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Bill Ayers Has a Blog -- and Regrets

By Garance Franke-Ruta
During last night's Democratic presidential primary debate in Philadelphia, Sen. Barack Obama was pressed forcefully by moderator George Stephanopoulos and Democratic rival Sen. Hillary Clinton about his relationship with William Ayers, a former member of the radical anti-Vietnam War group the Weathermen -- later the Weather Underground -- which bombed government buildings in the 1970s.

Obama, who sat on the board of the Woods Fund with Ayers in Chicago, sought to keep his distance. "This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who's a professor of English in Chicago, who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from," said the senator from Illinois. "He's not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis."

"And 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," Obama continued, "doesn't make much sense, George."

It turns out that Ayers -- known in Chicago as Bill -- is not much of a fan of how he has been characterized in the press recently, either. And so he's taken to his blog, billayers.wordpress.com, to write about it. On April 6, Ayers responded to his increasingly prominent role in the Democratic presidential nominating contest and what he described as "some fantastic assertions about what I did, what I said, and what I believe," including accusations that he is "an unrepentant terrorist"

In a post titled "Episodic Notoriety -- Fact and Fantasy," Ayers addresses the most frequently hurled accusations against him.

"I'm often quoted saying that I have 'no regrets,'" he writes. "This is not true. For anyone paying attention--and I try to stay wide-awake to the world around me all/ways--life brings misgivings, doubts, uncertainty, loss, regret. I'm sometimes asked if I regret anything I did to oppose the war in Viet Nam, and I say 'no, I don't regret anything I did to try to stop the slaughter of millions of human beings by my own government.' Sometimes I add, 'I don't think I did enough.' This is then elided: he has no regrets for setting bombs and thinks there should be more bombings."

In fact, Ayers says, those who tied to stop the "illegal, murderous, imperial war against Viet Nam ... recognize that our efforts were inadequate: the war dragged on for a decade, thousands were slaughtered every week, and we couldn't stop it. In the end the U.S. military was defeated and the war ended, but we surely didn't do enough."

Nor does Ayers believe his actions with the Weather Underground were terrorism. "I've never advocated terrorism, never participated in it, never defended it. The U.S. government, by contrast, does it routinely and defends the use of it in its own cause consistently," he wrote.

Ayers defines terrorism as "the use or threat of random violence to intimidate, frighten, or coerce a population toward some political end," and he cites, as examples, "an Israeli assault on a neighborhood in Gaza," the Sept. 11 attacks, and "Sherman's March to the Sea" during the Civil War.

Ayers concludes his self-defense with a brief against capitalism. "Capitalism," he writes, "played its role historically and is exhausted as a force for progress: built on exploitation, theft, conquest, war, and racism, capitalism and imperialism must be defeated and a world revolution -- a revolution against war and racism and materialism, a revolution based on human solidarity and love, cooperation and the common good -- must win.

"We begin by releasing our most hopeful dreams and our most radical imaginations: a better world is both possible and necessary."

By Web Politics Editor  |  April 17, 2008; 8:18 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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Next: McCain Campaign Shifts into General Election Mode

Comments

there is the professional world of warcraft power leveling here. welcome.

Posted by: jimelyyes | May 8, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Allan Greene,

All I have to say is this. Go live in another country. For all you people who think the USA is so horrible, go AWAY. I was born and raised in this country and served in this country. Go the hell away you freaking left wing lunatics. bill ayers (lower case on purpose) is a terrorist just like the rest of peoplr like him. obama included. We are a country proud to be who we are. We do not take shi* from anyone and we like it that way. So go to hell all of you liberal fu*ks!!

Posted by: Ray M. | May 2, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

there is the professional world of warcraft power leveling here. welcome.

Posted by: jimelyyes | May 2, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Bill Ayers is/was another Timothy McVeigh. Timothy didn't mean to kill so many, just make a point. Just like Bill Ayers. I see no difference, except Bill Ayers got by with it.

Posted by: Katherine | April 20, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Who's going to be the best leader of this country if we go to war with China?

Posted by: JohnD | April 20, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Steve Charb: you are totally hooked on Obama. Not even clear you read the man's site. HOw is Hillary Clinton destroying him? According to Obama's supporters, Clinton is repsonsible for every negative thing in the world. I'm sure she was one of the white persons injecting HIV into black communities. At some point you guys are going to have to grow up and face the world outside of your self-whiteousness.

Posted by: tony | April 20, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Ayers is like Obamma turning to the Jay-Z for answers. Obama is a Pied Piper leading children off a cliff. Clinton cannot afford to touch the real hot stuff about Bama for she would be scorched forever. But Mccain will and Obama will wilt like a lilly in the field..

Posted by: fred douglas | April 20, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Wonder why George didn't ask Hillary about her meetings with terrorist supporting organizations in the White House prior to her run for the Senate? Through at least one of those meetings she received $50,000 from the islamic organizations, money she eventually felt she had to return. Whether hillary or obama wins the nomination, either would be a friend to the muslim terrorist since both hold negative views of Israel, our closest friend in the region. Naw, they'd rather deal with hamas.

Posted by: sailordave | April 19, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Obama has followed Ayers to condemn capitalism. He quoted Marx in the debate about the need to punish the rich and take their money because of "fairness" not because of gaining more revenues. He acknowledged that when tax rates go down the government revenues go up. "But" he said, "I am not interested in revenues but fairness."

My life was threatened by the radicals in 1970. Why? I was Assistant Dean of Students and they hated administrators because everyone in power was called pigs.

Ayers and the Weather Underground spewed and still sprew hatred and racial enmity just as Obama and his Pastor.

Posted by: Gary | April 19, 2008 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Wow. There are sure a lot of ignorant people writing in. Let's just hope they aren't typical of the average American, who has hopefully wised up a least a little bit after 7 years of George W. Bush. The people who haven't are living in a la la land of foolishness, fear, and hate.

Posted by: UTMark | April 19, 2008 1:08 AM | Report abuse

...Why didn't anyone ever go to jail for that?

Bush, Cheney, etc. lied us into a war on Iraq. They advocate torture and are directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent Iraqis. Why don't they go to jail for that?

Posted by: goodguy | April 18, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

The Weather Underground killed three of it's members while making bombs targeted at others...a felony, that somebody should be locked up for. Why didn't anyone ever go to jail for that?

Posted by: Steve G | April 18, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

My God, what has Obama started with this man?

