Monday, October 20, 2008

The Truth of Bill Ayers

posted by John Blanco @ 12:19 PM


Politics is all about creative word selection. When asked about his nasty ad campaign and smearish robo-calls, John McCain, quite correctly, says:

They are 100% accurate.

And indeed they are. The problem is, they aren't the truth. It's called word play. Here's the talking points the Republicans always use:

Bill Ayers is an unrepentant domestic terrorist who bombed the Capitol and Pentagon and who's group has killed Americans.

Oh, where to start. Well, let's look at the facts:

  • Bill Ayers was a domestic terrorist.
  • Bill Ayers is unrepentant.
  • Bill Ayers bombed the Capitol and Pentagon.
  • Bill Ayers' group, the Weather Underground, killed people.

So, why doesn't it matter?

It doesn't matter because what McCain wants you to believe isn't true. First, Bill Ayers was never considered a "terrorist." The acts he was responsible for had no goals of killing people, let alone Americans. Terrorism is about intent to harm innocent citizens as an alternative to amassing a large army.

The Weather Underground was trying to send a message. However, during those few bombings they committed, they made sure NOBODY was around when the bombs went off. That's why, when you heard them say the Pentagon and Capitol were bombed, you probably went, "Really? How come I never heard of that?"

That's because a small bomb went off in a bathroom at the Capitol, and everyone knew it was going to happen and the area was cleared well before. Not exactly 9/11, and not exactly terrorism.

A stupid way to send a message? Sure. And Bill Ayers agrees as such now. He was stupid.

The next part, and it's a biggee, is the term "unrepentant." Yes, he is unrepentnant. But, not about the bombings. He regrets the method they chose. What he DOES NOT regret is the effort to end the Vietnam war. Comflating the two, the Republicans have a very good talking point. However, it's a lie. Here's what he has said:

I've thought about this a lot. Being almost 60, it's impossible to not have lots and lots of regrets about lots and lots of things, but the question of did we do something that was horrendous, awful? ... I don't think so. I think what we did was to respond to a situation that was unconscionable.


When I say, 'We didn't do enough,' a lot of people rush to think, 'That must mean, "We didn't bomb enough shit."' 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.'

And more:

We were very careful from the moment of the townhouse on to be sure we weren't going to hurt anybody, and we never did hurt anybody. Whenever we put a bomb in a public space, we had figured out all kinds of ways to put checks and balances on the thing and also to get people away from it, and we were remarkably successful.

The group was doing the bombings in response to the bombings (and killings) of innocents in Vietnam. Funny, the Republicans have no problems letting the deaths of so many innocent Vietnamese go, but a bomb that tries to bring the point home, without killing anyone, makes any Democrat you care to have a conversation with who isn't white a possible terrorist.

Finally, yes, people did die due to the Weather Underground. During a failed bomb construction, three people died. THREE MEMBERS OF THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND. Nobody else died. They killed themselves by accident.

So, there ya go.

The other point to be made here is that NONE OF THIS has anything to do with Barack Obama. This has to do with Bill Ayers. Barack Obama was 7 years old at the time, he never endorsed this, he calls these acts "despicable."

Obama worked with the man on a charity board, all volunteer, to improve inner-city education. Bill Ayers is now a well-respected college professor who uses his brain for the public good, not public fear. He got a second chance in life, and he's made good on it.

And you've never heard of the man til now. Why do we hear about it now? Because it's a convenient ploy to try to win an election by people who are running the sleaziest campaign in American history.

And it's sad.


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