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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Barack Obama Dogged by Terrorist Ties

There is an old expression that goes, "A man is known by the company he keeps." In keeping company with Jeremiah Wright, and now with the revelation of ties to William Ayers, what does this say for the man, Barack Obama?

A short history lesson: William Ayers is a professor of education at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He is also a former member of the Weather Underground Movement, previously known as the Weathermen, a radical 1960's Maoist movement dedicated to sparking a revolutionary overthrow of the United States government. The group carried out jailbreaks of members, bombings, and incited riots during their run in the 1960's and 70's. Ayers has admitted to being involved in bombings carried out by the group, and is quoted as saying "I don't regret setting bombs; I feel we didn't do enough." He went into hiding underground after one bomb went off accidentally, destroying a Greenwich Village apartment and killing three other members of the organization, one who was Ayers girlfriend.

Ayers is linked to bombings of the United States Capital, the Pentagon, and the Harry S. Truman Building, home of the United States Department of State, along with a series of courthouses, jails, banks, and prison administrative offices. He, along with other members of the Weather Underground, turned themselves in to police in 1981, after a series of official acts of misconduct on behalf of law enforcement officials ensured that they would never be brought to trial for their activities.

And this self-confessed domestic terrorist has current ties to Presidential hopeful Barack Hussein Obama.

In a lecture to college students in North Dakota last week, Ayers said: “I was trying to go to sleep, flipping through the channels real quick, and Hannity said, ‘Stay tuned. John McCain and I will talk about William Ayers.’ And I said, damn, I will have to stay tuned for an hour.”

Ayers went on to tell the students: “People ask, ‘Do you regret anything you did against the government in those days?’ And my answer is: no, I don’t.”

In an interview in The New York Times on the day of the September 11 attacks, when he was promoting Fugitive Days, his book on the Weathermen, Ayers said: “I don’t regret setting bombs,” and added: “I feel we didn’t do enough.”

This is what we send our children to colleges and universities to be taught, right?

Obama's connection to Ayers began in 1999, when they served together on the board of the Wood Fund of Chicago, a a philanthropic foundation. Their children also have attended the same schools and Ayers is a known Obama supporter and campaign contributor.

Given his refusal to wear a United States Flag pin on his lapel, an option for United States Senators of course, coupled with his refusal to put his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegience, the comments about small-town Americans, his wife's remarks about never having been proud of her country until his rise as a candidate, this is another controversy that the Obama campaign doesn't need.

Larry Johnson, a former counterterrorism official at the CIA said: “They’re going to kill him with this. The guy is an unrepentant terrorist, so please, Barack Obama, explain why you aligned yourself with him. It is a fundamental question of judgment. By the time he [Obama] was hanging around with Ayers, his position was well known. He [Ayers] was not a freedom fighter; he belonged to a violent terrorist group.”

David Axelrod, Obama’s chief strategist, said earlier this year that the two were “friendly” but in the sense that “their kids attend the same school”, but Ayers' children left long ago. A campaign aide later clarified that the connection was with Bernadine Dohrn, Ayers’s wife, who was still involved with the school.

Dohrn is another former leader of the Weather Underground, who also went on the run in the 1970s and served just under a year in jail.

This is not the only connection that Obama has with known terrorist organizations. In 2001, while serving in a paid position as director for the Woods Fund, the organization issued a grant to the Arab American Action Network, a group that has ties to the PLO. His church published a very pro-Hamas newsletter, and the churches ties with the Nation of Islam, and Jeremiah Wright's award to Louis Farrakhan, as well as his visit to Libya to meet Muammer Kaddafi.

Do we really need a President, indeed a Senator or any other elected official, who seems to be on such friendly terms with terrorist and their sympathizers? Obama has been on the fast track as a politician since his entry into it. He's not "known" nationally in the same way as the other remaining candidates for the Presidency. John McCain and Hillary Clinton are both vetted and known individuals. They have long standing records and have been in the public eye, have withstood scrutiny, and the American people basically know what they are getting from either of them. We don't have, yet, the benefit of that sort of record with Obama, but the information is coming out, in droves, on a daily basis. And these are the sorts of things that are coming out.

Obama has called himself the candidate of "hope and change." In looking past the rhetoric, what sorts of change, exactly, can we expect, should he be elected President?

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man