A Tale of Three FBI Informants
On the June 10, 2002, Back of the Book program I read from some of the FBI documents obtained by the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) in 1978, under the Freedom of Information Act. This is part of a project I've begun the goal of which is to publish all of the documents we got from the FBI along with my commentary.
Below is part of an FBI report regarding a GAA project which was designed to make sure that there was a gay presence at the Democratic and Republican Party national conventions held in Miami, Florida in the Summer of 1972.
First we have two pages from an FBI memo about the organizing of a GAA chapter in Miami and about GAA's plans for the conventions. It is amazing how wrong the information is. They didn't even get the full name of the group right. GAA was a non-violent group and at no time were any guns or other weapons ever used or was their use ever contemplated. My take is that it would certainly have suited the FBI in 1972, to have been able to consider gay and lesbian activists to be violent and armed so they could have an excuse to just shoot us down.
The original document is full of blanked out portions. I am referring to the two people whose names are obscured below as [blank 1] and his informant [blank 2]. From information in other FBI documents I believe that [blank 1] is a Miami police officer. I don't know who [blank 2] is but he was apparently in jail in Miami for selling grass.
[blank 1] furnished a copy of a cassette recording of an interview that he had had with [blank 2] several days previously. A transcript of a portion of this tape relating to the GAA follows:
“Gay Activists Association which meets Monday, Thursday, and Friday nights at _________________________________ They're planning violent actions at the convention with firearms, I should say 12 handguns, two automatic rifles, various kinds of mace which are very damaging to facial structures. Uh, there's approximately 60 - 80 members now, by convention time they expect 300 to 400 people. Uh, from 50 states there will be approximately 24,000 people together in this association so they can be striving for their point for homosexual votes.”
[blank 1] said that [blank 2] was serving time in the Dade County Jail on charges relating to __________________________ He described [blank 2] as being a clever but devious character who has furnished “reliable information” to [blank 1] but who is also a “kook and nut”. He expressed the opinion that [blank 2] smokes marijuana but is not on narcotics. [blank 1] said that despite these characteristics, [blank 2] has furnished him with some reliable information which he then modified by stating that at least a portion of the information furnished by [blank 2] would prove to be true.
On March 15, 1972, ________________________ Miami, advised that he is the father of [blank 2] who was recently released from the Dade County jail after serving out a sentence for _______________________ said that he does not know where his son is living
Click here to see the actual documents that the above two pages were gotten from.
It is very interesting that in the above the cop refers to the informant he is using to score points with the FBI as a “kook and nut.” This is certainly the sort of person to use to impugn the reputations of others.
The FBI followed up on this juicy stuff and produced the following “transcription” of an interview with [blank 2] which was held on March 15, 1972. The “MM 100-16589” below refers to the FBI file number, the “100” indicating that this is a domestic security issue. At this time I'm not speculating on the identity of the other person present at this interview and at whose home this interview was conducted. Descriptions of some things in the documents by me are in red.
[blank 2] was interviewed at the home of _____________ Miami. ___________ who is a friend of [blank 2] ______. At the outset of the interview __________ was informed by the interviewing Agents that it is a violation of Federal law to furnish false information knowingly to the Federal Government in an official investigation.
[blank 2] stated that he had been released from the Dade County Jail __________________
[blank 2] said that he __________________ whom he described as a ____________ until the time he was dismissed after being arrested for the sale and possession of marijuana. About four or five weeks ago, according to [blank 2] he attended a meeting at the apartment of ________________. This meeting was held by the Gay Activist Alliance (GAA) which [blank 2] said is composed of homosexuals. About 40 to 65 men were present. [blank 2] was in the apartment for no more than five minutes. He claimed that during this time he observed a collection of weapons on a table, These weapons included ten or twelve handguns, two rifles and four cans of mace, which he said had been placed there by some of those in attendance at the meeting. While standing outside the apartment he overheard a man inside the apartment whom he described as being the President of the GAA from New York City, talk about sending representatives of the GAA to various colleges in order to determine their attitude toward the GAA.
[blank 2] said that he saw a copy of the constitution of the GAA and that the Ninth Amendment to this constitution advocated violence.
He said that he also overheard various members present make references to the Democratic National Convention scheduled
for Miami Beach in the Summer of 1972. Someone stated that approximately 2,500 GAA members from New York were expected to come to Miami. He said that the GAA members from New York City are promoting attendance at the convention.