Posted by: Katherine | April 18, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Race has nothing to do with it. Guilt by association has more to do with it than any thing else. And the other night during the debate, a woman ask obama why he didn't wear a flag on his lapel, and he never asnwered the question. Why? because he is truly against the values of the U.S. and would never make a president of a dog pound

Posted by: Elmer | April 18, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I am one of those undecided voters. However, as I continue to read the blogs and post something strikes me as very sacary. In my heart, I believe that most people who are against Obama will never publicly admit the real reason... that reason is they can't stand the idea of a black man as President. I've read alot of careful ways of trying to disguise it, but that is pretty much what it boils down to. As we scrutinize both candidate's qualification, let's put personal biases aside and look at both Clinton and Obama based on the relevant criteria they each bring to the table, not the trivial. Hopefully if we do that, we can make an educated decision.

Posted by: Sherry | April 18, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

interesting, so if you have a terrorist for a president, what does he do? wage terror on US citizens? wonder how that would work. or wage terror on the international community? wonder what countries he would pick and how we could tell the difference. fascinating food for thought. very thoughtful and enlightening.

Posted by: LT | April 18, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Dennis:
No matter how you feel about either candidate, it is crucial to our process to have the correct information if you are going to type it out to the world. The NYT article about Ayers happened to be published the MORNING of 9/11 obviously coming out BEFORE the attacks AND it was an interview about his involvement with the Weather Underground in their efforts to stop the Vietnam War. HE WAS NOT REFERRING TO the 9/11 attacks when he said "we didn't do enough".

Posted by: Debby | April 18, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Ayers' desire and stated dream is what Jesus Christ preached. I am sure, however, that Ayers would ridicule Christianity every chance he could.

Posted by: Mike | April 18, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

How can anyone rationalize defending anyone who bombs our country's Capitol, Pentagon, police stations, etc..?
Barack Obama for President of Rationalization, NOT the President of the United States of America!


Posted by: Nancy in Dallas TX | April 18, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

.
.
http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/taking_liberties_in_philadelphia.html

"Clinton said "people died" in 1970s bombings by a radical group of which an Obama acquaintance was a member. In fact, the deaths were of three members of the Weather Underground itself, who died when their own bombs accidentally exploded."

More sniper fire alternative realities?
.
.

Posted by: steve k | April 18, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

According to factcheck.org, the Weathermen Underground never killed anyone. But three of their own members blew themselves up while storing or making a bomb.

But Senator Clinton painted Ayers et al. as crazed killers. The Weathermen blew up empty bathrooms and offices.

In the long run it might be difficult to see what they accomplished. The government they opposed blew up Asian villagers and shot protesting college kids in Ohio. Can we call it a draw and seek solutions to _today's_ REAL problems, like having a planet to live on? One can only hope!


Maybe Ayers did some stupid radical stuff way back then. Didn't many of us? People change. People grow up! Well, many do I hope. Time to get REAL. And that scares some powerful people with vested interests in keeping things the same as they have always been.

Posted by: steve k | April 18, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

obama's demons will come out sooner or later and their significance is up to the voters.
from where i'm sitting, am not too happy with rezco, rev. wright,
the chicago mansion and ayers.

can't trust him. enuff said.

Posted by: mikel | April 18, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

OBAMA: DIRTY POLITICIAN FROM THE START: Chicago Sun-Times--A close examination of Obama's first campaign clouds the image he has cultivated throughout his political career: Obama, who runs on a message of giving a voice to the voiceless, first entered public office not by leveling the playing field, but by clearing it. Alice Palmer, friend and mentor to Obama, served the district in the Illinois Senate for much of the 1990s. Decades earlier, she was a community organizer in the area when Obama was growing up in Hawaii. She risked her safe seat to run for Congress and touted Obama as a suitable successor. But when Palmer lost the congressional race, her supporters asked Obama to fold his campaign so she could easily retain her state Senate seat. Obama not only refused to step aside for the woman who was his friend and had recommended him for the seat, he filed challenges that nullified Palmer's hastily gathered nominating petitions, forcing her to withdraw. Had Palmer survived the petition challenge, Obama would have faced the daunting task of taking on an incumbent senator. "He wondered if we should knock everybody off the ballot. How would that look?" said Ronald Davis, the paid Obama campaign consultant whom Obama referred to as his "guru of petitions." Davis filed objections to all four of Obama's Democratic rivals at the candidate's behest. All other candidates were disposed of by Obama's challenges. He then went on to win the election.
http://tinyurl.com/2zwwte

Posted by: Fred | April 18, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

A VERY GOOD ARTICLE FROM FACTCHECK.ORG ABOUT OBAMA'S SENATE RECORD VS. HILLARY'S

SUBSTANCE ABUSE
April 1, 2008
A widely forwarded e-mail claims that Obama's bills are more substantive and numerous than Clinton's. Don't believe it.
http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/substance_abuse.html

Posted by: Fred | April 18, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

If Obama couldn't handle last night very well (which he didn't), how is he going to fend off the Republican slime machine. He needs to fess up and tell the truth about the issues like Hillary did last night. When asked about the Bosnia incident, she admitted that she exaggerated, and apologized. When asked about his knowledge of Rev. Wright's views, Obama continues to lie and expect us to believe that he had no idea his "mentor and spiritual adviser" had those views. One would have to be a moron to believe that, after his 20 year close relationship with Wright. He also lied about the flag pin issue (which, by the way, I think is a non-issue), when he stated that he had never said he wouldn't wear one. I immediately went to YouTube and found his statement that he wouldn't wear one in about 2 minutes. He also lied about the issue of his stance on gun control as stated in the questionnaire he filled out in his run for state senate. If Obama doesn't want to have many more tense moments like he had last night, he needs to be honest with the American public; he needs to admit that he is very much like politicians in general. For those who doubt this, here is an article from the Chicago Tribune about how Obama obtained his first elective office. Read this article, and then decide for yourself if he represents "change."
http://tinyurl.com/2zwwte

Posted by: Fred | April 18, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Where is Sen. MacCarthy, we are really just playing out a media version of the old "name names," guilt by association, where is there a communist? a closet alqueda supporter? an unamerican who fails to where his/her official flag pin? I think this campaign more than others is showing the dark side of Americans - a side that desires to destroy anyone who seems to be the least bit "honorable" by creating fears about their very character. Of course its those lacking character at all who are the biggest finger pointers, ie the Clintons in this version of the saga

Posted by: nclwtk | April 18, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

ABC was asking fair questions. If any presidential candidate has ties to known terrorists and terrorist organizations, they should be publicly questioned about these ties. Obama has so many ties to America-hating terrorists, I cannot believe that he is being seriously considered for President. Unbelievable how spineless people are these days. Obama is a terrorist, as an earlier post aptly put it. This is non-negotiable. The USA is at war against terrorism, so of course the terrorists are going to try to get one of their own in the oval office. Wake up people!!! This is a WAR!!!

