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  Civil Rights  
ADL on the WACL & John McCain
In discussions in the media regarding Sen. John McCain and his supposed 1980’s connection to World Anti-Communist League (WACL), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is cited as having labeled the group as a forum for extremists, racists and anti-Semites.

  • In its 1981 report, Terrorism’s Targets: Democracy, Israel and Jews, ADL described the WACL as “a gathering place, a forum, and a point of contact for extremists, racists, and anti-Semites.”  (Page 23 of the report -- page 25 of the pdf)

  • In the 1980’s, then-Congressman John McCain served as a member of the Board of Directors of the United States Council for World Freedom (USCWF), an affiliate of the World Anti-Communist League (WACL).  

  • At the time, the Chair of the USCWF organization was John K. Singlaub, a retired Major General, who also served as the Chair of the WACL.  

  • In a 1985 Letter to the Editor of The Village Voice, ADL stated that General Singlaub had made a concerted effort to rid WACL of anti-Semitism and that, “While ADL doesn’t possess enough information to be able to give WACL a totally clean bill of health, we [were] satisfied that substantial progress has been made since 1981 in ridding the organization of racists and anti-Semites whose presence led us to publicly express our concern at that time.”

  • ADL has no information that at the time John McCain was aware of or had any connections with the WACL.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, ADL neither supports nor opposes any candidate for political office.
Read the report:
Terrorism’s Targets: Democracy, Israel and Jews (.pdf)
Issues on the Campaign Trail in 2008
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