"I came upon a sign pointing down, it said "Pussy!", I licked it, and got a wood splinter in my tongue". - Caption: A surreal Central European joke, which works much better in Czech, Russian, Polish, Bulgarian, Slovak, German, and Swedish than in English. But what can you do, hey?
Forgive me about posting this story, as it is an old story, but I figure that it is now part of the new, modern and unknown American History (and I am a history buff) and I am more than 99.99% sure that you have not heard of this scandal.
So I was reading Counterpunch, one of the better op/ed web sites out there, and happened upon this article: The ADL Spying Case Is Over,
But The Struggle Continues.
The dateline is February 25, 2002. The ADL in question is the Anti-Defamation League.
Google'ing the words "anti defamation league", the first page to pop up is "ADL: Fighting Anti-Semitism, Bigotry and Extremism".
Sounds spiffy, lets click on that organization's web link.
Exactly what kind of anti-semitism, bigotry and extremism is this organization fighting?
On its front page, today, May 06 2008, there is the poster celebrating the 60th anniversary of Israel:
To its right, under the heading "PRESS CENTER", the three current article links are:
• Anti-Israel Methodist Resolutions Defeated
• House Bill Keeps Genetic Tests Confidential
• Boycott of Beijing Olympic Games Opposed
Clicking on the first article link, we get the title:
ADL Applauds United Methodist Church's Defeat of Anti-Israel Resolutions
and the first paragraph:
New York, NY, May 2, 2008 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today applauded the United Methodist Church (UMC) for overwhelming defeating several anti-Israel divestment resolutions, saying the delegates to the Church's General Conference in Ft. Worth, Texas, "rightfully chose to reject language and actions that demonize Israel."
The Anti-Defamation League issued the following statement:
The resounding defeat of five anti-Israel divestment resolutions by the United Methodist Church at its General Conference demonstrates that the UMC delegates understand the complexities of the situation between Israel and the Palestinians and rightfully chose to reject language and actions that demonize Israel.
The overwhelming defeat of the resolutions sends a loud and clear message that targeting Israel and companies that do business with Israel is the wrong road to take in seeking to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace.
OK, so it seems that the ADL is very much pro Israel. Perhaps the poster should have clued me in, eh?
Out of curiosity, lets click on the Boycott of Beijing Olympic Games Opposed link:
ADL Opposes Boycott of the Beijing Olympic Games
New York, NY, April 30, 2008 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today issued the following statement in response to calls for the Jewish community to boycott the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games:
The Anti-Defamation League does not support a boycott of the Beijing Olympic Games. While there is no doubt that China has an extremely poor human rights record and that its actions in Tibet and Sudan are to be condemned, we believe that asking the Jewish community to engage in a boycott of the games could be counterproductive and would not produce any tangible result.
Aha, so this is how the ADL fights bigotism and extremism.
Just to really make sure what kind of an organization we are dealing with here, lets go to the "MEDIA WATCH" section on the front page, and the links are:
• Carter's Destructive Mideast Gambit (NYTimes)
• Distorting Israel's Past (St. Louis Post-Dispatch).
Aha. Seems that the ADL is concerned mostly with extremism and bigotism if it concerns Israel.
I am sorry, black, Chinese, Mexican, Polish and perhaps even white (reverse racism is real, too) Americans - if you are discriminated against and are victims of a racist outrage, perhaps the ADL is not the organization to go to for help.
But what about the spy case?
Going back to the original article which first spiked my curiosity, lets start reading it a bit:
In 1993, the District of Attorney of San Francisco released 700 pages of documents implicating the Anti-Defamation League, an organization that claims to be a defender of civil rights, in a vast spying operation directed against American citizens who were opposed to Israel's policies in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza and to the apartheid policies of the government of South Africa and passing on information to both governments.
Lets re-read a few of those bits.
"In 1993, the District of Attorney of San Francisco released 700 pages of documents implicating the Anti-Defamation League in a vast spying operation directed against American citizens."
ADL then passed all the stuff it got from its spying activities to Israel and South Africa.
If you remember, at that time South Africa was under the Apartheid regime, which was a racist system which discriminated against black South Africans.
Truly, ADL is very selective in its combatting of bigotry and racism.
So what happened?
Lets go to good ol' Wikipedia:
Since the 1930s the ADL has been gathering information and publishing reports on anti-Semitism, racism and prejudice, and on anti-Jewish, anti-Israel, racist, anti-democratic, violent, and extremist individuals and groups. As a result, the organization has amassed what it once called a "famous storehouse of accurate, detailed, unassailable information on extremist individuals and organizations." Over the decades the ADL has assembled thousands of files.