Posted by: Thomas | April 18, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Robert is right. Obama is a terrorist.

Posted by: Jasmyne | April 18, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

OBAMA IS A TERRORIST

Posted by: Robert | April 18, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

In the last debate, Obama said about Bill Ayers that "He's not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis." This does not rule out the possibility that Obama once a while still have conversation and exchange ideas with Ayers because of his close proximity.

Posted by: austin b | April 18, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Bill Ayers is a terrorist, and a communist America-hating one at that. Calling Sherman's March an act of terrorism. I think the drugs got to Ayers. No wonder he and Obama are buddies.

Posted by: SteveIL | April 18, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

If every politician in Washington had to resign because they had some sort of 'loose' connection to someone with a questionable past, I think it might be reasonable to bet no politician would remain. For every one of these characters being brought up linked to Obama, the Clintons have ten or more. The Clinton administration set records for the number of staff convicted of some sort of crime. Hillary claims to be "vetted". To some extent she was. But if she's the nominee, many questions that the Clintons avoided in the White House, and there were many, would get revisited by the Republicans. The only reason they haven't come up is that the Obama campaign took the high road and have stuck to the Clinton lies, conflicts on interest, etc that came up in this campaign.

The bank job and police officer shooting by some WU members had nothing to do with Ayers as I believe that the WU had broken up.

I also do not regard Ayers as a "terrorist" in the same way as Bin Laden & Co. I think he was by definition because violence used trying to persuade the US government to get out of Vietnam is also a political goal and therefore, terrorism. The WU warned before they bombed trying to avoid hurting others and did not hurt others. That doesn't excuse their actions but it makes them considerably different than the sort of terrorism feared today. Ayers was concerned, as many people were, with his government killing massive numbers of people. Each day he woke up, he was concerned that another 2000 people were going to die that day and that drove him to act promptly when peaceful efforts were failing. So his motive wasn't entirely a bad thing. He chose a lousy/bad/illegal way to go about it when other efforts were not delivering results.

Posted by: CWatson | April 18, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

If the relashionship between a terrorist and a possible next president is not worth exploring--what is? All of Obama's radical friends, Wright, Ayers, Farrahkan should be vetted.

Posted by: Leanza | April 18, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

.

Obama won

To win, Obama simply had to not lose. Yes it was an ambush...and yes, he survived it. So, in a way, it did him a service. He can handle the Republicans: the dirt was thrown, and it didn't stick.

..most people tuned off early on... it was too boring and it left no impression.

...and for those who watched the whole thing...the most important impression is the last impression

and Obama went last...and he was good.


Obama's polls will go up.

.

Posted by: + | April 18, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

By our own definition GW Bush and Dick Cheney are terrorists. Does that mean that anyone who voted for them are supporting terrorists?

Posted by: MikeMcNally | April 18, 2008 7:26 AM | Report abuse

To: Faird/umich.---It is NOT how many bills you wrote-- it is how many YOU PASSSED!! IT IS HOW MANY YOU PASSED AND HOW MANY REPUBLICANS AND DEMS. SIGNED ON TO YOUR BILLS. It is not good enough to claim credit for how many bills you put in the hopper--the mark of success is who joins you and how many votes did you get to pass the bill. The jury is out on that score and it is a thresshold the 2 year wonder (?) Senator misses the mark big time. EXPEREIENCE TELLS--HE LACKS IT !!!

Posted by: vergens2 | April 18, 2008 6:39 AM | Report abuse

Oct.9,1969,start of the Days Of Rage was the true beginning of the end for the American*war. Every other anti-war demonstration that year was a weatherman action. We didn't need to use no bombs Billy,we already won. At least that is what I read in blogs 40 yrs after. Mistakes but no regrets and no hard feelings,but I say that because we won.

Posted by: rager | April 18, 2008 5:29 AM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton's standards can't drop fast enough to keep up with her detestable behavior. According to the HuffPost, Mrs. Clinton worked during law school for a radical law firm in Berkley CA run by several Communists. Now, don't get me wrong, I think a firm representing Black Panthers and other radicals that would have been hard pressed finding representation in the late '60s, early '70s for violent protests against yet another illegal war shouldn't be demonized. BUT IT'S THE HYPOCRISY that burns me -- Mrs. Clinton was a contemporary of these radicals and stepped up to defend them during the time in question -- Barack Obama sits on a Board of Directors 40 years later for an unrelated charity ... and HE'S THE ONE SHE TRIES TO DEFAME????? Let's check out all of the Board Members of every big corporation (like, er, walmart?) that Hillary's ever served as a Director for and see how it shakes out. By the way, this really is looking glass territory as now Hillary's asking us not just to look at the organization Sen. Obama served, but anyone who independently served with him. Amazing. And how is sitting on an unrelated Board somehow offensive, but having your husband pardon 2 radicals is aok. Again -- not saying they shouldn't have been pardoned but has this woman no sense of shame? Is she psychotic? I mean, does she believe her own carefully parsed sense of reality -- I don't think she could keep doing this if she didn't. Mrs. Clinton, you are not fooling anyone -- you are only helping do opposition research for John McCain and your efforts to savage Sen. Obama are tarnishing your legacy and your chances of remaining an important figure in the Senate (or any elective office). The Super Delegates are not amused, HRC ... neither are the PA voters. You may squeak by but you get no closer to overtaking Sen. Obama so you savage his candidacy and your party for .... ???? This is actually more like sociopathic behavior -- no morals, no shame, no sense of right from wrong. God help you ...

Posted by: omyobama | April 18, 2008 4:02 AM | Report abuse

Ayers also happens to be one of the most respected progressive educational philosopher/teachers out there. We had him as a speaker at our teacher graduation ceremony.

Posted by: Eric M | April 18, 2008 1:03 AM | Report abuse

yeah,

obama ended up winning last night...more people came away liking him. his polls will go up because of the debates.
sorry, hillary, you lose again (and again)

Posted by: . | April 18, 2008 1:02 AM | Report abuse


I'll make this quick. The "debate" sucked. And Hillary acted like a rabid dog.

Posted by: RobinL | April 18, 2008 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Daniel: Well, then, if I ever decide to run for political office, I'll just try and find the most hateful, racist and violent friends I can find. If I do, will my chances be as good as Obama's?

Posted by: Fred | April 18, 2008 12:39 AM | Report abuse

gbooksdc: Absolutely befriending an unrepentant terrorist to further your political aims is worse. Clinton pardoned and gave clemency to two women who were not directly involved in the murder of anyone. One of them, for example, drove a car. They had already served long prison terms. They were not his friends; they did not hold a fundraiser for Bill Clinton at their homes. Ayers, on the other hand, was not an insignificant member of the Weather Underground, he was a founder. He has admitted to his direct participation in bombings. He was prosecuted but was let go based on a technicality. But you also have to look at Ayers in connection with Obama's other cronies; the racist and anti-American "mentor and spiritual adviser" whose church supports Hamas; his 17 year friend and patron who is now being indicted (Rezko). We know very little about Obama, but what we do know is pretty scary.

