lippmann. But there is one remarkable passage which could have come from the Daily Worker: It is something of far deeper and more somber significance. It is a combination of the long frustrations of little but honest people who want and seek the truth, of resentment of propaganda and designed deception by those in power, of a sense of betrayal in past deed and action by those of influence and authority! More than that it is cumulative in force and effect. It is impervious to the pious platitudes in the political forum, press and pulpit. It is a sign of national disunity, the dangerous undertones of largely forgotten and inarticulate masses stirring with potential violenceone of the most historic, most natural, yet most terrifying reactions of people who have been denied the truth by illegitimate Dower. Having thus, in the rhetoric of the New China News Agency, established himself as the first true voice since Isaiah, Haley 10 The Texas Observer then proceeds to pass rumors and hearsay like new money. He relates the most apocryphal and often contradictory anecdotes with stentorian authority and elaborate detail, always qualifying himself out of the courts with a “rumor has it,” or a “it is generally believed,” tucked away in a dependent clause. Some of the anecdotes seem to be inserted only for their sensation value. After relating in detail the commitment of a certain Washington secretary to a mental institution supposedly to shut her up, Haley tell us assuredly: That it was not an isolated incident was already well known to students of the modern world and its fiendish uses of power. If they were not directly responsible in this case, it was no doubt acceptable to Johnson and the Kennedys, as proven by their callous disregard of the matter . . . and confirmed and completely proven at Oxford later. This is only one of the minor cases of guilt by association in the text. If we are to believe Haley, Lyndon spent most of his early years speaking before Bonds for Israel Dinners and B’nai B’rith Luncheons, and although Haley is fairly certain that the President himself is not a Jew, it seems that most of his friends are, and every one of them is listed. Haley’s passion for accuracy also leads him to clear up any doubts we might have had about the naBy far the most flagrant and really malicious misuse of words in this book occurs in connection with the many irrelevant murders narrated and the death of President Kennedy. To be sure, Haley makes no direct statement, but consider the implications of these passages in light of Haley’s mentioning three times, without documentation, that the Kennedys planned to “dump” Johnson in 1964. The book is subtitled: “A Study in Illegitimate Power.” In the section dealing with Duval County, Haley narrates the killing of radio-man Bill Mason by Deputy Sheriff Sam Smithwick, a Parr henchman. According to Haley, a young prosecutor had “Smithwick looking apprehensively down the corridor to the electric chair.” Something had to be aone to cause a mistrial, and that something was the ultimate age-old resort of illegitimacy in desperationassassination! Three pages later Haley tells us: In its incipiency, public sanction of immorality, assassination and illegitimacy may seem a local if not a minor matter. But the malignancy spreads! What a strange coincidence that Lee Harvey Oswald, on his return from Mexico shortly before the Kennedy assassination, detoured from Laredo to stop and spend the night “In search of a job” at Alice, in Jim Wells County, Texas, before proceeding to Dallas and his world shocking deed! Ninety pages later, while discussing the Billie Sol Estes scandal, Haley mentions the death of George Krutilek and Harold Orr by carbon monoxide poisoning and notes that carbon monoxide “is a subtle approach that would have charmed such early practicioners of assassination as the ancient Medici.” Finally, after concluding his chapter on the 1960 campaign with the remark that Johnson was “just one heartbeat away from the presidency,” he opens the next chapter with: “When on November 22, 1963, that ready resort of illegitimacy, the dread act of assassination, struck the moral world bumb. . . .” THE IMPLICATION here is obvious, yet probably unchallegeable in the courts. The question is why stoop so low? Why bother with such verbal machinations when they are bound to discredit the book for any but the most credulous? The answer, I think, is that Johnson has become for Haley a symbol of what he loathes about the modern world, and it is not communism that raises Haley’s greatest ire, it is business, and the ruthless competition, of a gigantic capitalist society. A Texan Looks at Lyndon is really less a political tract than the last outcry of the rancher against the business-man. Every character in this book who is sympathetically presented is a “man of the soil,” while Johnson is “not a product of the rough but sunlit Southwestern hills, but of political sophistication, cynicism and expediency,” who has “the financial backing of mainstreet socialists, who are perennially paraded as ‘Texas conservatives.’ ” Coke Stevenson is “a product of the hills of Texas,” who “knew the meaning of hard work and had been a freighter, cowboy, and country lawyer.” Frank Scofield “is still a working ranchman, one of the most noted breeders of registered shorthorns in the world, on his ranch near Austin.” Dr. John Dunn, who exposed the Estes scandal, was “a product of forthright Texas raising, not political sophistication.” Perhaps the archetype of all these men is rancher Jim West, for whom Haley was once general range