seem ready to raise questions about it, few seem ready to think about a new course of action,” Gonzalez said. King Crime The recent attempted murder, in San Antonio, of Assistant U.S. District Attorney James Kerr and the assassination here of U.S. District Judge John Wood have led Gonzalez to increase the tempo of his attack on, and his descriptions of, what he calls “King Crime.” “Organized crime has penetrated the highest level of our government. They’re in there,” he says. They got in particularly, he says, when John Mitchell was the Attorney General during the Nixon Administration. “King Crime, as I call it, has literally taken over the country . . . It has penetrated business all the way from banks to shopping centers to savings and loans and to insurance companies. It has certainly penetrated the highest levels of the federal government for years.” violators and adjudge cases brought before its courts,” Gonzalez has called Wood’s killing “the most dastardly crime of the century,” exceeding in magnitude even President Kennedy’s murder. The assassination of Judge Wood, Gonzalez said late last month, “challenges the third branch of our government” and has an obvious intimidating effect “on the judges presently serving in the western district, every one of whom is presently under custodial surveillance by federal marshals as well as by agents of the court.” Accordingly, Gonzalez wants the government to offer a $3 million reward in the case. No nukes Taking out after organized crime in his home bailiwick, Gonbut by taking out after what he also calls a crime the cover-up of the dangers of nuclear power he has startled the very San him. In his all-out opposition to commercial nuclear power, Gonzalez could, using orderly means, go no further, make no stronger statement. Eliminate nuclear, he says, and develop solar power as the preferred energy source. Gonzalez has studied all the seminal House and Senate debates on licensing private nuclear power in 1954. “Unbelievably,” he reports, “not in all of that voluminous number of turgid pages of prose was there even one word with reference to safety or to the undesirable products resulting from that kind of activity not one word. Not one word . . . . There was not one word mentioned about such things as the possibility of catastrophe. What to do with the noxious and poisonous waste products or what to do even with the plants themselves once they had been built. Those two basic questions are still unanswered today.” The average nuclear plant lasts 40 years, he points out, but what then? The first one built, now inoperative, “stands as a highly dramatic symbol near Vallecito, California, abandoned but with a fence built around it, irradiating . . . . It is there. “No one has come out with a satisfactory answer on what to do with the 72 [plants] that are now operative when their life cycles have expired. There is no National Forest Lawn Cemetery for nukes. No one has figured out a nukes heaven as yet and the only thing we have been getting is a nuke hell. And the potential every day, every day the clock ticks . . . the danger, the constant danger.” Members of Congress have assumed, Gonzalez said, that inspections of the plants were rigorous. “This is not true. There is absolutely no viable, responsible accounting system of inspections now, and there has not been at anytime since 1954. A meat packing plant is far more rigorously inspected and regulated than a nuke. “It is just absolutely incredible. The people have been lied to. The Congress has been kept in blinders . . . . The Atomic Energy Commission has never been honest with the American people or the Congress.” All this, Gonzalez told the House, is “in the nature of a national crime . . . I believe that this amounts to a crime. Under the Nuremberg principles, I am convinced that those responsible would be subject to indictment and conviction on the grounds of terracide, if not genocide.” The Congressman has been much affected by evidence given him in private with six inspectors of nuclear plants, three of whom were still working in the industry when he spoke with them. He will not give their names because that would be, he says, “throwing diem to the wolves . . . They are not free to speak the truth unless they want to give up their economic security . . . . “Some of these inspectors with whom I have spoken have “Organized crime has penetrated the highest level of our government. They’re in there.” Gonzalez is made most uneasy by plea bargaining authorities making deals with alleged criminals to get other alleged criminals. “How do they make cases?” he asks of the feds. “They ask guys under charge of crime ‘What do you know? If you tell us, we’ll give you immunity.’ ” He points particularly to a provision of Title 18 that permits a conspirator’s testimony without corroboration from another dissatisfied with “the intimacy” between known established criminals and law enforcement officials as they enter plea bargaining, an intimacy that “gives the very criminal element that is temporarily supposedly aiding and abetting the law enforcement agencies a tremendous leverage on behalf of crime.” By the term organized crime, Gonzalez does not mean only the Mafia: “The Mafia is just small potatoes. It is a branch of the Syndicate.” He sees “four main currents or streams of organized crime” in the United States: “You have your Eastern Seaboard which includes Washington, D.C., down the coast into Florida and then across to New Orleans, Houston, and into Mexico at the southernmost border point. Then you have the ChicagoDallas-Austin-San Antonio-Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, connection into the interior. Then, of course, you have the Las Vegas-El Paso connection, which is where we really have the bigwigs. Then you also have the California-Tijuana, Mexico, connection. All of these engage in extensive nefarious practices.” “He has hinted, or implied, his suspicion that the Kerr and Wood shootings were connected to El Paso. He has introduced legislation to crack down on car-stealing because, he says, stealing cars and parts and taking them into Mexico to exchange them for drugs has now become an international $1.5 billion racket. He has implied that the imprisonment of the head of the Drug Enforcement Agency in Mexico City on a bribery charge was entrapment, and that if one believes the story of his subsequent death in the Bexar County jail from choking on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, one would also be “willing to believe in the tooth fairy and Little Red Riding Hood and the whole works.” Because the shooting of Kerr and the murder of Judge Wood “threaten the ability of the United States to prosecute criminal 6 MARCH 28, 1980
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.