Posted by: Fred | April 18, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

By Republican and Hillary Clinton's logics, anybody who worked as a social worker and tried to develop relationship to influence criminals cannot be trusted to run for president. What an absurd concept! If you are just associated with so called "good people", how are you going to communicate and interact with the rest of the world? You may just as well close yourself in a box! I thought this country is very open-minded society. But apparently we become narrower and narrower mind on many many issues.

Posted by: DanielTheD | April 18, 2008 12:30 AM | Report abuse

What's worse -- associating with a Weatherperson after their radical days have passed, or pardoning them?

Posted by: gbooksdc | April 18, 2008 12:30 AM | Report abuse

The end for the Weather Underground came 11 years later, with a botched armoured-car robbery in Nyack, upstate New York, that went even more horribly wrong. Still a fugitive, Boudin and her partner David Gilbert, another Columbia '68 veteran, had agreed to act as white getaway drivers for members of the Black Liberation Army (BLA), a formation composed of politicised street criminals and convicts radicalised in the aftermath of the 1970 Attica prison uprising. Although Gilbert and Boudin were unarmed, their cohorts killed three policemen, including the first black cop in the county. Another had his arm severed by machine-gun fire but survived, only to die in the World Trade Centre on September 11. Boudin pleaded guilty and received 25 years- to-life. Gilbert bought two life terms and will die in prison. In Attica, as it happens.

Posted by: JoeBob | April 18, 2008 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Correction:

.....

No wonder we CAN NOT sell our democracy to other countries because there are not much differences any way.

Posted by: DanielTheD | April 18, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

If Ayers is a "terrorist", why is he hired by University of Illinois? Students in his class are doomed to run president in the future? They should all quit his class? Which one is worse, student of a terrorist or sitting on the same board of a charity org? Where are the citizens of Illinois? Why tax payers money are paid to a "terrorist"? Why does the United States government allow a "terrorist" to teach and live here? This is so ridiculous that it's beyond the word. I thought this kind of guilty by association is a tact of Chinese communist. I never thought people in this great nation of America would employ this kind of tacts. Very disappointed with the democratic process. No wonder we can sell our democracy to other countries because there are not much differences any way.

Posted by: DanielTheD | April 18, 2008 12:10 AM | Report abuse

It is amazing the people these politicians associate with. Which furthers the notion that you can't trust any politican. These characters will seek any endorsement or vote.

Neither Hillary nor Obama is qualified to hold the office of president.

Posted by: Carlos | April 18, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

BILL AYERS AND BERNADINE DOHRN

With this as background, is it really all that startling that Sen. Obama enjoys a friendly relationship with Bill Ayers and his wife, Bernadine Dohrn, a pair of terrorists?

I want to be clear here: Not terrorist sympathizers. Terrorists.

The mainstream media, in their zeal to elect a Democrat, are assiduously airbrushing Ayers: "an aging lefty with a foolish past," as the Chicago Sun-Times has so delicately put it. In fact, it is the press that is rife with foolish, aging lefties. Ayers, by contrast, is an unapologetic terrorist with a savage past -- one who beat the system he so reviles when, after his years of fugitivity, terrorism charges were dropped due to government surveillance violations. He's "guilty as sin," by his own concession, but "free as a bird."

Ayers didn't just carry a sign outside the Pentagon on May 19, 1972. He bombed it. As his memoir gleefully recalled, "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."

Whether Pentagon bombing day was more or less ideal than other days, when he, Dohrn and their Weathermen comrades bombed the U.S. Capitol, the State Department, and sundry banks, police stations and courthouses, Ayers does not say. But on each occasion, there was surely optimism that the bastards were finally going to get what was coming to them.

There were lots of bombs. There is no remorse. "I don't regret setting bombs," he told the New York Times in 2001, sorry only that he and the others "didn't do enough." Like what? We can't be sure, though National Review Online's Jonah Goldberg recounts Ayers's sentiments back in the day: "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 and Dohrn have done the actual dirty work of terror, while Jeremiah Wright draws the line at waving pom-poms. But the prism through which they assay the dirty work is precisely the same: America has it coming.

For them, that makes all the difference. It's not terror, just chickens coming home to roost. "Terrorists destroy randomly," Ayers rationalizes with nauseating arrogance, "while our actions bore ... the precise stamp of a cut diamond. Terrorists intimidate, while we aimed only to educate." Right. As her companion Discover the Networks profile illustrates, Dohrn now goes even further: insisting their bombings weren't terrorist acts at all: "We rejected terrorism. We were careful not to hurt anybody."

She was, we can be confident, something less than a model of compassion back then -- like at the Weathermen "War Council" meeting in 1969, when she famously gushed over the barbaric Manson Family murders of the pregnant actress Sharon Tate, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, and three others: "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!"

Charming. The "War Council," it should be noted, concluded by first condemning the United States for -- what else? -- its pervasive racism, then formally declaring war against what the Weathermen called "AmeriKKKa." Rev. Wright would have understood.

It was at the Chicago home of Ayers and Dohrn that Obama, then an up-and-coming "community organizer," had his political coming out party in 1995. Not content with this rite of passage in Lefty World -- where unrepentant terrorists are regarded as progressive luminaries, still working "only to educate" -- both Obamas tended to the relationship with the Ayers.

Barack Obama made a joint appearance with Bill Ayers in 1997 at a University of Chicago panel on the outrage of treating juvenile criminals as if they were, well, criminals. Obama apologists say, "So what? People appear with other people all the time." Nice try. This panel was orchestrated by none other than Michelle Obama, then an Associate Dean of Student Services. Ayers didn't happen to be there -- he was invited by the Obamas to educate students on the question before the house: "Should a Child Ever Be Called a 'Super Predator?'"

And here's how the University's press release chose to describe this would-be super predator:
William Ayers, author of A Kind and Just Parent: The Children of Juvenile Court (Beacon Press, 1997), says "We should call a child a child. A 13-year-old who picks up a gun isn't suddenly an adult. We have to ask other questions: How did he get the gun? Where did it come from?"