[blank 2] was unable to relate that any specific remarks had been made during this meeting where violence was advocated by the GAA during the convention but he assumed that this could have been so due to the presence of weapons and due to the violence advocated in the Ninth Amendment of the GAA constitution.
He also claimed that he went past 5024 NE 2nd Avenue on subsequent occasions when meetings were being held there and saw a great many cars parked there which lead him to believe that the size of the meetings had been increasing, however, he did not attend any subsequent meetings.
[blank 2] said that he is now living in an apartment located in Miami with two other men but he declined to furnish his address because he did not want to be contacted there at any time in the future.
Click here to see the actual documents that the above two pages were gotten from.
But not all informants are as malicious as the above two. Some folks are well meaning and blunder into being FBI informants because they want to “prove” that they're not bad people. Of course this just buys into the FBI type propaganda that honest people don't need privacy.
This is a slippery slope. The Supreme Court has ruled that law enforcement, including the FBI, may lie to interviewees with impunity, but if the interviewee says something that could be interpreted as lying to the agents he or she can be charged with a crime.
One non-malicious informant was intent on refuting the stupid allegations of [blank 2] and spoke, apparently extensively, to the FBI. No one should ever sign any form that's called a “Waiver of Rights” at any time! Everyone should get a copy of the ACLU pamphlet “Know Your Rights!”
No one in GAA New York was aware that this guy was speaking to the FBI while we were planning things in 1972. I'm calling him [blank 3]. At this time I am offering no opinion on the identity of [blank 3].
____________ [blank 3] was interviewed at his residence. At the outset of the interview he was given a “Waiver of Rights” form which he read and immediately signed, stating that he had no opposition whatsoever to being interviewed by the FBI.
[blank 3] stated that he is ______________ but was terminated after he was arrested for possession of marijuana. At the present time he is earning a living by restoring antique paintings. He resides alone in his apartment.
_____________________________________ of the Gay Activist Alliance (GAA) in Miami. On or about February 4, 1972, a meeting of approximately eight individuals was held in his apartment. This meeting resulted from an appeal by the GAA in New York City to the _____________________ for the purpose of organizing a chapter of the GAA in Miami. During this meeting discussions related to what the GAA is, its purposes and aims, and that the primary cause for its existence is “Gay Rights”. Those in attendance were primarily of the college student category.
[blank 3] stated that at no time at this or any other meeting held in his apartment were any weapons in evidence or exhibited by any of those present. He asserted that at no time was the use of weapons discussed and that to do so would have been completely out of the question since neither he nor other members of the GAA have any intention whatsoever of engaging in any form of violence or to use weapons for any purpose.
He asserted that at no time was any form of violence advocated or suggested by any of those present at the February 4, 1972, meeting or at any meeting Of the GAA.
He said that there were three consecutive meetings held and that approximately 20 was the greatest number that had attended any of these meetings. The GAA in Miami now has approximately 13 members. At no time were more than that ever present.
[blank 3] stated that the GAA is deeply concerned about obtaining “Gay” rights through legal channels. He asserted that it is absolutely untrue that any form of violence is advocated or intended by the GAA with which he is associated.
[blank 3] produced a copy of the "Constitution and Bylaws of the Gay Activists Alliance", the pertinent portions of which are set forth below:
I'm cutting out the extensive quotation of the GAA Constitution at this time.
[blank 3] pointed out that the constitution of the GAA does not have a Ninth Amendment and he reiterated that the constitution most certainly does not advocate violence.
The following description was obtained through interview and observation:
There follow two columns of about eight lines each all blanked out.
Click here to see the actual documents that the above pages were gotten from.
Of course [blank 3] is right, there was never any “Ninth Amendment” to the GAA Constitution, and GAA was a non-violent organization. But, still, he was giving the FBI information. Having told them how many people were at meetings he might well have been asked to name those people. There's no telling how involved you can get with the FBI once you've waived your rights.
The person we sent down to organize the Demonstrations at the Democratic and Republican national conventions was the late Morty Manford. He was not President of GAA, but he would become President in the autumn of 1973. If people had shown up with weapons at this meeting Morty would have run out of there as fast as he could.
You'll note that the above is apparently page 11 of one thing but page 4 of another. There are documents nested within documents and some pages were never released to GAA, so the entire story on these FBI shenanigans is yet to be written.
Back to the Web page for the June 10, 2002, program.
To my home page.