Wow. My article on William Ayers yesterday struck quite a few nerves. I wonder why…
The criticisms in the comments were quite enlightening, and I think it might be fun to address them.
They fell into several categories:
1) “The election is over, Obama won, so why bring this up?”
B) “What about G. Gordon Liddy?”
III) “They never killed anyone but themselves with their bombs!”
There were others, but those were the main ones that stuck out as (marginally) worthy of rebutting.
1) My loathing of Ayers is utterly independent of his relationship with Barack Obama. If anything, I am grateful to our president-elect for helping the nation remember that this vile thug is not only still alive, still free, but still proud of his crimes.
Obama’s election was not a referendum on the guilt or innocence of William Ayers. In his own words, he was “guilty as hell” of the crimes with which he was charged. And those crimes, by today’s standards, are clearly terrorist in nature.
Ayers never served a day in prison by a legal technicality — he was not found innocent, the prosecutors broke laws and rules in their pursuit of him. Under our system of laws, that meant he and his wife went free.
But they were never innocent. Not then, not now.
B) Ah, G. Gordon Liddy. It’s a lot more convenient for Ayers’ apologists to compare him with Liddy than someone who fits considerably better, like Timothy McVeigh. But there are significant differences between Liddy and Ayers:
— Liddy was found guilty and served his sentence. He paid his debt to society for his crimes.Ayers skated.
— Liddy was never charged with a violent crime — he was convicted of conspiracy, burglary, and wiretapping. Ayers was charged with direct involvement with three bombings — and boasts of it.
— Liddy is currently a talk-show host. Ayers is an employee of the State of Illinois, serving as a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In other words, Liddy holds no position of public trust and respect; Ayers does.
III) Yes, most of the Weather Underground bombings didn’t hurt anyone and they did issue warnings. But that was not entirely by design.
As I noted, they firebombed the home of a judge in the middle of the night, where the judge’s family slept. And in the case of the New York townhouse explosion, the group was preparing a nail bomb — one designed specifically to kill and maim people, not damage property — to be used at an enlisted men’s dance at a nearby Army base.
In both cases, the lack of innocent deaths was not by design, but by incompetence.
In that earlier piece, I alluded to calling William Ayers “evil,” but didn’t quite say it. I’d like to correct that now.
William Ayers is evil. In his youth, he committed acts of terrorism that should have put him behind bars for years. And since then he has shown absolutely no repentance. On the contrary, his is proud of those evil deeds and insists that he is simply carrying out the same ideals today, but through more acceptable means.
The man belongs behind bars. He does not deserve a paycheck from Illinois taxpayers and the position of trust and power and influence that he holds.
And he certainly ought not to be in a position to teach and guide our youth.