ID:49187
 
Keywords: politics
In comments on this blog, on multiple occasions, people have said in some form that what Bill Ayers did as a terrorist was a long time ago, doesn't apply to him now, and he's a respected educator these days.

For now, let's forget about any Obama connection and just delve into this question of whether Ayers has atoned for his crimes. And let's not forget to include Ayers' wife and partner in terrorism, Bernadine Dohrn. We'll go chronologically, to see how the thinking of this American couple has developed.

Here is Bernadine in 1969, when, per David Horowitz in his book The Professors, she has this to say (emphasis mine):

At a 1969 "War Council in Flint, Michigan, Dohrn gave her most memorable and notorious speech to her followers. Holding her fingers in what became the Weatherman "fork salute", she said of the bloody murders recently commited by the Manson Family in which the pregnant actress Sharon Tate and a Folgers coffee heiress and several other inhabitants of a Benedict Canyon mansion were brutally stabbed to death: "Dig it! First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them. They even shoved a fork into the victim's stomach! Wild!" The victim of the fork attack was Sharon Tate. The "War Council" ended with a formal declaration of war against "AmeriKKKa," always spelled with three K's.


As documented on her Wikipedia page, her husband has said she was being ironic. But about this, Horowitz says:

"In 1980 I taped interviews with thirty members of the Weather Underground who were present at the Flint War Council, including most of its leadership. Not one of them thought Dohrn was anything but deadly serious".


In 1970, per the New York Times, Ayers was said to sum up the Weatherman [terrorist group] philosophy as:

"Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, kill your parents, that's where it's really at."


Ayers now says that was "a joke". Around the time he made that joke, he was involved in bombing the NY City Police Headquarters, the Capital, the Pentagon, and around a dozen other locations.

Funny stuff. Can't imagine why his statement would be taken seriously.

But that was a long time ago, for both of them. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and see what they had to say as mature adults.

Here is what Ayers and his charming wife had to say to Connie Chung in 1998...a time when the planning for 9/11 was probably underway by some other terrorists:



For the video-phobic, a transcript:

Connie Chung: "A lot of people out there are probably saying, 'I would love to hear them say we were young, we were idealistic, we were foolish and we were probably stupid; we made mistakes and we're sorry about it. We're grown up now."

Bill Ayers: "I would say we were young, we were idealistic, we were romantic, we were foolish, we made mistakes, and I would do..."

Bernadine Dohrn: "And we'd do it again. I wish that we'd done more. I wish we'd been more militant. I wish a lot of things. But taken as a whole, we were so lucky to be born into that moment in history."

Aren't they such a cute couple?

A couple of years later, Bill Ayers did that interview in the New York Times, which happened to run on the morning of 9/11/2001, which relates the following:

"I don't regret setting bombs,'' Bill Ayers said. ''I feel we didn't do enough."


Would he do it all again?

"I don't want to discount the possibility," he said.


But hey, 1998 and 2001 were a long time ago. Maybe one of them has grown up now?

Here Bernadine is a year ago, November 30, 2007:



"My experience traveling the last ten years has been that the majority of people who are activists have stayed the course in a way, in a variety of ways, devoted to overthrowing everything hateful about this government and corporate structure that we live in; capitalism itself, herself, himself, and determined to try to keep open and figure out how to move on...

We who are, as we used to say, in the belly of the beast, it again means not that it's the only purveyor of violence in the world, but that we have an extraordinary special responsibility, not necessarily the most enviable one, of how to act here, inside the heart of the monster."


Maybe one day she and her husband will finally get their way, and find a way to overthrow capitalism and kill the beast, the monster, that is America.

HT: Hot Air and iperceive...
In all fairness, she said that they want to "overthrow everything hateful about this government" *not* "overthrow this government". She could be referring to corruption and those exact words would apply! She further goes on to criticize the system for being a purveyor of violence and that they were wrong about a number of things.

That being said, given her background, it is a poor choice of words at best. I bet she is still very angry at some things. But that's okay- we don't need thought police. One can have different, even radical ideas. It depends on what one does with them. What they did with them four decades ago was wrong. Speaking on TV and at some speeches decrying US imperialism doesn't seem too bad. I mean I wouldn't want to hang out with them on the weekends or anything!

