ADL Found Guilty of Spying by California Court
By Barbara Ferguson, Arab News, 04/25/02
WASHINGTON—The San Francisco Superior Court has awarded former Congressman Pete McCloskey, R-California, a $150,000 court judgment against the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
McCloskey, the attorney in the case, represented one of three civil lawsuits filed in San Francisco against the ADL in 1993. The lawsuit came after raids were made by the San Francisco Police Department and the FBI on offices of the ADL in both San Francisco and Los Angeles, which found that the ADL was engaged in extensive domestic spying operations on a vast number of individuals and institutions around the country.
During the course of the inquiry in San Francisco, the SFPD and FBI determined the ADL had computerized files on nearly 10,000 people across the country, and that more than 75 percent of the information had been illegally obtained from police, FBI files and state drivers’ license data banks.
Much of the stolen information had been provided by Tom Gerard of the San Francisco Police Department, who sold, or gave, the information to Ray Bullock, ADL’s top undercover operative.
The investigation also determined that the ADL conduit, Gerard, was also working with the CIA.
Two other similar suits against ADL were settled some years ago, and the ADL was found guilty in both cases, but the McCloskey suit continued to drag through the courts until last month.
In the McCloskey case, the ADL agreed to pay (from its annual multi-million budget) $50,000 to each of the three plaintiffs—Jeffrey Blankfort, Steve Zeltzer and Anne Poirier—who continued to press charges against the ADL, despite a continuing series of judicial roadblocks that forced 14 of the original defendants to withdraw. Another two died during the proceedings.
The ADL, which calls itself a civil rights group, continued to claim it did nothing wrong in monitoring their activities. Although the ADL presents itself as a group that defends the interests of Jews, two of three ADL victims are Jewish.
Blankfort and Zeltzer were targeted by the ADL because they were critical of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.
The third ADL victim in the McCloskey case, Poirier, was not involved in any activities related to Israel or the Middle East. Poirier ran a scholarship program for South African exiles who were fighting the apartheid system in South Africa.
At the time, the ADL worked closely with the then anti-apartheid government of South Africa, and ADL’s operative Bullock provided ADL with illegally obtained data on Poirier and her associates to the South African government.
But the conclusion of McCloskey’s case does not mean the end to the ADL’s legal problems.
On March 31, 2001, US District Judge Edward Nottingham of Denver, Colorado, upheld most of a $10.5 million defamation judgment that a federal jury in Denver had levied against the ADL in April of 2000.
The jury hit the ADL with the massive judgment after finding it had falsely labeled Evergreen, Colorado residents—William and Dorothy Quigley—as "anti-Semites." The ADL is appealing the judgment.
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