What Fresh Hell Is This?

September 28, 2008

Jack Kelly Sunday

Now that his shining hope for the republican ticket, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, has become a national joke, P-G columnist Jack Kelly can no longer credibly tout her qualifications as Vice President (as he does here and here).

So what's a wingnut to do? you ask. Simple: beat the "William Ayers" drum. Again.

And that's what Jack Kelly does in this week's column. He begins:

It's hard to put out a fire by pouring gasoline on it, so many are amazed the Obama campaign is employing this technique.

The fire that Sen. Barack Obama wants to douse was small until his aides arrived with gas cans. For months, conservatives have been trying to direct attention to the relationship between Mr. Obama and William Ayers.

Not really sure, but I think those two sentences contradict each other. And of course he doesn't list any of the "many" who are amazed referenced in that first sentence. In any event, as always what Jack leaves out is more illuminating than what he leaves in. And it tells us more about Jack than ever. Let's fact check. First, here's Jack:
Mr. Ayers was a leader of the Weather Underground, which planted bombs in the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon during the Vietnam War. He went on the lam after a nail bomb his group was building to kill soldiers and their wives at a dance at Fort Dix went off prematurely, killing three of the conspirators.

Mr. Ayers was never prosecuted because of FBI misconduct. He became a professor of education at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Jack fails to note, of course, that Ayers went underground in 1970 and turned himself in in 1980 and the "FBI misconduct" was (and there's no surprise that Jack doesn't mention it) COINTELPRO, that great and illegal surveillance program instituted by the patriots at the FBI.

Then there's this from the now-infamous 9/11 article on Ayer:
In 1970 came the town house explosion in Greenwich Village. Ms. Dohrn failed to appear in court in the Days of Rage case, and she and Mr. Ayers went underground, though there were no charges against Mr. Ayers. Later that spring the couple were indicted along with others in Federal Court for crossing state lines to incite a riot during the Days of Rage, and following that for ''conspiracy to bomb police stations and government buildings.'' Those charges were dropped in 1974 because of prosecutorial misconduct, including illegal surveillance.
He went underground with no charges against him. Something Jack doesn't tell you. Nor does Jack mention this from the Chicago Tribune:
Except for three comrades killed when one of the group's own devices accidentally exploded in a New York City townhouse in 1970, no one was injured by a Weatherbomb.
And from the same article, we learn this from former SDS member Todd Gitlin:
OK, let's give them a medal for not killing anybody besides themselves. But they wanted to be terrorists. They planned on being terrorists. Then their bomb blew up and killed several of them and they thought better of it. They were failed terrorists.
Failed terrorists who only killed their own. This is not, of course, to condone any acts of violence committed by the Weather Underground or their followers. Just trying to put things in perspective.

According to his CV (found here), Ayers became a professor in 1987. But you'd never know it from Jack. In 1999 (29 years after going underground and 19 years after turning himself in), he was named a "Distinguished Professor of Education" at U of I-Chicago. To read Jack, you'd think that the intellectual elites in Chicago rewarded Ayers with a professorship because of his radical past.

But what does Senator Obama think of Ayers' radical past? Something else Jack won't tell you. In a statement, the campaign said:
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.
Something else Jack doesn't tell you. I'll write it again: Obama strongly condemns the violent actions of the Weather Underground.

Then there's this old war horse of an argument:
"I don't regret setting bombs," Mr. Ayers told the New York Times in an interview published on 9/11. "I feel we didn't do enough."
The context is intended for you to think that Ayers meant "we didn't bomb enough." But is that really what he meant?

Uh, no. Jake Tapper has the statement from Ayers (via his blog):
It's impossible to get to be my age and not have plenty of regrets. The one thing I don't regret is opposing the war in Vietnam with every ounce of my being.

During the Vietnam war, the Weather Underground took credit for bombing several government installations as a dramatic form of armed propaganda. Action was taken against symbolic targets in order to declare a state of emergency. But warnings were always called in, and by design no one was ever hurt.

When I say, 'We didn't do enough,' a lot of people rush to think, 'That must mean, "We didn't bomb enough s---."' But that's not the point at all. It's not a tactical statement, it's an obvious political and ethical statement. In this context, 'we' means 'everyone.'

The war in Vietnam was not only illegal, it was profoundly immoral, millions of people were needlessly killed. Even though I worked hard to end the war, I feel to this day that I didn't do enough because the war dragged on for years after the majority of the American people came to oppose it. I don't think violent resistance is necessarily the answer, but I do think opposition and refusal is imperative.
Again, something Jack doesn't tell you.

A few more things. Jack asks rhetorically after posting Obama's statement that he was "only eight" when Ayers was bombing stuff:
Would you excuse a friendship with a Nazi war criminal on the grounds his crimes were committed before you were born?
Normally, this would automatically spring Godwin's law (or some corollary of that law), but gee, I dunno:
George Bush's grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany.
See? I can do it too!