Do you have these same issues with Palin's ties to the AIP through her husband? Because if one's associates may not be allowed radical opinions it would follow that one could certainly not have them oneself!
Deadron. Laura Bush has directly killed more people than Ayers had.

Remember, the Abortion-clinic bombers, Timothy McVeigh, and Jim Adkisson were fervent supporters of the Republican party.

Remember that the board that Ayers and Obama were on was started by Reagan's Best Friend

Seriously, I don't get why you are being Utterly dense about this, Its not like they had huge meetings about how to kill whitey, According to everyone else on the board, Obama and Ayers barely knew each other, but no, that isn't good enough for you is it?

Seriously, I don't see why people are latching on to the "Obama is a big scary black man" narrative that McCain is pushing.

Seriously. of all the non-issues you could have blogged about, you picked the stalest, most asinine one? You do realize that Sarah Palin was found guilty of Abuse of Power in Alaska, firing Monegan for personal reasons?

You honestly disgust me right now, When McCain's financial advisor helped push us into this mess, and calls Americans "Whiners", You are just fine with it, but GOD FORBID, the Democratic candidate gets the same softball treatment, you have to go over a non-relationship from years back by a guy whose last attack on anything was when Obama was 8, and you were never born.

Remember, Al-Quaeda's beliefs are much closer inline with the Republican party's than the Democrats.
Venom Development wrote:
Deadron. Laura Bush has directly killed more people than Ayers had.

Remember, the Abortion-clinic bombers, Timothy McVeigh, and Jim Adkisson were fervent supporters of the Republican party.

Dude, if you're going to try to participate in an intelligent discussion, at least try not to say things that are blatantly dumb. Do you even know what "directly" means? Are you saying Laura Bush actively blew up buildings and shot up churches? Are you saying that anyone who claims to support your political party is by definition fully endorsed by you? Or perhaps you said that with a dash of sarcasm, implying that it's foolish to suggest the same by bringing up the Ayers issue--only difference is, Obama chose to work with Ayers.

Seriously, I don't get why you are being Utterly dense about this, Its not like they had huge meetings about how to kill whitey, According to everyone else on the board, Obama and Ayers barely knew each other, but no, that isn't good enough for you is it?

Not when it isn't the truth. Obama and Ayers have had a long and fairly close working history. Obama's political career was launched in Ayers' living room. This is documented fact. None of this of course is to suggest Obama is a terrorist or condones terrorism, but it's rather a bad lack of judgment to associate so strongly with someone who committed horrible acts and would willingly do it again.

Seriously. of all the non-issues you could have blogged about, you picked the stalest, most asinine one? You do realize that Sarah Palin was found guilty of Abuse of Power in Alaska, firing Monegan for personal reasons?

I take it you missed the post with the Mike Gravel interview, where he defended Palin's actions. Gravel, a Democrat who campaigned for the Presidency. He said, firmly, Wooten shouldn't have been wearing a badge and that's the end of it. I find the panel's findings on the issue questionable, and to be frank this is at worst far less of an abuse of power than what we see in the realm of Congressional earmarks on literally a daily basis. The idea that a politian maybe exercising a little muscle on behalf of family while also getting a rogue officer deservedly dismissed is somehow worse than openly accepting a domestic terrorist into your circle of friends is ridiculous.

You honestly disgust me right now, When McCain's financial advisor helped push us into this mess, and calls Americans "Whiners", You are just fine with it, but GOD FORBID, the Democratic candidate gets the same softball treatment, you have to go over a non-relationship from years back by a guy whose last attack on anything was when Obama was 8, and you were never born.

Neither Obama nor McCain has been a winner on the economic issue, just to be clear. But to be just as clear, the Ayers issue is not a "non-relationship". He and Obama worked closely together for quite some time and have had more than passing acquaintance. Whether you approve of that relationship or not is your own business, but to deny it existed is to ignore the facts. Some people are just okay with treating Ayers' and Dohrn's past as some extremist extension of radical '60s protests--but where those people can get off airing their disgust for someone who has a problem with murder, I have no idea.

Remember, Al-Quaeda's beliefs are much closer inline with the Republican party's than the Democrats.

