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Putting On Ayers

Wow. My article on William Ayers yesterday struck quite a few nerves. I wonder why...

The criticisms in the comments were quite enlightening, and I think it might be fun to address them.

They fell into several categories:

1) "The election is over, Obama won, so why bring this up?"

B) "What about G. Gordon Liddy?"

III) "They never killed anyone but themselves with their bombs!"

There were others, but those were the main ones that stuck out as (marginally) worthy of rebutting.

1) My loathing of Ayers is utterly independent of his relationship with Barack Obama. If anything, I am grateful to our president-elect for helping the nation remember that this vile thug is not only still alive, still free, but still proud of his crimes.

Obama's election was not a referendum on the guilt or innocence of William Ayers. In his own words, he was "guilty as hell" of the crimes with which he was charged. And those crimes, by today's standards, are clearly terrorist in nature.

Ayers never served a day in prison by a legal technicality -- he was not found innocent, the prosecutors broke laws and rules in their pursuit of him. Under our system of laws, that meant he and his wife went free.

But they were never innocent. Not then, not now.

B) Ah, G. Gordon Liddy. It's a lot more convenient for Ayers' apologists to compare him with Liddy than someone who fits considerably better, like Timothy McVeigh. But there are significant differences between Liddy and Ayers:

-- Liddy was found guilty and served his sentence. He paid his debt to society for his crimes.Ayers skated.

-- Liddy was never charged with a violent crime -- he was convicted of conspiracy, burglary, and wiretapping. Ayers was charged with direct involvement with three bombings -- and boasts of it.

-- Liddy is currently a talk-show host. Ayers is an employee of the State of Illinois, serving as a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In other words, Liddy holds no position of public trust and respect; Ayers does.

III) Yes, most of the Weather Underground bombings didn't hurt anyone and they did issue warnings. But that was not entirely by design.

As I noted, they firebombed the home of a judge in the middle of the night, where the judge's family slept. And in the case of the New York townhouse explosion, the group was preparing a nail bomb -- one designed specifically to kill and maim people, not damage property -- to be used at an enlisted men's dance at a nearby Army base.

In both cases, the lack of innocent deaths was not by design, but by incompetence.

In that earlier piece, I alluded to calling William Ayers "evil," but didn't quite say it. I'd like to correct that now.

William Ayers is evil. In his youth, he committed acts of terrorism that should have put him behind bars for years. And since then he has shown absolutely no repentance. On the contrary, his is proud of those evil deeds and insists that he is simply carrying out the same ideals today, but through more acceptable means.

The man belongs behind bars. He does not deserve a paycheck from Illinois taxpayers and the position of trust and power and influence that he holds.

And he certainly ought not to be in a position to teach and guide our youth.


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Comments (52)

Hypocrite also comes to min... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Hypocrite also comes to mind. Must be nice living in a tony neighborhood. Probably moving his money around right now to insure that he doesn't have 'to share the wealth'.

William Ayers and hi... (Below threshold)
Larry:


William Ayers and his wife were saved from prison by the incompetence of those investigating.

William Ayers and his wife were rehabilitated back into Chicago (And Educational) society by two factors:

Thomas Ayers (father) was then the political Godfather of politics in Chicago and Illinois.

Educators are quick to forgive and forget left wing radicals.

Sometimes I just want to hurl. Daddy's money and a bunch of radical educators who don't get it is just too much.

What is Ayers problem??? W... (Below threshold)
mag:

What is Ayers problem??? Why all the hate???
When I think of good people in uniform dead and this sack of crap still alive it makes me wonder what is God thinking.

PS: Both him and is wife are ugly as their sins.

Sgt. Brian V. McDonnell... (Below threshold)

Sgt. Brian V. McDonnell

I've read/heard these stand... (Below threshold)
Captain America:

I've read/heard these standard rebuttals on Ayers from the Left for weeks now. They are, quite frankly, boorish and unsubstantial.

He's going to <a href="http... (Below threshold)
mantis:

He's going to talk at Georgetown Law next week. Maybe you could drive down and give him a piece of your mind. That'll surely do the trick.

