Saturday, November 15, 2008

The other Ayers interview yesterday

He and the transcendentally nasty Bernardine Dohrn were interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy N!ow. Read the whole thing if you can stomach it and you like playing "Spot the Lies," but just a quote or two here to give you the flavor:
Ayers: [I] was not a terrorist. I never was a terrorist. And the idea that the Weather Underground carried out terrorism is nonsense. We never killed or hurt a person. We never intended to. We existed from 1970 to 1976, the last years, the last half-decade of the war in Vietnam. And by contrast, the war in Vietnam really was a terrorist undertaking. The war in Vietnam was terror on a mass scale, with thousands of people every month being murdered, mostly from the air. And we were doing everything we could to stop it. So, again, it’s hard to know where to start to interrupt that narrative. . . .

BERNADINE [sic] DOHRN: Nothing the Weather Underground did was terrorist. And, you know, we could make lots of choices if we were reliving it. Nothing we did was perfect. But decision was made, after the death of our three comrades in a townhouse, not to hurt people, to engage in direct actions that were symbolic, that were recognizable and understandable to the American people and that protected people. And that kind of restraint was widespread. There were tens of thousands of political bombings over that first three—1970, ’71, ’72, ’73, all across the country, not under anybody’s leadership, but they were overwhelmingly restrained, symbolic.
Restrained, symbolic bombings. Jesus. Moral maggots, both of them. Watch Billy evade the single specific question Goodman asks:
AMY GOODMAN: Bill O’Reilly, Bill Ayers, in the ad said that you admitted to bombing a police station and weren’t sorry about it.

BILL AYERS: What I wrote in my book, Fugitive Days, I wrote about the extraordinary decade in which many of us came of age and committed ourselves to fighting against war and against injustice and for peace. And mostly what we did was nonviolent direct action through that whole latter part of the ’60s. And then we reached a kind of crisis, which is, we had convinced the American people—we and forces—you know, it’s an interesting thing to think about the years ’65, ’68. In three years, the American people swung all the way over to oppose the war. Kind of reminds you of the recent events, where in three years a popular war became massively unpopular.

But in any case, the question was, what do you do? And in no way do I think, or in my book do I rationalize or argue, that what we did was the best thing or the only thing. But what I do say is it was understandable in its own terms. “Is it terrorism?” Juan asked. No, it’s not, because terrorism targets people and intends to intimidate and murder people in order to get a political—its political way. We never did that. We never intended to do it. And no one was hurt or killed. So that’s an important distinction.
Right. There's lots about how happy they are Obama was elected, and Billy holds forth, vaguely of course, on his educational theories. Note how Amy calls Bernardine an "attorney." No, she's not.

Update: Guess I could embed the video while I'm at it. [Update: had to take it down; it was completely screwing up the page.]

Update II: As you'll notice, this is only part one.

Update III: Amy Goodman has the worst case of glottal fry I've ever heard in a TV personage.

Update IV: Snaps helpfully links to Sean Hannity's program from yesterday, in which FBI informant Larry Grathwohl gives the lie to Ayers' denial that he had any intention to harm people:
I was assigned [by Ayers] to Detroit, and we were planning to bomb the DPOA building in the 13th Precinct. He told us what the bomb should contain--fence staples and nails in order to injure people and kill them. When I protested that one of the bombs would destroy a restaurant, Bill said "Well, sometimes people have to die in a revolution."
Of course he did.

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