Special thanks to C.S. for the fast video production.
|Tonight, in the Pennsylvania debate less than one week before the Keystone State’s primary, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked Barack Obama about his long relationship with terrorist William Ayers — who has admitted setting a bomb in the Pentagon and whose Weather Underground girlfriend was killed while making bombs. (Finally, Barack Obama is beginning to be asked about these worrisome relationships of long standing.)|
To this day, William Ayers expresses no regret. Ayers told a New York Times reporter, in an interview published on September 11, 2001, that ”I don’t regret setting bombs.” He said, ”I feel we didn’t do enough.”
Obama’s long associations include Ayers’ sponsorship, contributions and fund-raising work for several of Obama’s campaigns, as well as their joint membership on the board of the Woods Foundation. The two men have also appeared together on panels.
Both Barack Obama and William Ayers — sitting together on the Woods Fund board — “voted to donate $75,000 of the largesse they controlled to the Arab American Action Network.”
The AAAN was “co-founded by Rashid Khalidi, a longtime supporter of Palestinian ‘resistance’ attacks against Israel,” and widely considered himself to be a dangerous radical, according to an opinion piece on April 11, 2008 at CBS News.
(You can learn much more about Rashid Khalidi and his connections to Barack Obama by reading Larry Johnson’s articles here at No Quarter.)
The most pressing problem for the Democratic party is to consider the effect of Barack Obama’s longtime relationship with William Ayers in a general election contest. Larry Johnson spoke to the Times UK about what the GOP and its 527s will do with such proven information:
Larry Johnson, a former counterterrorism official at the CIA said: “They’re going to kill him with this. The guy is an unrepentant terrorist, so please, Barack Obama, explain why you aligned yourself with him. It is a fundamental question of judgment. By the time he [Obama] was hanging around with Ayers, his position was well known. He [Ayers] was not a freedom fighter; he belonged to a violent terrorist group.”
The other day, Jake Tapper, a reporter for ABC News, and Ben Smith of The Politico posted new stories on Obama’s longtime relationship with the unrepentant terrorist William Ayers and his wife Bernardine Dohrn, former members of the violent Weather Underground. Ayers and Obama have been associated on boards since 1995 and Ayers has helped raised funds for Obama’s many political campaigns, even hosting a fundraiser at his home.
Larry Johnson and I have written extensively here about William Ayers. Two of our recent stories are “Obama Tries to Hide Ayers Tie” (by Larry) and in “Hannity: Like a Dog With a Bone” (by me). It’s important to note that Ben Smith, to his credit, has tracked the story, more than the rest of the MSM, at Politico.com.
In the aptly-named “Stormy Weather,” Jake Tapper writes about Senator Obama’s relationship with the Weather Underground terrorist:
Perhaps you think this [the Ayers/Obama relationship] is all a silly political smear.
But should Obama get the nomination, what will moderate and swing voters in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Missouri think of it all? Will they think Obama is able to transcend partisan divisions if he’s been supported by Ayres?
The proverbial Republican attack machine is chugging along on this — see THIS CLIP from last night’s "Hannity & Colmes" on Fox News, featuring Karl Rove making much hay out of this connection …”
Here is the clip to which Tapper refers, and he is correct to point to its information as providing just the kind of attacks that the Republicans and 527 groups will exploit against Barack Obama:
Ah, there’s the rub. As I wrote earlier today, “It’s About the Electability, Stupid.”
So why would a politician like Obama, who’s had presidential aspirations for a long time, risk his future by associating with William Ayers?
Here’s one possible reason, probably unlikely, but worth noting — it’s hip: Believe it or not, but it may be considered cool — in some of the urbane, elite, moneyed salons of large cities like Chicago — to entertain and mingle with radicals like William Ayers. There’s a certain chic in consorting with radicals who have such frightening violent pasts, who made bombs, who robbed, who secreted away huge caches of weapons that they trained themselves to use for the “revolution” to come, and who consorted with other violent radicals like the Black Panthers. There’s a thrill in being around a rich intellectual professor who has actually bombed the Pentagon!