Ayers, who spent a year observing the Cook County Temporary Juvenile Detention Center in Chicago, is one of four panelists who will speak on juvenile justice[.]
The other panelists included "Illinois State Sen. Barack Obama ... who is working to block proposed legislation that would throw more juvenile offenders into the adult system." The goal was to promote change, to actuate the vision of "Chicago reformer" Jane Addams, who'd sought "the establishment of a separate court system for children which would act like a 'kind and just parent' for children in crisis." Never mind the crises they'd caused the victims of their wanton murders and mayhem -- the fault for those, surely, was our downright mean society.

The Ayers and Obama, meantime, kept up. There was yet another panel in 2002, Obama and Ayers waxing on "Intellectuals in Times of Crisis." Dohrn, too, was asked to weigh in, on a panel addressing the question, "Why Do Ideas Matter?" I'm sure it was, er, wild.

Posted by: Fred | April 18, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

FairD: Let's debunk your post right now. From factcheck.org:
A VERY GOOD ARTICLE FROM FACTCHECK.ORG ABOUT OBAMA'S SENATE RECORD VS. HILLARY'S

SUBSTANCE ABUSE
April 1, 2008
A widely forwarded e-mail claims that Obama's bills are more substantive and numerous than Clinton's. Don't believe it.
http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/substance_abuse.html

Posted by: Fred | April 18, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

What's even more ridiculous than Barack Obama assuming he's worthy enough to be President of this country is his belief that his deadbeat dad was an inspiration for a book, Rev. Wright is misunderstood, & Wild Bill Ayers is a freedom fighter.

Posted by: dennis | April 18, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Allen Greene says he lived in the era of the Weathermen and the Weather Underground and was a member of SDS. And he claims no one was killed by the WU........which may be true, but the Weathermen killed a cop and I lived through the same time frame and know it for a fact. The only reason Ayers and Dohrn were not prosecuted was the FBI screwed up the investigation. Those two should still be in jail and they know it. Instead they are Marxist apologists and are busy spewing their lies to the next generation of students at UIC. Greene also seems to prefer Marxist doctrine as well. Amazing how people can forget how stupid and bad Marxism is in reality.

Posted by: JoeBob | April 17, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

When Ayers made his atrocious comments about those killed on 9/11/01, Obama was 40 years old. Obama knew who Ayers was, & is comfortable being around him because like his good Rev. Jeremiah Wright's racists rants Obama also enjoys hangin' with people who hate America.

Obama neighborhood is one Krazy, Kooky hotbed for bedbugs.

Posted by: dennis | April 17, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Bill Ayers reports to Bill Avyers. Barack Obama reports to Barack Obama.

When Ayers was committing these "terrorist" acts in the 1969, Obama was 8 years of age. When Ayers turned himself in (year 1969) he was not charged due to illegal wiretapping.

Now Ayers is a distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois who worked also on community services such as education for the poor and school reform.

Posted by: AJ, Philadelphia | April 17, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

"Oh my gosh - did any of you actually read this guys blog???"

Better than an unrepentant war-monger who lies in order to invade another country to enrich his friends?

Posted by: thebob.bob | April 17, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Clinton the spoiler will say and support anything. Her main goal now is to set Obama up to fail in November. Then she can say -told ya- and start setting up shop for 2012. She's only sticking around in the race to help McCain. Look at her negative numbers she knows she can't win but she'll stick around to keep sticking it to Obama. Than she'll spend four years trying to clean up her image. Democracy in action folks.

Posted by: Dave | April 17, 2008 11:19 PM | Report abuse

I am disappointed by some of these blogs that continue to focus on guilt by association..The condition of this country demands us to grow up, get out of the schoolyard and actually listen to the issues. The divide economically between our citizens is increasing daily and at the pace of inflation in comparison to wage increases our generation does not stand a chance until WE say ENOUGH
I am refreshed that we finally have a candidate running for the office of President of the United States is showing us by his actions how to turn the other cheek and stay on point. If Hillary had done this back in the 90's we may all be the benefactors of National Health Care. Is the only thing she is promising us is that we can expect 4 more years of her fighting? I'm sorry Sen. Clinton but the position you applied for has already been filled. By Who?? Barack Obama! Let's get things accomplished and repair our image in the rest of the World. We are ready to lead by example and applaud Sen. Obama.

Posted by: Sue | April 17, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

open-eyed: You seem to be correct, except that Ayers was not trying to terrorize the population, he was protesting or fighting the government over the massacre of women and children in Viet Nam. The WU disbanded after 3 of the members died. Hillary's used her double speak in the debate with "And what they did was set bombs and in some instances people died." In one incident, three WU died when they were making a bomb. No innocent people were hurt or killed in the 3 bombings the WU took credit for.

If people recall, 1970 was the year 4 students were killed and 9 wounded by the Ohio National Guard at Kent State for protesting the invasion of Cambodia. 18 year olds could not vote, but could be forced to participate in a war they did not approve.

That is pretty much explained in his interview about his just published book~ the interview just happened to be published the morning of the attacks on "9/11".

Hillary wants the people that watched the debate to link Ayers, with that and it is by a large stretch of her Bosnia forgetfulness that she could make that association.

It is the theme of her (and others) smear of Obama to try to link him with Muslim terrorism. Pitiful because she is more connected with the UAE via Bill; as is Papa Bush via Bin Laden, Neil Bush via Dubai, Marvin Bush, who ironically had company involvement with Dulles Airport and WTC security.

Hillary made it clear in an early debate that she would continue to take lobbyists money. She concludes the ABC thing with claiming to be prepared to fight her own lobbyists. Yet she wants people to believe we can count on her?

Posted by: ma | April 17, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

As, to the debate last night, let's face it, for Obama, the debate was like playing against a stacked-deck.

I'm amazed no one has brought the issue up about George Stephanopoulos having a bit of a conflict-of-interest. No one had ever heard of him until the Clintons brought him to town (Washington, D.C.). He was Bill Clinton's press secretary while Clinton remained President-elect, and after Bill Clinton became President, Stephanopoulos continued to appear to be the press secretary, even though the job was really held by Dee Dee Meyers (sp?).

Stephanopoulos should have excused himself from taking part in the debate. But, had he done so, all that would have occurred was that the American people would have seen this debate on a more level playing field, with equality to both candidates.

Posted by: Joseph Howard | April 17, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

April 17, 2008, Thursday: Again on Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, and the Weather Underground.

They never killed anybody. They never tried to kill anybody. They were not religious fundamentalists. Al Quaeda are religious fundamentalists (and so are the bombers of abortion clinics pandered to by the American Republican Party, and by even sections of the Democrats).

