Barack Obama and his supporters have trivialized his connections to former domestic terrorists William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, co-founders of the radical Weather Underground. “This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood,” Obama told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on April 16, when this issue first gained traction. “He’s not somebody who I exchanged ideas from on a regular basis.” Campaign strategist David Axelrod told CNN Monday that Obama “certainly didn’t know the history” of these two barbarians when they introduced him to their friends at a reception in their home when he first ran for the Illinois state senate in 1995.
Obama might not have heard of Ayers and Dohrn’s brutality from the ’60s through the ’80s had they merely tossed a rock or two in anger. But these two went much, much farther.
As a declassified FBI dossier observed in 1976, William Charles Ayers “was one of the authors of the ‘Weatherman Statement’ upon which the WUO [Weather Underground Organization] was founded in 1969 and has been considered to be one of the leaders of the organization since its founding.” Here is how Ayers has described
himself: “I’m a radical, Leftist, small ‘c’ communist.”
In 1970, Ayers encapsulated the Weathermen’s worldview: “Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home. Kill your parents.”
In his 2001 memoir, Fugitive Days, Ayers brags that he helped blast NYPD headquarters in 1970, the U.S. Capitol in 1971, and the Defense Department in 1972. “Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon,” Ayers writes. “The sky was blue. The birds were singing. And the bastards were finally going to get what was coming to them.” Ayers also appreciates “a certain eloquence to bombs, a poetry and a pattern from a safe distance.” He called dynamite “That most romantic of nineteenth-century radical tools.”
For her part, Dohrn was an equally stalwart subversive.
“There’s no way to be committed to non-violence in the middle of the most violent society that history’s ever created. I am not committed to non-violence in any way,” Dohrn said in 1969.
That July, while John McCain languished in the Hanoi Hilton, Dohrn and five other Weathermen flew to Cuba to conspire with the National Liberation Front, America’s North Vietnamese enemies.
She later said this about the Charles Manson family’s August 9, 1969, murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and her friends in her Beverly Hills home: “Dig it! Manson killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, then they shoved a fork into the victim’s stomach. Wild!”
Dohrn issued the Weather Underground’s “Declaration of a State of War” against America on May 21, 1970. “We are not just attacking targets, we are bringing a pitiful helpless giant to its knees,” Dohrn said in another 1970 communiqué. “Guard your planes. Guard your colleges. Guard your banks. Guard your children. Guard your doors.”