By Cliff Kincaid & Wes Vernon
July 24, 2008
Barack Obama was asked, during one of the Democratic presidential
debates, about his relationship with communist terrorist Bill Ayers.
But the more controversial relationship was with his wife, communist
terrorist Bernardine Dohrn. Both were present and hosted Obama when
he launched a run for the Illinois State Senate. In effect, Ayers and
Dohrn sponsored Obama's political career. But it has now come to
light that Dohrn repeatedly refused to deny credible reports that she
planted a bomb at a police station that killed a law enforcement officer.
Shouldn't Obama be asked about the reported involvement of his
political associate in cold-blooded murder?
This revelation is important because the Weather Underground
terrorists have long peddled the line that their bombings didn't kill
anybody, except themselves. The book flap for Ayers' book, Fugitive
Days, insists that the organization carried out "strategic, bloodless
bombings, including one inside the Pentagon." This is a Big Lie.
The Legal Link
The ties between Dohrn and Barack and Michelle Obama may run deep.
From 1984-1988, Dohrn worked at Sidley & Austin, a law firm, which
is also where Obama and his wife Michelle worked and met. "For three
years after law school, Michelle worked as an associate in the area
of marketing and intellectual property at Chicago law firm Sidley and
Austin, where she met Barack Obama," the official Obama campaign
website reports. But it says nothing about meeting or knowing Dohrn.
Ayers had told the New York Timesironically in its edition of Sept.
11, 2001"I feel we didn't do enough" in those days. It looks like
Dohrn shares that view. Indeed, a witness who questioned Dohrn tells
AIM the onetime fugitive from justice refused to deny she planted a
bomb on the window ledge of a police station in San Francisco that
killed a policeman.
But she has never been held accountable for this murder.
Newspaper accounts at the time put the number of people wounded at
nine. Riddled with shrapnel, Sgt. Brian V. McDonnell died two days
later at San Francisco General Hospital. A memorial was held for him
in February of 2007.
"Sergeant McDonnell caught the full force of the flying shrapnel,
which consisted of heavy metal staples and lead bullets. As other
officers tried rendering aid to the fallen sergeant, they could see
that he sustained a severed neck artery wound and severe wounds to
his eyes and neck," the San Francisco Police Officers Association
"Officers [Ron] Martin and [Al] Arnaud, who were standing several
feet from the window ledge, were knocked to the ground and sustained
injuries from the flying glass," it says. The blast caused them
hearing impairment and shock. One officer was knocked to the floor
unconscious, while another "suffered multiple severe wounds on his
face, cheek and legs from the flying fragments of the glass."
The original testimony about Dohrn's involvement in this came during
a hearing by the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee on October 18,
1974. On that date, FBI undercover agent Larry Grathwohl testified at
length on his penetration of the Weathermen and how he learned
firsthand of its violent aims on America.
Under questioning from the panel's veteran counsel J.G. "Jay"
Sourwine, Grathwohl testified that with the Weathermen, an offshoot
of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), "it was no longer a
question of changing the system from within. It was to destroy the
system, completely destroy it, and that is what they said the first
time I met them, and that is what they said the last time I was with them."
Grathwohl also testified about a specific bombing:
"When he [Bill Ayers] returned, we had another meeting at which
timeand this is the only time that any Weathermen told me about
something that someone else had doneand Bill started off telling us
about the need to raise the level of the struggle and for stronger
leadership inside the Weathermen 'focals' [cells] and inside the
Weatherman organization as a whole. And [what] 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
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
This testimony completely obliterates the notion, perpetuated by the
Chicago Tribune and other media, that the bombings only killed the
bombers themselves. Such propaganda is designed to play down the
serious nature of the terrorist crimes and make Obama's relationship
with Ayers and Dohrn more palatable.
Ayers Praised Dohrn
Grathwohl includes this conversation with Ayers in his 1976 book,
Bringing Down America: An FBI Informer with the Weathermen. The park
police station bombing in San Francisco was "a success," Ayers is
quoted as saying, "but it's a shame when someone like Bernardine
Dohrn has to make all the plans, make the bomb, and then place it
herself. She should have to do only the planning."
What a shame that Dohrn had to do all the dirty work. But it's
probably safe to assume that Ayers either helped her or knew about it
Grathwohl reveals that Ayers himself knew how to make bombs and
didn't care about people being killed. At one point, he says, Ayers
displayed a diagram of a bomb, with dynamite and a fuse. The plan was
to bomb a police station but an objection was raised that it would
also destroy a nearby restaurant. "We'll blow out the Red Barn
restaurant," Grathwohl said. "Maybe even kill a few innocent
customersand most of them are black."
"We can't protect all the innocent people in the world," Ayers
replied. "Some will get killed. Some of us will get killed. We have
to accept that fact."
Grathwohl says the Weather Under-ground (WUO) also considered using
kidnappings and assassinations in order to bring about their
communist revolution in the U.S. Possible kidnapping targets were
Vice President Spiro Agnew and presidential aide Henry Kissinger.
