Last week, civil rights icon and Georgia Democrat John Lewis launched an attack against Republicans.
He stated that when critics pointed out the long web of relationships between Barack Obama and Bill Ayers, it was “sowing the seeds of hatred and division.” Lewis then took a step further, making the incendiary comparison of John McCain to the segregationist governor of Alabama, George Wallace.
During another period, in the not-too-distant past, there was a governor of a state of Alabama named George Wallace who also became a presidential candidate. George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their Constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama.
The bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church by Klansmen was a horrible crime brought about by unreasoning hatred. This is not in dispute. We must wonder, however, what Lewis would have thought about the little girls and boys and mothers and fathers that would have died in another hate-fueled bombing just seven years later in Detroit, had a much larger attack not been foiled.
Several weeks ago, I wrote a post for Pajamas Media on what might have happened the night of March 6, 1970, if a small group of left-wing radicals had been a bit more competent in their bomb-building. If that cell of the Weather Underground had been a little more lucky — or a little less careless — many of us may have grown up referring to 3/6 the way we now refer to 9/11.
What I did not know at the time that I wrote that article was that this was not the first attempt by the Weathermen to commit mass murder.
A month prior, in February 1970, Barack Obama’s political mentor Bill Ayers plotted multiple attacks against the officers of the Detroit Police Department. He didn’t care that one of the bombs he was planning to use would be placed in such a way that it “could easily kill” the patrons of a nearby restaurant that catered to an African-American clientele.
Such sentimentality was “unrevolutionary.” The 44 sticks of dynamite would be used despite the fears of a military “expert” within the group (FBI informant Larry Grathwohl) that collateral damage from the massive blasts could kill the innocent diners nearby.
Recruited into the Weathermen, who valued his limited military experience, the Cincinnati resident worked with Ayers. Grathwohl found Ayers hard to love; he seemed self-important, a controller of subordinates, the type who loved to give orders. Ayers was a key leader. Grathwohl, a government informant, wrote that Ayers had helped direct a pair of attempted police building bombings in Detroit in February 1970. After doing his assigned job in reconnaissance, Grathwohl disagreed with Mr. Ayers over the placement of one bomb, which could easily kill black patrons who favored an adjacent restaurant, but that Ayers dismissed such sentimentality as unrevolutionary. The informant was glad to be dismissed from the operation by Ayers. Forty-four sticks of dynamite were then formed into two bombs and put into place, before Grathwohl’s information allowed police to dismantle both. Ayers’ memoir — which freely admits to incompleteness — says nothing of this episode, or Detroit, or the month of February 1970.
Just 19 sticks of dynamite killed Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley in Birmingham and injured 22 others. Those four little girls murdered by angry bombers in the 16th Street Baptist Church became a rallying cry for the civil rights movement in 1963.
I wonder if John Lewis and other veterans of the civil rights movement would be so quick to rally around Barack Obama today if they knew his political mentor considered the lives of black patrons in Detroit to be merely “unrevolutionary” collateral damage.
The Weathermen were attempting to blow up two targets in Detroit, the Detroit Police Officers’ Association building and the 13th Precinct, and Grathwohl’s information came too late to stop one of the attacks. Instead, it was the bomb-building incompetence of Obama’s political mentor that saved lives at the 13th Precinct.
Grathwohl tipped off police to this latter plot, and they cleared the area. When they finally found the Detroit bomb, it was unexploded. It contained 13 sticks of dynamite with an M-80 firecracker to detonate them, along with a burnt-out cigarette.
“The only thing Bill didn’t take into consideration in making his bomb,” Grathwohl testified, “was the fact that these wicks, those fuses on those firecrackers, are waterproof with heavy paraffin, and a cigarette burning by itself does not always have enough heat to melt that paraffin and light the powder. And I didn’t volunteer any information to the contrary.” Grathwohl did not know who had actually planted the bomb.
Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn — the host and hostess of Obama’s political coming-out party and close associates of 21 years — tried to kill hundreds of Americans. They plotted against military and police targets in particular, and Ayers was more than willing to kill innocent black families in Detriot if it served his hateful purposes. Is he any better than the Klansmen in Birmingham? Would his victims have been any less dead, or their families’ lives less empty?
George Wallace, as awful as he was, never knew the Klansmen who bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church. Barack Obama has had a close relationship with terrorist Bill Ayers for 21 years and repaid his political mentor by funneling more than $1 million in grants to Ayers’ Small Schools Workshop.
Though Obama’s campaign furiously spins that the most notable of these bombings occurred when Obama was just a little boy of eight growing up in Indonesia — actually, they tend to forget to mention that last part — the fact remains that Ayers and Dohrn never repented. They’re still proud of their declared war against the United States and never showed public remorse.
And despite what Obama would have you believe, their terrorist acts didn’t end when he was a child in an Indonesian elementary school.
Obama, Ayers, and Dohrn lived and attended college in the same Manhattan neighborhood when the 1983 Brinks robbery in Nyack took place. Two police officers and a Brinks guard were gunned down by members of the Black Liberation Army and still-active members of the by-then defunct Weather Underground just 22 miles away. The fake IDs used to rent the vehicles in the robbery attempt were traced back to Manhattan and Bernardine Dohrn, and she went to jail for refusing to cooperate with the grand jury and explain her role in the crime.
Barack Obama was then in his early 20s, not eight.
Since then, there have been two movies based upon Ayers, Dohrn, and the Weathermen, along with many books, magazine articles, and newspaper columns. These terrorists, their crimes, and their continued hatred of America resound throughout, along with their lack of remorse, including Bill Ayers’ infamous 9/11 regret that they “didn’t do enough.”
Perhaps Mr. Ayers could answer as to whether his failed attempt to blow up police officers and black families in Detroit was one of his regrets.
We don’t care about what Obama knew 40 years ago when he was eight. What matters is that six years ago, when he was 42, he still chose to associate with Ayers and Dohrn. In a newly released 2002 radio interview taped during the time he was working with Barack Obama as a board member of the Woods Fund, Bill Ayers stated who and what he is:
I considered myself partially an anarchist then and consider myself partially an anarchist now. I mean, I’m as much an anarchist as I am a Marxist, which is to say that I find a lot of the ideas of anarchism appealing.
Barack Obama always knew who and what Bill Ayers was. He only put a public damper on their symbiotic 21-year relationship a little more than two years ago when the relationship began to prove problematic for Obama’s higher political aspirations.
George Wallace may have “encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans,” but Barack Obama’s political mentor carried out vicious attacks against innocent Americans himself.
Ayers said upon reflection in the same 2002 interview that “I’m not sorry that anything I participated in to try to end that war or against the government that was waging that war.” That government included the police in several metropolitan cities, including Detroit’s Precinct 13, and the innocent African-American diners nearby.
So who is really “sowing the seeds of hatred and division,” Congressman Lewis? Is it the senator that spent his life fighting for the Constitution, or the senator who owes his political life to a terrorist who fought against it?