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Terrorists among us: the parole of convicted terrorist Kathy Boudin was a victory for the aging--but still active--Soviet-aligned 1960s domestic terrorist network.

August 20th was Police Sergeant Edward O'Grady's 55th birthday. Unfortunately, he wasn't on hand to celebrate. Along with Officer Waverly Brown and Peter Paige, a private security guard, Sergeant O'Grady was murdered during a 1981 Brink's truck robbery in Nyack, New York. That crime was committed by the Black Liberation Army, a terrorist group that was an offshoot of the Soviet-aligned Weather Underground (also called the "Weathermen").

Among those convicted for that triple murder was "Weatherman" Kathy Boudin, daughter of Leonard Boudin, a member of the Communist Party USA and the party's leading attorney. (The New York Times, with characteristic dishonesty, breezily refers to Leonard Boudin as "a well-known liberal lawyer.") At the time of her arrest for the Brink's truck robbery and murders, Kathy Boudin was found in possession of a sizeable quantity of bomb-making materials and plans for bombing New York City police stations. The robbery itself was intended to fund a wave of terrorist bombings across the United States.

Reversal of Fortune

After pleading guilty to two counts of second-degree murder, Boudin was sentenced to life in prison. In recent years, the radical Left began agitating on behalf of parole for Boudin, insisting that she had been rehabilitated in prison. A similar campaign won freedom for Boudin's comrade Linda S. Evans, who was among the terrorists and radicals paroled by former President Bill Clinton. (Evans received a criminal justice fellowship from George Soros' Open Society Institute, and she now works to restore civil fights to felons.) As if acting on some sadistic impulse, the New York state parole board chose August 20th, Sergeant O'Grady's birthday, to grant the request.

This decision was a sudden and unexpected reversal of repeated rejections by the parole board. In turning down Boudin's first parole request, the board ruled that releasing the convicted terrorist "would be incompatible with the welfare of society and would serve to deprecate the seriousness of [her] criminal behavior ... so as to undermine respect for the law." Just last May, the board ruled that Boudin's supposed achievements as a model prisoner "are clearly outweighed by the serious and brutal nature of the crimes for which [she] pled guilty." Nothing occurred in the interval to merit revision of that ruling--yet Boudin is scheduled to go free on October 1st.

"Right now, she's hysterically happy," commented Boudin's lawyer, Leonard Weinglass, after the parole decision was announced. "What 1 heard on the phone were screaming and crying." Weinglass has carved out a very impressive resume as a first-call defense attorney for both domestic and international terrorists, as well as acting as an advocate on behalf of Communist Cuba and Vietnam. He also co-founded the Marxist "direct action" group "Refuse & Resist," a political front for the still-active terrorist network Boudin served with such distinction.

For 11 years prior to her role in the triple murder in Nyack, Boudin had lived as a fugitive from justice. Between 1970 and 1972, Boudin and her Weather Underground comrades conducted a bombing rampage that included attacks on New York City police headquarters, the U.S. Capitol building, and the Pentagon. The Weathermen also networked with the Black Panthers, the American Indian Movement, and other terrorist groups and criminal syndicates across the nation.

Boudin was also directly involved in an abortive plot to set off a bomb at New Jersey's Fort Dix Army Base during a dance. The bomb to be used was an anti-personnel weapon packed with screws and nails--the sort of destructive device now favored by Palestinian suicide bombers. Weather Underground founder Bill Ayers, in his 2001 memoir Fugitive Days, admits that the bomb would have done "some serious work beyond the blast, tearing through windows and walls and, yes, people too."

The potential victims of the planned attack included not only U.S. soldiers but also any women brought to the dance as dates, and any other civilians within the blast radius. But the bomb detonated prematurely at the Greenwich Village apartment being used as a Weather Underground safe house, killing three members of the terrorist cell. "The only reason they were not guilty of mass murder is mere incompetence," comments Professor Harvey Klehr of Emory University, author of several books on the history of Communism. "I don't know what sort of defense that is."

