Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ayers/Dohrn -- The biggest albatross around Barack Obama's neck; UPDATED!!

Note to readers: This post will remain at the top of the page for the day. We feel that this is important enough to warrant keeping it here. Please scroll down for "newer" posts.

Barack Obama has some 'splainin' to do. When he was questioned at the last debate about his association with Bill Ayers, he tried to spin it away. "I was eight," replied Obama. As far as he was concerned, that was all that was necessary in terms of an explanation. Unfortunately, that won't fly with voters.

Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn were inner circle members of the Weatherman Underground -- a radical domestic terror group from the late 1960's/early 1970's. These people were responsible for a number of bombings and attacks around the nation then, including the bombing of a New York police precinct, the US Capitol, and the Pentagon. An explosion in a Greenwich Village "safe house" killed three members of the WU; at the time they were preparing a bomb to be used at Ft. Dix.

Yesterday, Hugh Hewitt played a number of clips from WU members Ayers and Dohrn. These clips were obtained by Guy Benson who hosts his own radio show on Sundays in Chicago, and is the producer of the Sandy Rios show. Below are transcriptions of a few of the clips played.

This first one is the declaration of war against the United States that Bernadine Dohrn gave in 1970:

At 7:30 this morning KPFK received a call from a woman identifying herself as a member of the Weather Underground. "Hello. I'm going to read a declaration for a state of war. This is the first communication from the Weatherman Underground. Just know the lines are drawn. Revolution is touching all of our lives. Kids are making love, smoking dope, and loading guns. Fugitives from American justice are free to go. Within the next fourteen days, we will attack a symbol or institution of American of American injustice."

This one is also from Dohrn -- a warning about what the WU is planning, and it bears a chilling warning:

Now we are everywhere. And next week, families and tribes will attack the enemy around the country. We're not just attacking targets. We're bringing a pitiful, helpless giant to it's knees. Guard your planes, guard your colleges, guard your banks, guard your children, guard your doors.

Children, folks. She and her cronies were threatening children, and yet they felt they were some sort of "freedom fighter" fighting against the American government. Now both Ayers and Dohrn turned themselves in, after going underground after the Greenwich Village explosion, in 1980. Ayers was never prosecuted because it was ruled there was prosecutorial misconduct in his case. Dohrn plead guilty to charges of bail jumping and aggravated battery. She also served less than a year in jail when she refused to testify against Susan Rosenberg. (If the name sounds familiar, it should. She was one of two Weather Underground members whose sentences were commuted by President Clinton. The other one was Linda Sue Evans.)

And if anyone thinks these two are repentant for their actions, think again. The following transcripts come from a reunion of Weather Underground/Students for a Democratic Society members last year:

This is a time not only of great stress and oppression and authoritarianism, and a kind of rising incipient American form of fascism, and what the government counts on, what the powerful count on, is that we will stay quiet. It’s the idea that we can tolerate these intolerable things without screaming, without somehow coming out, joining up and coming out and saying something. It’s what they count on in terms of keeping things under control.

Even though we think of ourselves as political, we weren’t politicians. We were people who had a moral vision of what was possible. And when we talk, for example, about health care, about peace, we’re talking a language of ethics, not a language of instrumentalism or opportunism, or what we might get. So we have to speak in a language that’s large and generous and encompassing. And then we have to act.

Empire resurrected and unapologetic, war without end, an undefined enemy that’s supposed to be a rallying point for a new kind of energized jingoistic patriotism, unprecedented and unapologetic military expansion, white supremacy changing its form, but essentially intact, attacks on women and girls, violent attacks, growing surveillance in every sphere of our lives, on and on and on, the targeting of gay and lesbian people as a kind of a scapegoating gesture to keep our minds off of what’s really happening.

