known hate group, the ADL, fined $200,000 in court for spying
The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Los Angeles Court Hands Down Final Judgment in Anti-Defamation League Illegal Surveillance Case
The ADL became a clearinghouse for illegally obtained and retained information.
By Michael Gillespie
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) versus the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith (ADL) litigation resulting from the 1993 ADL spy scandal was settled in a California federal court on Monday, Sept. 27  following nearly six years of legal wrangling. "The ADL was running a major espionage organization against progressive groups in the United States." said Hussein Ibish, media director for the ADC, the Arab-American organization that provided leadership in the class action suit representing over 800 groups and individuals targeted by the ADL.
The settlement is an important victory in the effort to curtail espionage activity by the ADL, which, with an annual budget of some $45 million, is still the best funded American Jewish group and one that, prior to the 1993 domestic spying scandal, had sought recognition as a national civil rights monitoring organization. "Under the permanent injunction issued by Federal Judge Richard Paez, the ADL is permanently enjoined from engaging in any further illegal spying against Arab-American and other civil rights groups," said Ibish. The ADL is also required to provide an annual statement to the court and ADC's legal counsel in years to come explaining the measures it is taking to remain in compliance with the court order. A court-appointed Special Master will supervise the removal of illegally obtained information from the ADL's files. Those documents will be held by the Special Master for a maximum period of 10 years, time to allow the adjudication of other, related civil suits still pending against the ADL. The ADL also will contribute $25,000 to a jointly administered community relations fund. More significant was the judge's order to ADL to pay $175,000 for the plaintiffs' legal fees.
The Arab-American group's lead counsel, Peter Schey of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, characterized the ADL's sharing of illegally obtained confidential law enforcement information with Israeli, apartheid South African and other foreign and domestic intelligence organizations as antagonistic to positive social change. "The work the ADL was doing was not civil rights work," said Schey, "it was anti-civil rights work." After COINTELPRO, a still-controversial FBI operation to destabilize black nationalist and other groups in the '60s and '70s, the FBI, state and local law enforcement authorities were ordered out of the business of gathering information about legitimate political activity by American citizens. But in some major American cities, law enforcement files relating to legitimate and Constitutionally protected political activities that had been ordered destroyed instead found their way to the offices of the ADL, which quickly became a clearinghouse for such illegally obtained and illegally retained information. The absence of the FBI, state, and local police investigators in the field therefore created a void the ADL rushed to fill, with remarkable success, by increasing its in-house "fact-finding" assets and capabilities and developing enhanced working relationships with "official friends'' -- government officials, investigators, and intelligence officers. Some of these were the officials who had not destroyed files of illegally obtained materials, or had made private copies of the official files before they were destroyed in compliance with the court order.
AN INTELLIGENCE CONDUIT
The ADL favored many of its "official friends'" with expense-paid trips to Israel, where they met with and were entertained by friendly officers of Israel's espionage and counter-intelligence organizations, Mossad and Shin Bet, thus creating a major conduit for the flow of sensitive and useful U.S. domestic political intelligence to Israel's spymasters in Tel Aviv. Knowledgeable observers have characterized the San Francisco district attorney's 1993 investigation of the ADL as a continuation by proxy of an investigation begun more than two years earlier by FBI counterintelligence officials. Their apparent aim was to impede if not halt the activities of the ADL's sophisticated nation-wide espionage and intelligence gathering network. "Government investigators or private investigators, there is no lesser of two evils here. No one should be doing that kind of work," said Schey. "The ease with which the ADL moved into a position of gathering information on groups not threatening to them was insidious. They really got sucked into this intelligence subculture and went into the service of war policy, especially in Central America."
On the domestic level, Schey characterized the ADL's shift from civil rights monitoring to espionage and intelligence-gathering as intolerable. "That they would turn their capabilities on people and groups engaged in legitimate civil rights causes -- any measure that's outrageous conduct for an organization that presents itself as a civil rights organization. They were targeting everyone from the Asian Law Caucus to the United Farm Workers." "Why the hell was ADL watching Greenpeace or the National Conference of Black Lawyers?" asked Ibish. "It doesn't make sense for ADL to want that kind of information, but a national security organization like Mossad would, of course. They spied on everyone within reach, left, right, and center. Their actions, methods, and means are typical of a national espionage organization but unprecedented for a civil rights organization.
