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Recovered History - The ADL's Secret Files

by Tom Burghardt, Antifa Info-Bulletin
What do ACT-UP, the African National Congress, Anti-Racist Action, Casa El Salvador, the Council of Arab-American Organizations, Global Exchange, ILWU Local 6, the Jewish Committee on the Middle East, the NAACP, the S.F. Bay Guardian and the Spartacist League all have in common? Like hundreds of progressive groups, labor unions, alternative news services, and an estimated 100,000 Bay Area residents, they were targets of an illegal covert spy operation by the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith (ADL) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The \'Public-Private Partnership\'

Reprinted from Antifa Info-Bulletin - Special Edition - January 16, 1997

The \'Public-Private Partnership\'

New FBI Proposal for Bay Area \"Counterrorism Task Force\"
Revives ADL-FBI Spy Scandal

There have been reports in the press that tend to indicate
that the FBI would investigate \"lawful political, religious
or social activities even when there is no reasonable
indication of a crime.\" This is inaccurate and misleading.

The counterterrorism task forces that are operating
throughout the United States in other cities all operate
based on attorney general guidelines. Those guidelines are
established to ensure that all investigations are based on a
reasonable indication that a crime has occurred or may

-- George Grotz, an FBI spokesman in San Francisco [1]

by Tom Burghardt
Editor, Antifa Info-Bulletin

(SAN FRANCISCO) What do ACT-UP, the African National
Congress, Anti-Racist Action, Casa El Salvador, the Council of
Arab-American Organizations, Global Exchange, ILWU Local 6, the
Jewish Committee on the Middle East, the NAACP, the S.F. Bay
Guardian and the Spartacist League all have in common?

Like hundreds of progressive groups, labor unions,
alternative news services, and an estimated 100,000 Bay Area
residents, they were targets of an illegal covert spy operation
by the Anti-Defamation League of B\'nai B\'rith (ADL) and the
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). [2] (See Appendix below
for list of \"Pinko,\" \"Arab\" and \"ANC\" organizations in ADL

A political firestorm erupted this week in San Francisco
when the FBI proposed that the S.F. Police Department join a
proposed \"Bay Area Counterterrorism Task Force,\" that \"would
investigate individuals and groups suspected of domestic or
international terrorism,\" according to a copy of the FBI\'s
proposal. [3]

Though apparently doomed by opposition from human rights
organizations, immigrant rights groups, civil libertarians, Mayor
Willie Brown and members of the Police Commission, the proposed
task force would have operated under federal guidelines that
preclude civilian oversight, implemented in the wake of the
Bullock/Gerard spy scandal.

Roy Bullock, a San Francisco art dealer and S.F. police
officer, Tom Gerard, a CIA \"contract employee,\" ran a \"private\"
version of the FBI\'s COINTELPRO operations against black,
Chicano, labor, left, progressive and religious organizations
between 1985-1992. [4]

Bullock, described by Covert Action Quarterly and the San
Francisco Examiner as a \"paid FBI informant\" since 1957 [5] and
Gerard, a CIA \"bomb expert\" who disclosed details of illegal CIA
support for Latin American death squads, peddled information on
progressive political activists to the governments of Israel and
South Africa. [6]

Though ADL attorney, Barbara Wahl, tried to distance the
group from Bullock/Gerard\'s illegal spy operations, asserting
that Bullock was an \"independent contractor,\" subsequent
investigations revealed that \"many of the files seized from
Bullock\'s home turned out to be the same as those in the ADL
offices.\" [7]

Under broad federal guidelines, the San Francisco Police
Department could have been drawn into preliminary investigations
of lawful political and religious activity even if there is no
\"reasonable indication\" of a crime.

Sound like a license for a \"fishing expedition\" against
organizations opposed to U.S. policy? It is. Under current
federal law, the State Department can unilaterally declare a
foreign group a \"terrorist organization\", prosecute political
supporters in the U.S., seize their assets and imprison them for
up to 10 years, even if there is no evidence of illegal

If the federal government possessed such broad statutory
powers during the 1980s, supporters of the African National
Congress, the Salvadoran FMLN and the Palestine Liberation
Organization could have been imprisoned, deported or both.