Ayers and Dohrn were part of the Weather Underground, but the Weather people, arguably, were not even authentic Marxists. I was in SDS in the 1960s. There was a theoretical debate between one faction, the Weatherman faction, and another faction, the Worker Student Alliance faction, and the last faction, the Worker Student Alliance faction, argued the classical Marxist view that the key contradiction in the world was between capital (employers) and labor. The other faction, the Weatherman faction, argued the key contradiction was between oppressor people and oppressed people. That latter definition is not even Marxist, in the precise sense of what Marx wrote and said -- and I've read quite a number of books by Marx, by Engels, by Lenin, by Luxemburg, by Trotsky, and by other Marxists.

The Weather people were adherents of a kind of Maoism which is a kind of Stalinism. Stalin radically revised the classical Marxist viewpoint and departed from it in 1924, after Lenin died. A very viable and feasible argument can be made that the Communist Party of the Soviet Union after Stalin came to dominate it in 1924 was no longer communist in the Marxist sense, and that Marxism was effectively destroyed by Stalin and by Stalinism. There's good historical works on this. Read, for instance, the late Harvard scholar, Isaac Deutscher's three-volume biography of Leon Trotsky. Deutscher was one of the most distinguished of socialist scholars, and he wrote quite a lot on the history of socialism, of Marxism, of the Soviet Union, its development, and the conflicts in the original movement and the departure of that movement from its original goals, purposes, programs and theories when Stalin and Stalinism came to dominate the movement.

I was in a current and faction of SDS different from Ayers' faction, but I know from knowing people who were formerly in the Weather Underground, and from also keeping up on the history of that period, that the Weather Underground really were not "terrorists" in the sense in which that word is used by so many. On the other hand, the U.S. government has killed and maimed and injured millions all over the world under both Democrats and Republicans. That, by any definition, is government-sponsored terrorism.

The Weather people were not religious, but Al Quaeda are deeply devoted to religion. Bin Laden is dangerous, but there is no doubt among anybody who takes him seriously enough to read about him and the history of him that he is utterly selflessly devoted to the terroristic religious fundamentalist movement he leads. Read both Gore Vidal's book, "Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace: How We Got to Be So Hated," and Tariq Ali's book, "The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads, and Modernity." In Vidal's book, there is an essay on 09-11-2001, and it covers to some degree some of the historical background about bin Laden. Read it. Don't speak out of ignorance.

And as for the Weather people, read -- again -- Kirkpatrick Sale's very comprehensive historical work, "SDS," originally published by him in 1973.

Posted by: Allan Greene | April 17, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Postings related to Obama's Senate record need to be viewed critically. He's only been in the U.S. Senate for two years. He's managed to be "written in" as a sponsor to numerous bills to get his record pumped up. It's a sham, actually. He's going to owe the "real" authors of those bills big time. Prior to that, he was a state senator, so his focus was strictly domestic Illinois. Nothing national scale, nothing foreign-policy. And since he was in South Chicago, he had more opportunities for dodging sniper fire than Billary!

This last Senate has really done squat, unless you count naming post offices. Can't fault Obama for that.

Posted by: open-eyed | April 17, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

It will be a wonderful day in Democratic America when the IQ of most posts can start to ignite a dialogue which rages coast to coast. The questions of the moderators confirmed the known experience of most that they are not smarter than a 5th grader and nor do they think that the American Public is also.
If network television continues to simply keep dumping the mentality of people magazine, the national enquirer or TMZ they will find the world of the Net will fill the void.
web 3.0

Posted by: Jim | April 17, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

ABC is a slightly better dressed version of Fox. Like Fox, ABC trades in gossip-topics. ABC's niche audience possess a shallow understanding of government. Consequently, ABC treats the substantive issues superficially:

1) the Iraq war was reduced to a question on whether on day one the candidates would pull-out against the advice of the generals.

2) the brewing Iranian nuclear arms crisis was reduced to whether the candidates would view an Iranian nuclear attack on Israel as an attack against the US.

3) the state of the economy was reduced to bullying the candidates into to saying, "read my lips, no new taxes."

The first 50 minutes of the debate focused on shock-gossip-topics. The commentators lulled the majority of viewers to sleep during a rehashing of very, very stale gossip-topics. These gossip-topics are so old, we can recite verbatim both the questions and the answers. Gone is the shock and awe; gone is stunning revelation; gone is the influence.

Yet, ABC, Fox, Limbaugh, Hanity continue to peddle these non-issues; hocking them as "character defining" issues. Perhaps they are: anyone who wears a cheap Made in China flag lapel pin as prove of patriotism and love of country is truly void of all character.

Posted by: Catherine | April 17, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Bill Ayers knows what the definition of terrorism is. By his own definition, he was one, but rationalizes his way out of it. He's a kook and a Communist. Any party that embraces that needs to go down in flames.

Posted by: open-eyed | April 17, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Fred:
This is Hillary and this is Barack who left Harvard Law and went to work with poor people. He could have gone to a comfortable church who was doing little for the poor but he chose one that was actually working for the poor.
On Legislative Experience:
Senator Clinton, who has served only one full term (6yrs.), and another year campaigning, has managed to author and pass into law, (20) twenty pieces of legislation in her first six years.
These bills can be found on the website of the Library of Congress (www.thomas.loc.gov), but to save you trouble, I'll post them here for you.
1. Establish the Kate Mullany National Historic Site.
2. Support the goals and ideals of Better Hearing and Speech Month.
3. Recognize the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
4. Name courthouse after Thurgood Marshall.
5. Name courthouse after James L. Watson.
6. Name post office after Jonn A. O'Shea.
7. Designate Aug. 7, 2003, as National Purple Heart Recognition Day.
8. Support the goals and ideals of National Purple Heart Recognition Day.
9. Honor the life and legacy of Alexander Hamilton on the bicentennial of his death.
10. Congratulate the Syracuse Univ. Orange Men's Lacrosse Team on winning the championship.
11. Congratulate the Le Moyne College Dolphins Men's Lacrosse Team on winning the championship.
12. Establish the 225th Anniversary of the American Revolution Commemorative Program.
13. Name post office after Sergeant Riayan A. Tejeda.
14. Honor Shirley Chisholm for her service to the nation and express condolences on her death.
15. Honor John J. Downing, Brian Fahey, and Harry Ford, firefighters who lost their lives on duty. Only five of Clinton's bills are, more substantive. 16. Extend period of unemployment assistance to victims of 9/11.
17. Pay for city projects in response to 9/11
18. Assist landmine victims in other countries.
19. Assist family caregivers in accessing affordable respite care.
20. Designate part of the National Forest System in Puerto Rico as protected in the wilderness preservation system.
There you have it, the fact's straight from the Senate Record.
Now, I would post those of Obama's, but the list is too substantive, so I'll mainly categorize.
During the first (8) eight years of his elected service he sponsored over 820 bills. He introduced
233 regarding healthcare reform,
125 on poverty and public assistance,
112 crime fighting bills,
97 economic bills,
60 human rights and anti-discrimination bills,
21 ethics reform bills,
15 gun control,
6 veterans affairs and many others.
His first year in the U.S. Senate, he authored 152 bills and co-sponsored another 427. These inculded
**the Coburn-Obama Government Transparency Act of 2006 (became law),
**The Lugar-Obama Nuclear Non-proliferation and Conventional Weapons Threat Reduction Act, (became law),
**The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, passed the Senate,
**The 2007 Government Ethics Bill, (became law),
**The Protection Against Excessive Executive Compensation Bill, (In committee), and many more.
In all since enter the U.S. Senate, Senator Obama has written 890 bills and co-sponsored another 1096. An impressive record, for someone who supposedly has no record according to the spin meisters and mindless twits

Posted by: faird@umich.edu | April 17, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Add Communist to Ayers list of attributes. Anyone know of a free and happy communist country? Cuba,Russia? How about China?

