SECRETS OF THE L.A. RIOTS -- PART II
====================================

[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.)]

[...continued...]

                     -+- Tow Truck Mike -+-

INTERVIEWER:  What happened  to  the  black individual, you said,
who was a local resident who happened to  be  out  there  with  a
video  camera?   He  shot  you, sitting in the LAPD car.  Can you
tell us what happened?

FRED CELENI:  A gentleman pulled  up  in  a tow truck.  I came to
find out, later on, that he was called "Tow Truck Mike."  And Tow
Truck Mike took a videotape of what was going on;  he  swung  the
camera  around  and picked me up, sitting, looking out the window
of the [squad] car. He was back, I'd say, 150 feet.
   So what I did is, I wrote down the license number and I got on
the telephone.  And a couple  of  hours later, the police invaded
Mike's home.  And they took Mike down to the  police  station  --
they  took his mother, too... his mother or his father.  And they
said to him, "If you  don't  give  us this videotape, your mother
(or father) is never leaving this police station alive."
   And so he turned over the tape.

INTERVIEWER:  The meeting at the  Hamburger  Hamlet  with  Robert
Vernon,  the  Assistant  Chief  of  Police:  Who else was at that
meeting?

FRED CELENI:  There were three  meetings  that took place at that
location.  The first meeting was Robert Vernon, Ira  Reiner,  and
myself. The second meeting was...

INTERVIEWER: Ira Reiner!? The District Attorney?

FRED CELENI: Yes, sir. The District Attorney.
   Mr.  Reiner  wore  a  baseball  hat -- a red baseball hat that
said "Los Angeles" on it.   And  when we left that first meeting,
he gave me the hat as a souvenir.  And I wore it when they  taped
me  for  "Street  Stories."   "Street Stories" came in when I was
interviewing Damian Williams' mother for my radio show.  And when
they taped it  for  airing...   It  never  aired, because Dingell
ordered it pulled. But the tape still exists, I'm sure, at CBS.

INTERVIEWER:  Congressman John Dingell from Michigan  ordered  it
pulled?

FRED CELENI: Yes, sir.

INTERVIEWER: How did he have this power?

FRED  CELENI:   He told me that he just called up somebody in New
York City and said  that,  "=I=  =do=  =not= =want= Celeni on the
air."
   They were there for an hour that  day,  taping  me,  at  radio
station KIEV in Glendale.

INTERVIEWER: Congressman Dingell actually admitted this to you?

FRED  CELENI:   Yes, sir.  He said, "=I= =do= =not= =want= you on
the air.  Somebody might recognize  your  face.  And I can't have
you on the air as 'Fred Sebastian.'"

INTERVIEWER: That was your code name, "Fred Sebastian?"

FRED CELENI: Yes.

INTERVIEWER: What knowledge did Ira Reiner have?

FRED CELENI:  Basically what they were doing  [at  the  Hamburger
Hamlet  meeting]  was internecine warfare.  Mr. Reiner said that,
not only  was  there  a  wealth  of  intelligence  coming  out of
[Operation Lasso], but he felt that he had no  control  over  it.
We  had  had  an  incident  a  couple  of  months before with the
Sheriff's  Department  up  in   Malibu,  which  almost  blew  the
operation wide open, and they had to come in  and  cover  it  up.
And  at  that  point,  Mr. Reiner said that he wanted more-direct
input.  So he arranged for one of his murder prosecutors from Van
Nuys to start overseeing the cases.  And he also arranged for one
of his former prosecutors to take a job directly at CCLJ.
   The Center for Constitutional Law and Justice [CCLJ] was =not=
a store-front law firm.  It had a quarter of a floor in an office
building.  It had  ten  attorneys.   They  had a complete support
staff.  They had $100,000 worth of computers and fax machines and
telephone   systems.    They   had   sophisticated   taping   and
surveillance systems.  They had a sophisticated electronic  entry
system:   when  you came in, you had to acknowledge that you were
coming into a  videotaped  and  audiotaped area.  The *California
Law Magazine* talks about it.
   All of the money came from Congress.  This is the  first  time
in  the  history  of  the country where you have Congressman John
Dingell running an  illegal  intelligence  operation, and killing
people who are United States citizens.
   The fact is, nobody has adequately  checked  this  story  out.
And  until somebody checks it out, they will continue to get away
with it.