Given the extensive documented history of illegal FBI
operations (including the employment of far-right \"assets\" and
agents provocateurs from the Lyndon LaRouche organization and
the Unification Church network of South Korean clerical-fascist,
Sun Myung Moon) [8] -- will North American supporters of the
Mexican Zapatistas, the Peruvian MRTA or the Kurdistan Workers
Party (PKK), find themselves the recipients of an FBI \"active
measures\" campaign that could land them in a federal prison?

Instead of defending the interests of the Jewish people
against attacks from neo-Nazis, fascists and other anti-Semites,
the ADL aided and abetted the U.S. government and the CIA which
employed Klaus Barbie, other Nazi war criminals. Unfortunately,
the Bullock/Gerard scandal was not a new development for the ADL.

The first documented involvement by the ADL in the service
of state repression was in 1947 when anticommunist \"red hunters\"
began a broad purge of \"subversives.\" [9]

During the 1980s, the organization, then a staunch ally of
the Reagan administration\'s holy war against the Sandinistas,
participated in a truly grotesque smear campaign which alleged
that the FSLN government in Managua were persecuting Jews. [10]

Despite testimony to the contrary by a Latin American Rabbi
who was a leader in the struggle against the Argentine neo-Nazi
generals, a Panamanian Rabbi honored by the Latin American Jewish
Congress for his human rights work and Human Rights Watch, the
ADL insisted that the Sandinistas were \"anti-Semitic.\" [11]

The Jewish Student Press Service reported that the ADL had
\"approached Presidential advisers with the idea of a deal\" in an
effort \"to gain clout with the Reagan White House\" (accepted by
the Administration) who viewed the smear campaign against the
FSLN as a way \"to get the Jewish community to join the bandwagon\"
to enlist public support for the CIA\'s terrorist, dope-running
Contra army. [12]

The \"public-private partnership\" among intelligence agencies
and right-wing spy outfits will undoubtedly continue. As
\"counterterrorism\" and the racist \"war on drugs\" replace
\"anticommunism\" as the lever for enacting repressive legislation
in the United States and persecuting public policy opponents, the
best defense against such moves are public exposure, broad
educational campaigns about the nature of police spying and mass
mobilizations against all threats to civil liberties, regardless
of the source.


1. Susan Sward, \"S.F. Police Panel Puts Off FBI Proposal,\" San
Francisco Chronicle, January 16, 1997

2. Dennis Opatrny and Scott Winokur, \"S.F. Spying Details Laid
Bare,\" San Francisco Examiner, April 11, 1993; Scott Winokur,
\"ADL Denies Spying for Foreign Governments,\" San Francisco
Examiner, April 15, 1993

3. Seth Rosenfeld, \"FBI Wants S.F. Cops to Join Spy Squad:
Bureau urges City participation in anti-terror group without
civilian oversight,\" San Francisco Examiner, January 12, 1997

4. Abdeen Jabara, \"The Anti-Defamation League: Civil Rights and
Wrongs,\" Covert Action Quarterly, Washington, D.C., Number 45,
Summer 1993

5. ibid.

6. Bob Drogin, \"Ex-Spy Threatens CIA Scandal,\" Los Angeles
Times, April 27, 1993

7. Richard Paddock and Kenneth Reich, \"ADL Officials Deny They
Condoned Illegal Spying,\" Los Angeles Times, April 17, 1993;
Jabara, op. cit.

8. Ross Gelbspan, Break-ins, Death Threats and the FBI: The
Covert War Against the Central America Movement, 1991, Boston,
South End Press, multiple citations

9. Jabara, op. cit.

10. Noam Chomsky, Turning The Tide: U.S. Intervention in
Central American and the Struggle for Peace, 1985, South End
Press, Boston, pp. 77-78, 268

11. ibid.