"Boorish"? Really? That's w... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

"Boorish"? Really? That's what bothers you about those who are disinterested in Ayers?

As to why your article touc... (Below threshold)

As to why your article touched some nerves, I think there may actually be some sense of shame left and they don't want to be reminded that the guy they voted for has ties to this POS. Like it or not, at some point people who voted for Obama will have to come to grips that Ayers had some part in forming Obama into the man and politician he currently is.

Jay TeaYou are pro... (Below threshold)
James:

Jay Tea

You are probably correct in your analysis of Ayers. But, why the preoccupation with just him. There are lots of people in positions where they shouldn't be.

Obviously you are bored! Writer's block.

Take the rest of the year off!

Wow. My article on Willi... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Wow. My article on William Ayers yesterday struck quite a few nerves. I wonder why...

It didn't strike any nerves. It was just a really good setup for a whole lot of punchlines. When you lob a ball of idiocy over your head like that, you should expect a few people to come by and take some smacks at it.

to me a terrorist is not so... (Below threshold)
peabody3000:

to me a terrorist is not someone who merely destroys government property, while always giving advance warning to all people to stay clear, as weather underground did. that is more like a vandal. not exactly evil

this has become a critical issue for neocons though. if they cant call him a terrorist, they cant call him evil, and if they cant call him evil, well then the entire GOP-neocon campaign against obama would have to have been a manipulative sham

as to the allegation that ayers was close to obama, well theyll keep repeating that lie and using words like "evil" and "mentor" to a public that doesnt take their allegations seriously anymore

oh, nerves are getting touched alright... neocon nerves!

Totally agree with you. Whe... (Below threshold)
political junkie:

Totally agree with you. When I watched the 90 minute 2002 weather undeground documentary (any doubters can watch it on you tube in 9 parts) my thought was not ONLY about "how could Obama start his career in this guy's living room?" but rather my thought was "Why is this guy not in jail and why in the world are him and his wife both teaching our young people?"

Too bad we can't do to them as they wanted to do to "us." Put them in a concentration camp in the south as they wanted to do to reprogram us; and for those from the far left that can't be "reprogramed," just "eliminate" them, as they wanted to do to 25 million americans.

As our tax dollars support these sewers spitting out their waste, then we wonder why our youth are confused and think we are the enemy, and the enemy are the good guys.

"to me a terrorist is not s... (Below threshold)

"to me a terrorist is not someone who merely destroys government property, while always giving advance warning to all people to stay clear, as weather underground did. that is more like a vandal. not exactly evil"

Sgt. Brian V. McDonnell

Re: "to me a terrorist is n... (Below threshold)
Hank:

Re: "to me a terrorist is not someone who merely destroys government property, while always giving advance warning to all people to stay clear, as weather underground did. that is more like a vandal. not exactly evil"

Then how about this?

on Sept. 23, 1970, a decorated police officer named Walter Schroeder was shot in the back by members of Ayer's group. The killer, Lefty Gilday, along with fellow radicals Susan Sax and Katherine Power, used weapons they had stolen after they bombed and torched a Massachusetts National Guard armory in Newburyport.

Still feel the same?

yeah i read about sgt mcdon... (Below threshold)
peabody3000:

yeah i read about sgt mcdonnell. its a case that was never solved. it doesnt fit the weather underground pattern and i dont think any real evidence of w.e. involvement ever emerged. maybe it will someday and that would be a game-changer where ayers guilt is concerned. as of today though i consider the guy a vandal

B) Ah, G. Gordon Liddy. ... (Below threshold)
Tim:

B) Ah, G. Gordon Liddy. It's a lot more convenient for Ayers' apologists to compare him with Liddy than someone who fits considerably better, like Timothy McVeigh. But there are significant differences between Liddy and Ayers:

Speaking of McVeigh, the left tried to tie him to people like Rush Limbaugh, and conservatives in general. Last I saw, Rush never met the guy, never worked on social policy with him, or started his radio career in McVeigh's living room.

