The Weather Underground, Aboveground At Last

Today I read the news that Judith Clark, a member of Bill Ayers’ communist terrorist group The Weather Underground, has been granted parole and released from prison. Clark was the getaway driver in the 1981 Brinks truck heist carried out by members of the WU and the Black Liberation Army, in which two police officers and a security guard were killed. She was sentenced to seventy-five-years-to-life, but her sentence was commuted in 2016 by New York governor Andrew Cuomo, who likes communists so much that he decided, well, heck, what’s a little murder in the name of such a glorious cause?

After all, Kathy Boudin, another WU member involved in the murderous heist, was appointed as an adjunct professor of social work at Columbia — not Chibougamau Community College, but Columbia University, of course — more than ten years ago. Isn’t it about time, then, for Clark to get the same red carpet treatment (good color choice!) for her efforts on behalf of Progress?

Interestingly, when I saw the headline and the accompanying picture of Clark from her glamor days as a murderous prairie fire punkette, my first thought was, “Right, Bill Ayers always put the women out front and in harm’s way, rather than himself, the cowardly little twerp.” 

That was a happy thought, as it immediately put me in mind of the source of that interesting psychological insight into Ayers, America’s most infamous communist revolutionary professor, namely Larry Grathwohl, the FBI operative who volunteered to go underground with the Weathermen during their heyday to help law enforcement keep tabs on the group and identify its members and methods.

Back in 2013, I had the opportunity to interview Grathwohl for American Thinker. The result was published in three installments in late February that year. Later the same year, Grathwohl died suddenly, and America lost a very brave man, and the man with the most inside knowledge of Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, and the rest of the gang that was once considered dangerously radical, before President Barack Obama, Ayers’ protégé, made Marxist “transformation” not only respectable, but official U.S. policy.

Today, in honor of Judith Clark, a “model prisoner” (in the words of Governor Cuomo), I have decided to gather my three-part interview with Larry Grathwohl into this one tidy collection. Formatting and this introduction aside, I have not edited the text in any way from its original form.

As an added bonus, and to fill your day with cheerful thoughts of deadly, unrepentant communists free at last, and teaching young people at your best universities, I have also included, at the end of the interview, the article I wrote for American Thinker on the occasion of Larry’s death in July 2013.

Take your time. Larry is always interesting, and I deliberately tried to ask him some questions from my slightly unorthodox personal perspective, in order to get him thinking about these well-worn facts in a fresh way. He later told me in an e-mail that he appreciated and enjoyed the different angle.

Part I

If your church’s new pastor had a long and well-known history of atheism, contradicting church doctrine, or fire-bombing churches, would you trust him to serve the church community in good faith, and to do everything in his power to uphold the church’s principles and practices?  More to the point, would you continue to attend that church, and to take your children there?

If people dedicated to the complete destruction of the United States as a constitutional republic became power-players in the public school establishment, would you expect them to build an education system that fostered and preserved the tenets of republican citizenship as understood by America’s founders?  Would you continue to support the public schools, and send your children there?

For a hundred years, the main intellectual force behind America’s educational establishment has been John Dewey, a socialist and open critic of the Enlightenment, American individualism, and American constitutional government.  What kind of education system should people have expected Dewey and his admirers to promote?  Should anyone be surprised that the public school establishment built largely according to his theories has become an anti-American cesspool of collectivism, irrationalism, and immorality? 

Today, the educational insanity has reached new heights.  The public school establishment has devolved from following the wisdom of men who hoped to remodel America in a Marxist image to following men who have actively sought to instigate violent revolution.  The church leadership, as it were, has devolved from atheists to fire-bombers.

Bill Ayers, a leader of the Weather Underground terrorist organization, became a “respected” professor of education — a teacher of teachers — and a leading theorist on early childhood education.  If you are one of those who wish to remain blissfully in the fog about this fact or its implications, you had better stop reading now.

Larry Grathwohl is the military veteran who volunteered to infiltrate the Weather Underground as an FBI operative in 1969.  He is probably best-known for his firsthand account of a Weatherman meeting at which the organization’s leadership, including the future Professor Ayers, discussed the logistics of how, after the communist revolution they were trying to spearhead, they would murder the ten percent of the American population that would likely remain resistant to the communists’ re-education program. 

Grathwohl has often been interviewed about that meeting and about his days among the Weather Underground (WU).  The focus of those interviews used to be on the radicals and their terrorist operations.  More recently, interviewers have turned to Grathwohl to help them highlight Barack Obama’s own radicalism, by reminding people of the true nature of the “guy in Obama’s neighborhood.”