12. ibid.


The list below is from, Abdeen Jabara, \"The Anti-Defamation
League: Civil Right and Wrongs,\" Covert Action Quarterly,
Washington, D.C., Number 45, Summer 1993. Jabara notes:
\"Categories and names are as they appeared in Gerard\'s and
Bullock\'s files (except abbreviations).\"

Organizations found in ADL files


Act Now; ACT-UP; Action for Animals; Adrian 17; African Students
Org./S.F. State; African Network; African National Reparations
Org.; African People\'s Socialist Party; African People\'s
Solidarity Comm.; African Students Org.; Africans United for
Progress; AFSCME Local 3218 (Vice Pres.); AFSCME Local 3508;
Alexandria Assoc. of Human Rights Advocacy; All Peoples Congress;
Alliance for Philippine Concerns; Alliance to Stop First Strike;
Alliance to Stop Police Abuse; Allied Printing Trades Council;
Alternative Information Center; Amer-I-Can; American Civil
Liberties Union; American Indian Center; American Indian
Movement; American Indian Student Org.; American Muslim Museum;
Americans for Peace Now; Anarchist Collective; ANC Meeting; _Ang
Katipuan_; Anti-Apartheid Comm./AFSCME; Anti-Militarism Comm.;
Anti-Racist Action; April 19th Comm. Against Nazis; Arab Baath
Socialist Party; Arab Lesbian Network; Armenian National Comm.;
Armenian Peoples Movement; Arms Control Research Center; Artists
and Videomakers Against the War; Artists and Writers Out Loud;
Artists Television Access; Asian Law Caucus; Audio Archives;
Author of Measure J;

Babylon Burning; Back Country Action Network; Bad Cop/No Donut;
Barricada Internacional; Bay Area Anti-Racist Action; Bay Area
Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights; Bay Area Friends of the
Christic Institute; Bay Area Jewish Task Force on Cent. Am.; Bay
Area Natl. Conf. of Black Lawyers; Bay Area Peace Council; Bay
Area Peace Navy; Bay Area Reporter; Bay Area Times; Bay Area
Vets Against War in Mid. East; Beebee Memorial C.M.E. Temple; Ben
Linder Construction Brigade; Big Mountain Native People\'s
Support; Bir Zeit Univ. Instructor; Black Consciousness Movement
of Azania; Black Freedom Fighters Coalition; Black Men United for
Change; Black Studies Department/S.F. State; Black United Front;
Boricuan Popular Army for Puerto Rican Independence; Boycott
Coke; Boycott Shell Comm.; Breakthrough; Brigada Antonio Maceo;
Brothers of African Descent; Bulletin in Defense of Marxism;

Calendar Magazine (Gay); California Voice; Campaign Against
Apartheid; Campus Peace Comm.; Canadians for Justice in the
Middle East; Capp Street Center; Capp Street Foundation;
Carpenters Local 22; Casa El Salvador; Casa El Salvador Mailing
List; Center for Constitutional Rights; Center for Democratic
Renewal; Center for Investigative Reporting; Center for Middle
East Studies; Center for the Study of the Americas; Cent. Amer.
Research Institute; Chair: Chicano Studies (U.C. Berkeley); Chop
>Representative Government; Coalition of Black Trade Unionists;
Commission of Inquiry; Comm. Against Lockheed D-5; Comm. for
Academic Freedom in Israeli-Occupied Territories; Comm. for
Equality and Justice; Comm. for Freedom in Argentina; Comm. for
Peace and Democracy in Iran; Comm. for Perm. Israeli-Palestinian
Peace; CISPES; Cistur; Committee to Free Geronimo Pratt; Comm. to
Support the Revolution in Peru; Communist Party U.S.A.; Communist
Workers Party; Communist Youth Brigade; Community-Labor Coalition
for Social & Econ. Justice; Community United Against Violence;
Continuing the Peace Dialogue; Contra Watch Newsletter;
Copwatch; Council for the National Interest; Council on Foreign
Relations; CounterSpy; Covert Action Information Bulletin;
Covert Action; Cuba Resource Group; Cuba Information Project;
Delta Sigma Beta; Democratic Society of America; Democratic
Workers Party; Dennis Banks Defense Comm.; Diablo Valley Peace
Center; Direct Action Against Racism; Doghouse Newsletter;
Downside Records; Dykes and Gay Emergency Response;