                 -+- Praying On O.J. Simpson -+-

INTERVIEWER:  This  leads  us  to  an  interesting  coalition, of
Nathan Arnold and Mark Fuhrman, on another celebrated case.

FRED CELENI: It's kind of a strange story. And I'll tell you why.
   One day, we were sitting at the Hamburger Hamlet.   (And  this
is  =before= the riot.  This is back about January of 1992.)  And
Bob Vernon, every time we would  meet, he would make us pray.  He
was a devout Christian and a deacon in his church.  And we had to
hold hands, and we had to pray.  (Not that I have a problem  with
it;  I  was  an old Catholic altar boy.  I thought it was kind of
strange, though, to do it  in  the Hamburger Hamlet.)  And in the
course of doing this praying...  We finished praying, and he says
to me, "What do you think about 'jungle bunnies' being  with  our
white women?"
   And  I  paused  for a moment.  I thought to myself, "Bunnies?"
(Because I'm thinking about what  we're doing, and this guy's off
in the briar patch.)  And he lost me for a second.  Then  it  hit
me, what he meant.  I said, "Well, if the woman and the man meet,
and  they want to be together, I guess that's their business."  I
don't think it's any of =my= business.
   And he said, "Well that's not  the kind of attitude you should
have.  God means monkeys to stay in trees with monkeys;  and  God
means white women to stay with white men."

INTERVIEWER: And this is who, saying this?

FRED CELENI: This was Robert Vernon.
   And I said, "What's the purpose of this? Where are you going?"
   And he said, "Do you know O.J. Simpson?"
   I  said, "I don't know him personally, but as you know, we had
him under surveillance back in Buffalo a few years ago.
   And he said, "Well,  you  know, that son-of-a-bitch is fooling
around with a woman from my church. And I hate that."
   Well from there begins an odyssey  where  we  start  following
O.J. Simpson, Nicole Simpson.  And it ends up that we had a woman
under  surveillance,  and  in  the course of the surveillance, we
begin to find out  that  Mr.  Simpson  is involved in the cocaine
trade.

INTERVIEWER: What time frame does this envelop?

FRED CELENI: Late 1991 to early 1992.

INTERVIEWER: Prior to the riots.

FRED CELENI: Prior to the riots.
   The meeting where he discussed this, if I remember  correctly,
was  around February of 1992.  But Mr. Simpson had been a subject
of an intelligence operation,  by  =their=  office, in late 1991.
=We= had no direct contact with it in its early stages  of  1991.
We  came  into  it  in  1992.   But  he  had  already  been under
surveillance.

INTERVIEWER: By LAPD?

FRED CELENI: Correct.
   Later on,  we  were  told  to  keep  up  surveillance  on O.J.
Simpson.  And we found out that Simpson  is  basically  a  moron.
And  I  don't  mean  that in any racial fashion, when I say that.
I'm talking about as a human being.  He's a moron.  And if it's a
white woman and  she  has  her  legs  open,  O.J. Simpson will be
there.  It's as simple as that.  And it's sad, but that's the way
the man is.
   What happens after that, as we get into the "Lasso"  operation
and  the riots, eventually I am told, in August, to start winding
things down.  And this  was  in  the Los Angeles Times:  Everyone
wanted to know why, all of a sudden, in August,  the  Center  for
Constitutional  Law  and  Justice  starts  shutting  itself down.
Everyone says, "What's going  on  here?"   And  then, one day, we
fire all the lawyers.

                     [...to be continued...]

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