Rather than retrace these (important) angles, I chose to tie Grathwohl’s knowledge of Ayers and the rest of the WU leadership to the issue of public education.  Alarming as it is that the president of the United States has, and has carefully concealed, a personal association with a lifelong revolutionary communist, I believe that even that pales in comparison with the mainstream influence and respectability that Ayers, and some of his old cohorts, have come to enjoy in the field of childhood education.  A president with Marxist inclinations and attitudes is a great threat.  Entire generations of children receiving their first years of moral and intellectual education at de facto Marxist re-education camps — that is a societal catastrophe. 

Recently, I have been urging anyone who will listen to stop making excuses for allowing the government to continue controlling the education of their children, and to get any child under their influence out of the public education system now.  Stop rationalizing inaction: modern public education, as the few intelligent, noble, suffering teachers in the system can tell you, is a Dewey-rigged atrocity, a forced-retardation machine.  In America, that machine is now, increasingly, being reprogrammed as a direct socialist indoctrination system.  One of the leading programmers is Bill Ayers.

From my own interview experiences, I know that one often feels dissatisfied with one’s answers after the fact and wishes one could go back and refine one’s statements.  With this in mind, I conducted my interview with Larry Grathwohl in writing.  I sent him my questions, in the order presented here, and he answered at his leisure.  I trust that you will find his responses as bracing and thought-provoking as I do.

Daren Jonescu: From your time among the WU, what was your understanding of the relationship between the group’s members and the Cuban DGI?  Were they just basically admirers of Castro, or did the WU have some kind of genuine operational relationship with the DGI, KGB, or any such organization?

Larry Grathwohl: In my knowledge of the connections the WU maintained with the Cuban DGI and with other communist-bloc countries, it was extensive.  The WU created an organization called the Venceremos Brigade with the sole purpose of sending members of their underground cells to Cuba for training in the administrative functions of organizing a revolution, as well as being trained in the creation and the use of explosives.  The Venceremos Brigade itself was composed of young students who were sent to Cuba under the guise of being there to help harvest sugarcane, but included were members of the WU whose reason for being there was to receive this specialized training from the DGI.

Additionally, these trips to Cuba were utilized in order to maintain contacts with the North Vietnamese and other communist-bloc countries.  As an example, Kathy Boudin traveled extensively through the Eastern Bloc countries of that time frame and also attended the University of Moscow. 

At one time it was intended for me to travel to Cuba for this indoctrination and training; however, I was able to convince the WU leadership that I didn’t require this kind of training, being that I had been in the U.S. military.  Therefore, my name was taken off the list, and someone else was sent in my place.  I did have the opportunity to meet and discuss their experiences in Cuba with some of the individuals who were part of the first Venceremos Brigade.

This connection between the Cubans and the WU was so extensive that in the event that an individual lost contact, they could go to a Cuban Embassy in Canada and simply tell them that they were (the first name didn’t matter) Delgado, which was a codename to be used to re-establish contact with the WU.  I also know of at least one incident where Bill Ayers and Naomi Jaffe traveled to Canada to make contact with the Cubans in the Québec Liberation Front in order to obtain funds in the amount of at least seven to ten thousand dollars.  They returned to Buffalo, New York, after having been gone for a day and a half, with this money.

I have no direct knowledge of how involved the KGB was in directing the DGI and therefore the effect it may have had on the WU.  However, it is my understanding from intelligence sources I have since come in contact with that the DGI was essentially run by the KGB.  Again, I have no direct knowledge of this, but it seems apparent from other information that I have seen and developed through the years that this was the relationship that existed between the Soviet Union and the Cubans.

DJ: Why exactly did the WU want to overthrow the U.S. government?  In favor of what?

LG: Specifically, the WU intended, as their ultimate goal, the total destruction of U.S. imperialism and of course our government.  They intended to replace our current government with what they referred to as “democratic centralism.”  They claimed that this was the current form of government of the Cuban islands, and this was what they intended to establish here in the United States.  Additionally, they felt that certain portions of the United States would be occupied by third-world countries after our destruction.  They estimated that 100 million citizens of the United States would have to be re-educated after the revolution had succeeded. 

DJ: How would you answer people who say, “Oh, back then all the young people talked that way.  Kids do all kinds of crazy things that they regret later.”

LG: Yes, it is true that many people during that time spoke in extremely radical terms, especially regarding their government and what needed to take place in order to change what they saw as the evils of U.S. imperialism.  Most of these groups, however, believed in a nonviolent means of achieving these goals, and it was only the WU who felt that the only possible way of achieving this change was through violent revolution.  There are many who were part of this movement during this period of time who feel that the WU had undermined their activities and ultimately destroyed any possibility of their success.  This is one of the great criticisms that exists of the WU and their tactics during that period.

Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, among others, claim today that they were merely an antiwar group, but this is not the truth.  In all of their writings and all of their political manifestoes, they made it very clear that they were a violent revolutionary organization inside the belly of the beast, as they called it, and that their purpose was the destruction of the U.S. and what they called U.S. imperialism.

DJ: For many people, the hardest part about accepting the true motives of subversives like the WU is that when we see them on TV, or read their later writings, they often just seem relatively “normal.”  It’s hard for people who think of “bad guys” in movie terms to accept that evil people really are “normal” for much of the day — they are human beings, after all, and therefore they do many of the same things we all do.

Please give me some insight into this issue: did the WU, even during those violent early days, sometimes seem like relatively normal people?  Could someone meeting them in a non-WU context see Bill Ayers or Mark Rudd as ordinary, or even likable?

LG: While there were some members of the WU that I took a personal liking to, I cannot say that of the individuals that I knew as members of the leadership collective.  This would have included people like Bill Ayers, Mark Rudd, Bernardine Dohrn, Jeff Jones, and others. These people were absolutely vicious in their dedication to overthrow the government by any means necessary, including the use of bombs and shrapnel in order to create the greatest injury and death to people they deemed enemies.  There were some whom I knew as part of the operational personnel who were more to my liking, and the difficulty surrounding these individuals was knowing that I was betraying them and their friendship as I continued to pass information to the FBI.  So the answer to this question is yes, there were some who were relatively normal and therefore likable, but this did not include the leadership, which was extremely focused and intent upon destroying every remnant of democracy, including innocent bystanders who might unfortunately be in the way.

DJ: The quote for which you are probably best-known is your account of the WU leadership’s discussions of post-revolutionary “re-education camps in the southwest,” and of the likelihood that ten percent of the U.S. population, the “diehard capitalists,” would have to be killed.  I would like to focus on the “re-education camps.”  To the best of your knowledge, how did the WU conceive of these camps?

LG: [T]his conversation took place in Cleveland, Ohio, at a meeting for the organization to begin its underground activities, which included what they referred to as strategic sabotage.  Of course this meant bombing symbols of our government as well as individuals whose positions were meant to protect and defend.  The conversation involving the re-education camps and the elimination of approximately 25 million people began as a result of my inquiring as to what we (the WU) would do when and if our revolution succeeded and we were forced to deal with the everyday operations and logistics of running a country.  There was very little interest in what would need to be done in order to feed, house, clothe, and otherwise provide for the population.  The main focus was what had to be done in order to protect themselves from what they construed as the counterrevolution, which they expected to occur shortly after they had seized power.  Because of this it would be necessary to establish re-education centers in the Southwest with the purpose of indoctrinating people into the new order and beliefs of their revolution.  They estimated that 25% [of the camps’ 100 million occupants], or 25 million people, would not be able to assimilate or accommodate this re-education and therefore would have to be eliminated.  These individuals could be worked to death, starved to death, or shot, depending upon what works best for the revolution. 

While I cannot remember everyone who attended this meeting, I do remember that Mark Rudd, Cathy Wilkerson, Bill Ayers, Linda Evans, and other members of the leadership were present.  The most remarkable thing that affected me at that time was the amount of education that these people had in comparison to myself and to the general population.  Many had graduated with postgraduate degrees from some of the most prestigious universities in the country, and here they sat in a room on a cloudy afternoon, seriously discussing not only the need, but the means to eliminate 25 million people, with absolutely no pangs of conscience or hesitation.

Author’s Note: I conclude Part 1 by emphasizing one aspect of Grathwohl’s last point here.  In noting their level of education, Grathwohl is reminding us of the WU leadership’s ages.  Ayers and Gilbert turned 25 the year Weatherman was formed; Dohrn was 27, Boudin and Jaffe 26.  In 1980, when Ayers and Dohrn finally surrendered to police — without apologies for their “underground” activities — they turned 36 and 38.  The following year, Boudin and Gilbert, aged 38 and 37, participated in a murderous Brinks armored car robbery with members of the Black Liberation Army.  The haze of distance is a convenience for those inclined to dismiss any relation between the WU’s “youthful” radicalism and their “mature” work in education and social justice — a convenient lie, that is.