I think I'll end it here.


John K. said...

John K: Ayers has not repented. He just figured out it would be better if he went into the classroom instead and thru the grading system forced people to adopt his ideas. And then there is the nasty fact that Hussein Obama launched his political career in the living room of Ayers as they are still in touch, frequently. Don't foget Dorn. Both got medals from the N. Vietnamese for helping destroy our troops. LOL Got Yah!

John K. said...

John K: You are known by the friends you keep. Ayers, Wright oh my!

EdHeath said...

Well, Google doesn't want to give up the medal story. I'm sure it's possible, but it doesn't seem to be of any interest to anyone now. How did Jack Kelly overlook that little nugget?

Heir to the Throne said...

Don't forget when Obama used the just a guy in my neighborhood defense with Bill Ayers.
Turns out they worked together on the Wood foundation and Chicago Annenberg Challenge.
Here is the guy Dave, Obama and Chicago education establishment are whitewashing.
Ayers omits any discussion of his famous 1970 statement, "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."
BTW I remember progressives calling in to the Jerry Bowyer show and ranting about Prescott Bush and Nazi Germany.
They seemed to forget the Democratic patriarch who sided the Nazis. Joseph Kennedy, Sr.

EdHeath said...

There were a fair number of Americans who were Nazi sympathizers, foolishly so. I would certainly hope if they were alive today they would not be.

But Kelly's comparison was between 60's radicals and Nazis. I can understand his feelings, as I understand it, he was in the military (I believe at the time bombs were being set) and I would certainly agree citizens were treating soldiers shamefully when they returned from Vietnam. Still, to say the radicals were the equivalent of people who wanted to achieve genocide ... that is beyond the pale.

Whether you see Ayers’ words in a particular context or not is really a personal choice. The man is not wanted for anything, the statute of limitations on whatever crimes he committed has long since run out and he does have the right of free speech. Has he had any effect on Obama, such that Obama might want to go out and plant a bomb? Yeah, right.

kimber45 said...


I have yet to see anyone claim that the Annenberg Challenge Project was anything but an attempt to improve Chicago schools. The Board was made up of public figures of both major political parties.

Isn't it somewhat disingenuous to try to tie Sen. Obama to the activites of a member of that Board, from 40 years ago, and having nothing to do with education?

(Ok, let me use smaller words, just for you: Isn't this just a purely bullshit attempt to smear someone you oppose, by just about any means possible?)

Heir to the Throne said...

. The man is not wanted for anything, the statute of limitations on whatever crimes he committed has long since run out and he does have the right of free speech.
To quote Mr Ayers
“Guilty as sin, free as a bird, it’s a great country.”
I would like to note that Bill Ayers is free due to the illegal actions of progressive hero William Mark Felt AKA "Deep Throat".

John K. said...

John K: You folks need to start listening to Limbaugh or Beck and reading Malkin. Daily Kos isn't going to give you any info on this subject with Ayers. Heck he and Dorn received medals from N Vietnam for helping out during the Veitnam War. They had to go to Canada to accept them. You are known by the company you keep, Eh Hussein Obama. LOL

John K. said...

John K: What do I care if Ayers or Dorn are wanted for anything. Heck, Raines got a bonus for screwing up Fannie Mae. And today in the House Waters, Frank and Pelosi defended Raines. LOL That was funny. The fact of the matter is Ayers did the same thing Bin laden did. And in 2001 Ayers still wished he had done more of it. And Hussein Obama is tied to this guy. So some left wing kooks give Ayers a pat on the back, N. Vietnam gave him a medal, and you left wing kooks think I am buying into it. Hussein Obama is known by the company he keeps. You hang out with thugs on the street corner, what else do you expect me to think of you.

John K. said...

John K: But the Ayers case proves one point. You worship Ayers, who did the same thing Bin laden did as you worship Bin Laden himself. And the only reason you want to bring Bin laden to any type of trial is so you can use his testimony to convict people like me. You can't hide left wing kooks, we know who you are.

dayvoe said...

First I was gonna challenge our friend John K to provide A LINK supporting his "North Vietnam Medal to Ayers in Canada" story.

I googled it and could find nothing.

THEN I read John K's latest.

The man's officially insane. until further notice, I'll no longer be commenting, debating or otherwise making fun of him. NOT because he's somehow bested any of my arguments but because he's obviously mentally ill and I won't have anything to do with causing someone so obviously afflicted to get worse.

John, get some help. You'll thank me once you do.

EdHeath said...

I do have to say that I don't worship Ayers or Bin Laden, nor, I'm sure, does any rational liberal. But I don't think Ayers is a genocidal killer either.

And I seriously doubt Mark Felt is the hero of any progressive either.