I know this may come as a shock to you, but the Republican party and the KKK are not in fact the same organization, nor does the former condone the latter. And heck, even the latter probably has some respect for women, which al Qaeda sure doesn't. If you're going to resort to bad sterotypes, I highly recommend choosing some from the top of the barrel.
"Al-Quaeda's beliefs are much closer inline..."

Oh god this is why I have such a problem voting for Democratic candidates, their followers are just so fucking stupid.

Al Qaeda targets videos at liberals in the US all the time, capitalizing on their fears of globalization and free trade.

Just because one group is religious and another group is religious doesn't mean they're the same - religions have been massacring each other by the thousands for as long as they've existed.

Like really, where do you get off saying stuff like this?
Worldweaver wrote:
"Al-Quaeda's beliefs are much closer inline..."

Oh god this is why I have such a problem voting for Democratic candidates, their followers are just so fucking stupid.

Al Qaeda targets videos at liberals in the US all the time, capitalizing on their fears of globalization and free trade.

Just because one group is religious and another group is religious doesn't mean they're the same - religions have been massacring each other by the thousands for as long as they've existed.

Like really, where do you get off saying stuff like this?

Al-Queda is heavily Socially conservative, and look down on the Western world for being too liberal.
Lummox JR wrote:
Venom Development wrote:
Deadron. Laura Bush has directly killed more people than Ayers had.

Remember, the Abortion-clinic bombers, Timothy McVeigh, and Jim Adkisson were fervent supporters of the Republican party.

Dude, if you're going to try to participate in an intelligent discussion, at least try not to say things that are blatantly dumb. Do you even know what "directly" means? Are you saying Laura Bush actively blew up buildings and shot up churches? Are you saying that anyone who claims to support your political party is by definition fully endorsed by you? Or perhaps you said that with a dash of sarcasm, implying that it's foolish to suggest the same by bringing up the Ayers issue--only difference is, Obama chose to work with Ayers.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/bush/laura.asp

Ayers himself never killed anyone... One Weatherman was said to have killed a cop, and 3 were blown up from a bomb they were making, but Ayers himself has never killed anyone.


Seriously, I don't get why you are being Utterly dense about this, Its not like they had huge meetings about how to kill whitey, According to everyone else on the board, Obama and Ayers barely knew each other, but no, that isn't good enough for you is it?

Not when it isn't the truth. Obama and Ayers have had a long and fairly close working history. Obama's political career was launched in Ayers' living room. This is documented fact. None of this of course is to suggest Obama is a terrorist or condones terrorism, but it's rather a bad lack of judgment to associate so strongly with someone who committed horrible acts and would willingly do it again.

Senator Inhofe willingly supports abortion-doctor-killers, so I don't see why you guys don't apply the same standards, when Inhofe comes out and agrees with them, and the best you have on Obama is some shadow-conspiracy where Obama is the Communist/Terrorist/Devil who is working with Ayers to destroy America.

Seriously. of all the non-issues you could have blogged about, you picked the stalest, most asinine one? You do realize that Sarah Palin was found guilty of Abuse of Power in Alaska, firing Monegan for personal reasons?

I take it you missed the post with the Mike Gravel interview, where he defended Palin's actions. Gravel, a Democrat who campaigned for the Presidency. He said, firmly, Wooten shouldn't have been wearing a badge and that's the end of it. I find the panel's findings on the issue questionable, and to be frank this is at worst far less of an abuse of power than what we see in the realm of Congressional earmarks on literally a daily basis. The idea that a politian maybe exercising a little muscle on behalf of family while also getting a rogue officer deservedly dismissed is somehow worse than openly accepting a domestic terrorist into your circle of friends is ridiculous.

She didn't fire Wooten. She fired Walt Monegan. Also, did you not miss the actual report?

"For the reasons explained in section IV of this report, I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) provides"


You honestly disgust me right now, When McCain's financial advisor helped push us into this mess, and calls Americans "Whiners", You are just fine with it, but GOD FORBID, the Democratic candidate gets the same softball treatment, you have to go over a non-relationship from years back by a guy whose last attack on anything was when Obama was 8, and you were never born.

