by John Hawkins | February 23, 2008 12:01 am
When Barack Obama said publicly that he’d meet with leaders of rogue nations with terrorists, it wasn’t wise, but you figured he was just really naive. However, after reading this story, you have to wonder if perhaps Obama thought it would just be fun to hang out with people like that,
In 1995, State Senator Alice Palmer introduced her chosen successor, Barack Obama, to a few of the district’s influential liberals at the home of two well known figures on the local left: William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.
…”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.”
Obama and Palmer “were both there,” he said.
Obama’s connections to Ayers and Dorhn have been noted in some fleeting news coverage in the past. But the visit by Obama to their home — part of a campaign courtship — reflects more extensive interaction than has been previously reported.
Neither Ayers nor the Obama campaign would describe the relationship between the two men. Dr. Young described Obama and Ayers as “friends,” but there’s no evidence their relationship is more than the casual friendship of two men who occupy overlapping Chicago political circles and who served together on the board of a Chicago foundation.
…Like many of the most extreme figures from the 1960s Ayers and Dohrn are ambiguous figures in American life.
They disappeared in 1970, after a bomb — designed to kill army officers in New Jersey — accidentally destroyed a Greenwich Village townhouse, and turned themselves into authorities in 1980. They were never prosecuted for their involvement with the 25 bombings the Weather Underground claimed; charges were dropped because of improper FBI surveillance.
Both have written and spoken at length about their pasts, and today he is an advocate for progressive education and a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago; she’s an associate professor of law at Northwestern University.
But — unlike some other fringe figures of the era — they’re 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.
…Obama’s campaign dismisses the notion that his relationship with Ayers should be seen through the lens of the latter’s violent past, or his present lack of regret for the bombings.
“Sen. Obama strongly condemns the violent actions of the Weathermen group, as he does all acts of violence,” said Obama’s press secretary, Bill Burton. “But he was an 8-year-old child when Ayers and the Weathermen were active, and any attempt to connect Obama with events of almost 40 years ago is ridiculous.”
He described Ayers as “a professor of education at the University of Illinois-Chicago and a former aide to Mayor Richard J. Daley,” referring to printed reports that he had “advised” Daley on school reform.
As Bloomberg News reported recently, Obama and Ayers have crossed paths repeatedly in the last decade. In 1997, Obama cited Ayers’ critique of the juvenile justice system in a Chicago Tribune article on what prominent Chicagoans were reading. He and Ayers served together on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago for three years starting in 1999. In 2001, Ayers also gave $200 to Obama’s state Senate reelection campaign.
…Dr. Young and another guest, Maria Warren, described it similarly: as an introduction to Hyde Park liberals of the handpicked successor to Palmer, a well-regarded figure on the left.
“When I first met Barack Obama, he was giving a standard, innocuous little talk in the living room of those two legends-in-their-own-minds, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn,” Warren wrote on her blog in 2005. “They were launching him — introducing him to the Hyde Park community as the best thing since sliced bread.”
So, Obama’s campaign condemns the actions of the Weathermen — but he’s actually friends with two of them and they helped launch his political career. What a country we have, huh? Even a coke-snorting phony who’s tied to terrorists has an opportunity to be President. Who says this isn’t a land of opportunity?
That being said, when you’re actually hanging out with terrorists, it gives new meaning to the phrase “soft on terror,” doesn’t it? But, maybe there is a positive spin the Obama campaign can put on this. You know, “Barack is the right guy to lead the fight in the war on terrorism because he’s friends with terrorists and knows all their tricks.”
That’s the last straw with Obama. I am now ready, on behalf of conservatives everywhere, to officially declare him to be — drum roll, please — WORSE than Hillary Clinton.
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