It’s worth coming together forty years later and saying what is that spirit that we recognize that we can build on? What is that spirit that we want to connect to? That spirit of rebellion, the spirit of resistance, the spirit of insurgency, and spirit. It’s that spirit that we should be talking about. But just to give us a little perspective, I’m reminded of something that Chou En Lai, the Chinese premier under Mao Tse Tung, Chou En Lai was asked by a European reporter if he could comment on the impact and his thinking of the French Revolution, in terms of the Chinese experience. And Chou En Lai thought about it for quite a long time, and he said the French Revolution? Too early to tell. And I think there’s something to that, you know, that I mean if you take the long view, empire’s in decline. If you take the long view, there’s a lot to look forward to. So many of us have watched with absent horror as we’ve been marched, step by step, towards an authoritarianism that was unthinkable forty years ago.

That's Bill Ayers, folks. That's the man who held a fundraiser in his home for Barack Obama in 1995. That's Bill Ayers, who served on the Woods Foundation board with Barack Obama. Barack Obama has basically spun this away as Ayers was just an acquaintance, and nothing more. Yet the excuse doesn't wash. Think about it. If you had an acquaintance that was about to make a major announcement, such as running for a political office, would you let them use your home as the kick-off point? I wouldn't. If they're an acquaintance, then I don't know them well enough to be associated with them.

But it's plainly obvious that this goes beyond just a guy you see on the street and say hello to. Both Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn vetted Barack Obama themselves, and they agreed that his ideas and passion were on par with their own. Remember that their passion, which is clearly not gone from their lives as evidenced by Ayers comments above from 2007, was what drove them to violence and domestic terrorism back then.

Barack Obama's ties to these two people will hurt him. If he's willing to turn a blind eye to their radical past, what sort of message resonates with the average voter? His attachment to these two people speaks a great deal of his character. There's a "forgive and forget" moment in everyone's lives, but can we do that with these two people? I think not. Despite the fact that they made it a point to call buildings before bombing them to empty them of innocent bystanders, several people were killed and wounded by their activities. You can't forgive them for killing innocent men and women in their name of their revolution.

And where is the media on this? Five days ago the WaPo wrote a glowing piece on Ayers and Dohrn including a cute little family picture from back then. I say "cute" because it shows both of them, with their then four-year old son, strolling along a sidewalk as though they're on an outing to the park. Guy Benson isn't in the media. He doesn't have their resources, and yet he located these clips, and it presents listeners with an image that is anything but a "cute" family. Listeners will see a radical, violent group of people who were more than content to commit acts of violence in the name of revolution.

Why did Obama embrace these people, knowing who they were, and what their past was? Why did he associate with them? Did he see in them the sort of "change" he ascribes to? These are just a couple of questions that people should be asking Barack Obama. The media obviously could care less, but these are the ties that bind. He can't throw these two under the bus the way he did his grandmother. Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn aren't "typical white people." These people were revolutionaries committed to, as Dohrn stated above, "bringing a pitiful, helpless giant to it's knees."

Now, no one is saying that he embraces their ideas, or that he would support their tactics. But it's simply impossible to ignore these ties. This goes beyond Jeremiah Wright and James Meeks. While those guys are verbal bomb-throwers, Ayers and Dohrn were real, literal bomb-throwers. Barack Obama hasn't answered enough questions about his relationship with these two terrorists. He should be answering them, and I mean REAL answers. When he's asked, if he's asked, he shouldn't be allowed to do the Texas-two-step around them without any serious follow-ups. The acquaintance excuse won't fly.

Publius II

ADDENDUM: Captain Ed found this from John Kass at the Chicago Tribune has uncovered some newer "radicalism" from Dohrn right around 1982:

Broadway Baby was not mentioned during the Democratic infighting in Pennsylvania.But Broadway Baby—once a chic children's boutique in Manhattan's Upper West Side—is the future, if Barack Obama is the presidential candidate in the fall.

This story involves two Chicagoans, former Weather Underground terrorist leaders Bernardine Dohrn and her husband, William Ayers, both Obama supporters who blessed his initial foray into politics. Last week, the unrepentant Ayers became a flash point in Obama's debate with Hillary Clinton.

"And what they [Weather Underground] did was set bombs and in some instances people died," said Clinton, sweetly playing the white terrorist card. "I know Sen. Obama is a good man and I respect him greatly, but I think this is an issue that certainly the Republicans will be raising."' ...