Part II

The day after Barack Obama’s re-election, unrepentant terrorist-turned-“education reformer” Bill Ayers posted an open letter to the president on his blog, focused on educational matters.  Specifically, it was a straw man-filled plea to resist private influences in public education, in the names (naturally) of “freedom” and “democracy.” 

Perfectly echoing his intellectual forbear, John Dewey, Ayers tells Obama that “[w]hen the aim of education and the sole measure of success is competitive, learning becomes exclusively selfish, and there is no obvious social motive to pursue it.”  (See my discussion of Dewey’s near-identical remarks, and their meaning, in The Case Against Public Education.)

Ayers even concludes his post by citing his hero by name.  Reminding Obama of the progressive University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, where Ayers, Obama, and “your friend Rahm Emanuel” all sent their own children, he urges Obama to universalize this schooling through the public system, and concludes:

Good enough for you, good enough for the privileged, then it must be good enough for the kids in public schools everywhere — a standard to be aspired to and worked toward.  Any other ideal for our schools, in the words of John Dewey who founded the school you chose for your daughters, “is narrow and unlovely; acted upon it destroys our democracy.”

In a typical leftist projection, Ayers, one of America’s foremost living experts on the methods of destroying a democracy, argues that only by following his prescription may democracy be saved.  And, in a perfect parallel of the modern progressive ratchet, in which government causes a problem through regulation and then advocates more regulation as the solution to the problem, Ayers responds to the death of education under the hundred-year influence of Dewey (“the father of modern education”) by proposing to salvage the public schools by infesting them with even more Deweyism. 

And make no mistake about one point: Ayers is invoking Dewey not merely as a respectable cover for his subversive agenda.  Deweyism is his subversive agenda.  Ayers and his fellow “reformers” are to Dewey what Lenin was to Marx.  Marx was an intellectual who wished to undermine Western civilization.  Lenin was a thug who sought to bring Marxist principles into full practice through propaganda, armed revolution, and sophisticated lies.  Likewise, Dewey hated American liberty and individualism and wished to undermine them through socialist education.  Ayers is Dewey’s less civilized, more “practically minded” disciple.

Having laid the groundwork regarding the methods and goals of Ayers and the Weather Underground (WU) in Part 1 of this interview with Larry Grathwohl, we turn now to the significance of this radicalism in today’s terms, particularly with regard to modern education.

DJ: Several members of WU and SDS, most famously Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, but also Howard Machtinger and others, have become prominent childhood education and “children’s rights” activists and theorists.  What do you make of this?

LG: Having failed to accomplish their goal of destroying capitalism and U.S. imperialism when they went underground and began their strategic sabotage, it is my belief that they decided to accomplish this goal by infiltrating the educational system and using it to their own [ends].  Reflecting on this, it is obvious that Bill Ayers, as an example, has been a professor of education and thus has been teaching our teachers for at least three or four generations.  As you pointed out in your article, “Good News: You May Be Spared Execution,” the result of this has been that many students and individuals have been educated to believe that the United States is an evil empire and should be punished if not eliminated.  This means that many will simply give up and comply with whatever the future may hold or impose upon them when people like Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn are able to succeed in their ultimate goal of the destruction of the U.S. 

So it is my conclusion that what the WU failed to accomplish when they went underground and began their strategic sabotage is now being accomplished through the educational system and the political means that they have gained by supporting such people as Barack Obama and his Chicago supporters.  I tell people today that we are losing our freedoms because of the attacks that emerge from the left and are targeted on all of our basic societal organizations.  God is eliminated from the classroom; the history of our country is no longer being taught, but rather a revised edition which depicts our people and our nation as enemies of the world and of all that is good and right.  This includes church, religion, veterans, educational institutions, and any organization that supports the greatness of our country and the strength of its institutions. 

Presently, our president tells us that there is no economic problem, that the national debt is not something to be concerned about, and that the Constitution is outdated and needs to be replaced or at least revised.  And because of this educational problem, there are people who no longer know what the Constitution is or the reasons for its existence, so how can these people be expected to defend it?  This has been accomplished through control of the classrooms and through the constant political babble that the left puts out and that people are simply unprepared to defend [against].

DJ: What would you say to Democrats, Republicans, and academics who point to Ayers’s years of “academic respectability” as an argument against identifying him with the statements or actions of his radical days?

