In a recent interview with The New York Times, Soliah displayed considerable lifelong learning skills, too, describing how she provided money, created false identifications, rented a safehouse and recruited her brother, her sister and a former boyfriend for the Symbionese Liberation Army. Like Atta, she too developed creative rationales to overcome rigid inherited moral codes (such as, you don't murder people).
When the group slaughtered the first black superintendent of Oakland, Calif., Soliah says she raised objections. Such as, wouldn't it alienate minorities? But cold-blooded murder wasn't enough to shake Soliah's deep compassion for her friends, who she feared (with some justification) would not be treated kindly by the police. Like Walker, Soliah's escape from the moral code ended not in freedom but in slavish conformity to groupthink. "It was just in the air," she complained. "It was impossible not to be involved."
Even today she has refused to cooperate with prosecutors in pursuing other terrorists involved in the 1975 Sacramento bank robbery, in which an innocent bystander, a mother of four, was killed. Soliah has three kids of her own, but her sympathies remain with the killer. "I know they have lives like me, and I don't want to destroy other people's lives the way my life is being destroyed."
She cannot understand why prosecutors expect her to take responsibility for her crimes, committed so long ago. "When there are so many other important things happening in our country, this seems, I don't know, just not necessary."
Au contraire, Kathleen. Justice for terrorists and traitors like you and Walker has never seemed more important.
Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.