OK, so far it makes sense - they gathered information on the KKK, nazis, racist organizations and the like.
One of its sources was Roy Bullock, a person who collected information and provided it to the ADL as a secretly-paid independent contractor over 32 years. Bullock often wrote letters to various groups and forwarded copies of their replies to the ADL, clipped articles from newspapers and magazines, and maintained files on his computer. He also used less orthodox, and possibly illegal, methods such as combing through trash and tapping into the White Aryan Resistance's phone message system to find evidence of hate crimes. Some of the information he obtained and then passed on to the ADL came from confidential documents (including intelligence files on various Nazi groups and driver's license records and other personal information on nearly 1,400 people) that were given to him by San Francisco police officer Tom Gerard.
Illegal, but still the organizations on whose freedoms the ADL intruded were the White Aryan Resistance and the like. I won't shed any tears, here, but go on...
On April 8, 1993, police seized Bullock's computer and raided the ADL offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles, California. A search of Bullock's computer revealed he had compiled files on 9,876 individuals and more than 950 groups across the political spectrum. Many of Bullock's files concerned groups that did not fit the mold of extremist groups, hate groups, and organizations hostile to Jews or Israel that the ADL would usually be interested in. Along with files on the Ku Klux Klan, White Aryan Resistance, and Islamic Jihad were data on the Jewish Defense League, the NAACP, the African National Congress (ANC), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the United Auto Workers, the AIDS activist group ACT UP, Mother Jones magazine, the TASS Soviet/Russian news agency, Greenpeace, Jews for Jesus and the National Lawyers Guild; there were also files on politicians including Democratic U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi, former Republican U.S. Representative Pete McCloskey, and activist Lyndon LaRouche
Lets go back and re-read that last bit there:
"Along with files on the Ku Klux Klan, White Aryan Resistance, and Islamic Jihad were data on the Jewish Defense League, the NAACP, the African National Congress (ANC), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the United Auto Workers, the AIDS activist group ACT UP, Mother Jones magazine, the TASS Soviet/Russian news agency, Greenpeace, Jews for Jesus and the National Lawyers Guild; there were also files on politicians including Democratic U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi, former Republican U.S. Representative Pete McCloskey, and activist Lyndon LaRouche"
Nancy Pelosi - bigot, obviously wears a hood each saturday at the local cross burning in Washington!
The ACLU - extremists!
The NAACP - clearly, a racist organization.
Pete McCloskey - obviously a closet member of the nazi party!
As for its own records, the ADL indicated that just because it had a file on a group did not indicate opposition to the group.
Of course - ADL just spied on a group... just because.... you know... They just like to spy on people, OK?! Sheesh, don't be so judgmental!
I like how Wikipedia, in its tone, states that it is OK to illegally spy on the KKK, the White Aryan Resistance and their ilk, but goodness me, Nancy Pelosi and the NAACP!
Well, in my cynical view, once a threshold is reached and the law allowed to be "bent" when dealing with odious groups such as racists, then do not be surprised when next it is YOU who is being spied upon.
Wikipedia quotes the Los Angeles Times article: "New Details of Extensive ADL Spy Operation Emerge Inquiry: Transcripts reveal nearly 40 years of espionage by a man who infiltrated political groups", which can be found in here - I am too cheap to buy it myself and read it in full, but knock yourself out.
The free snippet of the article is juicy enough:
"[Roy Bullock] would write reports based on what he found in the trash, and would share the reports with [Tom Gerard]. Bullock also gave the trash to Gerard for Gerard to examine. Gerard would later return the trash to Bullock."
Bullock said it was Gerard who sold official police intelligence. Bullock said he split about $16,000 from the South African government evenly with Gerard, telling him at one point, "I may be gay but I'm a straight arrow."
[David Gurvitz] was recently forced to resign after an incident in which he attempted to misuse the ADL intelligence network to seek revenge on a rival who got a job Gurvitz wanted at the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies. Gurvitz got confidential police data on the rival and threatened to expose him as a Jewish spy to a right-wing hate group.
The short snippet tells you that:
1) A certain Roy Bullock would rummage in people's trash, and that he worked with a certain Tom Gerard.
2) Gerard sold official police intelligence to Bullock, who later sold it to the ADL.
3) At that time South Africa was under the racist Apartheid regime, and it bought Bullock's intelligence also.
4) Unrelated, but a Mr. David Gurvitz tried to use the ADL spy files to expose a rival as an Israeli spy, because he too wanted a job at the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies.
