Unions Among 100s of Groups Spied On By ADL Informant
by Jeffrey Blankfort
Middle East Labor Bulletin Vol 4. No. 3 Fall 1993
Question: "What was the purpose of keeping all those names, Cal?
Answer: "What was the purpose? I was an investigator for the ADL. I investigated any and all anti-democratic movements.
Question: "nd these investigations that you were doing, were they all in behalf of the ADL?
Answer: "They were all in behalf of the ADL." (From deposition of Roy "Cal" Bullock, interviewed by San Francisco Police inspector Ron Roth, January 25. (Pp. 138 and 139)
ROY "CAL" BULLOCK has been on the "unofficial" payroll of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith for nearly 40 years and as recently as July 19, 1992*, was described by its New York-based chief spymaster, Irwin Suall, as "our Number One investigator."
Bullock, as of 1992, was receiving close to $25,000 annually for monitoring what Bullock and the ADL apparently considered to be "anti-democratic" organizations and individuals. The numbers of the former stretched into the hundreds and the names of individuals he had in his computer went well beyond 10,000, according to 700 pages of documents released in April by San Francisco District Attorney Arlo Smith.
While Bullock monitored and at times infiltrated neo-Nazi and skinhead groups, his and the ADL's main concerns were organizations and individuals considered threats or potential threats to Israel. These seemed to include not only the more obvious targets, Palestinians and Arab-Americans and their support groups, but organizations representing virtually every segment of the progressive social, legal and political spectrum, with a special emphasis on those opposing apartheid.
Under a separate "Arab" category he kept 77 files on 58 Arab- American organizations; among 647 groups described as "pinko," multiple files were maintained on the African National Congress and 47 other anti-apartheid organizations, both here and South Africa-based. His surveillance of the latter reflected the ADL's desire, as part of Israel's "unofficial" U.S. propaganda arm, to neutralize critics of Israel's military and economic ties to the apartheid state, an effort, which, the records show, was largely successful.
This eventually led him to do similar spying for the South African intelligence service together with his buddy, now retired San Francisco police inspector Tom Gerard who kept his own set of files (which is more than just a departmental no-no and has him already indicted and facing a possible conviction).
Among the hundreds of others groups spied upon were such diverse organizations as the NAACP, the National Indian Treaty Council, Greenpeace, the Japanese-Americans Citizens League, the Centro Legal de La Raza, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Earth Island Institute and the Harvey Milk Gay and Lesbian Democratic Club. A half dozen American Jewish and Israeli groups also received his attention including the Jerusalem-based Alternative Information Center, Americans for Peace Now, Friends of Yesh G'vul, the International Jewish Peace Union and Israelis Against Occupation.
There were also files on 20 Bay Area labor unions, plus the San Francisco Central Labor Council, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, the Boycott Shell Committee, the Green Giant Frozen Food Workers Committee and the San Francisco Chapter of the Committee for Labor Union Women.
In alphabetical order, files were maintained on:
- AFSCME Local 3218
- AFT 151
- AFSCME Local 3506
- Carpenters Local 22
- NABET Local 51
- HERE Local 2
- IAM Local 565
- ILWU Local 6
- NALC Local 214
- OCAW 8149
- Plumbers & Fitters Local 93
- SEIU Local 535
- SEIU Local 616
- Teamster Local 921 (S.F. TDU),
- United Farm Workers and UTU Local 1730.
In addition, records were kept on
- The Bay Area Network on Central America
- The Portland Labor Committee on Central America
- The Free South Africa Labor Committee
- The Labor Committee on the Middle East.
In Bullock's computer, all were labeled "pinko," (which in his interview with SFPD inspector Roth, he equated with "left wing.")
Robert Carl Miller, writing in The Voice, (July/Aug. '93) the publication of the spied-upon Letter Carriers Local 214, asked: "Why would the ADL, dedicated to 'translating the country's democratic ideals into a way of life for all AmericansI," be wasting their time and resources (an estimated 34 million dollars a year) investigating all of the above-named groups? Why was this spy network interested in rooting out possible anti-Semitism in the Boycott Shell Committee but had no interest in any anti- Semitism in the boardroom of Standard Oil? Are the wealthy purer of heart than the working class? The history of oil companies is littered with anti-Semitism. Henry Ford, not the UAW, was supporter of Hitler. There were no files listed for corporations with this spy network."
What information Bullock entered into in his files will be secret, at least until September 10th, thanks to an accommodating San Francisco judge, Henry Louie, who accepted the ADL's version of reality Q that their files and those of Bullock, who remains on the ADL payroll, are their private property, as well as protected by the First Amendment.
