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the medicinal effects thereof extremely beneficial and later helped the half-drowned river party to recover by administering doses of same. Wayne Brown’s canoe was located downriver, intact, although his camera looked as though it had been through the Hundred Years’ War. Over half the party decided to abandon the river at that point. Four canoes continued next day toward Lajitas, the small town just above Santa Elena Canyon, which had been by then sealed to river traffic by park rangers. The Max Leader and DeLany took a spill en route to Lajitas, much to the delight of their companions, who by that time had come to resent anybody who could keep a canoe upright in the roaring river. By the end of the trip, the only folks who hadn’t been upended were Dave and Ann Richards, both skilled canoeists, and those incredible klutzes Eckhardt and Walker. There is no justice. With an extra three days on our hands, we devoted ourselves to the appreciation of some of the more unique manifestations of nature a la Texas. During leisurely days of poking around the Big Bend and dawdling back to Austin via the Hill Country, we surveyed mountains, canyons, rivers, cacti, pinon trees, madrons, redbuds, mountain laurels, and wildflowers galore. We spent a morning hiking into the mouth of the awesome Santa Elena, which has become my personal cross between the white whale and the Red Baron. Curse you, Santa Elena, I’ll canoe you yet. 22 The Texas Observer The Outpost Austin “s Best Barbecue 11:30-7:30 Daily, Except Sunday David and Marion Moss .345-9045 Highway 183 North Psst . . . Wanta know which 74 delegates voted to place growth limits on multi-bank holding companies? Get . . . A VOTER’S GUIDE to the 1974 Texas Constitutional Convention \($5.50 Texas Government Newsletter Dept. T Here’s $ Box 12814 Send me Austin 78711 Copies @ $5.50 Name Address On Connally All right, all right, hold it, everybody. Just relax, calm down, and let’s consider this here Connally thing. Let me make myself perfectly clear: I am delighted that John Connally was acquitted because I feel that any other verdict would have been a grave miscarriage of justice. You understand, of course, that I was perfectly prepared to believe that Connally had accepted a $10,000 bribe from Jake Jacobsen: nevertheless, the government prosecution came nowhere near proving that he did any such thing. Had I been on the Connally jury \(I was in would have voted to acquit Connally in well under the 30 minutes recommended by The Dallas Morning News. \(The News was upset because the jury took five hours, rather than 30 minutes, to return its But here in Texas we see no rejoicing over the fact that the American judicial system has proved its fairness and effectiveness; we hear no hosannahs because an innocent man has been cleared. Instead we hear calls for the scalp of Leon Jaworski, who is questionably alleged to be responsible for Comially’s indictment in the first place. The ever-remarkable Robert Baskin of the News informs us that the verdict is clear grounds for plowing the entire special prosecutor’s office into the ground, preferably with salt sown over it. Margaret Mayer of The Dallas Times-Herald, bless her loyal heart, treats us to the high tragedy of a great and good man \(J. B. Connally, in case you hadn’t brought to ruin by vile and baseless accusations. NOW, I WILL not pretend to be Ms. Pollyanna-Sunshine of the year. I believe, if for no other reason than that the rest of the media are parroting it endlessly, that John Connally’s national political career is in ruins \(but I’d feel safer if Whether that constitutes tragedy, of a high form or low, is a judgmental question. I am compelled to admit, because I so firmly believe him to have been proved not guilty of the bribery charge on which he was tried, that there is rank unfairness in the matter. Well would I have preferred to have him hoist by the petard of his own lousy record as governor of this state and as secretary of the treasury \(Lockheed A raw deal, perhaps even a bum rap has been had by Mr. Connally. But his vindication is supposed to lie in his acquittal by the jury. Whence cometh this nonsense about how he should never have been tried at all? I have heard respectable and sober law professors assert that the prosecutor’s office engaged in malfeasance by bringing charges against Connally. Folks, leave us re-think this. The prosecution’s bribery case against Connally was poor, bad, awful. Indeed, it was so thin of substance and dreadfully presented that the D.C. press corps took to speculating that the case had been fixed in Connally’s favor before it got started. That proves nothing except that the D.C. press corps is full of paranoid schleps hung up on conspiracy theories. I do not doubt that the special prosecutor’s office threw some charges at Connally they semi-knew they couldn’t prove. And is the Texas press so virginal that it has never before witnessed such a happening? Nonsense. Prosecutors are always levelling slews of charges in the hope that something will stick. Conspiracy is a favorite add-on charge. They generally have one particular something in mind. I don’t say the system should operate this way, just that it does, and to claim that Connally was the victim of cruel or at least unusual treatment is just plain silly. I suspect that what the prosecutor’s office expected to nail on Connally was the perjury charge. You may recall that Connally’s excellent lawyer Edward Bennett Williams got that one separated from the bribery charge even before the kick-off. A good lick. After Connally’s acquittal on the bribery charge, the perjury charge was, perforce, dropped. Now imagine, if you will, that turkey Tuerkheimer, Connally’s prosecutor, and his goosey sidekick Jon Sale had been replaced by a competent courtroom lawyer say Richard Ben-Veniste, whatthehell. Further imagine such a lawyer working over Connally on perjury charges stemming from his testimony to the Watergate grand jury and the Senate select committee. You think Jake Jacobsen sounded silly, forgetting about that extra $5,000 he was supposed to have delivered to Connally? What would Connally sound like explaining the third time around that he had just, uh, ah, oh, er, not fully prepared himself for that grand jury testimony, didn’t take it seriously, y’know, hadn’t checked his records, did, of course, swear under oath and all that, but didn’t really mean it. Things slip your mind, don’t y’know, even meetings that have happened just a few weeks previously, heh, heh. I mean, a good prosecutor could easily get a big, “Yeah, sure, buddy,” reaction out of a jury with a story that weak from Connally. Folks, sharp prosecutors have been known to get convictions in cases of about that strength. BUT DOES a fairly respectable perjury case against a man justify throwing a bribery charge at him? Look at it from the prosecutor’s standpoint. Jake Jacobsen, admittedly not your ideal witness, comes to them with a story about how he bribed John Connally. They –check it out. They find nothing that disproves the story and indeed, several witnesses who can corroborate at least parts of the tale as to