"IN the recently concluded presidential race, I was unwillingly thrust upon the stage and asked to play a role in a profoundly dishonest drama. I refused, and here’s why.
Unable to challenge the content of Barack Obama’s campaign, his opponents invented a narrative about a young politician who emerged from nowhere, a man of charm, intelligence and skill, but with an exotic background and a strange name. The refrain was a question: “What do we really know about this man?”
Secondary characters in the narrative included an African-American preacher with a fiery style, a Palestinian scholar and an “unrepentant domestic terrorist.” Linking the candidate with these supposedly shadowy characters, and ferreting out every imagined secret tie and dark affiliation, became big news.
I was cast in the “unrepentant terrorist” role; I felt at times like the enemy projected onto a large screen in the “Two Minutes Hate” scene from George Orwell’s “1984,” when the faithful gathered in a frenzy of fear and loathing.
With the mainstream news media and the blogosphere caught in the pre-election excitement, I saw no viable path to a rational discussion. Rather than step clumsily into the sound-bite culture, I turned away whenever the microphones were thrust into my face. I sat it out.
Now that the election is over, I want to say as plainly as I can that the character invented to serve this drama wasn’t me, not even close. Here are the facts:
I never killed or injured anyone. I did join the civil rights movement in the mid-1960s, and later resisted the draft and was arrested in nonviolent demonstrations. I became a full-time antiwar organizer for Students for a Democratic Society. In 1970, I co-founded the Weather Underground, an organization that was created after an accidental explosion that claimed the lives of three of our comrades in Greenwich Village. The Weather Underground went on to take responsibility for placing several small bombs in empty offices — the ones at the Pentagon and the United States Capitol were the most notorious — as an illegal and unpopular war consumed the nation.
The Weather Underground crossed lines of legality, of propriety and perhaps even of common sense. Our effectiveness can be — and still is being — debated. We did carry out symbolic acts of extreme vandalism directed at monuments to war and racism, and the attacks on property, never on people, were meant to respect human life and convey outrage and determination to end the Vietnam war."
Bathtub water. Let's go back to that little accident in Greenwich Village via Wiki:
"The Greenwich Village townhouse explosion was the premature detonation of a bomb as it was being assembled by members of the American "urban guerilla" organization, Weatherman (later rechristened the Weather Underground), in the basement of a townhouse at 18 West 11th Street in New York City's Greenwich Village. The three persons nearest the bomb were killed, two others in the house were slightly injured, and the four story townhouse was reduced to rubble and caught fire. d Shortly before noon on Friday, March 6, 1970, people in the townhouse were assembling anti-personnel weapons armed with roofing nails and packed with dynamite. Years later, former members of the organization who had not been at the scene advanced differing (but not incompatible) claims as to the plans for use of the bombs. Thus, according to Mark Rudd, the plan was to set them off that evening at a dance for noncommissioned officers at the Fort Dix, New Jersey Army base. According to a detractor, "former members" have reported that some of the bombs were destined for the Fort Dix dance and others for Butler Library at Columbia University."
In spite of Ayers skipping over this point, it's also of note that he was one of the primary planners of the attack. Thus in some circles of law and justice he would not only reponsible for attempted murder, but culpable in the deaths of his comrades.
In any case whether "youthful exuberance" or not, Ayers is not only an unrepentant terrorist, but he's also a murderer.
Lin Farely, who had an association with the group Ayers founded recounted this from Timothy Noah of Slate wrote in 2001 of Ayers and the Underground.
“The weather underground was full of rich kids who thought they knew best. Who wanted to kill in order to stop killing. To many on the left they were heroes, I thought they were jackals. And William Ayers exemplified the worst when on 9/11, 2001, in an interview for his book ” Fugitive” he said in the NY times:
‘I don’t regret setting bombs; I feel we didn’t do enough.’
…Much of what Ayers self-interestedly leaves out of his book is more personally embarrassing than illegal. Ayers takes care not to dwell on his own Establishment credentials. (His father was chairman of the energy company Commonwealth Edison, a fact Ayers conveys only by writing, “My dad worked for Edison.”) Ayers omits any discussion of his famous 1970 statement, “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.” He also omits any discussion of his wife Bernardine Dohrn’s famous reaction to the Manson killings, as conveyed by journalist Peter Collier: “Dig it. First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, then they even shoved a fork into a victim’s stomach! Wild!” (In a 1993 Chicago Magazine profile, Dohrn claimed, implausibly, that she’d been trying to convey that “Americans love to read about violence.”) Nor does he address fellow radical Jane Alpert’s charge that Ayers was “notorious for his callous treatment and abandonment of Diana Oughton before her death and for his generally fickle and high-handed treatment of women” (though Ayers does manage to get across the message, to those few who haven’t heard it, that the late 1960s and early 1970s were a golden age for getting laid).”