Why was ADL behaving like an espionage organization? "The permanent injunction is tacit admission that they were spying," said Ibish. "They can't deny what they have promised to stop doing. The injunction ought to have an effect on any sensible organization. Of course, if the connection with the Mossad is a factor, the injunction probably won't have much effect." The ADL continues to deny any wrongdoing. An ADL press release proclaims that the League is "pleased to finally resolve the litigation" in a manner that "explicitly recognizes the ADL's right to gather information in any lawful and Constitutionally-protected manner, which we have always done and will continue to do."
****No other major American Jewish organization has condemned the ADL for its political excesses or its documented association with Israeli intelligence organizations.****
Schey said the ADL developed a completely distorted view of who presents a threat to the Jewish community in the U.S., describing "such an isolationist vision that it perceived a wide range of ethnic communities as threatening, assigning them to an 'enemy camp.' Many of those groups might disagree with the ADL on the Middle East. for example, but they might agree on many other issues. The way the ADL drew boundaries was completely irrational."
Disappointingly, the mainstream American media have devoted little ink and less airtime to the settlement of this major civil rights case. "The settlement is being ignored by the mainstream press, charged Ibish. "We had hoped the press would understand the importance of this case without our reminding them, but that has not happened. The Jewish press is taking it more seriously." The case was settled in a Los Angeles federal court, but the Los Angeles Times gave the story a mere 281 words in a news summary in its Sept. 28 Metro Home Edition. And although the investigation involved files stolen from the San Francisco police department, the San Francisco Chronicle also buried its brief account of the court's decision. The apparent disinterest of San Francisco and Los Angeles reporters in a local story of such importance is all the more astonishing in view of the ADL's systematic violation of privacy and the broad targeting of its intelligence gathering effort which, in addition to the organizations named above, included Artists Against Apartheid, ACT UP, Action for Animals, the Asian Law Caucus of San Francisco, the American Indian Movement (AIM) and, among hundreds of individuals, a number of prominent elected officials and public figures. The ADL conducted covert surveillance of many groups and individuals and, through its "official friends," illegally accessed confidential government and law enforcement files to obtain fingerprints, photos, social security numbers, drivers' license numbers and information, vehicle registration and license plate numbers, post office box numbers, and other information not legally available to the public.
Roy Bullock, an espionage operative working out of the ADL's San Francisco office and in the employ of the group for more than 30 years, was paid through a secret ADL bank account held in a false name and controlled by Bruce Hochman, a prominent Beverly Hills lawyer, former federal prosecutor and former president of the Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles. Among co-plaintiffs with ADC in the suit were former Congressman Melvin Dymally, former Los Angeles City Councilor Robert Farrell, the National Conference of Black Lawyers, the National Lawyers Guild, the Bay Area Anti-Apartheid Network, the National Association of Arab American University Graduates (AAUG), the Coalition Against Police Abuse, the Committee in Solidarity With the People of El Salvador, Global Exchange, the International Jewish Peace Union, AIM and the Palestine Solidarity Committee. Still pending adjudication are at least two additional civil cases that arose as a result of the 1993 spy scandal and media revelations of illegal ADL espionage activities in California and beyond.
Michael Gillespie is a freelance journalist based in Ames, Iowa. He writes frequently about politics and media.
charges of bigotry are a 'projection' of their own feelings upon others
Denver, Colorado, April 29, 2000
Charges of bigotry backfire
By George Lane
Denver Post Staff Writer
April 29 - An Evergreen [Colorado] couple accused publicly of being anti-Semitic won a $10.5 million damage award from a federal jury Friday in a defamation lawsuit against the Anti-Defamation League.
The ADL accused William and Dorothy Quigley at a 1994 news conference of perpetrating the worst anti-Semitic incident in the area since the slaying of Jewish talk-show host Alan Berg 10 years earlier.
They were accused of launching "Operation Aronson," an effort to run their Jewish neighbors out of town, and threatening to commit acts such as painting oven doors on their neighbors' home.
The jury found that the statements at the news conference, and on talk radio, were defamatory and "not substantially true."
"I will say this," said the Quigleys' attorney, Jay Horowitz. "Thank God for the jury system."
A member of the ADL defense team said the verdict is likely to be appealed.
Barry Curtiss-Lusher, chairman of the ADL in Colorado, said the group was shocked at the verdict.