Posted by: phil | April 17, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

This guy looks like a mirror for all deeds that US government has done in the past against all innocent people around the world.

Daudi Kengele, you need to open your mindset to understand what Bill is saying. A wise person can see the pain that others are suffering from your action.

Posted by: Jeny | April 17, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Daudi you obviously have no idea about the differences between radical leftism and radical Islam. They couldn't be more different, in fact, the religious right in the U.S. and Al Qaeda probably have more in common than either would with this Ayers fellow. From the tone and subject of your post, I'm willing to bet you are a supporter of the Iraq war, one in which hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties have occurred, and some of that blood is on the hand of U.S. soldiers or mercenaries (read Blackwater, Aegis, etc.) hired out by our government in Iraq. The same went for Vietnam years ago. The Weather Underground, which Bill Ayers was a part of carried out twenty or so bombings on government and corporations, none of which resulted in any casualties, as they always gave some warning. So which is worse, the mass killings of civilians (accidental or not) in unnecessary wars, or bombing empty buildings to make a political point?

Posted by: slim | April 17, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Once again, Obama supporters attempt to defend the indefensible. First it was Rev. Wright, whose racist and anti-American rants were "taken out of context." Now, it's a former terrorist who admits to bombing targets in the United States. The defense of Obama supporters: he's not as bad as Al Quaeda. Are there no lows to which some of Obama's supporters will stoop in order to defend their flawed candidate?

Posted by: Fred | April 17, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh my gosh - did any of you actually read this guys blog???

The story with Bill Ayers isn't that he's an unrepentent terrorist from 40 years ago, it's the fact that an out of the closet Communist is an integral part of the Democratic establishment in Chicago in the year 2008! Mayor Dailey just came out and praised this guy today like he's some kind of icon.

John McCain could have held a Cabinet position in the JFK Whitehouse... the last 45 years of Democratic politics makes me wonder if McCarthy was really all that misguided...

Posted by: Phil Papanek | April 17, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Ayers is a little out there. Still, I don't see how Obama can be faulted for knowing someone who has a different view of things from him.

What a simplistic world we live in, if we have to only associate ourselves with people who all think the same.

Or maybe we can think differently on the inside, but wear a flag pin on the outside, and everything will be just fine?

I'm still banking on Obama to be able to make sense of it all. The world is too complicated to view it so simplistic as a flag pin fix.

Posted by: Cindy | April 17, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama
Michelle Obama
Rev. Wright
William Ayers
Tony Rezko

One big happy family!

Posted by: Fred | April 17, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

April 17, 2008: Bill Ayers never did anything that would compare with Al Quaeda, and making a comparison between the Weather Underground, and Al Quaeda, is simply a lie.

I lived through that period. I was a member of the SDS, although in a different political faction from Ayers. The Weather Underground killed nobody -- nobody. I didn't agree with their particular tactics, but I sure as heck agree with Ayers that capitalism is finished.

Look at the g--d----d subprime mortgage crisis, people! The biggest corporations and banks in America spent 33 years indebting that chunk of real estate called, the U.S.A., to the tune of 30 to 40 trillion dollars, because they expected they'd get sufficient profits to make it worthwhile. Meanwhile, they viciously slashed wages, tore up labor union contracts, catastrophically raised the rate of profit extraction (that is, capitalist exploitation from workers).

The chickens came home to roost, but the innocent victims, as usual, are blacks, other minorities, laboring and working class and impoverished people, and sections of the lower middle class or lower petit-bourgeoisie. That's the immense majority.

And this happened under both political parties.

Meanwhile, under Bush and Cheney, according to the Johns Hopkins University-Bloomberg study, at least 750 thousands of Iraqis -- at least that, and probably many more -- have died because of this vicious imperialist occupation and war. Earlier, however, under Clinton, Gore and Albright, they levied economic sanctions on Iraq that killed upwards of one and one half million Iraqis, 500 thousand of whom were children.

Clinton bombed the former Yugoslavia back to the Stone age, and Bush and Cheney have done that to Iraq, a country with a civilization that's at least 10 thousand years old.

Both men trashed the Bill of Rights and civil liberties right here in this country. Clinton sent FBI gestapo into Waco, Texas, killing 86 men, women, children, and making Waco a war cry among the fascist, racist right-wing in this country, leading 2 years later to the attack on the Murrah Building by right-wingers that killed 168 people.

The Weather people never killed anybody. Comparing them to Al Quaeda is simply a self-serving lie. As I said, I lived through that era. Ayers is right on the money to say the capitalist system is finished, and that he and his group were not "terrorists" in the sense that they did not direct their actions against human beings. They did not.

And if one studies the long history of the U.S. government's actions -- killing 3 million Vietnamese (Ayers was right on the money on that), killing 14 million Native American people, overseeing for 250 years the legality of slavery out of which came a slave trade in the course of which between 20 million and 100 million black people died in transit during the infamous "Middle Passage," the Atlantic Ocean route over which slave ships from Africa packed to the holds with human beings as if they were sardines, not to mention the extraction of profits out of underdeveloped countries throughout the 20th Century through agencies like the Agency for International Development, World Bank, and similar corporate and banking agencies, leading either directly or indirectly to the deaths of millions and billions of human beings all over the world from famine resulting from sucking their countries dry by white, rich, capitalist banks and corporations here in America -- again, Ayers is right.

The U.S. fought the 1846 Mexican American War and basically seized Texas, California, Arizona, the entire far Western area of the U.S. and big chunks of land in proximity thereto -- from Mexico, because white slave owners in this country (and I'm white) had so much economic and political clout in the national government in Washington and wanted all that new land and territory so they'd have superior numbers of votes in congress and the senate over the states that lacked slavery.