On a more ominous note, an announcement by Smith in April that indictments would be filed against Bullock and/or the ADL by the middle of June, appears, at best, to have been premature, and at worst, projects the possibility that the massive pressure being applied to stop the investigation by the city's Jewish establishment Q not only on the D.A.'s office, but on the mayor and the chief of police Q may result in a compromise that would leave the ADL free of criminal charges (see accompanying story on Page 32).
A private class action suit has already been filed by Attorney and former Congressman Paul "Pete" McCloskey, himself a long-time victim of ADL surveillance and disinformation, representing, initially, 19 individuals who believe they were victimized by the ADL either for their public opposition to Israeli policies and/or their opposition to South African apartheid.
The suit contends that the ADL violated certain right to privacy laws that are protected by the California civil code which are designed to prevent private institutions, such as the ADL, from receiving and disseminating personal information that is not publicly available.
To refresh those who have not kept up with a fast-breaking story that has now slowed down to a crawl: in early December, a recently retired San Francisco policeman and former CIA operative in El Salvador, Afghanistan, Algeria and Honduras, the aforementioned Gerard, was accused by the FBI (for whom he had also previously worked) of being in possession of files on anti-apartheid activists which he had illegally obtained and was passing on to South Africa.
It was apparent, from an investigation of Gerard's computer files,that he was also, illegally, providing personal information on individuals to the ADL. He also had turned over to Bullock, hundreds of San Francisco Police Department files that the SFPD had been ordered to be destroy following a previous investigation of local police spying.
They also found in a search of Gerard's gym locker in February, a black executioner's hood, photos of blindfolded men, presumably El Salvadorans, 10 passports in different names, a CIA cable marked "Secret," what were apparently CIA interrogation manuals and over a 100 names and phone numbers under the title, "International Activities Division-Special Activities Group," a who's who of the CIA,"
Gerard told an L.A. Times reporter who sought him out in the Philippines where he had initially headed, one step ahead of the authorities, and from where has since returned and been indicted. All this was proof, Gerard told the Times, (April 27) that the CIA was directly involved in the training and support of torturers and death squads operating in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala in the mid-80s.
It turned out that Gerard had a partner, a beefy, pathologically anti-communist (of the Joe McCarthy stripe) dealer in Asian art named Roy Bullock, who had been a paid agent of the ADL since 1954, and who, like Gerard, had also been working for the South African government as well as moonlighting for the FBI.( In August, 1987, Bullock was revealed to be an ADL agent after joining LCOME; see MELB 4/2.)
The ADL predictably pleaded innocent and attempted to distance itself from both Gerard and Bullock, referring to the latter as a "independent contractor." To keep Bullock's undercover identity intact, the ADL paid him through a "cut-out," Bruce Hochman, a Beverly Hills attorney who serves on the organization's Southern California Board.
The ADL's alleged lack of knowledge of Bullock's activities failed to convince Yehuda Lev, associate editor of Los Angeles's Jewish Journal (April 30). Lev wrote:
"I also have enough common sense to know that a 40-year relationship with a client and agent should result in some knowledge , each about the other. The official explanation that Bullock was an "independent contractor," holds no water. That may affect his Social Security payments and tax deductibilty, but an employee of a firm for more than four decades is more than a free lance researcher."
Between 1985 and 1982, Hochman's checks to Bullock totaled $169,375. His salary for 1992 was $24,400. The ADL's failure to his pay social security taxes and withhold income tax are among the possible felonies with which ADL may be charged.
As late as February 25, the ADL was not even willing to admit to many of its own senior employees that Bullock was working for "the firm." In a memorandum sent to ADL Regional Directors on that date, Jeffrey Sinensky, ADL's Director of its Division on Civil Rights, and Ann Tourk, its Director of Community Service refer to "information [that] was found in the possession of an individual who is alleged to have a relationship with ADL."
The memo also attacked reports "falsely implying that ADL worked covertly with Tom Gerard to monitor Arab Americans." Similar statements were included in a five-page booklet, "Talking Points," which the directors were advised to use in defusing criticism from ADL's "allies" in the civil rights field.
In the memo and in statements to the press, ADL officials denied any wrong doing and kept repeating that they were "cooperating" with law enforcement agencies, It was soon clear, at least to the San Francisco Police Department, that they weren't.
What the San Francisco investigators found remarkable was the refusal of the Los Angeles Police Department, which evidently had been heavily infiltrated by the ADL, to assist the SFPD in the investigation, a decision that was shamelessly hailed by the B'nai B'rith Messenger, the ADL mother organization's weekly paper in Los Angeles. (The Messenger also applauded the New York Times for not reporting the story.)