"We believed we were doing the right thing when we were contacted by a frightened family that thought they were being threatened by bigotry and hatred," Curtiss-Lusher said. "Clearly, this jury did not believe we were as careful as we should have been. But we did what we thought was right." The damage award could eviscerate the ADL's national budget of about $45 million, Curtiss-Lusher said, and it strikes at the core of the group's mission.
"It's horrible," he said. "Defamation is antithetical to what we're about. It's not what we do, and it's not what we believe we did here." The group will continue to fight anti-Semites, he said.
"We will not be afraid to continue to make statements and oppose them," he said.
The Quigleys stood in the courtroom and embraced as the jury filed out of the room after the reading of the verdicts before U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham.
The couple, with tears in their eyes, declined to comment about the six years of feuding with their neighbors, Mitchell and Candice Aronson, or about the four-week trial.
The Aronsons, not a party to this round of litigation in a long-running feud, were not present. They moved out of the neighborhood two years ago.
Neighbors near the Quigleys' Prima Lane home in the exclusive Hiwan section of Evergreen declined to comment, calling the family "lawsuit-happy."
The Quigleys and the Aronsons got along until the Aronsons' large dog, Bear, allegedly attacked the Quigleys' smaller dog, Cody.
After the canine battle, William Quigley allegedly drove his car toward the stopped car Candice Aronson was driving before swerving away at the last minute.
After the automobile incident, Candice Aronson went home and told her husband that Quigley had tried to run her down, according to testimony. Mitchell Aronson responded by cranking up his police scanner, capable of eavesdropping on conversations the Quigleys had over their cordless telephone.
The Aronsons said they were shocked at the anti-Semitic language they heard, including threats to their children and a remark about painting an oven door on front of the Aronson home, a reference to the Nazi Holocaust against Jews.
The Quigleys also suggested it was too bad the Aronsons weren't on a bus blown up by terrorists in Israel, according to testimony.
Curtiss-Lusher said the jury may have been sending a message against such an invasion of privacy as the police scanner rather than weighing whether the anti-Semitic label against the Quigleys was true.
When the Aronsons complained, the Jefferson County district attorney filed ethnic-intimidation charges against the Quigleys.
Quigley pleaded no contest to the car-swerving incident, but the ethnic-intimidation charges were dropped. District Attorney Dave Thomas later apologized to the Quigleys and paid them a $75,000 settlement.
As the neighborhood feud continued to deteriorate, the Quigleys filed a lawsuit against the Aronsons and the Aronsons countersued. Those two lawsuits eventually were resolved with neither family having to give the other any money.
The lawsuit the Quigleys filed against Rosenthal and the ADL reached court April 3. The lawsuit charged that not only were the Quigleys defamed by the ADL, but the organization was supportive of the illegal invasion of their privacy -- the use of the police scanner.
During closing arguments Thursday, Horowitz told the jury that while Dorothy Quigley had a "big mouth" and may have said things over the telephone that she later regretted, there never has been any evidence that the couple were anti-Semites.
When talking to the jury about damages the Quigleys had suffered, Horowitz noted that William Quigley, who was employed by United Artists theaters, was a marked man because of the anti-Semite allegations.
During this period, Quigley earned between $115,000 and $200,000 a year. Without the anti-Semitic label, he could have earned $500,000 a year, the lawyer said.
The jury began deliberating Friday morning. Shortly before 5 p.m., preparations were being made to send the jurors home for the weekend when the court clerk announced: "We have a verdict." The numerous damage awards included $1 million in economic and non-economic damages for William Quigley and $500,000 for Dorothy Quigley. The couple also were awarded more than $8.7 million in punitive damages and other, lesser amounts.
Read about the ADL's role in suppressing discussion on the major involvement of Jews in slavery; plus an African-American narrative on the ADL's role in trying to suppress all academic discussion on the subject of Jews & the slave trade. http://www.blacksandjews.com/broadside4.html
ADL gangleader caught lying again..greedy Abe Foxman claims to be a so called 'survivor'.... was never in a concentration camp
Letters to David Irving
Jim Warner writes on Wednesday, January 19, 2000
On CNN [Abraham] Foxman [right, national director of the Anti-Defamation League] claimed to be a "Holocaust Survivor." In his own biographies he admits that he was never in a concentration camp or persecuted by the Nazis. In fact, he was taken in by Christians and pretended to be a Christian to survive the war. What exactly is a Holocust survivor? American airmen were shot down over Germany and held in camps --does that qualify them as being Holocaust survivors and if so do they also deserve compensation? Keep up the great work.