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ducted in a goldfish bowl so that the people and the press can know exactly what is being done. But this has not been the case in the past and it is certainly not the case today dealing with public domain oil shale. In fact, the scandal has reached alarming proportions. The situation is this: A number of former officials and employees of the Interior Department with inside knowledge of oil shale matters have gone to work for law firms, private companies and consulting firms seeking to obtain oil shale rights from the department or have on their own been trying to oil shale mining claims; One former interior employee is going to great lengths to patent pre-1920 oil shale mining claims on which he stands to make $50 million or more, and from which he has already derived large sums; Various employees and officials have left the Interior Department in recent years to enter private positions where their inside knowledge is probably their key asset; Officials in the Interior Department, some at the political level, have been evasive, refused to provide factual information, and have lied directly in some instances in their efforts to cover up their maladministration and their efforts to give away the oil shale resource; Justice Department officials have not Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorporated the State Week and Austin Forum-Advocate. We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of man as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. Editor, Greg Olds. Partner, Mrs. R. D. Randolph. Editor-at-large, Ronnie Dugger. Business Manager, Sarah Payne. Associate Manager, C. R. Olofson. Contributing Editors, Elroy Bode, Winston Bode, Bill Brammer, Sue Horn Estes, Larry Goodwyn, Harris Green, Bill Helmer, Dave Hickey, Franklin Jones, Lyman Jones, Larry L. King, Georgia Earnest Klipple, Al Melinger, Robert L. Montgomery, Willie Morris, James Presley, Charles Ramsdell, John Rogers, Mary Beth Rogers, Roger Shattuck, Robert Sherrill, Dan Strawn, Tom Sutherland, Charles Alan Wright. Contributing Photographer, Russell Lee. The Observer publishes articles, essays, and creative work of the shorter forms having to do in various ways with this area. The pay depends; at present it is token. Unsolicited manuscripts must be accompanied by return postage. The editor has exclusive control over the editorial policies and contents of the Observer. None of the other people who are associated with the enterprise shares this responsibility with him. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them the editor been candid and indeed have tried to provide misleading answers to inquiries; Certain key members of Congress, including some who had accepted oil interest contributions and some who had been involved in pushing the Interior Department to approve phony patents, have refused to provide honest answers to direct inquiries. Others have introduced flagrant give-away bills which would strip the public of billions if not trillions of dollars of oil shale wealth; On Feb. 27, 1962, an Interior official drafted the original give-away bill to validate even the more tenuous pre-1920 oil shale claims and turn them over to the claimants at $2.50 an acre. The department draft was the prototype for similar bills introduced by two Colorado senators. Though of detrimental value to the public’ interest neither the Secretary of the Interior nor the department has repudiated these bills. IT IS NOW common knowledge on the streets of Denver that the oil shale give-away issue has produced one of the most horrible instances of attacks and mistreatment of incorruptible civil servants imaginable. The Dreyfus and the Billy Mitchell cases could not have been worse. The four Interior employees who uncovered the mineral resource give-aways does not necessarily imply that he agrees with them, because this is a journal of free voices. Unsigned articles are the editor’s. Subscription Representatives: Arlingt o n, George N. Green, 300 E. South College St., CR 70080; Austin, Mrs. Helen C. Spear, 2615 Pecos, HO 5-1805; Corpus Christi, Penny Dudley, 12241/2 Second St., TU 4-1460; Dallas, Mrs. Cordye Hall, 5835 Ellsworth, TA 1-1205; Ft. Worth, Dolores Jacobsen, 3025 Greene Ave., WA 4-9655; Houston, Mrs. Kitty Peacock, 718 Capital National Bank Building, CA 8-7956; Lubbock, Doris Blaisdell, 2515 24th St.; Midland, Eva Dennis, 4306 Douglas, OX 4-2825; Snyder, Enid Turner, 2210 30th St., HI 3-9497 or HI 3-6061; San Antonio, Mrs. Mae B. Tuggle, 531 Elmhurst, TA 6-3583. The Observer is published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd., biweekly from Austin, Texas. Entered as second-class matter April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Second class postage paid at Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $6.00 a year; two years, $11.00; three years, $15.00. Foreign rates on request. Single copies 25c; prices for ten or more for students, or bulk orders, on request. Editorial and Business Offices: The Texas Observer, 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas 78705. Telephone GR 7-0746. Editor’s residence phone, GR 8-2333. Houston office: 718 Capital National Bank Building, Houston, Texas 77002. Telephone CA 8-7956. Change of Address: Please give old and new address and allow three weeks. Form 3579 regarding undelivered copies: Send to Texas Observer, 504 W. 24th, Austin, Texas 78705. and put the Interior Department in the position of having to stop the give-aways of land worth $2,000 an acre for $2.50 an acre on the basis of flimsy pre-1920 claims have had their careers and reputations destroyed. They have been hounded,’ interrogated, threatened, denied promotions, had their work demeaned and reversed regardless of the merits, and subjected to kangaroo proceedings in which form affidavits were used against them. In the end, when nothing else would work, charges of mental illness or character defects were made or threatened against all of them at one time or another. Documents were stolen from them and even their lives were threatened. Nothing casts the smell of scandal over oil shale more widely or strongly than the use of vicious tactics to destroy honest public servants. And the logical conclusion after a careful review of the facts will show that a Congressman initiated this vendetta. High government officials were responsible for it; some directed it, some executed it, and condoned it. At least one White House aide approved the destruction of these people. The four employees were finally driven out, and since then give-aways have been resumed and the work they did is being undone by a give-away-minded staff in the Interior Department. No one has taken the four employees’ places as public-interest protectors. In their former positions, these four employees of Uncle Sam who were responsible for temporarily stopping the land grab, were absolutely right, for the Interior Department for years had been patenting invalid pre-1920 oil shale mining claims, more than 100 of which the Department had itself previously declared null and void. This land now mostly belongs to the major oil companies. High officials including Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, Attorneys General Nicholas Katzenbach and Ramsey Clark, US Civil Service Commission Chairman John Macy, former White House aide Lee White, and President Johnson, have all disregarded written reports that this maladministration and these abuses were occurring and have refused even to investigate the situation. One must wonder: why? A scandal of such magnitude with such political implications rarely happens today. When it does, it is usually through the efforts of the big daily press that exposure comes and the situation is corrected. The oil shale scandal has gone largely ignored by the daily press. Various political figures who normally take a public interest position have wrung their hands in concern, but have shied away from full disclosure of the facts on this trillion-dollar scandal because it would have political implications presumably harmful to their party. Little do they realize that the give-away policy is bipartisan that the oil interests and speculators have dominated the Interior Department under Republican and Democratic administrations alike. As an illustration, patenting of worth THE TEXAS OBSERVER Texas Observer Co., Ltd. 1968 A Journal of Free Voices A Window to the South 62nd YEARESTABLISHED 1906 Vol. LX, No. 1 7400 Jan. 12, 1968