• John Morgan
    Blog Owner
  • Kirk Wentzel
  • Peter Bonny Jr.
  • Michael P

Blog Ads

  • To advertise on this blog please contact the owner through the "Email Me" link.
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 09/2006
Recently on this blog
Recently on other blogs

« Michelle Obama in Abington, Villanova | Main | Treasurer Race Update »

March 12, 2008


Ann C

I'd like some response from the Obama fans on this.

Ben Smith in Politico told us about Obama’s early relationship with William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn as they held a fun raiser for him:

“I can remember being one of a small group of people who came to Bill Ayers’ house to learn that Alice Palmer was stepping down from the senate and running for Congress,” said Dr. Quentin Young, a prominent Chicago physician and advocate for single-payer health care, of the informal gathering at the home of Ayers and his wife, Dohrn. “[Palmer] identified [Obama] as her successor.” ***

Smith notes:

But — unlike some other fringe figures of the era — they’re [Ayers and Dohrn] also flatly unrepentant about the bombings they committed in the name of ending the war, defending them on the grounds that they killed no one, except, accidentally, their own members.

Dohrn, however, was jailed for less than a year for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating other Weather Underground members’ robbery of a Brinks truck, in which a guard and two New York State Troopers were killed.

“I don't regret setting bombs; I feel we didn't do enough,” Ayers told the New York Times in 2001. [end Politico cites]

“A substantial portion of Ayers' book Fugitive Days discusses the author's penchant for building and deploying explosives. Ayers boasts that he "participated in the bombings of New York City Police Headquarters in 1970, of the Capitol building in 1971, and the Pentagon in 1972." Of the day he bombed the Pentagon, Ayers says, "Everything was absolutely ideal. ... The sky was blue. The birds were singing. And the bastards were finally going to get what was coming to them."

Bernadine Dohrn’s most famous statement is probably this one: "Offing those rich pigs with their own forks and knives, and then eating a meal in the same room, far out! The Weathermen dig Charles Manson."

Here’s the context. In his book “Hippie”, a detailed description of the musical and social scene of the 60’s, Barry Miles wrote on page 312, about the formation of the Weather Underground:

“They held a National War Council in Flint, Michigan, where a huge cardboard machine gun hung from the ceiling and the speeches were about “organizing a city-wide anti-pig movement...”. Participants romanticized Manson’s killing spree. Speaking of the LaBianca murders, Bernadine Dohrn, who became the organization’s spokesperson, said, “Dig it. First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room as them. Then they even shoved a fork into a victim’s stomach. Wild!”

Those victims were Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, a middle-aged couple who were not cops or FBI or otherwise obvious oppressors. Leno was stabbed 12 times with a knife, and 14 times with a carving fork. Rosemary was stabbed 41 times. See comments at which offer a valuable correction of the events. See also

Kathy S., TX

A friend once invited me to her house for a study group and when I got there I realized that her brother was also in the group. I was told that 40-some years ago he had murdered his girlfriend. While personally horrified that he spoke of it so cavalierly, I was there as a guest of his sister and had the goal of studying calculus. I stayed, I studied, I left. I felt very badly for him and for her having to live with it but it wasn't my problem on a personal level.


We need to listen to Bill Clinton, and avoid the politics of personal destruction.

This is what matters:

* Obama is committed to ensuring Social Security is solvent and viable for the American people, now and in the future. Obama will be honest with the American people about the long-term solvency of Social Security and the ways we can address the shortfall. Obama will protect Social Security benefits for current and future beneficiaries alike. And he does not believe it is necessary or fair to hardworking seniors to raise the retirement age. Obama is strongly opposed to privatizing Social Security.

* Obama will eliminate all income taxation of seniors making less than $50,000 per year. This will provide an immediate tax cut averaging $1,400 to 7 million seniors and relieve millions from the burden of filing tax returns.

* After reports that lobbyists, but not the American people, received information about the most unsafe nursing homes in the country, Barack Obama demanded the Department of Health and Human Services release that information to the public. Following Obama's letter, the names of care facilities cited for unsafe care were released to the public. Obama's efforts follow his successful efforts to make nursing home information public and strengthen elder abuse laws.


I'm not quite sure that persecuting Obama for his affiliation with community activists who have gone on to do a great many positive things and who he did not know when he was 3 or 4 when they were doing the these illegal things is the best use of our mental resources.

Virginia Elliott

Hm. I don't think Obama had read the Miles book. I can't find anything in Obama's personal history or political record to suggest he advocates Charles Manson or the violent overthrow of government.

In any case, Bill Clinton did pardon the FALN terrorists. It has been claimed that he did this to help secure the Ny senate seat for his wfe. The FALN bombed fiv people to death and injured 50 others.

McCain is a good guy I think. But he doesn't mind if we are in Iraq a illion more years. Just got that quote from a veterans sit. Maybe he only actually said "a hundred" years.

Unless Obama is a total phoney, and thousands an thousands swear he's not, he has no penchant for violence and every likliehood of helping to bring us peace.

John Morgan

I have to agree that I don't see much relevance to these matters. Trying to connect him to these violent people is a huge stretch.


Dude, Obama was a little kid when those things were happening with Weather Underground. I hardly think it's productive to discuss his ties to the group. Nowdays the guy you're talking about is a professor at the same university where Obama is a professor. They're bound to be seen at the same event from time to time, and Obama would be unprofessional to scream MURDERER and run out of the room.


The former member of the radical Weather Underground Organization in the 1960’s, William Ayers, now holds the position of distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Ayers has never been convicted of any crime, and Barack Obama was a toddler during Ayers period as a radical activist. Obviously, Ayers changed the direction of his life.

Both Obama and Ayers were members of the board of an anti-poverty group, the Woods Fund of Chicago, between 1999 and 2002.

John Morgan

I think you're missing the point others are making: that doesn't mean Obama supports what they did.


From the Washington Post:
“Obama spokesman Bill Burton noted in a statement that Ayers was a professor of education at the University of Illinois and a former aide to Mayor Richard M. Daley, and continued:

“Senator Obama strongly condemns the violent actions of the Weathermen group, as he does all acts of violence. But he was an eight-year-old child when Ayers and the Weathermen were active, and any attempt to connect Obama with events of almost forty years ago is ridiculous.”

Whatever his past, Ayers is now a respected member of the Chicago intelligentsia, and still a member of the Woods Fund Board. The president of the Woods Fund, Deborah Harrington, said he had been selected for the board because of his solid academic credentials and "passion for social justice."
"This whole connection is a stretch," Harrington told me. "Barack was very well known in Chicago, and a highly respected legislator. It would be difficult to find people round here who never volunteered or contributed money to one of his campaigns."

In the short term, the person who has most to gain by speculation about Obama's acquaintance with a former terrorist is Hillary Clinton. The former First Lady likes to present herself as "tested and vetted" after years of exposure to Republican attacks, in contrast to Obama. Clinton has her own Weatherman connection. Her husband commuted the sentences of a couple of convicted Weather Underground members, Susan Rosenberg and Linda Sue Evans, shortly before leaving office in January 2001. Which is worse: pardoning a convicted terrorist or accepting a campaign contribution from a former Weatherman who was never convicted?”

The comments to this entry are closed.