It's a question of judgment, not patriotism

"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." That famous quote from John Adams sums up the evidence against domestic terrorists, Bill Ayers and Bernadette Dohrn. As leaders of the Weather Underground, a violently radical group dedicated to overthrowing the government, they were involved in the bombing of police headquarters in New York in 1970, the Pentagon in 1971 and the Capitol building in 1972.

In a 1970 interview, Ayers summed up the Weatherman philosophy as: "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!" On September 11, 2001, as terrorists were flying jetliners toward the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Ayers was the subject of a New York Times article in which he declared: "I don't regret setting bombs; I feel that we didn't do enough." And recently, when asked if he would do it all again, he replied: "I wouldn't discount the possibility."

Ayers went underground in 1970 after his girlfriend and two other members of the Weathermen were killed when a bomb they were making exploded in a Greenwich Village town house. That bomb had been intended for detonation at a dance that was to be attended by army soldiers at Fort Dix, New Jersey. Hundreds of lives could have been lost had the plan been successfully executed. Ayers, when questioned about it years later, agreed that the bomb would have done serious damage, "tearing through windows and walls and, yes, people too," he said without the slightest trace of remorse. Dohrn soon joined him in the fugitive world when she was placed on the F.B.I.'s 10 Most Wanted List and J. Edgar Hoover called her "The most dangerous woman in America." When I recall the many lives lost during those turbulent years, I'm amazed that those two escaped the death penalty. The fact is; given the liberal climate that has gripped our nation; they never even spent a year in prison.

After a decade on the run, the two surrendered in 1980, but all charges against them were dropped due to what was declared an "improper surveillance" technicality. In a subsequent book about his life, Ayers' commented on his trial by saying: "Guilty as sin, free as a bird, America is a great country." In 1969, after the Manson family murders in Beverly Hills, Ms. Dohrn, speaking at one of her extremist organization meetings, told the audience how much she admired what the pack of murderers did to the victims. "Dig it! Manson killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, then, they shoved a fork into a victim's stomach." This is the mentality of the people who bombed, murdered, evaded justice, and went on to become professors at liberal universities in Illinois.   

In the mid-1990s, after they had established themselves with the academic community, these vicious reprobates, who had become man and wife, hosted meetings at their Chicago home and, allegedly, introduced Barack Obama to their neighbors during his first run for the Illinois Senate. In addition, it's a matter of record that Obama worked closely with Ayers on community projects. Nevertheless, that doesn't mean Obama is a terrorist! I don't agree with his political philosophy, but I see him as a decent man in an epic struggle, trying to deflect criticism from past associations. My fear is that he may be naïve enough to allow people like Ayers and Dohrn to influence him. Perhaps an example of his gullibility is his willingness to meet with tyrants around the world without preconditions. When Iranian dictator, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, says he's committed to destroying Israel, our greatest Middle East ally, you don't appease him and make him look reasonable by agreeing to have a private chat with him.

Instead, if you have acquired worldly wisdom and informed judgment, you intuitively recognize that he's a madman who's committed to our destruction too. In the final analysis, it's a fact that the Illinois Senator has some sinister characters in his past and they have played a major role in his political ascendancy. Investigating his relationship with them is not an attempt to smear him, or to call him unpatriotic; it's an effort to understand his capacity for sound decision-making.  We'd be irresponsible indeed to pretend that a candidate with questionable judgment should be spared serious scrutiny on his way to the White House.

Bob Weir is a former detective sergeant in the New York City Police Department. He is the executive editor of The News Connection in Highland Village, Texas.  Email Bob.