There's a lot of ignorance in this country, and that ignorance is deliberately and maliciously and calculatedly exploited by the most viciously right-wing reactionary elements in order to sanction wholesale destruction of debate, conversation, dialogue, argument, over basic issues. The media made a circus out of the Obama and Clinton "debate," bringing up the most idiotic non-issues while serious issues were not brought up till 45 minutes later. On that one, Obama was right on the money.

But neither Obama, nor Clinton, nor McCain will lead to anything except more war, more bellicose and belligerent warmongering actions by the U.S. government. Read Gore Vidal's 2003 book, "Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace: How We Got to Be So Hated." If you think Bill Ayers is mistaken read that little book. It is an eye opener.

There's a reason why the U.S. is hated all over the world, and it's because not of only the Bush-Cheney regime's horrendous destruction of the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan, but of many American presidencies' destructions of many diverse peoples all over the world going back not just one century, but several centuries. Jefferson did not exactly ask the permission of the Creoles, the Catholics, and the Native American peoples when Jefferson paid 25 million dollars and purchased the enormous swathe of land called the Louisiana Purchase. He simply bought it, and then, subsequently, the U.S. government, by extreme racist violence against the Native peoples living there, expelled them from their lands.

And as for slavery, it took a Civil War to end it. Read James McPherson's books on that era, "Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era," and "The Negro's Civil War;" read Henry Mayer's book on the enormous struggle against slavery, "All On Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery;" read David S. Reynolds' book, "John Brown: Abolitionist;" read William McFeely's biography, "Frederick Douglass."

And just to get pensions, social security, the most modest and way overdue reforms in the 1930s, it took mass labor takeovers and seizures of factories, plants, offices, department stores. Read Art Preis's book, "Labor's Giant Step: Twenty Years of the CIO."

The Weather Underground did not commit violence against people. Read Kirkpatrick Sale's historical work, "SDS," sometimes published under the title, "SDS: Ten Years Toward the Revolution." Ayers is right. The Weather Underground is typically accused of having done things it never did and never tried to do.

And again, while I was in SDS at that time, I was not in the Weather Underground faction. I was in a "third" faction in the spring of 1969, opposed both to the Weatherman faction and the Worker-Student Alliance faction, the two primary factions of SDS in the May 1969 SDS split that saw the eventual end of the organization.

But that does not change the fact that Ayers is right in what he said here, and it does not change the fact that the malicious liar who accused him and the Weather people of being like Al Quaeda was, indeed, a malicious liar.

Posted by: Allan Greene | April 17, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Heh, check out ABC's headlines sometime and compare them to everyone else's. They're as divorced from reality as Fox's. Enough so that I was able to predict that last night's debate would go exactly that way.

You know, because we might want to focus on ISSUES so that we don't get dragged into another war because we vote for the one we think more likable, or because we think someone might know someone we don't like, or because someone might have been in White House when Bill was doing his thing with Monica. Or whatever political scandal is hot these days.

But yeah. It would be a lot less entertaining if we had to focus on important things like how we'll avoid having the country run out of money while the prices on food and gas both skyrocket.

Do you think those are going to stop going up any time soon? Just what do you think you can afford if the prices on everything keep going up?

But hell no. We need to know who knew whom when they were 8! How dare we elect a leader by figuring out whether or not they have any clue how to fix the train wreck this country is heading for at top speed...

Posted by: Joe | April 17, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

So this Ayers guy basically an unknown footnote to history, holds ideas that make him a Junior member of Al Qaeda, and is a teacher in an American University? Where is the news story here? That's an everyday occurence.

Posted by: Daudi Kengele | April 17, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

What on earth is all this "indignant" reaction to ABC's debate about? Please people, we are talking about looking at hiring someone (and it is that) to do the toughest job in the world and we are afraid to ask the really tough questions that linger in the minds of many, many people? I can read about the plans of both people on their websites, ad nauseum, and I can read the opinions of those plans or things less tangible about the candidates in columns, but I want to see how these people can handle the really tough, revealing questions that show a person's character, on-point, without a speech or teleprompter. This was a very tough, stark (no applause - love that!) debate that pushed issues we have with both candidates and those that will certainly be pushed by the Republicans. This is not a job for the faint of heart, or light of spirit, otherwise we all would be applying. Then again, looking at how Obama's income quadrupled since he started running for President in 2007, maybe it would be a good move financially for alot of us. (Sorry, couldn't resist!) :-)

I sat thru the entire debate and tried very hard to keep an open mind. Afterall, one of these two people could be the next President. The only problem I had with the moderators was not nailing the candidates on a direct answer to a specific question, or even an indirect answer would have been nice. All in all, I think Hillary won this one. She seemed to maintain her composure (a good thing when times are tough as a President) and answer most of the questions, more so than Obama. She did loft a few bombs his way and one can argue it was personal, but I thought maybe there's another reason: maybe she really knows that if he is the nominee, that the Republicans will make mincemeat of him with his questionable ties to Rezko, Ayers, Wright, and his revealing comments behind closed doors when cameras aren't rolling and teleprompter is off. If the Republicans can destroy the character of two very good, credible men (Gore, Kerry) without much to work with, what on earth will they do to this guy? Afterall, isn't it MOST important that we elect anyone except a Republican who still thinks Sunni's and Shiites are reversed and thinks GWB's policies are "OK"?!

Posted by: sunny florida | April 17, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Garance, you're fast! Perry Bacon Jr. reports at 4:30 PM ET on Apr 17, 2008 reports on this same page "Hillary Clinton's campaign pursued two different strategies. Her aides, on a conference call with reporters, encouraged them to look into Obama's relations with William Ayers, a controversial 1960s activist,"
and right here at 8:18 PM ET on Apr 17, 2008 you dig up some controversial blog postings that Ayers wrote that have nothing whatsoever to do with the Obama campaign.
You are a tower of journalistic integirty!

Posted by: Jotham Stavely | April 17, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

ABC news = idiots

Posted by: abcdF | April 17, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Time for Primary Do-Overs.

The Dimocrats can get Biden, Edwards or even Gore.

Then, the GOP gets to allow Mitt Romney to Campaign without Collusion by "Competitors", and "Independents"!

Only John McCain, could not have a Two-Fold lead over O'Billary at this point!

I HATE the Primary Process! :-(

Posted by: RAT-The | April 17, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

anybody who thinks obama's campaign against hillary clinton is peaceful, needs to take a closer look.

Posted by: obama is no MLK either | April 17, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Another innocent casualty of politics. How many people do you have to demonize to strike down a political opponent? Hillary Clinton adds another chapter to Karl Rove's book.

Posted by: Steve Charb | April 17, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

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