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The Weathermen Redeemed, Part 2:

Obama’s “I-was-only-8” Lie

by Jared Israel

[Nov. 3, 2008]


Other articles in the
"Weathermen Redeemed" series:

Part 1: Obama and Ayers: The Provocateur Exhumed
http://emperors-clothes.com/exhumed.htm

Part 3: Obama Forgets the Early '80s
http://emperors-clothes.com/forget.htm

Part 4: A Weatherman Dream in New York
http://emperors-clothes.com/dream.htm

Also see: A Nightmare of Human Potential
Reply to Bill Ayers' New York Times Editorial
http://emperors-clothes.com/realbill.htm


==========================================

As I wrote in my last article, “Obama and Ayers: The Provocateur Exhumed,” when it comes to Obama’s ties to former Weathermen Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, I am something of a primary source. I was co-leader of the opposition to the Weathermen within Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the organization that Weathermen Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers tried to destroy, and then, by their supposed connection to it, to defame, in 1969. 

Four weeks ago it dawned on me – to my horror – that after  many years, with the media coverage of Ayers’ alleged links to Obama, the Weathermen were back in the public eye. Since I know from bitter experience who these people are, and the harm they do, I wanted to do something about them. I had lost sight of them in the mid-1970s, well before they all resurfaced, with the top leaders getting no jail time – literally getting away with murder.  I decided to do some research. How did the Weatherman escape incarceration for their bombing campaign? Why didn’t state and federal prosecutors, for example the Justice Department under Ronald Reagan, go after them? Was it true that nobody was ever hurt by Weatherman crimes?  And what was Obama’s real relation to them?

Here I will start with Obama.  The attack on Obama has been that he has worked closely with Weatherman leader Bill Ayers. The problem is, we need to know more – for example, is there any evidence Obama has tried to cover-up for Weatherman crimes?

In defending himself from attack, Obama and his campaign have made statements to the media and in Obama’s own “Fact Check on Obama and Ayers,” on his campaign website.  40% of Obama’s “Fact Check” consists of media and various VIPs saying it is no big deal that Obama worked with Ayers.  These statements mean as much as the blurbs on the back of a mystery novel - obviously they wouldn’t be published unless they said what Obama wanted, so what do they prove?  In the remaining 60% of the “Fact Check,” Obama a) states his core defense for working with Ayers and b) defends Ayers by portraying him and the Weathermen as having been excessive – even violent – in pursuit of their ideals, but not murderous, and, at least in the case of Ayers, of having changed into model citizens. This is the interesting part, for I have found that a) Obama’s core defense for working with Ayers is based on a lie about the Weathermen in which Obama covers up for murder and b) the rest of Obama’s defense of Ayers and the Weathermen is rife with deception and deceit as well.

This is a serious charge. Let’s take a look.

==========================================

Eight years old and not counting

==========================================

Obama’s “Fact Check” starts by repeating the core argument in his rebuttal to the charge that he is linked to the Weathermen:

[First statement from Obama’s “Fact Check” on Ayers starts here]

Reality: Obama was eight years old when the Weathermen were active.

Obama turned eight in August 1969; the Days of Rage occurred in October 1969. Barack Obama was born on August 4, 1961. He turned eight on August 4, 1969. The Days of Rage, in which William Ayers participated, occurred in October 1969. [Obama Birth Certificate, UPI, 10/21/81]
[1]

[First statement from Obama’s “Fact Check” on Ayers ends here]

Did you notice that within the space of 67 words above, Obama repeats three times that he was eight-years old in 1969, stating that that’s “when the Weathermen were active.” This was his central point in answering the Ayers charge when it was raised in a debate with Clinton on April 17. [2] And by the same token, on October 8, 2008 Obama told ABC News’ Charlie Gibson:

“I’ll repeat again what I’ve said many times. This is a guy who engaged in some despicable acts 40 years ago when I was eight years old. By the time I met him, 10 or 15 years ago, he was a college professor of education at the University of Illinois.” [3]

[My emphasis – J.I.]

By the way, please notice that Obama juxtaposes “despicable acts” with being a professor of education (indeed a college professor of education, not to mention at a university), as if the latter had some redeeming relationship to the former.

Campaign spokesperson Bill Burton has also repeated Obama’s theme:

“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.” [4]

[My emphasis – J.I.]

Notice that Burton says Obama condemns Weatherman violence “as he does all acts of violence,” thus putting the Weathermen in a group with all purveyors of violence, from people who get in fist fights in a bar, to mass murderers. This fits the current fashion in Weatherman rehabilitation, as expressed in a recent Associated Press dispatch that described Bill Ayers as:

“A co-founder of the Weather Underground, which claimed responsibility for nonfatal bombings in the United States during the Vietnam War-era.” [5]

So, a new concept: idealism plus “non-fatal” bombings.

