SECRETS OF THE L.A. RIOTS -- PART I
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[Editor's note:  Fred Celeni  (pronounced suh-LAN-ee) worked as a
federal intelligence agent, he  says,  for  the  office  of  U.S.
Congressman  John  D. Dingell.  Celeni was interviewed for public
access television in Los  Angeles,  and  that interview was later
re-broadcast   on   Sherman   Skolnick's   television    program,
"Broadsides,"  in  Chicago.   Following  is  my  own  abbreviated
transcript  of Celeni's remarks.  (Possible spelling errors exist
and are not noted.)]

FRED CELENI:  ...and they  asked  for  identification, and I gave
them a copy of John Dingell's letter introducing me as  a  member
of  this  investigative  setup,  of  the  Oversight Investigation
Subcommittee.
   At that point,  they  made  a  telephone  call, and two people
entered the room.  One of them was known to me:  Vincent  Foster.
Vincent,  in previous operations in Springfield, Illinois, had at
that time become known as "The Rabbi."  There was a man with him;
he identified himself as  Walter  Husting.   They told me that he
was a newspaper publisher.  And the specifics stand out  for  two
reasons.   I  said, one, "Why would a newspaper publisher be in a
room where we're planning  a  covert intelligence activity?"  And
the second thing that bothered me was that I knew I had seen this
guy someplace before.
   We conversed for about an hour  and  some  minutes.   At  that
point  I  was  asked  to  give Ms. [Betsy] Wright a ride home.  I
dropped her off.  I'm not sure if  that was her house or not, but
it was what we refer to as a "Cape Cod."  It wasn't  very  large.
It  wasn't what I expected her to live in, based on her being the
head of Clinton's campaign.
   During  that  meeting,  what  came  up  was  a  plan  that the
Oversight Investigation Subcommittee had put  together  in  1980.
And  during  that  meeting we discussed that plan.  And what that
plan  basically  purported  to   be   was   a  system  to  handle
insurrection.  Now if you read the title and the first few pages,
you had this feeling it was a report on how to stop  insurrection
in  a major American city.  But as you got further into the plan,
it said, "Now that we have discussed how to cease and desist this
problem, =these= are the factors that  could lead to this type of
a riot."  What it really was, was 30 pages of blueprint on how to
start a riot:  How you would be able to  go  in  and  rile  up  a
community;  how  you would be able to approach the youth; how you
would infiltrate schools.
   Now what they wanted  to  do  was  bring forward the idea that
"America has to depend on the government."  That they could paint
the Los Angeles police or  the  Chicago  police  as  racists  and
bigots,  then  everyone  would  look to the federal government to
come in and be their savior.

INTERVIEWER:  When did you learn the true identity of this Walter
Husting?

FRED CELENI:  About a month-and-a-half later, I happened to see a
program on television.  And  they  identified  the man as being a
key aide on the Clinton staff.  And I  wasn't  positive  until  I
actually saw him, the night before the election, on television in
Little Rock. That's when I realized it was the same individual.

INTERVIEWER: And who is that?

FRED CELENI: His name's James Carville.

INTERVIEWER: Betsy Wright did not use an alias.

FRED CELENI: No, she did not.

                    -+- The Al Gore Plan -+-

INTERVIEWER:   Now  let's  fast-forward  ahead, to April of 1992.
You're back in Los Angeles and operating this phony law firm, and
"Operation Lasso" was in full-swing.   You then had the situation
with Rodney King:  the trial of  the  officers  involved  in  his
beating.   You  then already had orders to put this inciting into
effect?

FRED CELENI:  No. It depended  on  what happened.  If the verdict
had been "guilty," the set of orders on how we  were  to  proceed
would  have been totally different.  If it had been "guilty," the
orders were, to go  out  into  the  white community and, with our
television show and our radio  show  --  we  had  a  show  called
"Investigative  Reporter"  --  we  were to get negative comments;
anti-black comments.  If  they  [the  police officers] were =not=
convicted, then we were to do the opposite.  That  opposite  plan
was,   to   use   a   modified  version  of  the  1980  Oversight
Investigation plan.

INTERVIEWER: Written by Al Gore.

FRED CELENI:  Authored by Al Gore  and a couple other people.  Al
Gore's name was at the top of it.
   And what that plan was, was to go into the black community and
incite that community.

                     -+- The Rolling 90s -+-

   So as the trial started to wind down to the end (about 10 days
before the verdict), it was obvious  there was going to be a "not
guilty" verdict.
   So what we did was, we started going into the black  community
and  started  contacting  the  black youth.  We concentrated on 3
areas:  what we called the  Somoan  Crip area (the poorer section
of Long Beach); the Rolling 30s, Rolling 60s, Rolling  90s  Crips
(which is another black gang); and last, on something called "The
8-Tray  Gangster  Crips."   And  we  ended  up  getting  the best
response out  of  the  8-Tray  Gangster  Crips,  of  which Damian
Williams and [unclear] Park were the  leaders.   Damian  Williams
was called "Football."
   What  we  started doing was, going in there distributing cash,
crack cocaine, and weapons -- handguns.
   When the verdict came down, we  had nailed it down to 2 areas.
We cut out the Long Beach  Somoans;  the  Somoan  Crips  were  so
violent  that we feared they would explode and it would turn into
something that we didn't want  it  to  turn into.  The object was
not to burn down Los Angeles; the object was to  create  a  small
riot in a confined area... a small insurrection.
   The  Rolling  60s  controls  60th street -- all those streets:
sixtieth,  sixty-first,  sixty-second,   etc.   The  Rolling  90s
control 90th street and  all  those.   The  Rolling  30s  control
thirtieth  street,  thirty-first,  etc.   And  then,  up  in  the
high-90s, is where the 8-Tray Gangsters meet.
   The day the riot actually started, what happened was, early in
the  morning,  when they announced a verdict had been reached, we
went to the Los  Angeles  Police  Department  and  we picked up a
4-door Chevrolet black-and-white unit.  It had all the  computers
and radios inside, but we were told not to use those; to stay off
the  communication  channels and to use a portable telephone.  We
proceeded from there --  myself,  and three black gentlemen:  one
was named Anthony; one was named Charles; one was named Shabazz.