hank - thats a tragic story... (Below threshold)
peabody3000:

hank - thats a tragic story, the guy had nine kids. even though the killers belonged to the w.e. i wouldnt assume without evidence that the w.e. planned the heist rather than the perpetrators themselves. some evidence there would again be a game-changer

there was plenty of radicalism during the vietnam era on the left or the right. it was another unjust war and students were being shot at and drafted by their own government. in radical times like those i dont consider casual associations with radicals by itself to be automatically damning. if it were, that would be bad news for mccain and every other bigtime politician to come down the pike

The testimony was given ... (Below threshold)

The testimony was given by Grathwohl to the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee on October 18, 1974. He testified:

"When he [Bill Ayers] returned, we had another meeting at which time―and this is the only time that any Weathermen told me about something that someone else had done―and Bill started off telling us about the need to raise the level of the struggle and for stronger leadership inside the Weathermen 'focals' [i.e., cells] and inside the Weatherman organization as a whole. And he cited as one of the real problems was that someone like Bernardine Dohrn had to plan, develop and carry out the bombing of the police station in San Francisco, and he specifically named her as the person that committed that act."

Grathwohl added that Ayers "said that the bomb was placed on the window ledge and he described the kind of bomb that was used to the extent of saying what kind of shrapnel was used in it."

He was asked, "Did he say who placed the bomb on the window ledge?" He replied, "Bernardine Dohrn."

Asked if Ayers said that he had personally witnessed Dohrn placing the bomb, Grathwohl responded, "Well, if he wasn't there to see it, somebody who was there told him about it, because he stated it very emphatically."

Translation - Ayers confessed that it was his group that killed McDonnell - specifically, his wife. You just keep on playing Cleopatra though if that helps you sleep at night.

William Ayers ag... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:


William Ayers agenda remains unchanged, it's simply being pursued sans explosives.

peabody, is there any</i... (Below threshold)
Occam's Beard:

peabody, is there any despicable act by a leftist that you won't defend? Any at all?

It's a serious question.

occam - thats a really weir... (Below threshold)
peabody3000:

occam - thats a really weird question since i havent defended ayers or anyone else

yeah, ayers was definitely an unsavory character in the 60s. as far as what is officially attributed to the w.e. i dont think he comes near to qualifying as a terrorist. the FBI informant statement could be worthy of investigation if its reliable and hasnt already been debunked, as many FBI informants are. maybe tomorrow some new truth shall be revealed to change that but today i only know what we all know, except without the gross exaggerations

i have no big problem with the fact that many republicans and democrats sat on various public policy boards with ayers. the system didnt break down after all, and there are probably many worse than him participating in it anyway

occam -- so there's your an... (Below threshold)

occam -- so there's your answer right there. Ayers wasn't so bad, he was merely "unsavory", but hey, the FBI never proved anything definitive, so who's to say?

Ayers is a balless anti-Ame... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

Ayers is a balless anti-American lefty mouth, who hyped up retards to do his dirty work.
We will NEVER forget what he is, thanks Jay Tea.

(rolls eyes) I guess the 911 jerkoffs were just lost tourists taking flying lessons in difficult times, so their radical actions can be excused.

"times like those i don't consider casual associations with radicals by itself to be automatically damning."

Keep defending pieces of SHIT Peabody3000, and you show that YOU are one as well.


Stalin died in agony, unten... (Below threshold)

Stalin died in agony, untended in a back room. Castro died bleeding from the rectum, in agony, after months of increasing suffering.

Then, they stood before their God and answered for their crimes.

Ayers may enjoy all the corrupt treats that our civilization can provide, but someday he, too, will be a dying man in a back room, and he, too, will have to face his Maker. For that, I pity that evil creature.

knight - i havent defended ... (Below threshold)
peabody3000:

knight - i havent defended ayers, but i do refuse to buy into the dumb exaggerations

Oh, well THAT puts my mind ... (Below threshold)

Oh, well THAT puts my mind at ease. When people go around bombing homes and buildings and some people are "accidentally" killed, they're just "vandals".