The KU Appearance
The Monday March 8, 1982 edition of The University Daily Kansan, the
student newspaper of the University of Kansas, ran a story about the
campus appearance the previous Friday of Bernadine Dohrn. She
declared, "Those of us who participated in the [Vietnam] anti-war
movement were not drastic enough."
Considering the testimony that she was responsible for planting the
bomb in San Francisco on Feb. 16, 1970 that killed Police Sgt. Brian
V. McDonnell, who caught the full force of the flying shrapnel, one
wonders what would qualify as "drastic enough."
AIM has been in contact with a witness to the events of the day of
Dohrn's 1982 appearance on the KU campus. John B. Barrett, then a
third semester law student at the university, showed up at the
meeting where Dohrn was speaking against the war then in El Salvador.
That was at a time when a Soviet-backed insurgency was out to take
over that beleaguered country. President Reagan's determination not
to let the Soviets gain one square inch of territory on his watch was
instrumental in putting the kibosh on that aggression. Reagan had a
policy of supporting the government of El Salvador.
As Barrett (now a practicing attorney in Goddard, Kansas) e-mailed
this writer, "Using Larry Grathwohl's testimony, and a pamphlet by
ex-FBI agents, I asked Dohrn how she could condemn killing by the
U.S. government when she had killed one police officer and injured
others. Her response was, 'Larry's a pig.' I asked about the incident
at least two more times, and got the same response each time."
Through it all, as Barrett tells us, Dohrn's two male companions
tried to shout him down; Dohrn told them to let him speak.
And then this:
"DOHRN NEVER SAID THAT GRATHWOHL HAD LIED OR DENIED THAT SHE HAD
PLANNED AND CARRIED OUT THE BOMBING THAT KILLED THE OFFICER IN SAN
FRANCISCO [Caps in original e-mail]."
During her appearance at KU, Dohrn also alleged that the U.S.
government "is the main enemy of the people of the world" and that
"Resorting to violence is painful and tragic, but with a slave/master
situation, something has to be done."
The Manson Murders
Not so coincidentally, members of the SDS such as Ayers and Dohrn
were becoming members of the Weather Underground and engaging in
numerous bombings and other violence as the case of Charles Manson
and his "family" emerged in 1969. Manson had taken a group of young
people, subjected them to heavy drug use, and ordered them to commit
mass murder. On the Weather Underground and their drug use, Ayers
writes in his own book, Fugitive Days, "Marijuana was available
everywhereevery party, every gathering, every meeting."
Dohrn went further, praising the psychopath Manson as a true
"revolutionary," adding, "First they killed those pigs [i.e., the
victims, including a pregnant movie actress], then they ate dinner in
the same room with them. Then they even shoved a fork into one's
In her "Declaration of a State of War," Dohrn said, "We fight in many
ways. Dope is one of our weapons. The laws against marijuana mean
that millions of us are outlaws long before we actually split. Guns
and grass are united in the youth underground."
The pro-Manson comments were delivered by Dohrn at a national SDS
"War Council" in December of 1969. Those in attendance included SDS
leader Mark Rudd, who also gave a speech. Rudd was a subject of an
April 27, 2008, sympathetic article in the Washington Post about a
"Columbia 68" "reunion" of SDS members and student radicals who had
taken over campus buildings. Lee Bollinger, president of Columbia and
a board member of the Post, delivered a welcoming address and
participated in a panel discussion.
The Post article about the event neglected to mention that Rudd had
been to Communist Cuba before he led the riots and the takeover of
Columbia University. Rudd wrote an SDS pamphlet, titled simply
Columbia, which declared that during the "occupation" of Columbia
University, "It was no accident that we hung up pictures of Karl Marx
and Malcom X and Che Guevara and flew red flags from the tops of two
buildings." The pamphlet concluded with a quotation from Communist
Chinese mass murderer Mao Tse-Tung, "Dare to struggle, dare to win."
The Dohrn-Soros Connection
Dohrn is now a Clinical Associate Professor in the Bluhm Legal Clinic
at Northwestern School of Law and an adjunct faculty member of the
University of Illinois/Chicago in the Department of Criminal Justice.
Her curriculum vitae shows participation in several American Bar
Association (ABA) events and even a Department of Justice conference.
She was involved in a "Peace Studies Program" at Colgate University
and served on the board of the "Peace Museum" in Chicago, an entity
currently funded by the Playboy Foundation.
Most interesting, however, are her appearances at events sponsored by
the Open Society Institute (OSI) of billionaire leftist George Soros.
The Baltimore, Maryland branch of the OSI on May 12, 2004, hosted
Dohrn at a forum on criminal justice issues and discipline in
schools. In 1999, Dohrn participated in an OSI event at New York
University on "families in a free society," with a focus on welfare
reform and child welfare. (Another WUO member, Linda Evans, was given
a Soros grant to "increase civic participation of former prisoners.")
