INSIDE CONGRESS
===============
Author Ronald Kessler Interviewed On C-Span
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  "IF THE CAPITOL POLICE ARREST SOMEONE WHO'S POWERFUL OR  IF
  THEY  ARREST  A  CONGRESSMAN, THEY HAVE TO *UN-ARREST* THAT
  PERSON...  AND THIS IS SOMETHING  THAT THEY DO ON A ROUTINE
  BASIS TO THIS DAY.  THAT  IS  UNBELIEVEABLE;  IT'S  LIKE  A
  THIRD  WORLD  COUNTRY.   IT  MAKES  A  MOCKERY OF THE WHOLE
  JUSTICE SYSTEM."  -- Ronald Kessler, 5/26/97
 
Ronald  Kessler,  author  of  the recently released book, *Inside
Congress*, was interviewed  by  Brian  Lamb  on C-Span, May 26th,
1997.   (Thank  God  for  C-Span.)   Following  are   abbreviated
excerpts of that interview.
 
(A note:   Conspiracy  Nation  recalls  a  conversation  with Mr.
Sherman  Skolnick  when,  apropos  of  nothing,  that  courageous
crusader said, "Oh Brian [sighs], there's so much blackmail going
on these days."  Do Kessler's revelations  have  anything  to  do
with   increasing  temperatures  in  the  so-called  "Whitewater"
investigations, brought on in part by Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana?
Does Kessler's book have anything  to  do  with "tit for tat," in
which warring factions throw dirt at each  other?   Answer:   not
known by this editor, but worth considering.)
 
(One other note:  In light  of Kessler's book, recent allegations
of  misconduct  lodged against Rep. Luis Gutierrez (see CN 10.53,
archived at  http://feustel.mixi.net  and,  under  "Hot News," at
http://www.shout.net/~bigred/cn.html,  "Reputed  Blackmailer  and
Dopehead Gets Pass") by Mr. Skolnick gain credibility.)
 
RONALD KESSLER:
...the corruption of the  Capitol  Police.   Here's  the  Capitol
Police, that are told  by  Congress  if they arrest someone who's
powerful  or  if  they  arrest  a  congressman,  they   have   to
*un-arrest*  that person.  It was covered up.  I mean, "Forget it
ever happened."  And this is something  that they do on a routine
basis to this day.  That is unbelievable; it's like a Third World
country.  It makes a mockery of the whole justice system.  {1}
 
BRIAN LAMB:
[Reads from book] "...Senator Edward M.  Kennedy  allegedly  once
almost ran over a Capitol Hill police officer."
 
RONALD KESSLER:
Yeah.  This is based on 350 interviews, almost all on-the-record.
And  one  of the interviews was with a Capitol Police officer who
said that Ted Kennedy, in  the  1980s, was totally drunk and went
through a red light and almost ran over this officer.   And  when
the  officer  tried  to get him in a taxi (because, of course, he
wouldn't arrest  him;  you  do  not  arrest  a  congressman), his
superior came over and said, "Do  you  know  what  you're  doing?
This is Ted Kennedy. Let him go."
   So  he  did.   He  gave him his keys and Ted Kennedy went off,
totally drunk:   could  have  killed  someone;  could have killed
himself.  This is the way the Capitol Police  operate.   This  is
the way the Capitol Police operate to this day.
 
BRIAN LAMB:
Here's  a  picture [from your book]:  "Rita Jenrette(sp?) had sex
with her husband, Rep. John W. Jenrette, Jr., on the steps of the
Capitol. She later posed for Playboy [magazine.]"
 
RONALD KESSLER:
Well that's certainly a  well-known  story.  I did interview her,
to get the mechanics down of just how it happened.
   The Capitol Police and other "little people" -- that's,  e.g.,
the   doorkeepers   and   people   like   that   --   see   these
behind-the-scenes  activities.   It's  things...  For example, in
the Dirksen Building there was a  female staffer who used to have
sexual trysts on a regular basis during coffee break  time.   The
Capitol Police officers themselves were engaged in sex, at night.
And  to  this  day...   [Rep.]  Sonny Bono, for example, sexually
harassed an intern on his  staff.  And just recently, the Capitol
Police came across a former (very powerful) Representative Member
having sex with a prostitute in broad daylight, at 5 pm,  in  his
car.   And  this former Member had his expired congressional tag,
and waved it.  And  that  was  enough  to  scare off this Capitol
Police officer.  He did not investigate further and,  of  course,
did not arrest him.
 
