27 September 2010
Christopher G. Kennedy, chairman of the University of Illinois Board
of Trustees, led the effort to deny Bill Ayers the title of professor
emeritus because Ayers had written a book dedicated in part to the
killer of his father, Robert F. Kennedy. But this "book," titled,
Prairie Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism, had
been written back in 1974.
Let's hope that Christopher Kennedy's expression of disgust can not
only lead to a review of what Ayers said but what he didin the form
of eyewitness testimony that Ayers had knowledge of a bombing plot
that took the life of San Francisco Police Officer Brian V. McDonnell
back in 1970. The case is still open and will be the subject of an
October 21 conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
One of the speakers will be Larry Grathwohl, a former FBI informant
in the Weather Underground who has talked in detail about how Ayers
and his wife Bernardine Dohrn specialized in making bombs
deliberately designed to kill people with deadly shrapnel. Ayers told
Grathwohl that Dohrn planted the bomb that killed McDonnell. And yet
Ayers claims they never hurt anybody and didn't intend to. This is
the claim that gets prominent media attention, while Grathwohl's
testimony to the contrary, delivered under oath before grand juries
and before a congressional committee, gets mostly ignored or dismissed.
Christopher Kennedy's condemnation of Ayers' tribute to his father's
killer should be a wake-up call to the liberal and "progressive"
community, including President Obama himself, who have excused their
associations with Ayers and Dohrn on the pretext that all of this
happened many years ago and that the two professors have somehow been
rehabilitated. Kennedy said he was not aware of any remorse by Ayers.
McDonnell's body was hit with shrapnel from a pipe bomb and suffered
in a hospital for two days. This is why his death is recorded on
February 18 and the blast went off on February 16. One of the heavy
metal staples from the bomb went through his eye and into his brain.
Ayers' fingerprints were found in a Weather Underground bomb factory
discovered by the FBI in San Francisco in 1971. Photographs were
taken of the materials, including C-4 plastic explosive. Members of
the Weather Underground were taught how to make bombs by the Cuban
intelligence service during trips to Cuba. The Weather Underground
had organized the so-called Venceremos Brigades to Cuba.
The Praire Fire book was co-authored by Dohrn and contains a tribute
to their three Weather Underground "comrades" who blew themselves up
in a bomb factory in New York City in 1970. Since the book, dedicated
in part to the killer of Robert F. Kennedy, was released back in
1974, the question is why it never played a role in denying Ayers a
place at the university in the first place. It only belatedly became
an issue in the 2008 presidential campaign when commentators such as
Sean Hannity of Fox News and others brought it up in the context of
Barack Obama's relationship with Ayers and Dohrn.
The claim that Ayers and Dohrn and their ilk never killed anybody and
never intended to is contradicted by the evidence taken from the bomb
factory and the bombing murder of Sgt. McDonnell, whose death has
been blamed on Ayers and Dohrn by the San Francisco Police Officers
Association. The only questions at this late date are whether the
available evidence in the case will be re-tested and re-examined and
new witnesses to this and other crimes will come forward so that
charges can be brought. A law enforcement entity called the Phoenix
Task Force is currently and actively examining the case. Ayers says
they had nothing to do with McDonnell's murder, but he and Dohrn have
not been required to testify under oath in the case.
When Ayers and Dohrn surfaced in 1980, Ayers released a statement
that said, "In 1970, I went underground to fight against the Vietnam
War…" This was another lie and the dedication of Prairie Fire to
Sirhan Sirhan proves the point. If they were against the war, why did
they dedicate a book to the convicted assassin of the leading
anti-war candidate? The truth, of course, is that Ayers and Dohrn
didn't oppose the Vietnam War; they supported the side of the
communist enemy that was killing Americans. So it's not just
Christopher Kennedy who should take offense. Every American,
especially our veterans and the families of those who died in the
honorable effort to stave off the communist conquest of Southeast
Asia, has a right to be disgusted at the thought that someone like
Ayers or Dohrn could get teaching positions at major American universities.
Incidentally, while Ayers is retiring and for that reason requested
"Professor Emeritus" status, Dohrn still teaches at Northwestern
University, where she is said to be a "child advocate" who lectures
on "international human rights."
