NEW YORK (Jun. 23)
Seymour Graubard, national chairman of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith denounced today the action of the U.S. Attorney General in employing wiretaps on conversations of Jewish Defense League leaders without first obtaining a court order. Graubard said that while the ADL, along with most other responsible Jewish agencies and organizations, is on record as vigorously opposing the unlawful violence employed by the JDL, “we do not believe that the outrageous tactics frequently employed by the JDL warrant disregard by the U.S. government of the constitutional rights of the Jewish Defense League, its members or its leaders.” Graubard added: “We will continue to denounce the JDL so long as it continues to use violence and other tactics that violate the law. But we likewise denounce the action of the Attorney General of the United States in employing wiretaps not authorized by a court of law. ADL is just as opposed to disregard of Constitutional rights as it is to unlawful violence.”
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported yesterday that the conversations of 10 of the 13 JDL leaders currently facing gun conspiracy charges had been overheard by wiretaps not authorized by court order. The government contended that the wiretap was necessary and essential “to protect the nation and its citizens against hostile acts of a foreign power and to obtain information against foreign intelligence activities deemed essential to the security of the United States.” The U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, where the disclosure was made last Friday, ordered the government attorney to give the transcripts to the defendants. He was given until Friday to comply with this order. Graubard stated that earlier this year, the ADL unanimously adopted a resolution protesting infringement upon civil liberties by agencies of the federal government charging that such infringements form a substantial danger to the preservation of the American democratic way of life.