Earth Island Institute; East Bay Women for Peace; El Centro de la
Raza; El Tecolote; Emergency Coalit. for Palestinian Rights;
Emergency Coalition to End War; Emergency Comm. to Stop Flag
Amendment; Endorser of Proposition W;

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting; Fighting Back; Filipino East
Bay Network; Filipino Organization Comm.; FMLN-FDR West Coast
Representative; Food First; Food Not Bombs; Free S.A. Labor
Comm.; Freedom for S.A. Refugees Campaign; Freedom for S.A.
Refugees Center; Freedom Rising Africa Solidarity Comm.; Freedom
Road Socialist Org.; Freedom Socialist Party; Friends of
Nicaragua; Friends of Yesh Gvul; Frontline; Frontline
Managing Editor;

Gay American Indians; Gay and Lesbian Labor Alliance; Global
Exchange; Global Options; Green Giant Frozen Food Workers Comm.;
Greenpeace; Group for the Critical Study of Colonialism;
Guardian; Guatemala News and Information Bureau;

Harvey Milk Club; Hotel and Restaurant Employees Local 2;

ILWU Local 6, President; ILWU Local 10; INCAR; In These Times;
Independent Grocers Assn.; Info. Network Against War and Fascism;
Information Services on Latin America; Instituto del Pueblo;
Interfaith Center on Corporate Accountability; Interfaith Task
Force on Cent. Amer.; Inter-Hemispheric Education Resource Ctr.;
Intl. Campaign to Free Geronimo Pratt; Internatl. Comm. Against
Racism; Internatl. Indian Treaty Council; Internatl. Jewish Peace
Union; Internatl. League for Human Rights/N. Amer. Chapter;
Internatl. Socialist Org.; Internationalist Workers Party; Irish
National Aid; Irish Northern Aid; Irish Republican Socialist
Comm.; Israeli Foreign Affairs; Israelis Against Occupation;

Japanese-American Citizens League; Jewish Comm. on the Middle
East; John Brown Anti-Klan Comm.;

KPOO Radio; KQED-TV Board of Directors; KUNA;

Labor Comm. on the Middle East; Labor for Peace; Labor Video;
LAGAL; La Raza Coalition of Berkeley; La Raza Unida; Latin
American Support Comm.; Lavender Mafia; Lawyers Comm. on Cent.
Amer.; League of Filipino Students; Leonard Peltier Alliance
Group; Lesbian Agenda for Action; Lesbians and Gays Against
Intervention; Liberation Support Movement; Libros Sin Fronteras;
Line Of March; L.A. Coalition Against Intervention in the Middle
East; L.A. Observer; L.A. Student Coalition;

MADRE; Malcolm X Grassroots Movement; Mandela Reception Comm.;
Maoist Internationalist Movement; Marazul Tours; Mariposa Peace
Network; Marxist-Leninist Party; Media Review; Middle East
Children\'s Alliance; Middle East Comm. for National Conference of
Black Lawyers; Middle East Peace Network; Midwest Labor
Institute; Mobilization Support Group; Modern Times Bookstore;
Mother Jones; Movimiento de Agrupacion Popular; Movimiento
Estudiantil Chicano;