LG: Bill Ayers has never apologized for or recanted on the goals of the WU from the 1970s and ’80s.  Furthermore, he has stated that his only regret was that the WU didn’t do enough.  There are pictures of him leaving the courthouse when he was exonerated for his crimes while part of the WU and he states, “[G]uilty as hell, free as a bird, isn’t America wonderful?”  Bill and Bernardine have continued their political activities in regards to their support for the Occupy Wall Street movement, in which Bill has led classes on how to disrupt and defy authority.  Bill and Bernardine have participated in the activities of Code Pink, which has been involved in the Middle East and in creating the turmoil in that part of the world. …

Bill Ayers has not changed his ways, has not changed his goals or his objectives.  He is now traveling around the country, giving talks to people, telling them that they are very close to changing this country and making it into what he wants it to be and that they should not give up at this point.  He also tells them that they cannot completely depend upon Barack Obama to create this new order and that they must not fail because they are so very close to accomplishing their mission of changing America forever.

DJ: Would you willingly allow your own child to attend a school or school board in which the teachers were trained, and the educational goals set, by Ayers, Machtinger, or likeminded others?  If not, why not?

LG: My answer to this question is no.  Absolutely not.  I want my children and grandchildren to be educated in a way that they have the ability to make up their own minds about issues without having been indoctrinated into the Bill Ayers way of thinking.  It is my belief that teachers today are more interested in teaching social resistance rather than reading, writing, and arithmetic.  The result is that we have a tremendous number of young people who are unable to read or write, or add and subtract.  They are, however, very capable of protesting when they think that their individual rights have been imposed upon [and] feel that they are being punished if they have to do homework and learn the basic precepts of our country and our government.  In many cases they don’t even know that the Constitution exists, and if they do, they are taught that this is a document written by old white men 200 years ago and that it is meaningless in today’s world. 

I encourage people to send their children to private or parochial schools, and if this is not possible, they should home-educate their children in order to assure that they learn the true history of America and the necessary tools to be a good citizen and be able to contribute and to succeed in our society.

Author’s note: There are a hundred compelling reasons for removing your children and grandchildren from the public schools, regardless of any practical or financial inconveniences this may cause you.  If the one you have just heard from Larry Grathwohl — that the progressive revolutionary intentions and methods of Bill Ayers are being woven into the mainstream of modern education, in effect establishing the re-education camps of the WU’s hopes — is not forceful enough to move you, then I give up.

Part III

In Part 1 of this interview with former FBI operative Larry Grathwohl, we addressed the goals and methods of the Weatherman organization and debunked recent attempts to dismiss their words and activities as “youthful folly” or “typical of those days.”  In Part 2, we discussed the continuity of purpose connecting the murderous radicalism of the Weather Underground leadership with the progressive education and social justice advocacy of the “mature,” “respectable” Ayers, Dohrn, Machtinger, Boudin, and others.

Here in the final installment, I ask Grathwohl about the alarming cognitive dissonance of today’s Middle America in the throes of the “fundamental transformation” promised by Barack Obama, facilitated by the progressive education and legal establishments, and put into practice by federal agency appointees, colleges of education, union leaders, and bureaucrats with established leftist pedigrees.

As an example of this dissonance, consider an American colleague of mine here in Korea: a friendly, down-to-earth, educated family man in his early thirties, and a teacher by profession.  On the eve of the 2012 election, I asked him whether it bothered him that Barack Obama had been so strongly endorsed by the Communist Party.  He said he had never heard of that.  When I explained that the Party’s official endorsement cited Obama’s signature policy initiatives as the surest means to achieving socialism in America, and that CPUSA leaders were actively campaigning for Obama in swing states, my colleague fell silent for a moment, and then said, matter-of-factly, “It doesn’t really bother me; I guess it might bother me if Obama were endorsing the Communist Party, but if they’re endorsing him, it doesn’t matter.”

I leave you with that thought, by way of introduction to Part 3 of my conversation with Larry Grathwohl.

DJ: The Communist Party USA has officially endorsed and vocally supported President Obama, and his administration has included several people with well-known Marxist or Maoist views and affiliations.  And yet most people, including many so-called conservatives, shy away from this entire subject area, and they practically run for the hills when anyone mentions Bill Ayers, re-education camps, or communism in connection with current political events. 

Why do you think there is such discomfort among Americans, including supposed conservatives, when confronted with this issue?

LG: To answer this question in a word, I would say “political correctness.”  Today we live in a world where people are afraid to discuss issues of importance due to a concern that they might say something wrong.  We have a society where people can be condemned for being on the wrong side of an issue, especially if you’re in a position where you could be labeled as a racist or an individual who has no sensitivity towards those who are in some way in need.  Today, [concern about] Marxism is out of vogue, and the Chinese are our friends and are lending us money in order for our government to continue to exist.  How can you question this?  Conservatives are afraid of being labeled as mean or uncaring and want to maintain a civil image in the midst of this chaos and confusion.  Senator McCain during the 2008 presidential campaign refused to confront Barack Obama regarding his ties to Bill Ayers the unrepentant terrorist.  When others brought up the possibility of Obama’s connection to the Muslim world, McCain became angry and turned away.  By doing so, he negated any possibility of forcing the two-year member of the Senate to explain his sympathetic positions towards Islamic terrorism and the domestic terrorism that his friend Bill Ayers had participated in [during] the ’70s and the ’80s. 