Peabody, you actually get worse each day. I didn't think it was possible, but hey....

oyster - i know what a lync... (Below threshold)
peabody3000:

oyster - i know what a lynchpin this ayers nonsense is in the neocon platform, but accidental deaths dont make someone a terrorist. im not going to defend ayers but the dumb exaggerations helped get mccain a ticket back to arizona, and barbie palin tagged and released back into the alaskan wild

pssst frazzetta... i dont t... (Below threshold)
peabody3000:

pssst frazzetta... i dont think castro is dead actually. fact-checking is a good thing

Yeah, I was going to ask, w... (Below threshold)

Yeah, I was going to ask, when did Castro die?

oh and please dont accuse m... (Below threshold)
peabody3000:

oh and please dont accuse me of defending castro now..... im just sayin... the dudes still alive.......

=]

Peebody, the right did not ... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Peebody, the right did not invent Ayers. He did what he did on his own. What exagerations? He wrote books stating his purpose. You defend the indefensible. I do not know what else to think except Obama is the Prince of Bill Ayers.

ok, then what am i defendin... (Below threshold)
peabody3000:

ok, then what am i defending? the only real exaggeration im making a point of is calling him a terrorist. a former criminal and radical for sure, but i dont consider someone who destroys govt property, while warning people to evacuate, to have been a terrorist

and the only reason the distiction makes any difference in the first place is the near-comical campaign blurb about obama palling around with terrorists. but then again your "prince of bill ayers" blurb is way sillier...lol... hoo boy

So why didn't you guys stop... (Below threshold)
Jonny Q:

So why didn't you guys stop him, jeez, may be cuz you were just a bunch of retard nerds at the time no?

Just messing with you.... (Below threshold)
Jonny Q.:

Just messing with you.

So what political party are... (Below threshold)
jonny Q:

So what political party are you affiliated with, I want to know which party wastes their talking about these things, j/k.

I meant to say waste their ... (Below threshold)
Jonny Q.:

I meant to say waste their times, i bet some of youdidn't brush tour teeth this morning eh? j/k.

Peabody, accidental deaths ... (Below threshold)
Tim:

Peabody, accidental deaths are one thing, accidental deaths when the bombs you are building to kill people go off too soon are quite another. And let's not forget the policemen and security guard killed by the Weathermen 'radicals' who robbed a Brinks truck to fund their 'activism' and 'community organizing'.

Peabody,The WU bombe... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Peabody,
The WU bombed people's homes, too, not just government buildings. Last I checked, Brinks isn't part of the government...
But hey, I'm sure you'll find a way to excuse anything. Ends and means and all that rot, eh comrade?

Peabody, So if a ... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

Peabody,

So if a group plans to explode a nail bomb to kill American soldiers and there dates at dance. The when rescue workers come to help the dead and wounded they explode another one. In order to
in order to


"bring the war home" and "give the United States and the rest of the world a sense that this country was going to be completely unlivable if the United States continued in Vietnam."

So that was not terrorist plot they are just vandals.
Luckily they were incompetent and killed themselves in that plot. It was because they killed there own that they went underground and gave warnings but if innocent people died Ayers said people died in war.

as to the allegat... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:
as to the allegation that ayers was close to obama, well they'll keep repeating that lie and using words like "evil" and "mentor" to a public that doesnt take their allegations seriously anymore

Ayers now calls Obamma Family Friend

Funny that the media did not want to interview Ayers during the election but now they cannot wait. So I guess it not only Jay who still has an interest in him.

again, dont confuse by the ... (Below threshold)
peabody3000:

again, dont confuse by the desire for clear facts (which are in many cases here lacking) with defending any of the actions that took place. of course killing a father of 9 policeman is indefensible, but its also a murder that hasnt been solved. the FBI informant affidavit if its genuine isnt by at all conclusive since affidavits are often coerced or cajoled. so i want to know more about that before making determinations. robbing brinks trucks and killing people is wrong, donchaknowit, but we dont know if ayers had anything at all to do with that, or that the w.e. sanctioned it, even if the perpetrators were members of the w.e.

and if it one day turns out hes guilty of all the above, which he may or may not be, it still doesnt reflect on barack obama any more than it does on the multitudes of republicans and democrats ayers worked just as closely with over the years

Ayers proves how sick a cer... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Ayers proves how sick a certain part of society is; the self-loathing, the hatred, and blind adherence to an empty ideology.