The story took a major leap when the SFPD and FBI staged multiple raids on ADL offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and found thousands of files on individuals and organizations, some of which the ADL had apparently "doctored" in the meantime.
Subsequently, some 718 pages of documents and police and FBI interviews with Bullock, David Gurvitz, a former ADL operative in Los Angeles, a and San Diego Police Officer, who had collaborated with Bullock, were released to the public by District Attorney Smith along with the list of organizations spied upon. They appeared to contain enough information to file multiple charges against the ADL and, at the very least, seriously, threaten its tax-exempt status.
"We are talking about the use of information from DMV files, criminal files, and other confidential files," Smith told ABC News, "files from state and local agencies that were being illegally furnished and illegally received."
His opinion was corroborated by SFPD police inspector Ron Roth. "Based on the evidence," Roth wrote in summarizing his findings, "exhibits and facts in this affidavit, I believe that Roy Bullock and the ADL had numerous peace officers supplying them with confidential criminal and DMV information." He was not just referring to San Francisco.
Citing his interview with former ADL employee Gurvitz, he learned of the existence of "other [ADL] code named fact finders and field investigatorsI In Chicago there is an ex-police officer named CHI-3 (there are also references to CHI-1 and CHI-2 who apparntly are not policemen.QED.),IIn St. Louis there is IRONSIDES,I In Atlanta there is an Arab speaking man named FLIPPER."
Roth was unable to locate any files on the American-Arab Anti- Discrimination Committee (ADC) in ADL's San Francisco office. Gurvitz explained that there were many files on the ADC in the ADL's Los Angeles office, along with the names of "any Arab American with anti-Israel leanings or any Arab Americans that wrote letters to the newspaper editorsI"
He also volunteered the information that Bullock's home computer was "the repository of the fact finding information for the San Francisco ADL office."
Roth estimated "after numerous interview and analysis of the documents seized in eight searches," that "inquiries were made to DMV vehicle registration and driver's license numbers of members listed at a ration of approximately 10-15% of the total [ADC] membership."
One of Gerard's assignments with the police was to act as liaison to the Arab community, which "required" that he attend community events, giving him the necessary cover to join Bullock in recording the vehicle licenses of those attending. Some of Bullock's responses to inquiries by Roth and the FBI were truly extraordinary.
One of the individuals he was keeping tabs on was Alex Odeh, the head of the ADC office in Orange County, who was murdered in 1987 by a bomb in his office, believed to have been planted by the Jewish Defense League.
"I happened to know Alex Odeh, a very nice, decent, humane guy," Bullock told Roth. "In fact, I missed going to the office by one day: I might have been there to open the door instead of him because he allowed me to go into the office if I was down there; just by sheer coincidence it wasn't me."
Bullock's expressed reason for spying on the anti-apartheid movement appeared even more disingenuous: "Because," read the FBI report of its interview with him, "he wanted to help South Africa make a better assessment of the anti-apartheid situation in the United States.
Bullock said he hoped that by doing this he would encourage the Government of South Africa to bring it to an end." It should be noted that Bullock made this statement after learning that a document was found in his computer, addressed to his South African contact, warning him that he (Bullock) had been questioned by the FBI concerning S.A. agents in the area.
A more honest reason for the ADL's snooping on the movement was forthcoming from ADL's national director, Abe Foxman, on a sweep through the Bay Area in May.
"People are very upset about the [files on the] ANC," he agrees. "At the time we exposed the ANC, they were communist. They were violent, they were antisemitic, they were pro-PLO and they were anti-Israel. You're going to tell me I don't have the legitimacy to find out who they were consorting with, who their buddies are, who supports them." (No. Ca. Jewish Bulletin, May 7).
In May, 1986, the ADL Bulletin featured a cover story bashing the ANC. The article, co-authored by its then national director, Nathan Perlmutter, suggested that the organization "so frequently discussed as an alternative to the Botha government, merits a close, unsentimental look. The question can be fairly asked, what has all this to do with Jews?"
After favorably quoting an author who reported that "P.W. BothaI has been dismantling apartheid by stealthI," the article let loose with a litany of charges that focused mainly on the ANC's siding with the Palestinians, beginning with its support of "Soviet attempts to undermine the legitimacy of Israel," its "strident" support of the PLO; its denunciation of "Israel's aggressive expansionism" supported by the U.S. and its allies' and its linkage of zionism with racism.
