Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 11  Num. 98
                     ("Quid coniuratio est?")


[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.


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.


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.

[ be continued...]

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