Former FBI agent Max Noel, a member of the Weatherman Task Force in
San Francisco, was among those who discovered the Weather Underground
bomb factory in that city. He has told me in a recent interview that
while FBI agents found dozens of copies of Marxist-Leninist books and
pamphlets in the bomb factory, they did not locate any "anti-war"
literature. Again, the point is that Ayers and Dohrn were not
anti-war activists. They were communist revolutionaries dedicated to
the destruction of America and its allies. Their ideology has never changed.
What's more, they haven't given up; they have simply taken the
"struggle" into new directions, such as "education." But why, for
example, have Ayers and Dohrn been traveling to Marxist-ruled
Venezuela? Why have they been meeting with former members of the West
German terrorist group, the Red Army Faction (RAF)? The Weather
Underground had the support of Cuba, while the RAF received critical
support from the East German intelligence service.
In an interesting development, members of the FBI's Joint Terrorism
Task Force have just raided the home and office of Michael Kelly, a
member of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, an openly
communist group, in the U.S. The FBI raids were designed, according
to legal documents in the case, to find connections to the
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the Popular Front for
the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Lebanese Islamic terrorist
Ayers and Dohrn could possibly provide good leads in any such
investigation because they have maintained their own contacts with
anti-American groups and governments over the years. They have
traveled in Venezuela, to sing the praises of the Hugo Chavez regime,
and then they showed up in the Middle East to help organize the Free
Gaza Movement as part of an anti-Israel propaganda campaign.
WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein and Kristinn Taylor and Andrea Shea King
at BigGovernment.com all wrote extensively about the involvement of
Ayers and Dohrn in this effort.
What's more, Ayers and Dohrn raised a son, Chesa Boudin, who worked
for Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. Chavez has ties to terrorist Iran, the
communist guerrillas in Colombia, and apparently has been seeking
nuclear weapons. Chesa Boudin was the child of Kathy Boudin and David
Gilbert, members of a Weather Underground spin-off group who went to
prison for an armored car robbery that resulted in the murders of two
police officers and a security guard.
Another U.S. group that was reportedly targeted in the recent raids
was Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the name of the old
1960s organization that spawned the terrorist Weather Underground.
There is now a "new SDS" that has emerged under the guidance of Ayers
and Dohrn and their comrades in the Movement for a Democratic Society.
However, instead of going after Ayers and Dohrn and other remnants of
the Weather Underground, the FBI is going after what appear to be
small fry in the U.S.-based communist movement. Could this be due to
the fact that Ayers and Dohrn are politically connected to the
President of the United States?
Interestingly, the group called United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ),
which was founded by a veteran of the Venceremos Brigade, has just
announced demonstrations around the country, including at the FBI
headquarters on Tuesday, to protest these raids. One of UFPJ's
current top officials, Michael McPhearson, is the "peace director" of
this Saturday's "One Nation Working Together" rally in Washington,
D.C. As we noted in a previous column, McPhearson has himself been
monitored by the FBI for his travels abroad.
To take this problem to a new level, it turns out that one of the
major rally co-sponsors, the AFL-CIO, has two veterans of the
Venceremos Brigades in its top ranks. They are Karen Nussbaum, the
executive director of Working America, the community affiliate of the
AFL-CIO, and Karen Ackerman, political director of the giant labor group.
As I noted more than a year and a half ago, when I questioned
Nussbaum about her travel to Cuba, "She refused to answer and walked
away. Obviously embarrassed, she also pretended that she didn't hear
the follow-up questions about her trip as a young radical to the
communist-controlled island." Nussbaum is currently working to
mobilize the unemployed to vote on November 2 to maintain liberal
control of Congress.
I have not had the opportunity to question Ackerman in person and she
will not return my telephone calls. I provided evidence to
then-AFL-CIO President John Sweeney about her reported trip to Cuba
almost two years ago and talked to AFL-CIO "media outreach" officials
about the matter, requesting a comment. No comment has ever been
forthcoming. Letters marked "return receipt requested" were sent to
Ackerman and signed for by an aide but never answered.
Ackerman, political director of the AFL-CIO since 2003, now works for
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumpka, who has emphasized "economic
patriotism" as his union works to maintain liberal control of Congress.
But how patriotic is it for AFL-CIO officials to have traveled to
Communist Cuba during a time when such visits were being organized by
a terrorist group whose leaders thought Sirhan Sirhan was a true revolutionary?