Why don’t Obama and his spokesmen ever get specific about Weatherman violence after 1969?

Why don’t they mention that in March 1970, stolen dynamite exploded and destroyed a townhouse where the Weathermen were hiding in New York, killing three people? That under New York state law:

[Excerpt from website on NY State penal code starts here]

S 125.25 Murder in the second degree.

A person is guilty of murder in the second degree when:

1. With intent to cause the death of another person, he causes the death of such person or of a third person; [What follows is a list of defenses, irrelevant to the townhouse explosion – J.I.] [6]

[My emphasis – J.I.]

[Excerpt from website on NY State penal code ends here]

The New York Times reported that there were 60 sticks of dynamite in the exploded townhouse. [7]

According to Weatherman leader Brian Flanagan, the dynamite that destroyed the townhouse was to have been used along with carpenter’s nails to make anti-personnel bombs to destroy two targets. One was Butler Library at Columbia University, an immense structure. As Flanagan has admitted, many people could have been killed by the explosion and subsequent building damage or possible collapse. The other target was a non-commissioned officers’ dance at Fort Dix, which would certainly have been a massacre.
[8]

Since the people who were killed in the townhouse explosion died as a result of a plan to kill other people, their deaths constitute second degree murder under New York law. Since there is no statute of limitations in New York for second degree murder, Ayers and Dohrn, participants in the dynamite theft and bombing plan (Ayers has admitted in a book that these were collective actions), could be prosecuted for murder II at any time.

As for the rest of Burton’s statement, if, as he says, it is “ridiculous” to connect Obama with the Weathermen because (as we have been told before) he was eight when they did despicable things, wouldn’t it be OK to connect him to the Weatherman if he had been twenty when they did despicable things?

Provoked by Burton’s remarks, I decided to check: what did the Weathermen do when Obama was twenty?

==========================================

What did the Weathermen do when Barack Obama was twenty?

==========================================

Obama’s “I-was-only-eight-years-old-when-they-were-active” refrain is what people in Brooklyn used to call a ‘cute’ lie when I was eight. And lies make me curious.

It is a lie because, unless Obama is Peter Pan and decided not to get older between 1969 and 1981, and/or knows nothing about post-1960s U.S. history, plus has advisors who are likewise bereft of knowledge, and also was hibernating during the 1980s or else maybe suffers from amnesia – absent the aforementioned, Obama must know that the Weathermen not only carried out dozens of bombings and armed robberies for over a decade after 1969 (when he was eight) but that Weatherman crimes directly impacted him in 1981.

Because, while Obama was eight-years old in 1969 when the Weatherman launched their “Days of Rage” psycho-demonstrations that left at least one person paralyzed
[9], he was 20 in 1981, and a newly-arrived student at New York’s Columbia University, [10] when the New York Times announced that two Weathermen had just been arrested as part of a gang that carried out a robbery-and-execution (later upped to at least two robberies-and executions) in the Greater New York area.

Here is that N.Y. Times headline:

“Two Women in Brink’s Case Identified with Weathermen from Start in ’69” [11]

The arrested Weathermen were Cathy Boudin and Judith Clark. The Times reported that:

[Excerpt from Oct. 22, 1981 N. Y. Times starts here]

Miss Boudin, 38 years old, had fled with Cathlyn P. Wilkerson from an explosion at a Weathermen bomb factory in Greenwich Village on March 6, 1970, and had eluded the authorities since.

As arrests and retirements whittled down the movement to its present strength of perhaps 15, she remained one of its leaders and one of its enigmas, apparently maintaining a commitment to armed violence while most of her comrades turned themselves in and returned to work in the world they had denounced as corrupt.
[11]

[Excerpt from Oct. 22, 1981 N. Y. Times ends here]

As for Judith Clark:

[Excerpt from Oct. 22, 1981 N. Y. Times starts here]

Miss Clark, 31, had been indicted with Miss Boudin in 1969 in connection with the Weathermen’s “Days of Rage” demonstrations in Chicago, and like her she had jumped bail. She was captured by the Federal Bureau of Investigation at an East Side movie theater in December 1970 and served an 18-month prison sentence in Chicago. Thereafter her life was apparently above ground.

She lived on West 97th Street [about a mile from Columbia U., which Obama attended – J.I.], reportedly worked in a bookstore and participated in a civil suit against former President Richard M. Nixon in 1978 charging illegal wiretapping [of Weathermen – J.I.] The case is still pending.
[11]

[Excerpt from Oct. 22, 1981 N. Y. Times ends here]

The next day, the Times gave the story top billing on page one. Here are the headline and a few paragraphs:

[Excerpt from Oct. 23, 1981 N. Y. Times article starts here]

[Headline:] “Police Raid Apartments to Gather Evidence on Killings in Rockland”

Federal agents and the police raided six apartments in New York City and Westchester County yesterday as new links emerged between radical activists, black terrorists and the gang that killed two police officers and a Brink’s guard Tuesday in a $1.6 million armored-car holdup in Rockland County.

