Diary

A helpful reminder: the Weathermen were out to kill people.

We can talk about everything, in fact. We will, too.

Anyway, here’s Powerline’s well-intentioned attempt to educate the modern American “reporter” by linking to the article below. Personally, I don’t see why they bothered – the folks in that field that most need to read it are also the ones most likely to respond to Mr. Murtagh in time-honored “LALALA”/fingers in ears fashion – but it doesn’t hurt to remind the rest of us that this particular bunch of fantasy ideologists were targeting real people, not conveniently animated cardboard cutouts.

Oh, and let’s save time: by putting up that Hoover Institution link, I am in fact explicitly comparing the Weathermen to groups like al-Qaeda. Because, you know, both groups were made up of terrorists. It’s not my fault that the Chicago activist set is apparently a bit more tolerant of that particular lifestyle than you or I would be.

John M. Murtagh
[Fire in the Night](http://www.city-journal.org/2008/eon0430jm.html)
The Weathermen tried to kill my family.
30 April 2008

During the April 16 debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, moderator George Stephanopoulos brought up “a gentleman named William Ayers,” who “was part of the Weather Underground in the 1970s. They bombed the Pentagon, the Capitol, and other buildings. He’s never apologized for that.” Stephanopoulos then asked Obama to explain his relationship with Ayers. Obama’s answer: “The notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was eight years old, somehow reflects on me and my values, doesn’t make much sense, George.” Obama was indeed only eight in early 1970. I was only nine then, the year Ayers’s Weathermen tried to murder me.

At the conclusion of his 2001 Times interview, Ayers said of his upbringing and subsequent radicalization: “I was a child of privilege and I woke up to a world on fire.”Funny thing, Bill: one night, so did I.

In February 1970, my father, a New York State Supreme Court justice, was presiding over the trial of the so-called “Panther 21,” members of the Black Panther Party indicted in a plot to bomb New York landmarks and department stores. Early on the morning of February 21, as my family slept, three gasoline-filled firebombs exploded at our home on the northern tip of Manhattan, two at the front door and the third tucked neatly under the gas tank of the family car. (Today, of course, we’d call that a car bomb.) A neighbor heard the first two blasts and, with the remains of a snowman I had built a few days earlier, managed to douse the flames beneath the car. That was an act whose courage I fully appreciated only as an adult, an act that doubtless saved multiple lives that night.

[snip]

Though no one was ever caught or tried for the attempt on my family’s life, there was never any doubt who was behind it. Only a few weeks after the attack, the New York contingent of the Weathermen blew themselves up making more bombs in a Greenwich Village townhouse. The same cell had bombed my house, writes Ron Jacobs in The Way the Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground. And in late November that year, a letter to the Associated Press signed by Bernardine Dohrn, Ayers’s wife, promised more bombings.