Neither Obama nor McCain has been a winner on the economic issue, just to be clear. But to be just as clear, the Ayers issue is not a "non-relationship". He and Obama worked closely together for quite some time and have had more than passing acquaintance. Whether you approve of that relationship or not is your own business, but to deny it existed is to ignore the facts. Some people are just okay with treating Ayers' and Dohrn's past as some extremist extension of radical '60s protests--but where those people can get off airing their disgust for someone who has a problem with murder, I have no idea.

Yep, Bombing unoccupied Buildings is much worse than say.... Bombing a random Iraqi wedding, yeah, you really have the morally superior position here.


Remember, Al-Quaeda's beliefs are much closer inline with the Republican party's than the Democrats.

I know this may come as a shock to you, but the Republican party and the KKK are not in fact the same organization, nor does the former condone the latter. And heck, even the latter probably has some respect for women, which al Qaeda sure doesn't. If you're going to resort to bad sterotypes, I highly recommend choosing some from the top of the barrel.

Al-Quaeda hates America because it is too socially Liberal for them... Seems the Republicans do too these days.
Well, I'm out. There's pretty much no chance of having a reasonable discussion of ethical issues with a True Believer in moral equivalence. Car accident = planting bombs is way past the point where logic gets off the train.
Lummox JR wrote:
Well, I'm out. There's pretty much no chance of having a reasonable discussion of ethical issues with a True Believer in moral equivalence. Car accident = planting bombs is way past the point where logic gets off the train.

You called him a murderer when he wasn't responsible for any deaths save possibly the three members of the Weathermen who died to their own faulty bomb.

If you want a moral equivalence, Obama is no more guilty for Ayer's crimes than you are for the deaths of any given civilian casualty in Iraq.

Do I think Ayers was right? Hell no. But making this a sticking point against Obama is retarded, but then again, You honestly have nothing else against Obama, so you guys are sticking to this point for dear life.

Rezko was tried and jailed, No evidence was found of Obama participating in illigal activities.

Jerimiah Wright was crazy, but Palin's Preacher speaks out against Jews and believes in Witches.

The "Tax/Spend" Democrats have a smaller projected deficit than the Republicans, and Obama's Tax plan Allows lower-Middle class families to breathe easier.

To respond to everybody at once:

In this post I was making no reference to Obama or what we should think of his association with them. I was simply refuting any claims that these people either were not terrorists or are now respectable and reformed members of society.

They continue to believe what they did was right and that they should have done more, and perhaps no other Americans in modern history have been so forthright as to make that clear in unambiguous terms on national television.

I think this is interesting history (I've read numerous books and watched numerous documentaries on all this sort of thing, long before the current election cycle).

I think it is perfectly valid to say, "Yes they were terrorists, yes they are unrepentant, no that has nothing to do with Obama."

It's NOT valid to say they weren't terrorists or that they've reformed their views. So I just wanted to get that on the table. In fact, this should help people arguing for Obama: Don't base your arguments on the idea they are reformed, or you'll get egg on your face!

Longer than I've paid attention to politics I've been engaged in mythbusting through skeptical activities and writing, and for me this is mythbusting.

As for whether associates should be allowed to have radical opinions, I can't respond to that without further pulling this thread away from the factual questions about Ayers and his wife, so I'll cover that elsewhere.

Worldweaver: I'm on the edge of deleting your comment, as it almost directly insults another commenter in an ad hominem fashion and does not lend itself to furthering civil discussion. Please feel free to express your opinions here, but do so without engaging in name calling.

I may disagree with Venom, but he tends to stick to the issues and avoid name calling here (now if I could just get him to argue with stuff I've actually said, we'd be getting somewhere!)
I can actually agree with that Deadron, I don't like Ayers, and think what he did was deplorable, however, people in recent American history have done much worse, considering one of the things Ayers believed was not killing.

I don't agree that Ayers should have any impact in this election, as he has not only done nothing illegal long before and after meeting Obama, but the non-partisan board that they both served on had both Democrats, Republicans, and Independants, and the consensus from the people who were there was that Obama's and Ayers' relationship was nothing further than that of anyone else on the board's.


Also, keep WW's comment, I really don't care, I troll FreeRepublic for hell's sake, I can take a bit of abuse :D