[...]

In another development, a third of the four captured robbery suspects was identified as a member of the Weather Underground. Two suspects, Katherine Boudin and Judith A. Clark, had been identified as members of the terrorist group on Wednesday.

[My emphasis – J.I.]

Yesterday, the Rockland County District Attorney, Kenneth Gribetz, identified a third suspect as David Joseph Gilbert, 37, of Cambridge, Mass., a former Columbia University student who was listed by Federal authorities in 1975 as a fugitive member of the Weather Underground.

Mr. Gilbert was at one time wanted by Colorado authorities for arson and assaulting a peace officer, the authorities said. The disposition of that case was unclear.

[...]

The robbery that generated the sprawling investigation unfolded at mid-afternoon Tuesday as gunmen killed a Brink’s guard, Peter Paige, 49, and wounded two others at the Nanuet Mall in Clarkstown, and then killed two Nyack policemen, Sgt. Edward O’Grady, 32, and Officer Waverly Brown, 45, in a shootout at a roadblock in Nyack. [12]

[Excerpt from Oct. 23, 1981 N. Y. Times article ends here]

Three dead, two wounded, all by people who never hurt people, just property.

And actually it was worse. Because it wasn’t just that a gang, described as Weathermen and black revolutionaries, was accused of killing two policemen, plus killing one Brinks guard and wounding two others. They were accused of shooting the Brinks guards without provocation and before they even had a chance to hand over the money.

Horrific murder, depicted as having so-called ‘racial’ overtones.  And Obama an African-American who had just arrived in New York City.

Continued in Part 3: “Obama Forgets the Early ‘80s

============================================

Footnotes and Further Reading

===========================================

[1] “Fact Check on Obama and Ayers,” Obama campaign website, April 17, 2008, at
http://factcheck.barackobama.com/.../fact_check_....php
or
http://snipurl.com/502e9 [factcheck_barackobama_com]

[2] “Transcript: Obama and Clinton Debate. Full Transcript of the Democrats’ Before Pennsylvania Primary,” April 16, 2008, Speakers: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., George Stephanopoulos, ABC Anchor, Charles Gibson, ABC Anchor, at
http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=4670271

[3] “Obama: McCain Scoring ‘Cheap Political Points’- Democratic Contender Discusses Economy in Post-Debate Exclusive with Charlie Gibson,” by Katie Escherich and Lauren Sher, October 8, 2008
http://www.abcnews.go.com/.../story?id=5985237&page=1

[4] “Obama’s Ties to Left Come Under Scrutiny,” The New York Sun, February 19, 2008, by By Russell Berman, Staff Reporter of the Sun, at
http://www.nysun.com/.../obamas-ties-to-left-.../

[5] “Powell endorses Obama, chides McCain campaign tone,” The Associated Press, October 19, 2008, by Stephen Ohlemacher, at http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081019/ap_on_el_pr/powell Backed up at http://www.tenc.net/a/arch/powell.htm

[6] New York State Law, Article 125: “Homicide, Abortion and Related Offenses,” Section 125.25: “Murder in the second degree,” at
http://ypdcrime.com/penal.law/article125.htm#125.25

[7]
"2 Women in Brink's Case Identified with Weathermen from Start in '69," The New York Times, October 22, 1981, Thursday, Late City Final Edition, Section B; Page 4, Column 1; Metropolitan Desk, 1723 words, by Paul L. Montgomery, posted at
http://emperors-clothes.com/dohrn-brink.htm#8

[8] “Quieter Lives for 60’s Militants, but Intensity of Beliefs Hasn’t Faded,” The New York Times, August 24, 2003, by Daniel J. Wakin, at
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F...59C8B63

[9] “Days of Rage: The beginning of the end ...,” United Press International, October 24, 1981, Saturday, BC cycle, Domestic News, 796 words, by Marcella S. Kreiter, posted at
http://emperors-clothes.com/dohrn-brink.htm#16

[10] “Obama’s Account of New York Years Often Differs From What Others Say,” by Janny Scott, The New York Times, October 30, 2007, at
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/30/us/politics/30obama.html

The Times writes:
“Mr. Obama arrived in New York in August 1981, at age 20, from Occidental College in Los Angeles.”

[11] “2 Women in Brink’s Case Identified with Weathermen from Start in ’69,” The New York Times, October 22, 1981, by Paul L. Montgomery, posted at
http://emperors-clothes.com/dohrn-brink.htm#8

[12] “Police Raid Apartments to Gather Evidence on Killings in Rockland,” The New York Times, October 23, 1981, Friday, Late City Final Edition, Section A; Page 1, Column 3; Metropolitan Desk, 1975 words, by Robert D. McFadden, posted at
http://emperors-clothes.com/dohrn-brink.htm#11

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