NABET Local 51/Executive Board; NALC Local 14; National Alliance
of Third World Journalists; NAACP; National Call to Action; Natl.
Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays; Natl. Comm. Against
Repressive Legislation; National Conference of Black Lawyers;
National Forum of S.A.; National Midweek; National Org. of
African Students in N. Am.; National Rainbow Coalition; National
Response Comm./NBAU; National Student Cent. Am. Action Network;
National Student Lobby; National Union of Farmers; Network of
Arab-American Students; Network in Solidarity with Chile; New
Afrikan Peoples Org.; New Alliance Newspaper; New Alliance
Party; New Americas Press; New Jewish Agenda; New Movement in
Solidarity with Puerto Rican Independentistas; Nicaragua
Cultural Center; Nicaragua Information Center; Nicaragua
Information Center Bulletin; Nicaragua Interfaith Comm. Action;
Nicaragua Network News; No Apologies/No Regrets; No Business As
Usual; No Justice, No Peace; North Bay Anti-Racist Action; North
Star; Northern California Ecumenical Council; Now Magazine,
Toronto (Canada); Nuremberg Action;

Oakland Education Association; O.C. Coalition for Peace in the
Middle East; OCAW; OCAW Local 8149; October 6 Justice Project;
Oregon Philippines Concerns Comm.; Out of Control Comm.; Outrage;

Pacifica Foundation; Pakistan Democratic Comm.; Pan African
Movement of the U.S.; Partido Socialista Chileno; Partido
Socialista Puertorriqueno; Partisan Defense Comm.; Patrice
Lumumba Coalition; Paul Robeson Friendship Society; Peace and
Conflict Studies; Peace and Freedom Comm.; Peace and Freedom
Party; Peace and Justice Comm. - School Board; Peace and
Solidarity Alliance; Peace and Solidarity Comm.; Peace Cafe;
Peace Research Center; People Against Racist Terror; Peoples
Anti-War Mobilization; Peoples Architecture Collective; Peoples
Law Office; Peoples Park; Peoples Video; Peoples World;
Pershing Plowshares; Philippine Organizing Comm.; Philippine
Resource Center; Philippines Human Rights Lobby; Pledge of
Resistance; Plumbers and Fitters Local 393; Portland Cent. Am.
Solidarity Comm.; Prison News Service; Project Impact; Project
National Interest; Public Eye;

Queer Nation; Quinn Defense;

Radical Film Collective; Radical Women; Rainbow Coalition;
Rainbow Lobby; Refuse and Resist; Republic of New Afrika;
Revolutionary Books; Revolutionary Communist Party; Revolutionary
Communist Youth Brigade; Revolutionary Worker; Revolutionary
Workers League; Richmond Education Assn.; Roots Against War;

San Fernando Valley Peace Coalition; San Francisco Bay
Guardian; S.F. Coalition of Labor Union Women; S.F. Labor
Council/AFL-CIO; San Francisco Sentinel; S.F. Univ. Labor
Studies; San Francisco Weekly; S.F. Women for Peace;
SANE/FREEZE; Sardaraba; Science for Nicaragua; SEIU Local 535;
SEIU Local 616; Serbian Unity Congress; Shell Boycott Comm.;
Simon Wiesenthal Center; Sister City Assn; Socialist Action;
Socialist Party Political Org.; Socialist Workers Party; Society
of In\'Ash El-U.S.A.; SOHRI Study Group (U.C. Berkeley);
Solidarity; S.A. Forum; S.A. Freedom Through Education
Foundation; S.A. Internatl. Student Congress; South African
Workers Org.; South Bay Nicaragua Solidarity Comm.; So. African
Liberation Support Comm.; Southern African Media Center;
Spartacus Youth League; Spartacist League; Stevens, Hinds &
White, Attorneys; Stop the U.S. War Machine Action Network;
Student Cltn. Against Apartheid and Racism; Student Pugwash;
Students Against Intervention; Students Against Intervention in
Cent. Am.; Students for Peace in the Persian Gulf; SWAPO; SWAPO

Tass News Agency; Teamsters Local 921, S.F. Teamsters for a
Democratic Union; Technica; The Black Scholar; The Data Center;
The Dazen-I Foundation; The Irishman; The Nuclear Resister;
Third World Resources; Toronto Anti-Intervention Coalition;
Trustee, IAM Local 565 (Sunnyvale);