An objective observer might conclude that Ayers, Dohrn and their
comrades are now dedicated to creating a new student and youth
movement, like the one they participated in which eventually
developed into a full-blown terrorist organization that killed our
fellow citizens and tried to eliminate the "Thin Blue Line" of police
separating us from the criminals. In this new crusade, they not only
have an inspiring leader, Barack Obama, who attracts young people
with his promise of "change," but a moneybags named Soros, who has
funded causes such as rights for convicted felons and legalization of dope.
"I have very high regard for Hillary Clinton, but I think Obama has
the charisma and the vision to radically reorient America in the
world," Soros told Judy Woodruff of Bloomberg Television. "I think
that he has shown to be a really unusual person."
Where's The Justice?
So how do communist-backed terror bombers escape justice for their
crimes and end up introducing Barack Obama to the wider world of
To answer that, one must recall the post-Watergate anti-intelligence
culture that began in the Ford years and accelerated in the Carter
administration, in which concern over a huge slave empire's drive for
world domination was deemed "an inordinate fear of communism," to
quote Jimmy Carter.
Roy M. Cohn, best known as chief counsel to the old McCarthy
committee, captured the tenor of the times:
"During the 1970s, the American internal security and
counter-intelligence community [including congressional committees
investigating communism] was virtually destroyed….by a
sensation-seeking national media which utilized selective "leaks" and
disclosures in order to present a bizarre, distorted picture of the
purpose and operations of the intelligence, counter-intelligence and
internal security agencies."
In those years, the FBI's hands were tied by such prohibitions as
being forbidden to clip news stories of subversive activities or
building a file on individual subversives and terrorists. Meanwhile,
the anti-intelligence lobby was going full tilt. Groups such as the
communist-front National Lawyers Guild, and the pro-Marxist Institute
for Policy Studies worked openly with the American Civil Liberties Union.
The Carter Justice Department prosecuted FBI agents Mark Felt (later
revealed as "Deep Throat" in the Watergate case) and Edward S. Miller
who were in pursuit of radicals in the Weather Underground (the
renamed Weathermen) who had planted bombs not only in San Francisco
but in New York, Los Angeles and in Washington at the U.S. Capitol
and other federal buildings.
It was left to President Reagan to pardon the agents. He declared:
"During their long careers, Mark Felt and Edward Miller served the
Federal Bureau of Investigation and our nation with great
distinction. To punish them furtherafter 3 years of criminal
prosecution proceedings would not serve the ends of justice.
"Their convictions in the U.S. District Court, on appeal at the time
I signed the pardons, grew out of their good-faith belief that their
actions were necessary to preserve the security interests of our
country. The record demonstrates that they acted not with criminal
intent, but in the belief that they had grants of authority reaching
to the highest levels of government.
"America was at war in 1972, and Messrs. Felt and Miller followed
procedures they believed essential to keep the Director of the FBI,
the Attorney General, and the President of the United States advised
of the activities of hostile foreign powers and their collaborators
in this country..."
One argument used by the defendants (and not contradicted) was that
the Weather Underground was taking orders and direction from Castro's Cuba.
The Cuban Connection
Herbert Romerstein, former investigator for the House Committee on
Un-American Activities and the House Internal Security Committee, has
said that "What is significant today are the neo-communistsmany of
them are what we call red diaper babies and they came out of
communist families. But they were disappointed in the Soviet Union
back in the 1960's and 1970's and they were disappointed that the
American Communist Party was so weak. So, they said they were
communists and they were better communists than the American
Communist Party. I think a better term for people like Bill Ayers
and Bernardine Dohrn are neo-communists. They were not party
members, but they were fighting on behalf of the countries that the
Soviet Union controlled or created."
Romerstein noted that "A group of the Weathermen went down to Cuba in
the so-called Venceremos Brigade, and some of them received training
in terrorist activities.
"One of their instructors was named Julian Torres-Rizo. Rizo was an
officer of the Cuban DGI, the intelligence service. He was assigned
to work with the young Americans who were coming down ostensibly to
cut sugar cane. They were really coming down for training. And we
have one of Rizo's speeches in which he says, 'You come from a
society that must be destroyed. It's your job to destroy your society.'
"Well, Bernardine Dohrn and her cronies published Rizo's speech and I
have the copy that they published so we know what he did and what
they said. And Rizo later became the Cuban Ambassador to Grenada at
the time of Maurice Bishop and he was still the Cuban Ambassador when
Bishop was murdered by his own comrades and finally had to leave and
go back to Cuba where he became a member of the central committee of
the Cuban Communist Party.
"He's a very significant communist apparatchik and he was a
tremendous influence on the Weather Underground…he helped the
terrorists that were fighting against us at that time."
Cliff Kincaid is the Editor of the AIM Report.
Cliff can be reached at email@example.com