Ah, but it’s fatal to a national political career: Barack Obama has mostly only run political campaigns in the safe environs of Chicago. Once they learn about his radical associates, the bedrock folks in smaller cities and towns will be horrified. They will be appalled that Barack Obama would consort repeatedly, and take campaign contributions from, this terrorist. Especially a terrorist who — in an interview published on September 11, 2001 (oh, the irony in that date) — told the New York Times that ”I don’t regret setting bombs.” He said, ”I feel we didn’t do enough.”
The New York Times story — published unbelievably on the newspaper’s front page on that fateful, historic and horrific day — was titled, “No Regrets for a Love Of Explosives; In a Memoir of Sorts, a War Protester Talks of Life With the Weathermen.”
More seriously, it could well be that Barack Obama has an affinity with the politics of William Ayers, Rashid Khalidi, and other left radicals. There is much about this man that we do not know. (See Larry Johnson’s story on April 15, “Can We Fill the Holes in Barack’s Story?“) However, we do know that he has a pattern of relationships with far-left radicals for decades, and that is cause for concern.
Here is more background from Jake Tapper that I include because it is important to note that the mainstream media, such as ABC News, are reporting this information and — as we saw in the ABC News debate tonight — asking questions about these disturbing relationships:
As celebrated members of the Chicago liberal world, Ayres and Obama have some connections.
They served on a board together when Obama was a state senator. Ayres donated $200 to Obama’s campaign in 2001. They sat on a panel together in 2002 called "Intellectuals in Times of Crisis." Obama went to Ayres and Dohrn’s home in 1995 to be introduced to some of the more influential liberals in the area by the state senator he was preparing to succeed, Alice Palmer.
(Palmer, who changed her mind about not running for reelection for her state senate seat after being defeated in a US House race, was later unable to get on the ballot because Obama challenged her petitions to do so, in some hardball Chicago-style politics, a whole other interesting story.)
Ayers only escaped a long prison sentence — despite his admissions to bombing the Pentagon and other crimes — because his extremely wealthy father was able to buy him the best legal team which found improprieties in FBI investigations.
Next is a video from Fox News’s Hannity America on Sunday night; his guests included Lannie Davis, a Clinton surrogate who condemned the acts of William Ayers. Lannie Davis noted that, during those same years, he was a peaceful protestor against the Vietnam War, as were nearly all who opposed that war. Only a few went to the violent extremes that William Ayers chose.
[First, there's a lengthy list of the crimes in which William Ayers participated -- all acts of terrorism.]
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 [relationship], 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.
In the interim, Ayers and Obama had teamed up for three years on the board of the Woods Fund, a Chicago charitable organization. Together, they voted to donate $75,000 of the largesse they controlled to the Arab American Action Network. The AAAN was co-founded by Rashid Khalidi, a longtime supporter of Palestinian “resistance” attacks against Israel, which he openly regards as a racist, apartheid state. Despite considerable evidence to the contrary, Khalidi peremptorily denies having been a PLO operative or having directed its official press agency for six years (from 1976 to 1982). There can be no gainsaying, though, that he was an influential apologist for Yasser Arafat, the terror master who spawned two Intifadas and ordered the murder of American diplomats.
In the mean, besotted United States, of course, being a terrorist, a terror apologist, or simply raging at the machine qualifies one for a cushy academic soapbox. Thus did Khalidi eventually land on his feet at the University of Chicago, where he ran in the same circles as Associate Dean Michelle Obama, Law Professor Barack Obama, University of Illinois-Chicago Education Professor Bill Ayers, and Northwestern Law Professor Bernadine Dohrn (who prepared for a career in instructing future officers of the court with a stint in federal prison for flouting a judge’s order that she testify in a grand jury investigation into the Weathermen’s infamous Brinks robbery-murders).
For Khalidi, though, greener pastures called: the opportunity to become a professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University. There, he now directs Edward Said’s legacy: Columbia’s notoriously Israel-bashing Middle East Institute. …
As soon as the video is available, we will add this portion of the debate to this story. Our video whiz C.S. is already making a clip, I was able to confirm with him by telephone.