INTERVIEWER:  Who was your contact at Van Nuys  [LAPD  precinct],
to get the police car?

FRED CELENI: His name was Nathan Arnold, Jr.

INTERVIEWER: You worked closely with Nathan Arnold for some time.

FRED CELENI: Yes. I worked with Nathan for approximately a year.

INTERVIEWER: He was very aware of the whole operation.

FRED   CELENI:   In  fact  so.   Nathan  is  part  of  the  elite
intelligence squad [of LAPD.  See  the book, *L.A. Secret Police*
by Mike Rothmiller -- ISBN:  0-671-79657-7 -- for further  info.]
He's  ostensibly  assigned  as a senior detective to the Van Nuys
narcotics squad.  But, underneath it  all, you have to understand
that,  in  the  early  to  late  1980s  the  Los  Angeles  Police
Department operated their own CIA.  It was called the Los Angeles
Police Department Intelligence Unit.  They had  to  disband  that
because  of  problems.   So they surfaced this thing as what they
called a "Metropolitan Task Force."

INTERVIEWER:  What  was  Nathan  Arnold,  Jr.'s, affiliation with
Mark Fuhrman?

FRED CELENI:  There were two other men in the  "Lasso"  operation
who  were  assigned  by  the  LAPD.   A man by the name of Robert
Vernon was the second-in-command,  Los Angeles Police Department.
He's a Deputy Chief.  Also brought in were  Tom  Lange  and  Mark
Fuhrman.  And those three people came from three different units.
But  they totally controlled "Lasso" and the area we were working
in.

INTERVIEWER:  And they  also  worked  together  on drug and sting
operations?

FRED CELENI:  Correct.  Intelligence  operations.   You  have  to
understand  that  some  of  them  are from homicide -- the reason
being, drugs cross two  areas:   they  either result in death, or
dealing in drugs. And those two areas combine.
   Robert Vernon told me...  (We had dinner one day at  Hamburger
Hamlet  in  Van Nuys.)  Vernon said to me, "I'm putting Tom Lange
into this mix, because Mark  Fuhrman  and Nathan Arnold are loose
cannons.  They're very difficult to control.  But Tom's  a  real,
sincere, nice guy. He can control these people."

INTERVIEWER:   Back  to  the "Lasso" operation, on the day of the
riot, April 1992.  You've just  picked  up  the police car in Van
Nuys, and you have three young black... hoodlums, shall  we  call
them?

FRED  CELENI:   No, these weren't hoodlums.  These three men were
from the El Toro Marine Base, in southern California.

INTERVIEWER:  I see.  So they were assigned to "Operation Lasso."
And their names again?

FRED CELENI:  One was named Anthony.  One was named Charles.  One
was named Shabazz.

INTERVIEWER:  Now you are  driving  them  in  an  LAPD car on the
afternoon of the verdict. And where do you go?

FRED CELENI:  First we went to [unclear]; we were about  a  block
away,  because  we  were waiting for Nathan Arnold to catch up to
us. 

INTERVIEWER: What was in the trunk of your car?

FRED CELENI:   We  had  two  automatic  weapons,  that are called
"Mach-10s."  We had approximately two-dozen  handguns  which  did
not contain serial numbers.

INTERVIEWER: And how much ammunition?

FRED  CELENI:  Oh, I would say probably one clip for each handgun
and one extra.

INTERVIEWER: Any bombs?

FRED CELENI:  No. We did have  a  can of diesel fuel.  But we did
not release that from the trunk.

INTERVIEWER: And crack cocaine?

FRED CELENI:  Yes, we had quite a bit of crack cocaine.   We  had
approximately one kilo.

INTERVIEWER: And where did you go?

FRED  CELENI:   The  decision  was  made  to  go  to Florence and
Normandy, not to Long Beach.   We  proceeded  to a gas station in
the area.

INTERVIEWER: You parked in the back and did what?

FRED CELENI:  We unloaded the two boxes, out of  the  trunk,  and
put  them  on  the ground.  And I drove out of the lot and parked
nearby.

INTERVIEWER:  And at this time  you  realized that you were being
filmed by a private individual with a video camera.

FRED CELENI: Correct.

INTERVIEWER: (We'll go into him a little later.)
   Meanwhile, Shabazz, Anthony and  Charles  took  the  boxes  of
weapons  and  crack  cocaine  to the front of the gas station and
began to dispense the  contents,  on  the  street corner.  Do you
know of any other, similar operations, going on at  that  moment,
in order to incite the riots?

FRED CELENI: I had been told there were other operations.

INTERVIEWER:   Later,  you  came back to pick up Charles, Anthony
and Shabazz. How much later?

FRED CELENI: A little over an hour later.

INTERVIEWER: Then where did you take them?

FRED CELENI:  We drove  a  short  distance  and went to where the
riot had actually started.  A woman had been attacked by  police.
Her boy and she had been pushed down.  They knocked over a fence.
And  all  of  =our=  machinations near the gas station (I came to
find out) were nowhere =near=  as  inciteful as what had happened
by that fence.

                     [...to be continued...]

 +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +

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