Ubiquitous; Unified Against Genocide; Union del Barrio; Union of
Democratic Filipinos; Union Publications; United Auto Workers;
United Auto Workers, Local 119; United Colors; United Farm
Workers; United Front Against Fascism; U.S. Anti-Apartheid
Newsletter; U.S. China Review; U.S. Comm. for Friendship with
the GDR; U.S.-Cuba Labor Exchange; U.S.-Grenada Friendship
Society; U.S. Out of S.A. Network; U.S. Peace Council; U.S.-USSR
Friendship Society of S.F.; U.S.A. Movement Banning Apartheid;
Univ. of Calif., Berkeley; UTU Local 1730;

Vanguard Public Foundation; Venceremos Brigade; Vietnam Veterans
Action; Vietnam News Agency; Villa Zapata Workers Comm.; Voice of
the Uprising;

Washington Office on Africa; WBAI-FM (Pacifica Foundation) New
York; Weatherman Underground; Witness for S.A.; Woman, Inc.;
Women Against U.S. Intervention; Women in Black; Women of Color
Coalition Center; Women of Color Resource Project; Women\'s Intl.
League for Peace and Freedom; Workers World Party;

Yes on W Comm.; Young Koreans United; Young Koreans United of


Arab-American Democratic Club; Arab Book Center; Arab People\'s
Coalition; Arab Relief Fund of Lebanon; Arab Studies
Quarterly/Middle East Research and Information Project; Arab-
American Univ. Graduates; Arabic Book Center;

Bethlehem Assn.; Black Muslims;

Comm. for a Democratic Palestine; Comm. of Correspondence;
Council of Arab-American Orgs.;

Dem. Front for the Liberation of Palestine; Democratic
Palestinian Youth; Department of Near Eastern Studies;

El Fatah;

Family Sponsorship Project;

General Union of Palestinian Students;

Inst. of African-American Studies; Iranian Students Assn.; Iraqi
Intelligence Officer; Islamic Jihad; Islamic Society of Orange
County; Israeli Civil Right Assn.;

JIFNA Association;


Law in the Service of Man;

Masjid Al-Islam; Masqid Al-Saff Mosque; Middle East Justice
Network; Muslim Mutadhakkirun Assn.; Muslim Students Assn.;
Muslim Students Union;

Nation of Islam; National Assn. of Arab-Americans; National
Lawyers Guild; November 29th Comm.;

Occupied Land Fund;

Palestine American Youth; Palestine Arab Club; Palestine Arab
Fund; Palestine Democratic Youth Org.; Palestine Human Rights
Campaign; Palestine Solidarity Comm.; Palestine Women\'s Org.;
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine; Progressive Muslim

Sacred House of Islam;

Union of Palestinian Women\'s Association


A Movement Banning Apartheid; African National Congress; All
African Peoples Revolutionary Party; All-African Student
Conference; Alternative Education (RSA) (SACHED); Anglican Church
Bd. of Social Responsibility; Anti-Apartheid Comm.; Anti-
Apartheid L.A.; Apartheid Boycott Campaign; Art Against
Apartheid; Artists Against Apartheid;

Bay Area Free S.A. Movement; Berkeley Anti-Apartheid Network;

Canicor Research/S.A. Forum;

Democratic Socialists of America; Dennis Brutus Defense Comm.;

Evangelical Lutheran Church/S.A.;

Free Moses Mayekiso Committee;

Journalist LA Times (in S.A.);

National Namibia Concerns;

Pan African Congress; Pan Africanist Congress; Pan-Africa
Congress of Azania; Prairie Fire Organizing Comm.;

S.A. Ecumenical Task Force; S.F. Anti-Apartheid Comm.; South
African Student Congress; Southern Africa Media Center;

Univ. of Calif. Divestment Coalition

750 La Playa # 730
San Francisco, California 94121
E-Mail: tburghardt [at]

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