So let's wait until Labor Day, when Broadway Baby may become a catchphrase. Here's why: According to a 1982 New York Times report, Broadway Baby was implicated in an investigation of a series of violent armed robberies in New York—netting more than $2 million over a two-year span—committed by former Black Panthers and Weather Underground members in the early '80s.

Their aim? Global revolution, naturally. They needed cash, but the rich white parents weren't in a giving mood. So their privileged offspring grabbed guns, pointed them at the faces of the working man and, sometimes, they pulled the trigger.

At Broadway Baby, customers often paid by check and used driver's licenses for identification. On Dec. 28, 1979, information from two customer files was used to apply for two driver's licenses at the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. The fraudulent licenses were used to rent getaway cars for the gang.Investigators tracked the identities on two licenses for the getaway cars. The names belonged to women who had shopped at Broadway Baby in December 1979. But they weren't robbers.

And who was the manager of Broadway Baby during that period of the customer ID theft?

Dohrn, the future wife of Ayers, identified by investigators as taking customer information from one, and possibly both, of the women shoppers. Dohrn was never charged in that case.

Dohrn and Ayers had been running for some 11 years, fleeing federal charges that they instigated riots in Chicago in 1969.They finally came in out of the cold in 1980, but the New York gang continued its spree, ending in the bloody 1981 robbery in Rockland County that left a Brinks security guard and two police officers dead. ...

In 1982, Dohrn was brought before a federal grand jury investigating radical conspiracies linked to the New York robberies. She refused to cooperate or to provide a signature sought by FBI handwriting analysts. Dohrn was held in contempt of the grand jury and imprisoned for seven months.

A few years later, Ayers got his job as a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. And Dohrn was employed at the Children and Family Justice Center affiliated with Northwestern University's School of Law. ...

I've always been fascinated as to how the radical underground stop running and get jobs in academia. Is there a Terrorist Patronage Office for Rich White People? And how did a convicted Dohrn get hired to teach at a law school?"

I am afraid I don't know an answer to that," NU spokesman Alan Cubbage said. "The person who was the dean at the time is no longer with the law school. And the person who was the president at the time is no longer the president. So I just don't know."

Cubbage did not mention that Ayers' late father—Commonwealth Edison boss Thomas Ayers—was an NU trustee and former board chairman. UIC spokesman Mark Rosati couldn't help either, but suggested I file a Freedom of Information Act request to find out how terrorists get hired by taxpayers.

"It's nothing personal," Rosati said.

How amusing. They don't want to explain how terrorists were hired, so they know nothing.

I wonder what Senator Obama has to say about this now? This goes beyond him being "eight years old" when Ayers and Dohrn did their crimes. He was 21 when Dohrn pulled off this crime. And this came AFTER she and her husband, Bill Ayers, had turned themselves into the authorities. I guess they really are as unrepentant as they appear to be last year.

This is unfathomable. Neither one of them regret doing what they did. They embraced their views in the sixties and seventies. They still embraced the call for revolution after they turned themselves in. They still embrace it today. These people are radicals, and in their opinion Obama is their man. That speaks volumes to the sort of people that Obama attracts, and it also goes to the sort of company he does keep, and might keep, should he be elected to the presidency.

Publius II

ADDENDUM: Marcie just reminded me that I've been remiss in this post. John Hinderackerat PowerLine has individual audio posts there and here. Thirteen clips in all. Listen to all of them, and you'll understand why so many people are calling "no joy" to Obama's spin. And for those who think that Obama is just spinning this in the media -- the acquaintance excuse -- think again. He is spinning and defending them on his website.

Publius II


Anonymous Wylie Wilde said...

Imagine if McCain and Palin had associates who were unrepentant members of the KKK or some ultra-right group, the media would have been all over them. The only thing they can dig up is the farcical TrooperGate - over Palin's alleged involvement of the sacking of a trooper who tasered his 11 year old child.

September 21, 2008 at 11:02 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

I linked to your site with my latest post.


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November 23, 2009 at 8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there is a big absence of the mp5 clips "then and now" of dohrn and ayers. I was disappointed.

October 10, 2010 at 9:50 PM  

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