Basically, this is the problem we face today.  If you criticize the president for any of his policies, you are racist, and your argument ends.  There aren’t defenses for these kinds of accusations, and it completely eliminates any possibility of discussion and compromise.  This works wonderfully for the Democrats and their policies, and it puts the Republicans and conservatives in very un-defensible positions.  The bravery or whatever you care to call it simply no longer exists [when] people who are involved in the political process are more concerned with the next election than they are with what’s best and right for America.  I often wonder what would’ve happened during the Revolutionary War if people of this stature were to be the ones we were dependent upon to defeat the British.  I wonder if this tendency can be overcome or eliminated.

DJ: How frustrating is it for you, having seen what you have seen, to encounter this kind of reluctance from people who should be your allies?

LG: While I do have some allies, which includes those who have the courage to speak the truth and to stand up for what’s right, the fact is that it is extremely frustrating that people are simply unable to recognize the truth when it is presented to them along with the evidence which exists in the WU’s activities, writings, and continued attack on our institutions.  As for me, the frustration is simply a greater motivation to accomplish my mission of enlightening people as to the true goals and objectives of the WU and the means that they used in their attempt to achieve the destruction of the United States.

DJ: Many people dispute President Obama’s claim that Bill Ayers was just “a guy in my neighborhood.”  And Ayers himself has spoken of being ecstatic when Obama was elected in 2008.  What connection or consistency do you see between the goals and/or methods pursued or promoted by the WU and those pursued and promoted by the Obama administration?

LG: The goals and objectives of these two individuals are the same.  Bill Ayers tried first to destroy this country through violence.  Having failed, the WU determined to accomplish this through the system and in my opinion Barack Obama was recruited as a means to accomplish this goal….

The connections between Barack and Bill include having shared an office for at least three years in Chicago, being co-members on two boards in which Barack was the chairman, and one of which was called the Annenberg Challenge[, which] was charged with the dissemination of approximately $100 million to educational institutions in the Chicago area.  Bill Ayers has been associated with the writing of Barack’s book, Dreams from My Father, through content analysis, and on three occasions Bill has admitted that he wrote this book and then later retracted his comments.  It would seem apparent to me that individuals who have been this closely associated through many years have a common knowledge [of] one another’s political aims and goals.  This can only mean that they are in agreement, and while Bill has utilized the educational system to further his objective, Barack Obama has chosen politics.  Keep in mind that Barack Obama’s first political fundraiser was held at Bill’s and Bernardine’s home while Barack was running for the Illinois state legislature.  This is his first fundraiser, and Bill and Bernardine are involved — can there be any doubt as to the extent of the relationship that exists between these individuals?

Obama is in the process of attacking all institutions of our society and government, [including] the First Amendment by stating that it’s the conservative media that keeps the Republicans from negotiating with him; the Second Amendment [through] his attempts to impose restrictions on gun ownership, procurement of ammunition, and whatever other means he can devise; and lastly, there is his attack on the freedom of religion by trying to impose birth control and abortion under the Obama health care act on churches who run such institutions as hospitals, schools, rest homes, and other services.

DJ: You have spent a good portion of your life trying to warn Americans about the specific intentions of the young leftist radicals of the late 1960s.  How do you answer people who might say that those leftists are older now, their radical days are in the past, and there is no longer anything to worry about from them?

LG: The fact is, Bill Ayers and many of his comrades from those days of strategic sabotage in the underground movement have not changed their goal or their purpose.  Bill has made this very clear in his book, Fugitive Days, in which he makes no apology for the death and destruction the WU were responsible for and even seems to revel in what he perceives as the glory of the revolution.  In his book Underground, Mark Rudd also makes no apologies for his activities and even admits prior knowledge to the bomb factory in Greenwich Village in which three members of the WU were killed.  He states that Terry Robbins had told him of the purpose of their bomb creations and that they were to be used at Fort Dix, New Jersey during an enlisted men’s dance and at the officers’ club.  These bombs were adulterated with fence staples and roofing nails, whose purpose can only be to inflict as much death and injury as possible.  There are many other individuals from the WU who have written books and also regret only that they did not succeed or that they didn’t do enough.  Some individuals were involved in a Brinks armored car robbery during which two policemen and a Brinks guard were killed.  Kathy Boudin is no longer behind bars, but her husband, accomplice David Gilbert, is still in jail and writing books about love and the revolution and has many supporters [who are] trying to get him released to this very day.