And worse, to take no notice of the connection with the President-elect.

The delusions are so strong on the Left, they can't bring themselves to see the moral poverty of their acts, words, associations.

Pathetic people.

peabody3000, you are a comp... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

peabody3000, you are a complete and utter fool.
What nonsense. Ayers confessed to murders and bombings because he can't be prosecuted.

He said he wished he'd done more bombings.

You're inability to grasp basic facts demonstrates the delusion on the Left when it comes to "just radicals" and Obama.

You really are beyond shame; if you knew how really creepy and stupid you sound, you'd shut up, but that would be wishing for too much from you, obviously.

Jesus Christ.

to me a terrorist is not... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

to me a terrorist is not someone who merely destroys government property, while always giving advance warning to all people to stay clear, as weather underground did.

What. The. Fuck?

Hello?! The IRA issued warnings all the time, and they are certainly terrorists...and they have killed innocents all over N Ireland and Britain.

Perhaps peabody meant to de... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Perhaps peabody meant to delineate between terrorists who seek to kill to further their agenda--Al Qaeda--and people who blow stuff up to remind people that they're unhappy about something. Whoever it is in Greece that's always blowing up shops after hours and almost never hurting anybody would be a decent example. We can empathize with some terrorists, even those who seek to kill or maim to further their objectives. The IRA were not evil. Those who use fear to drive out a tyrannical occupation are fighting for freedom, using terror.

They're still terrorists, though, unless you're prepared to argue that they weren't trying to terrorize anybody in the most literal sense of the word.

Burning a cross on someone's lawn makes you a terrorist, as far as I'm concerned. Fear can be an effective psychological weapon, or it can backfire with repercussions that the terrorist is not prepared to deal with. The justification depends on a) what your cause is; and b) whether or not it's reasonable to expect that innocent people could be harmed by your actions, and that you've taken all precautions to mitigate against such harms. However, arguing over whether or not the Weather Underground were terrorists is ridiculous: by the very definition of the word, they were. Now you can argue over whether or not their actions were justified--and you'll lose that argument, because blowing things up to express dissatisfaction with a war is patently retarded--or you can find something more reasonable to argue about.

hyperbolist There ... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

hyperbolist

There Fort Dix bombingin 1970 was to be two fold the first bomb was pipe bomb they would explode and then when rescue workers arrived they would explode a nail bomb. They screwed up and killed three of their own. After that lost they changed their tactics. They wanted to murder American soldiers and their dates.

Aeyers in an interview talked of killing 25 Mil Americans.

One fundamental flaw humanity has is not be believe that evil exist. We think that because people are intelligent, charming, well spoken that they could not really be evil. History has shown peasant to king all have the capacity. The caricatures of rabid foaming at the mouth evil can be well hidden.


The IRA were evil - drug-ru... (Below threshold)
o.u.:

The IRA were evil - drug-running, pimping, extortion, protection scams, violence and murder were their day-to-day operations. They relied on terror to control their own 'people' too.

peabody3000: "again, dont c... (Below threshold)
o.u.:

peabody3000: "again, dont confuse by the desire for clear facts (which are in many cases here lacking) with defending any of the actions that took place. of course killing a father of 9 policeman is indefensible, but its also a murder that hasnt been solved. the FBI informant affidavit if its genuine isnt by at all conclusive since affidavits are often coerced or cajoled. so i want to know more about that before making determinations. robbing brinks trucks and killing people is wrong, donchaknowit, but we dont know if ayers had anything at all to do with that, or that the w.e. sanctioned it, even if the perpetrators were members of the w.e."

peabody3000, it's clear that you're not interested in the facts.
If Ayer's prosecution had not fallen through because of a technicality (unsanctioned wiretapping), the prosecution's case would have been overwhelming.

Ayers has admitted his guilt, and his part in the bombings.

