That's not true. You just have to know where to look. And I found that they're talkative enough in the right forum. On February 12, they spoke at the Chicago History Museum about the events of 1968, which was recorded by the local National Public Radio affiliate, WBEZ-FM. I forgot to time it, but the show lasts about an hour.
Listening to it was a painful experience. Not because it caused any cognitive dissonance within me, but I figured it was very likely that members of the paying audience were swallowing their awful offal.
My quick take is this--they may not be terrorists anymore, but they are still left wing extremists.
The presentation gets off to a bad start when Liz Garibay, the museum's manager of public programs introduces the couple as "political activists, part of student groups (sic) called the Weathermen."
Student group? Uh, when did they go to class? Those Iranian "students" who held our embassy workers as hostages for 444 days were of the same breed.
Oh, about the name. The Weather Underground was originally known as "The Weatherman," one of the founders of the group was a Bob Dylan fanatic, and he took inspiration in the lyric, "You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows" from "Subterranean Homesick Blues." Some within the terror group viewed the name as sexist, so they rechristened themselves "The Weather Underground."
Dohrn, who is a law professor at Northwestern University despite the fact she has no licence to practice law (the New York Bar Association denied her application because of her terrorist past), does most of the talking. Ayers is an education professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
She talks about all types of things that happen that year, including the Tet Offensive of the Vietnam War, she said the "US Embassy was overrun by the South Vietnamese (sic) forces." In fact, while some Viet Cong made it onto the grounds of the embassy, but the building was not overrun. She goes on to discuss "...this suicide unit took the American embassy (My note: No they did not!)...pictures of GIs, frightened, running, was really in a way a foreshadowing of what would be another seven years later when the US evacuated the American embassy by helicopter and the entire country...the US strategy there was defeated.
I bet that made you very happy, Bernardine.
The distinguished professor moves out of 1968, and then declares:
For 15 years, really, until Gulf War I, the United States was constrained from invading other countries. That doesn't mean, in my opinion, the United States empire still wreaked havoc around the world. But it was done through proxy wars, it was done by creating the Contras in Nicaragua. They were contrained for 15 whole years from doing what they really wanted to do, and it was done instead by creating terrorist organizations, really, armed and financed and trained militarily by the US, y'know, around the world.
Well Bernardine, who better to judge who is a terrorist than yourself, an ex-terrorist? Of course I don't think the Contras, who were fighting Communists, were terrorists.
The question and answer session begins about halfway into the program, and one audience member asks, "Do you still stand by your decision, both of you, to embrace violence during the '60?"
Ayers gives a very long answer. Part of his reply was:
We made a decision not to hurt anybody, and except for hurting ourselves, we never did. We made a decision to hurt property and I find it hard to compare, on a moral plane, hurting y'know, a computer in the Pentagon, versus killing 2,000 people that very week. Mostly what I do, mostly what urge all of us to do, is to engage in non-violent direct action.
Well I'm glad Ayers is urging non-violent direct action now. But he still remains, in my opinion, an unrepentant ex-terrorist.
One Weather Underground bomb accidentally killed three members of the group in 1970, it also destroyed a New York City townhouse.
The bomb was packed with roofing nails (which don't do much damage to property); the device was said to be intended for detonation at an enlisted men's dance at Fort Dix, New Jersey.
A year earlier, during the Weather Underground riots known as the Days of Rage, future Cook County Sheriff Richard J. Elrod, then an attorney for the City of Chicago, attempted to tackle a member of the terror group--Elrod broke his neck, and was permanently paralyzed.
Sorry Ayers, you are wrong. Elrod was hurt. A lot.
Which brings us to one of Ayers' bombings. I've posted these quotes before, but they're too good to overlook here.
From his 2001 book, "Fugitive Days":
Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon. The sky was blue. The birds were singing. And the bastards were finally going to get what was coming to them.
Also from that book comes this nugget: "I don't regret setting bombs; I feel we didn't do enough."
Ayers also wrote in regards to future bombings, "I don't want to discount the possibility."
Thanks to The Rutles, again, for inspiring the headline.
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