After the Greenwich Village blast, Boudin and fellow "Weatherman" Cathy Wilkerson fled the building and went underground. Ayers chose the same course, as did Bernadine Dohrn, the Weather Underground's "glamour girl." A few years later, Boudin enlisted with the Black Liberation Army.

Guilty but Free

In December 1981, just months prior to the Brink's truck robbery, Ayers and Dohrn turned themselves in to the feds. A federal judge, citing what he called "improper surveillance" methods employed against Ayers and Dohrn by the FBI, dropped all charges against them. This decision prompted Ayers to exult that he was "guilty as sin and free as a bird."

Wilkerson, who spent 11 months in jail on explosives charges, defended the Weather Underground's terrorist activities in an interview in the August 24, 2003 issue of the New, York Times. "We were way not the first [to use violence]," she insisted. "It was a mass phenomenon. In 1969, national liberation was sweeping the world and looked like it was going to be the main vehicle for ushering in popular governments. Now the wave of violence sweeping the world is reactionary."

"Weatherman" Brian Flanagan, who now owns a "lefty" bar on Manhattan's Upper West Side, struck a similarly defiant pose in an interview with the Times. "I was regretful over about 5 percent of what we did," he declares. "I think 95 percent of what we did was great, and we'd do it again." The "five percent" Flanagan regrets is the Greenwich Village explosion that killed his terrorist comrades--Ted Gold, Diana Oughton, and Terry Robbins.

Bill Ayers is even more brazenly unapologetic for his role in the Soviet-sponsored terrorist underground. In Fugitive Days, published the week of the 9-11 attacks, Ayers fondly recalls the morning in 1970 when he and his comrades carried out the Pentagon bombing: "Everything was absolutely ideal on the day 1 bombed the Pentagon. The sky was blue. The birds were singing. And the bastards were finally going to get what was coming to them."

Elsewhere in the book, Ayers waxes lyrical about his work as a terrorist: "There's something about a good bomb.... Night after night, day after day, each majestic scene I witnessed was so terrible and so unexpected that no city would ever stand innocently fixed in my mind. Big buildings and wide streets, cement and steel were no longer permanent. They, too, were fragile and destructible. A torch, a bomb ... and they, too, would come undone or get knocked down."

The New York Times published a nauseatingly sympathetic profile of Ayers and Dohrn in its September 11, 2001 edition. As if offering a grace note to the symphony of horrors that would unfold on that terrible day, Ayers declared: "I don't regret setting bombs.... I feel we didn't do enough." Perhaps Ayers can take satisfaction in passing the terrorist torch on to Osama bin Laden and his murderous ilk.

In his review of Ayers' memoir, New York Times literary critic Brent Staples noted the irony that while Boudin confronted "the possibility of spending the rest of her middle age in prison ... her former comrades Bill Ayers and his wife, Bernadine Dohrn ... have served no significant jail time. Both of them teach at name-brand universities and are headed for cozy retirements like those of the bourgeois parents they so despised during their Weathermen days."

Terrorism Vindicated

Ayers presently teaches at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Dohrn--who at one Weather Underground meeting extolled the Satanic exploits of Charles Manson as a revolutionary model--teaches at Northwestern. In an act of solidarity with their imprisoned comrade Kathy Boudin, Ayers and Dohrn raised Boudin's son, Chesa. Thanks to the bewildering generosity of the New York State parole board, Chesa--a Rhodes scholar, incidentally--will be able to renew ties with his mother. Just as significantly, Boudin will be able to renew ties with the terrorist network that tore apart the families of Edward O'Grady, Waverly Brown, and Peter Paige.

Commenting on Boudin's release, radical academic Todd Gitlin told the New York Times: "To say that Kathy Boudin can be redeemed is to say the 60s were worthy." In fact, it is to confer society's benediction on the murderous works of the Soviet-created terror network. To judge from its success in the campaign to free Kathy Boudin, that subversive network remains a potent and growing menace.
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Title Annotation:Terrorism
Author:Grigg, William Norman
Publication:The New American
Date:Sep 22, 2003
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