Hey, I wasn't suggesting th... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Hey, I wasn't suggesting that Ayers isn't guilty of intending to kill innocent people (morally, if not legally). I was trying to be as charitable as possible towards peabody, who seemed to suggest the possibility that the Weather Underground weren't even terrorists. Even if they had never intended to kill another person, they would still be terrorists. Like I said, burning a cross on a lawn or spray painting a Swastika on someone's garage door is an act of terror.

o.u., you're right, I picked a bad example. The Basques might be a better one, or perhaps the American colonials who fought the British army in the 1700s or the French and Dutch resistance of WW II.

Barack Obama pal is an enem... (Below threshold)
Steve Rogers:

Barack Obama pal is an enemy, too
BY JOHN M. MURTAGH
Wednesday, April 30th 2008, 4:00 AM
During the April 16 debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, moderator George Stephanopoulos brought up "a gentleman named William Ayers," who "was part of the Weather Underground in the 1970s. They bombed the Pentagon, the Capitol and other buildings. He's never apologized for that." Stephanopoulos then asked Obama to explain his relationship with Ayers. Obama's answer: "The notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8 years old, somehow reflects on me and my values, doesn't make much sense, George." Obama was indeed only 8 in early 1970. I was only 9 then, the year Ayers' Weathermen tried to murder me.
In February 1970, my father, a New York State Supreme Court justice, was presiding over the trial of the so-called "Panther 21," members of the Black Panther Party indicted in a plot to bomb New York landmarks and department stores. Early on the morning of Feb. 21, as my family slept, three gasoline-filled firebombs exploded at our home on the northern tip of Manhattan, two at the front door and the third tucked neatly under the gas tank of the family car.
I still recall, as though it were a dream, thinking that someone was lifting and dropping my bed as the explosions jolted me awake, and I remember my mother pulling me from the tangle of sheets and running to the kitchen where my father stood. Through the large windows overlooking the yard, all we could see was the bright glow of flames below. We didn't leave our burning house for fear of who might be waiting outside. The same night, bombs were thrown at a police car in Manhattan and two military recruiting stations in Brooklyn. Sunlight, the next morning, revealed three sentences of blood-red graffiti on our sidewalk: Free the Panther 21; The Viet Cong have won; Kill the pigs.
For the next 18 months, I went to school in an unmarked police car. My mother, a schoolteacher, had plainclothes detectives waiting in the faculty lounge all day. My brother saved a few bucks because he didn't have to rent a limo for the senior prom: The NYPD did the driving.
In many ways, the enormity of the attempt to kill my entire family didn't fully hit me until years later, when, a father myself, I was tucking my own 9-year-old John Murtagh into bed.
Though no one was ever caught or tried for the attempt on my family's life, there was never any doubt who was behind it.Only a few weeks after the attack, the New York contingent of the Weathermen blew themselves up making more bombs in a Greenwich Village townhouse.
As the association between Obama and Ayers came to light, it would have helped the senator a little if his friend had at least shown some remorse.
Nobody should hold the junior senator from Illinois responsible for his friends' and supporters' violent terrorist acts. But it is fair to hold him responsible for a startling lack of judgment in his choice of mentors, associates and friends, and for showing a callous disregard for the lives they damaged and the hatred they have demonstrated for this country.
It is fair, too, to ask what those choices say about Obama's own beliefs, his philosophy and the direction he would take our nation.
At the conclusion of his 2001 Times interview, Ayers said of hisupbringing and subsequent radicalization: "I was a child of privilege and I woke up to a world on fire."
Funny thing, Bill: One night, so did I.
John M. Murtagh is an attorney, an adjunct professor of public policy at the Fordham University College of Liberal Studies and a member of the city council in Yonkers. A longer version of this appears on www.city-journal.org .

So, if the World Trade Cent... (Below threshold)
Shurock:

So, if the World Trade Center towers were empty, that would not have been terrorism?

Ayers didn't kill anyone? ... (Below threshold)
Thomas Jackson:

Ayers didn't kill anyone? There were at least three dead. Perhaps one of the leftwingnuts can tell me why you build bombs with roofing nails if you don't intend to kill people?




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