Since Bullock was already spying on the domestic anti-apartheid movement for the ADL, taking on the task for the South Africans meant little extra work, since, as he acknowledged to Roth, much of the information they wanted he and the ADL already possessed.
One of the items found in his computer files was a report on a meeting in Los Angeles in 1991 that anti-apartheid activists staged for ANC leader Chris Hani. (Hani was assassinated in S.A. this Spring by a gunman who allegedly was hired by J. Darby Grace, the new president of the World Anti-Communist League, an organization formerly headed by Gen. John Singlaub, which curiously enough, was not on Bullock's or the ADL's list of right-wing organizations.)
Bullock acknowledged receiving $16,000 from the South Africans, some of which he shared with Gerard, who supposedly had help set up the connection.
The reaction of the Jewish establishment to ADL's predicament has been supportive, accepting, with but a handful of exceptions, the ADL denials of wrongdoing as statements of fact. On a national level this has come from the Conference of Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations, the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council, the World Jewish Congress , AIPAC and the American Zionist Movement.
Locally, the city's leading Jewish political players whose wealth and influence is considerable Q as is their philanthropy Q are apparently doing what they can to get the ADL off the hook, although few have been as public as the mayor's chief of protocol, Robert Goldman.
Goldman, who owns one of the city's largest insurance brokerages and who is extremely active in Jewish communty circles, contacted police chief Tony Ribera to let him know that the investigation of the ADL had caused the Jewish community a great deal of "anxiety." He claimed his call was a personal call, and "I wasn't trying to influence anybody or anything of the kind" (SF Examiner, April 25).
An apparent lone voice within the organized Jewish community who has the courage to criticize and ask hard questions of the ADL is Leonard Fein, former editor of Moment magazine, and now a columnist for the New York-based Jewish weekly, Forward.
Fein has devoted two columns to the ADL case. the first, "Circling the Wagons," (June 25) suggested that the organization has a responsibility to the Jewish community to do more than issue a blanket denial of wrongdoing and "accuse the accusers of the 'big lie.'" Wrote Fein:
"One wants to believe that the 'sinister' files others have accused it of maintaining Q files not only on extremist organizations but on utterly respectable organizations (e.g., NAACP) Q "are, as the ADL claims they are, merely benign background files, newspaper clippings and suchI and whatever crimes the ADL's principal mole [Bullock] may have been guilty of were not in the course of his duties or at the behest of the ADLI. "Given the source of the accusations and their apparent gravity, wanting to believe doesn't quite make it.
"Nor, for that matter, do the enthusiastic endorsements of the ADL's probity by a variety of Jewish organizations and leaders who know only the details that the ADL has shared with them. The ADL has sought to quiet our legitimate concerns by claiming that behind all the smoke, there's no fire, just a smoke-machine."
Declaring that "no organization can be taken seriously as it own judge and jury," Fein suggested that an independent investigation of the ADL's activities take place within the organized Jewish community. "One might have hoped that the ADL board would itself have invited such an examination. Apparently, it has not." Fein concluded his column with the question, asking "why, in any case, should an organization that has done no wrong not welcome such a proposal?"
As would be expected, the ADL's Foxman, fired off a letter in rebuttal,(July 16) attacking Fein for not "seeing this episode for what it is Q not only an attack on ADL, but an attack on the whole community and its efforts to protect Jewish security and rights." Fein's response on July 30, is worth quoting:
"Over and over again, all we have heard from ADL is an ever-more strident denial of any and all wrongdoing, In its earliest response to the matter, ADL asserted that if its procedures had in any respect been faulty, it would correct them.
"Yet if there has since been information offered to either the public or even the ADL board regarding the faulty procedures, I am not aware of it. Evidently, somewhere along the line there was a policy decision that the best defense would be simply to stonewallI
"That style of haughty dismissal ill-becomes an organization opposed to defamationI. there is distress and even anger among ADL's undoubted friendsI that they have given no thorough or even adequate explanation of the alleged feloniesI. I believe the community is entitled to more than verbal reassurance.
"ADL linen, which he [Foxman] and I both agree is Jewish communal linen, is hanging out there in public for all to see, and the question of whether that linen is clean or dirty is a real question that deserves a real answer, both for the ADL's sake and those who depend on ADL for their own protection."
Fein again concludes with his proposal for an independent investigation. "I am sorry to say that in his letter, Mr. Foxman chose utterly to ignore that proposal. Why?"
Perhaps, it appears, because he may be able to swing a deal with the San Francisco district attorney's office and the city's courts that will let the ADL off the hook with its files ruffled, but intact.
*ABC News, April 8.
Source: Middle East Labor Bulletin Vol 4. No. 3 Fall 1993