Feedback from the Issue of Thursday, October 1, 2009


Time to nail Ayers and Dohrn: I almost fainted when I read a story advocating the arrest of members of the former Weather Underground in New Times.

Finally, you guys got something right! Please, give us more stories about how members of left-wing organizations should be brought down, then and now.

Also, the story was exceptionally well researched and written. I am old enough to remember those radical organizations and the havoc they wreaked on our nation. The writer accurately portrayed their violent lies.

I hope Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers — no matter how upstanding they are nowadays — get nailed in the Officer Brian McDonald killing. As you pointed out, there is no statute of limitations on murder.
John Owens, Phoenix

Story was "non-news" tripe: You have got to be kidding me. This [is a] tepid rehash of the whole Bill Ayers business from last year's election.

I was a newspaperman for almost 30 years (now, thank God, I write books and plays), and it's this type of mindless sludge that makes me glad I left the business. You've disgraced anyone who carries a press card with this "non-news" tripe and contributed to the dumbing-down of this culture. (I wasn't sure it could go much lower.)

"The only reason for journalism to exist is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." That's a quote from H. L. Mencken. This story did neither.
Chris Dickerson, Los Angeles

Reactionaries may have a point after all: After reading the published statements of Bernardine Dohrn, how could President Barack Obama have associated with her and her husband? As your story points out, the Weather Underground's claims of non-violence (that it went only after unoccupied buildings) are bogus.

I wasn't prone to believing all the right-wing howling that Obama's a Commie sympathizer from the Lush Limbaugh crowd, but this story of the cop killing has me wondering whether the reactionaries might be on the right track.
Steve Meyer, Phoenix

Caught in the nut-bags' net: Most of the Obama-linked-to-Weathermen operations are controlled by Cliff Kincaid, a leader of the Birther movement and of Accuracy in Media, a right-wing fringe group.

[Kincaid offers] videos featuring Larry Grathwohl, alleging "that in exchange for a glowing review of Bill Ayers' book, A Kind and Just Parent, Barack Obama received help in writing his own semi-fictional autobiographies from [Bill] Ayers."

In addition, Grathwohl goes on to say that "scientific comparative analysis of Ayers' books with Obama's clearly demonstrate common authorship."

The group also includes Jim Pera, a San Francisco cop featured in Peter Jamison's article. It is kind of a traveling nut-bag circus that has apparently gotten a naive Jamison caught in its net.
Mark Groubert, Los Angeles

There's no credible connection: [Your story] makes no credible connection to either Bill Ayers or Barack Obama. The writer is either just ignorant or a kid or both.

His description of America in the 1960s is absolutely wrong. There was no two-sided guerrilla war in American cities. COINTELPRO and other law-enforcement rogue operations were not "unfortunate." They were unconstitutional and criminal.
Michael Stinson, Long Beach, California

Simply, it's cheap journalism: Your "Time Bomb" cover is a wonderful hook for an article that it is embarrassingly insignificant.

After several pages summarizing what has already been established about the Weather Underground's unverifiable involvement in the Park Station bombing of 1970, Peter Jamison concludes with the rousing revelation that "as time passes, a conviction seems more improbable."

This is cheap journalism that substitutes catchy taglines for thoughtful political discussion. At a time when America is fighting two imperial wars of aggression in the Middle East and has assumed an extra-judicial power of global sovereignty, you have chosen to devote your resources to tabloid-worthy speculations.

If [you] would like to interrogate the merits of revolutionary politics, then perhaps [you] should spend some time investigating how we can stop a government run by two parties intent on perpetuating a system whose brutality needs no more evidence to warrant a conviction.
Spencer Jackson, via the Internet

Party-pooping Weathermen: One thing to bear in mind, foremost, is the operations of COINTELPRO at the time. Its activities continually muddied the waters concerning who was who and who did what.

During that time, I was in Ann Arbor, Michigan, home to the White Panther Party (among other groups). I recall that, then, several of the WPP people were either incarcerated or wanted for various radical activities, including a small bombing alleged to have been perpetrated by them. They always asserted that COINTELPRO was behind a lot of it.

Decades later, though, the truth came out. COINTELPRO had been behind a lot of the grief that came their way. Paranoid or not, they had been correct about that much.

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