It simply cannot be said that these people have allowed the last three or four decades to change their political beliefs or political goals.  Instead, they have been involved with the Occupy Wall Street movement and the encouragement of young people to defy authority and to create as much chaos and turmoil as possible.  Bill has actually attended Occupy meetings during which he instructed individuals on how to accomplish the most destruction of property and confrontation with authority and in a way that makes it appear as if they are the victims.  This I know for a fact, as people who are friendly to me and have attended some of these meetings have reported these facts.

Van Jones, who was appointed as the green jobs czar by President Obama, is very active [in the] political movement in the Bay Area, particularly in Oakland and Berkeley.  He has associations with Bill Ayers and has attended Occupy meetings in which they were both in attendance. 

It is simply impossible to conclude that any of these people have in any way, shape, or form been influenced to change their political beliefs or their goal and objectives by the passage of time.  They still believe that the United States is the root of all evil and must be destroyed, whatever it takes.  Innocent lives or genuine disagreement is not a qualification for being spared, and it is my belief that Bill and people who follow Bill are consumed with this hatred for this country and a desire to be in control of life and death, and this may be the underlying reason for the personality disorders they obviously suffer from.

Author’s concluding note: Larry Grathwohl provides powerful witness to the hatred the Weathermen bear for the United States as founded, and their utter disregard for human life in pursuing their transformative agenda.  I do not believe that Grathwohl’s perspective is infallible any more than I believe that of anyone else.  I do believe, however, that he speaks sincerely, and from a deep understanding of the minds and hearts of the Weather Underground radicals. 

Rational observers know that Ayers’ relationship with Obama is much more developed than either man has publicly acknowledged.  And it is undeniable that these two progressive “reformers” have achieved a degree of mainstream success and influence in their respective fields of endeavor, education, and politics that would have been inconceivable a hundred years ago, when Ayers’s educational role model, John Dewey, was beginning progressivism’s long march through the souls of America’s children.  A century of progressive schooling made Barack Obama’s presidency possible.  In turn, with a president openly bent on transforming America according to a collectivist “social justice” agenda, public education itself, under the leadership of Ayers and his colleagues, may reveal itself ever more fully as the socialist indoctrination center Dewey could only dream and scheme of. 

As Grathwohl warns, Ayers is urging followers to see that they are “very close to accomplishing their mission of changing America forever.”  The circle envisioned by early Western progressive intellectuals such as Antonio Gramsci is almost complete: government schools prepare the souls of men for subservience and dependency, and the progressive intelligentsia churn out attractive demagogues to appeal to this forcibly debased population’s need for a provider.  Eventually, all that will be preserved of the history of modern liberty will be the veneer of democracy masking the tyrannical structure beneath, as an emasculated humanity “freely chooses” its own slave masters.

The Midnight Ride of Larry Grathwohl
July 20th, 2013

Larry Grathwohl, the man who informed the world of the coldest truths about Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dorhn, and the Weather Underground, has died.

When I say “informed the world,” I mean that he made the truth available, although most people blithely ignored it. When I say “the coldest truths,” I mean, among other things, his report of the Weathermen leadership’s icy calculation that after their communist counter-revolution, approximately ten percent of the U.S. population would be recalcitrant to their Marxist re-education program, and would therefore need to be killed.

And when I say “most people blithely ignored it,” I am not thinking of the diminished infants and illiterates who have already made their way in good standing through Ayers’ actual re-education camps — i.e. American public schools in their latest stage of degradation — and have thus been rendered morally and intellectually incapable of recognizing inhumanity and tyranny, perceiving them only as “new rights” and “the safety net,” respectively. I am thinking, rather, of the reasonably intelligent members of the Washington elite who were capable of understanding Grathwohl’s words, and knew of Barack Obama’s connection to Ayers, but who chose to keep these two realities tucked away in separate mental compartments, rather than face the fact that the man they were actively or passively supporting for the presidency in 2008 began his political career in the private home of a communist terrorist and advocate of mass execution.