Lets go back to the Counterpunch article:
During the course of the suit we learned that:
Bullock, the ADL's top "fact finder" had sold confidential information to a South African intelligence agent in San Francisco for $15,000.
Ten days before he was assassinated in South Africa, Chris Hani, the man who would have succeeded Nelson Mandela as the country's president, was trailed by Bullock on a trip through California who reported on it to the South African government.
ADL agent Roy Bullock was discovered to have a floor plan of murdered Los Angeles Arab American leader Alex Odeh and a key to his office.
The ADL supplied confidential information to foreign governments that it obtained from police and federal agencies in the US,
Having infiltrated the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the ADL's "fact finder" performed a COINTEL-type operation at the convention of the Holocaust-denying Journal of Historical Review when he put ADC's literature on convention tables as a way of smearing the committee for "working with anti- Semites."
The ADL has organized to silence and eliminate all critical voices of Israel from academia and the media and has targeted professors , particularly those who are African American, and who are critical of Israel.
That at least 51% of the activities of its San Francisco office were devoted to defending Israel.
The ADL provided secret files to police agencies when these police agencies were prevented by law from collecting the files themselves,
What did the trial of ADL expose?
"That at least 51% of the activities of its San Francisco office were devoted to defending Israel."
"The ADL has organized to silence and eliminate all critical voices of Israel from academia and the media and has targeted professors , particularly those who are African American, and who are critical of Israel."
ADL targets African-American professors. Surprise!
"ADL agent Roy Bullock was discovered to have a floor plan of murdered Los Angeles Arab American leader Alex Odeh and a key to his office."
"The ADL supplied confidential information to foreign governments that it obtained from police and federal agencies in the US"
ADL gave its spy data to Israel. Surprise!
A mostly Jewish organization that exhibits all the signs of dual loyalty, which in its actions does everything possible to help and promote Israel...
To the absurd point where an organization, whose charter and whose sole function is to combat bigotry and extremism was (and still is, I am 99.99% sure) actually "eliminating" and harassing black (or, if you prefer african-american) professors who spoke out about Israel's own Apartheid policies, Israel's own bigotry and extremism.
Lets learn a bit more of this fascinating case.
Another Counterpunch article:
The organization's main "fact-finder" was doubling as a spy for the white South African government while his buddy, a San Francisco cop who had tutored El Salvadoran death squads on the finer aspects of torture, was providing its officials with personal information on the organization's putative enemies when the story broke in San Francisco in December, 1992. The organization was the Anti-Defamation League.
The ADL claims to be the nation's leading defender against prejudice and bigotry but in this instance its targets were members of the African National Congress and its supporters, and apparently everyone, Arab and non-Arab, who had the temerity to criticize Israel. This included some who drove to Arab community events where the ADL's "fact-finder," Roy Bullock, and the cop, Tom Gerard, took turns writing down their license plate numbers, which Gerard turned into addresses thanks to his access to California motor vehicle records.
Roy Bullock, and the cop, Tom Gerard, took turns writing down their license plate numbers, at Arab community events. In America.
What about private citizen Tom Gerard? You know, the run-of-the-mill cop from this story?
The origins of the story are murky. What the press reported was that the SFPD acted on a tip from the FBI, which was supposedly concerned about files on the Nation of Islam that were stolen from its local office, and arrested Gerard, who allegedly had done the pilfering. In Gerard's computer they found files on more than 7,000 individuals, many of them Arab-Americans, as well as information on hundreds of left-to-liberal organizations filed by Gerard as "pinko". In his locker, they found a black executioner's hood, a number of photos of dark-skinned men bound and blindfolded, CIA manuals, a secret document on interrogation techniques, stamped "secret" and referring to El Salvador, and numerous passports and IDs in a variety of names, all with his picture.
"In Gerard's computer they found files on more than 7,000 individuals, many of them Arab-Americans, as well as information on hundreds of left-to-liberal organizations filed by Gerard as "pinko"."
"In his locker, they found a black executioner's hood, a number of photos of dark-skinned men bound and blindfolded, CIA manuals, a secret document on interrogation techniques, stamped "secret" and referring to El Salvador, and numerous passports and IDs in a variety of names, all with his picture."
This is a twist worthy of M. Shlamalayayalongnameindianguywhomakesbadmovies.
According to SF police inspector Ron Roth, 75 percent of their contents was non-public information illegally obtained from government agencies.
The ADL attempted to portray Bullock as a free-lance investigator, but no one was convinced, because since 1954 Bullock had been paid through a cutout, an ADL lawyer in Beverly Hills. After his exposure, Bullock was put directly on the ADL's payroll. ADL's position on the ANC was identical to that of the South African government - they considered it to be a "terrorist", "communist" organization. At the time, Israel was furnishing arms to maintain the apartheid regime in power.
