Kevin has linked to a great CNN piece that explodes some of Barack Obama’s untruths about the depth of his ties to unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers. You should go watch the video, which is excellent and includes new reporting quoting Alice Palmer, the leftist state senator who Obama succeeded in office.
The Obama camp and its media allies have used two main rhetorical strategies to deal (dishonestly) with the Ayers story.The first is to minimize the nature of the relationship by talking about it solely in terms of “meetings.” Maybe this was the state of reportage a few months ago, but as of now, believe nothing you hear from anyone who refuses to address Stanley Kurtz’s detailed reporting (CNN, amazingly, talked to Kurtz) on Obama steering millions of dollars to Ayers’ left-wing “educational” programs, and Ayers’ theories to this day about using education to push his radical left agenda.
The second strategy is to claim that Ayers and Dohrn were somehow obscure figures (who just happened to be profiled periodically by national newspapers), and who had been the subject of wanted posters across the nation, and that Obama had no reason to know they were terrorists. This is silly as well. Their background was well known in Hyde Park. Erick has noted the extensive publicity about the Weather Underground at the time of the 1996 Democratic Convention in Chicago.
To me, the big one is the October 1981 Brink’s heist by Ayers’ and Dohrn’s old Weather Underground cronies in my home town just north of New York City, which resulted in the death of two cops and an armored car guard. The Brink’s case was huge front-page news in New York for months; it’s why I immediately knew who these people were when Obama’s ties to them surfaced, and I’m ten years younger than Obama. Well, Obama was living in New York City attending Columbia University in October 1981.
Moreover, one of the defendants in that case was Kathy Boudin; when Obama dealt with Ayers & Dohrn, Boudin and her husband were in prison and Ayers and Dohrn were raising their son Chesa as their own. I may not think much of Obama but even I don’t think he was obtuse enough not to have known exactly who these people were; if that’s the case, he was practically the only person in town who didn’t.
If Obama was ever to be asked questions about Ayers, these would be fertile subjects to pursue.
UPDATE: Want another piece of the puzzle? Kathy Boudin’s brother Michael was a lecturer at Harvard Law School when Obama was there (in fact, he was my antitrust professor). Did Obama take his class? Michael Boudin is, of course, an infinitely more respectable figure than his sister – he’d served in the Reagan Justice Department and in 1992, shortly after Obama graduated, Judge Boudin was appointed to the federal appellate bench by George H.W. Bush – but his family ties were the sort of thing one would routinely discuss about a member of the Law School faculty.