Weather Underground Documentary Counters MSM Claim That Ayers Merely a Benign '60s Radical'

October 7th, 2008 8:50 AM

The mainstream media are currently excusing Barack Obama's friendship with unrepentant terrorist, Bill Ayers, in a couple of ways. They either claim that Ayers was just a "neighborhood friend" of Obama and/or that Ayers was merely some benign 60s radical while conveniently avoiding mention of his terrorist activities in the Weather Underground.

The first point that Ayers was just some neighborhood friend of Obama is undercut by the working relationship between the two as we saw in yesterday's NewsBusters blog by Clay Waters quoting Ed Morrissey of Hot Air:

 ...Obama worked as CEO of the project that Ayers helped found, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, for several years.  Ayers served on the board at the same time. In an overlapping period, both men served for a few years on the Woods Fund, which notably granted $75,000 to Yasser Arafat's associate, Rashid Khalidi, during that time.

Their paths didn't cross "sporadically." They worked on two projects together, political projects, for almost a decade in Chicago. That's hardly "sporadic"; that's a well-established working relationship, and certainly much more substantial than Obama's description of Ayers as just another familiar face in the neighborhood.

As to the equally laughable notion that Ayers was just some 60s radical who dabbled in the counterculture and nothing more, that assumption is completely undercut by a fascinating documentary produced in 2002, "The Weather Underground." You can see a video of this documentary, starting with Part 1 of a nine part series on YouTube.  Here is a 2003 review of "The Weather Underground" written in 2003 by James Miller for the Boston Globe (emphasis mine):

THIRTY-FOUR YEARS AGO this fall, a small band of well-educated young Americans hell-bent on storming heaven steeled themselves to commit an act of spectacularly gratuitous violence. A militant breakaway faction of Students for a Democratic Society, they called themselves the Weathermen. Their strategy, such as it was, blended theatrical bravado with puritanical zeal -- Bonnie and Clyde meet John Brown. Wearing crash helmets and wielding baseball bats, ululating like the revolutionaries they had studied on screen in "The Battle of Algiers," they would run wild in the streets of Chicago, lashing out at any available symbol of privilege and power: police, parked cars, affluent bystanders.

Now, more than a generation later, the Weathermen are back in the news. This summer, a new documentary, "The Weather Underground," directed by Sam Green and Bill Siegel, brought the group's story into movie theaters...

...The Weathermen's 1969 melee in Chicago, billed "The Days of Rage," was meant to inspire working-class youth to commit similarly gratuitous acts, and to prove the group's revolutionary macho to the Black Panthers. But the Panthers spurned them, and there was no evidence that working-class youth were ready to run wild in the streets. So the group changed its tactics, with deadly results. Early in 1970, a group of Weathermen inadvertently blew up three of their members along with a townhouse on Eleventh Street in New York's Greenwich Village. The group was trying to build an anti-personnel bomb, in order to give Americans a taste of the kind of cruel weaponry their government was using in Vietnam.

Now the object of a national manhunt, and rechristened the Weather Underground, the fugitives -- several dozen militants in a handful of American cities -- established guerilla "focos," secret cells in which members learned how to build bigger and better bombs, to be detonated in acts of "strategic sabotage." Besides issuing a stream of turgid communiques denouncing racism and sexism and proclaiming sympathy for fellow revolutionaries such as Ho Chi Minh, the group succeeded in bombing several symbolic targets, including the Pentagon and the Capitol building. Though the group issued warnings to evacuate their targets, inevitably some bystanders were injured. Against all odds, the most notorious Weathermen -- Bernadine Dohrn, Bill Ayers, Mark Rudd, Kathy Boudin -- all managed to elude the FBI.

Got that? Bill Ayers. Not exactly a some benign 60s radical. So what is Ayers current attitude about his years as a domestic terrorist? The review explains:

The views of other veterans of the Weatherman movement run the gamut. In the new film, Mark Rudd, the leader of the Columbia student revolt in 1968, expresses genuine sorrow. More characteristic is Bill Ayers, currently a professor of education, who is defiantly unapologetic, both on camera and in the pages of his 2001 memoir "Fugitive Days." "I don't regret setting bombs," he told The New York Times In a profile published, unfortunately, on Sept. 11, 2001. "In fact, I don't think we did enough."

The question of guilt clearly irks Ayers -- but it was, and remains, central to the Weatherman phenomenon. For all the neo-Marxist gibberish that larded its communiques, it was a radical movement with Puritan overtones, forged self-consciously out of revulsion at a shameful "white skin privilege" its members hoped to expunge, in part by making a sacrificial offering of their own pure souls.

Got that, MSM? "Defiantly unapologetic." Keep that in mind the next time you try to portray Ayers as a "respected" member of his Chicago community. 

I highly recommend you see the rest of this revelatory documentary on YouTube at Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, and Part 9. Obama's friend, Bill Ayers, is featured prominently.