You must not remember, because this is not talked about much, but the Apartheid state of Israel was very much friends with Israel in the 1980's and 1990's.
Read the Guardian article: Brothers in arms - Israel's secret pact with Pretoria.
This will be another of my blog posts later on, as, again, this is part of the modern history which seems to have "disappeared" from history books, but which I will leave for now as it goes beyond the narrative. Israel and the racist, Apartheid South Africa very much worked together and exchanged both intelligence on their respective enemies (for the S. Africa, these were the African National Congress, Nelson Mandela, Bishop Tutu and scores of human rights and anti-apartheid activists) as well as information on... nuclear weapons, which both countries were researching and producing. (Before you scream for a source, go to the Guardian article link, as well as wait for another post from me that gets into the nitty gritty of the Israel-South Africa relationship in the 1970's to 1990's).
In all fairness though, per the Wikipedia article, "Bullock told investigators that many of those were his own private files, not information he was passing on to the ADL. An attorney for the ADL stated that "We knew nothing about the vast extent of the files. Those are not ADL's files. … That is all [Bullock's] doing.""
I personally take it with a grain of salt, because just the fact that Bullock and Gerard went around parking lots and wrote down license plates of parked cars at Arab-American functions speaks volumes. And the fact that 75% of Bullock's information was obtained illegally.
What also speaks volumes is that the courageous SF District Attorney Arlo Smith, knowing that this case was headed into limbo and that the pro Israel Lobby (of which surely, you must think by now, ADL is a part of) were organizing to bury the case (much like the pro Israel activists BURY articles on DIGG) by legal means and lots of money to tie up the cases in court...
You may believe what you wish - I only report facts here.
So how did this odious saga end, that involved illegal spying, lets give voice to the NY Times article:
INQUIRY IS DROPPED OVER SPY CHARGES
The San Francisco District Attorney has dropped a criminal investigation into allegations that the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith illegally obtained police and government records on a wide array of political groups.
In exchange, the Anti-Defamation League has agreed to pay up to $75,000 for programs to combat bigotry and hate crimes in San Francisco and said it would not obtain confidential information from California state or local employees. But the league did not admit that it had obtained any information illegally.
"We are delighted it is behind us," Abraham H. Foxman, the organization's national director, said in a telephone interview from New York, where the group is based. Critics Attack Settlement
All charges dropped. Surprise!
But members of political groups who said they were spied on by the league expressed outrage at the settlement. "Not only is there no admission of guilt," said Riva Enteen, a spokeswoman for a coalition of organization, but members of the league "are portrayed as good Samaritans waving the flag against bigotry."
No admission of guilt, and the ADL comes out of the case smelling like roses. Surprise!
A source close to Mr. Smith said the District Attorney was reluctant to prosecute the Anti-Defamation League because the group does many good things.
Yes, the ADL does "many good things."
Mr. Bullock's lawyer, Robert Breakstone, said the settlement announced today could help his client in the two civil suits pending against him and others, including the Anti-Defamation League. "Since the District Attorney did not pursue a criminal case," Mr. Breakstone said, "the defense is not going to be able to argue that Bullock did something illegal."
There is no case, therefore Bullock did nothing illegal. Eh? Surprise!
In a suit filed against the league and Mr. Bullock in San Francisco Superior Court, groups that contend they were spied on seek damages of $2,500 each for themselves and approximately 1,100 individuals who the suit says were targets of the illegal information gathering. Plaintiffs include Yigal Arens, the son of former Defense Minister Moshe Arens of Israel, and Helen McCloskey, wife of former Representative Pete McCloskey, Republican of California. Mr. McCloskey is the plaintiffs' lawyer.
Yigal Arens, the son of former Defense Minister Moshe Arens of Israel, was also spied upon by the ADL. Obviously an anti-semite if there ever was one. Well, a genuine... surprise!
Extra Bonus Material: Some More ADL Goodness
Abdullah Gul needed a favor. It was February 5 of this year, and the Turkish foreign minister was fighting a push in the U.S. House of Representatives to recognize the Turkish murder of over one million Armenians during World War I. In past years the House had placated Turkey by dropping similar resolutions. But now, with the American-Turkish alliance weakened by the Iraq war, the resolution had found renewed support. Gul summoned representatives from the Anti-Defamation League and several other Jewish-American organizations to his room at the Willard Hotel in Washington. There he asked them, in essence, to perpetuate Turkey’s denial of genocide.
