ADL Found Guilty Of
Spying By California Court
By Barbara Ferguson
Arab News Correspondent
WASHINGTON - The San Francisco
Superior Court has awarded former Congressman Pete
McCloskey, R-California, a $150,000 court judgment
against the Anti-Defamation
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
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
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
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.