I never met Larry Grathwohl in person, but I had the great honor of becoming an e-mail acquaintance, and of interviewing him at long distance this year. In January, I wrote an article about public education that paid ironic homage to Grathwohl’s famous firsthand report about the Weathermen’s projection of the need to kill twenty-five million Americans. The article, Good News: You May Be Spared Execution, appeared at American Thinker, and also at Patriot Post, where, to my surprise, I found the following reader’s comment:

Great article and analysis of what has happened during the time since Bill Ayers made those comments to me. I’m not certain I agree with the estimate of how many will be “eliminated” but do believe the number has decreased due to the educational system run by individuals trained by Ayers and many others who are former members of the weather underground. I will not go quietly when they come for me as I’m certain that I will be eliminated. God Bless America and those who defend Her. Larry Grathwohl

Needless to say, though flattered, I was skeptical as to the true identity of the commenter. However, a friend, radio host Guy Green, who had interviewed Larry, passed along an e-mail address. Swallowing hard, I sent a message inquiring as to whether the comment was really his. It was, and Larry could not have been more gracious — so much so, in fact, that I was immediately struck with the idea of tying my interests and his crusade together, and interviewing him with particular emphasis on the relation of former Weathermen to the public education establishment. He expressed enthusiasm for the idea — he relished any opportunity to inform a new audience of his startling and vital information — and, once I’d had some time to figure out how to conduct an interesting interview with someone who had already been interviewed five million times, the result appeared as the three-part series which you have just read, above.

Looking back over his answers to my questions, I continue to be impressed at how dedicated he remained to the cause of exposing the truth about Ayers, Dohrn, and the others. He had seen them in action, and heard them speak in unguarded contexts, and was therefore immune to the excuses and apologies we typically make for bad men in our midst — “he seems so normal,” “he’s a respectable educator now,” or “he’s just a guy in my neighborhood.”

In fact, I asked him about this precise point. His answer fascinated me at the time, and still does:

DJ: Please give me some insight into this issue: did the WU, even during those violent early days, sometimes seem like relatively normal people? Could someone meeting them in a non-WU context see Bill Ayers or Mark Rudd as ordinary, or even likable?

LG: While there were some members of the WU that I took a personal liking to, I cannot say that of the individuals that I knew as members of the leadership collective. This would have included people like Bill Ayers, Mark Rudd, Bernardine Dohrn, Jeff Jones, and others. These people were absolutely vicious in their dedication to overthrow the government by any means necessary, including the use of bombs and shrapnel in order to create the greatest injury and death to people they deemed enemies. There were some whom I knew as part of the operational personnel who were more to my liking, and the difficulty surrounding these individuals was knowing that I was betraying them and their friendship as I continued to pass information to the FBI. So the answer to this question is yes, there were some who were relatively normal and therefore likable, but this did not include the leadership, which was extremely focused and intent upon destroying every remnant of democracy, including innocent bystanders who might unfortunately be in the way.

Perhaps it is only now, looking back at this exchange, that I understand to what extent Grathwohl’s answer spoke to a reality much broader than the ugly little world of the Weathermen. There is always a distinction to be made between the progressive leadership, political and intellectual, and the larger mass of progressive dupes, the “operational personnel,” as it were. The latter may lack practical reason, critical skills, and a moral compass, but they are not intrinsically evil — or, to say the same thing another way, their evil is borrowed. The former, smaller group, the leading progressives, cannot and must not be given the same benefit of the doubt. They know their own hearts, which is to say they know what they hope the rest of us will never realize, namely that progressivism is not, and never was, a political philosophy, so much as a propaganda campaign or set of rationalizations for authoritarianism. In identifying this social dynamic and hierarchy among the Weathermen, Grathwohl had provided the perfect Petri dish view of progressive politics.

Grathwohl’s detailed description of his time as an FBI informant within the Weather Underground, Bringing Down America, was re-released this year. I know that this project meant a great deal to him, and was a major preoccupation at the beginning of 2013. (He sent the new cover design, provided by Tina Trent, around to some of us, canvassing opinions.) How satisfying that he was able to see it through to completion.

It has become common of late for today’s American patriots to compare one another to Patrick Henry or Paul Revere. This has inspirational value, as well as reminding modern men, suffering through their nation’s darkest hour, what real steadfastness and dedication look like. Larry Grathwohl was the genuine article, a real latter-day Paul Revere.

See whether these words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow do not ring true, as you reflect upon the life, courage, and patriotism of Larry Grathwohl:

So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm, –
A cry of defiance, and not of fear, –
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo forevermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beat of that steed,
And the midnight-message of Paul Revere.

Larry has done his part. It remains to be seen whether America, in its present hour of darkness and peril and need, will once again waken and listen to hear the midnight-message of Paul Revere.

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