Abraham Foxman’s ADL acquiesced
Soon after the meeting with Gul, the ADL joined three other American Jewish organizations—the American Jewish Committee, B'nai Brith International, and the Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs—to deliver to Congress a written plea from the Jews of Turkey that the U.S. not recognize the Armenian Genocide.
What you must understand is this: Turkey and Israel are allies. Again, this is beyond the narrative here, and will be a subject of a blog post later on - suffice it for now for me to list some articles about this alliance: here, here and last but not least here.
What you should spot right away is that the four nominally independent, American organizations - the ADL, the American Jewish Committee, B'nai Brith International, and the Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs - ALL at once, at the same time, joined in the action of writing to Congress a written plea from the Jews of Turkey that the U.S. not recognize the Armenian Genocide.
Now, there can be two explanations here.
The first one is, that all of these independent organizations agree on this action and they came to the conclusion that this is the best thing to do.
Or, the second one, that all these "independent" organizations have ties with the Israeli government and they dance the tune that Israel plays. They do what Israel tells them do to - in this case, the organizations whose purpose is to combat racism, extremism and bigotry all joined together to support... racism, extremism and bigotry.
Which is doubly ironic, as what Turkey did to Armenians qualifies as genocide... you know, another Holocaust. Another Shoah. But, perhaps, there is room for only one holocaust in the world and damn the others to hell...?
Jewcy, for its credit, condemns this action:
It is a scandal of unprecedented proportion when one of the most prominent figures in our community, a man who claims to speak on our behalf, publicly challenges the historicity of another community’s genocide. Foxman’s ADL no longer represents the interests of the Jewish community. In fact, it seems the only interests it represents are its own.
If I may butt in here into Jewcy's narrative - the ADL does not represent the Jewish community in America - but it does not represent its own interest. In my opinion, simply put, the ADL and the other organizations in question here - the American Jewish Committee, B'nai Brith International, and the Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs - represent the interests of only one entity - Israel. They are in lock step on ALL the issues affecting Israel.
What’s surprising is how unabashedly forthright Abraham Foxman has become about what motivates him and his institution. In October of 2005, Foxman addressed a classroom of Jewish students at New York University.
Shtull-Trauring says Foxman, frustrated and under attack, placed his cards on the table, angrily retorting: “I don’t represent you nor the Jewish community! I represent the donors.”
Thanks, Mr Foxman, the truth will set you free!
And thank you, Joey Kurtzman, for writing this article for Jewcy.
Thanks to folks like Mr. Kurtzman, the scumbag, Foxman, was forced to acknowledge the Turkish genocide on Armenians.
Guess somebody in Israel came to their senses and made a good decision, for once.
Extra Special Bonus: The Sad Joke
A news release issued by the ADC (American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee -AG) took a decidedly different view, quoting its president, Hala Maksoud, as saying that "ADL's admission that it has spied" on Arab-American, anti-apartheid and civil rights organizations and individuals "vindicates our view that the ADL has engaged in illegal activities to undermine the work of such groups and damage the cause and reputation of the Arab-American community."
According to Hussein Ibish, director of communications for the ADC, the ADL was gathering information "systematically in a program whose clear intent was to undermine civil rights and Arab-American organizations."
"This is clearly not the work of a legitimate civil rights organization, but much more along the lines of an espionage group," he said.
Abraham Foxman, the ADL's national director, said the ADC's claims are "absolutely untrue."
"If it were true, they would have won their case," he said, noting that no court found the ADL guilty of any wrongdoing and that the group will continue its monitoring work.
"If it were true, they would have won their case"
Please join me in snickering.
"(ADL -AG) will continue its monitoring work"
Please join me in crying.
Final Bonus: But this is an old story!
Well, perhaps. It is part of history, however, which I just wanted to shine a spotlight on.
What has Mr. Foxman been up to lately?
In his recent book, "In The Deadliest Lies: The Israel Lobby and The Myth of Jewish Control," Foxman aimed to disprove the claims by U.S. professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, whose 2007 book asserts that a pro-Israel lobby is directing American foreign policy to benefit the Jewish state, rather than the U.S.
Source: ADL article, dateline April 9, 2008:
Calling the choice of Richard Falk as the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories "singularly inappropriate," the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged the U.N. Human Rights Council to reject his reports outright.
"Mr. Falk has a long record of harsh and frequently incendiary criticism of Israel, and he has refused to apologize for his remarks comparing Gaza to a 'Holocaust in the making,'" said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.
Abraham H. Foxman is still the ADL director. And he is still fighting bigotry and racism in a very selective way.
For the benefit of America and the majority of Americans, of course.
Or a continuing story?