BRIAN LAMB:
Let me go back to the Sonny Bono deal (because he's not here  and
can't  defend  himself):   How do you know that?  Do you take her
word for it?
 
RONALD KESSLER:
I take her word  for  it;  also,  she confided in 4 congressional
employees at the time it happened, which was last  June.   And  I
confirmed  with  all 4 of them that she had, in fact, confided to
them at that  time.   She  did  not  go  public;  did  not file a
complaint.  Two months later, I interviewed her and she told  her
story.
 
BRIAN LAMB:
Why would she not file a complaint?
 
            -+-     You Don't Want To Take On A     -+-
            -+-  Congressman; You'll Ruin Your Life -+-
 
RONALD KESSLER:
She  was  advised by a lot of people in Congress, "You don't want
to take on a  congressman;  you'll  ruin  your life."  And at the
same time, someone who's a friend of hers knew me and felt that I
was a responsible journalist.  And I convinced her that this  is,
you  know,  for a *book* (it's not for the National Enquirer) and
that it's part of a look at this whole institution and what makes
it tick and what's wrong with it.   And so she felt that, in that
format, she felt comfortable coming forward.
 
BRIAN LAMB:
Here's  another  picture:    Rep.   Charles   Wilson   introduced
legislation  to  cut  defense  appropriations after being told he
could not take his  girlfriend,  Anna  Lee Eschlinko(?), a former
Miss U.S. World, on a Pentagon plane.
 
RONALD KESSLER:
Well this is typical of  the  just  out-of-control  arrogance  of
Members  of  Congress.   And  it  extends  to, for example, today
having custom-made furniture made  for  them  by Senate and House
employees to the  tune  of  $20,000  *per*  *chair*!   Literally.
We're  talking  about  just  a  little  chair,  not  a big chair.
Silk-covered.   And  $12,000  stereo  consoles,  custom-made silk
curtains,  custom-made  rugs  costing  two-  and   three-thousand
percent  more  than  what  is available normally in the House and
Senate inventory.
   So this is something  that's  been  covered  up until now, and
it's typical of the perquisites that these same Members who  say,
"We  have  to cut Medicare/Medicaid; we have to cut the deficit,"
engage in.
 
BRIAN LAMB:
Here's a photograph that says, "Teen-age female pages used to put
on a show for  the  Capitol  Police  every night by undressing in
front of open windows in this building,  which  became  known  as
'Virgin Village.'"
 
RONALD KESSLER:
Until  a  few  years ago, the pages were 14-years-old and totally
unsupervised.  Again:  a  commentary  on  the irresponsibility of
Congress.
 
           -+- Fear Of Congress Spikes News Story -+-
 
BRIAN LAMB:
There was a story in the paper  a  couple  of  days  ago  that  a
feature  on  "20/20" (on ABC) about your book was dropped, at the
last  minute.   And  you're  quoted  in  the  article  as  saying
something about the motive. What was the motive, in your opinion?
 
RONALD KESSLER:
If you look at the facts,  it's  pretty clear that the motive was
simply fear of Congress.  The piece had been  in  the  works  for
about  a  month.  Both the Washington Post and the New York Times
had syndicated excerpts from this book; it had clearly passed the
standards of the most pre-eminent journalism in the country.  The
executive producer of "20/20" gave the producer more praise about
this  piece  after  he  saw  it  than  at  any  time  during this
producer's 16-year career at "20/20," according to what  he  told
me.   It  had  also  passed  the  lawyers.   It  also  passed the
standards person.  And  then,  at  the  last  minute, on Thursday
night before it was to air, Roone Arledge wanted to see it -- and
killed it.  And the reason that was given was, he wanted it to be
based  on  ABC's  own  reporting,  because  this  was   sensitive
material.   Well  in  fact, most of it *was* ABC's own reporting:
it  was  not  *me*,  it  was  other people from the book who were
on-camera:  a  couple  of  police  officers,  former-Senator Paul
Simon...  So it was, in fact, first-hand accounts by  people  who
were eyewitnesses to these activities.
   Disney and ABC have a lot of issues before Congress; they have
lobbyists who want all kinds  of  things  out of Congress.  And I
think it's pretty clear, given all the circumstances,  that  they
simply were afraid.
 
---------------------------<< Notes >>---------------------------
{1} Regarding Kessler's allegations of Capitol Police covering up
the  misdeeds  of powerful persons:  in light of this, recall how
the Park  Police  supposedly  investigated  the  strange death of
Vince Foster.