Mona Charen
If you were running the Illinois Humanities Council and a famous terrorist offered to help in your fundraising drive, what would you do? If you said, "slam down the phone" or something to that effect, it just shows how remote you are from the sensibilities of the Obama age. Because, in fact, when Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers offered to auction "dinner for six" at their house, the IHC cheerfully accepted.

Ayers and Dohrn were members of the Weather Underground in the 1960s and early '70s. They set off bombs at the New York police headquarters, the U.S. Capitol building and the Pentagon. In 1970, the group blew up the Park police station in San Francisco, killing Sgt. Brian V. McDonnell, a 45-year-old father of two and wounding eight others. The San Francisco Police Association has claimed, as recently as 2009, that "There are irrefutable and compelling reasons to believe that Bill Ayers and his wife Bernardine Dohrn ... are largely responsible for the bombing of Park Police Station."

In a New York Times interview, published (ironically) on Sept. 11, 2001, Ayers was asked whether he had repented. He said, "I don't regret setting bombs. I feel we didn't do enough." Even now, he continued, he finds a "certain eloquence to bombs, a poetry and a pattern from a safe distance."

That "poetry" for the late McDonnell took the form of "blood everywhere," especially from the wounds to his "neck, eyes, face and brain," as the first rescuer on scene put it, where the fence post staples that had been loaded into the bomb made contact.

Neither Dohrn nor Ayers served a day in prison for their crimes, though Dohrn was featured on the FBIs Most Wanted List for three years. That's the way it often goes in the American justice system. Evidence is thrown out. Statutes of limitations toll, though, even in California, there is no statute of limitations for murder. They got away with it.

That McDonnell and his fellow victims never got justice is bad enough. But more inexplicable is the smooth segue of two unrepentant criminals into members in good standing of the liberal intelligentsia. Bill Ayers became a professor at the University of Illinois and Dohrn taught at Northwestern law school. The pair were very friendly with fellow left-wing academic Barack Obama -- but it was considered very bad taste to mention that during the 2008 campaign. They and Rev. Wright could have burned the Constitution on the Capitol steps in 2008 and gotten scarcely a mention.


Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
 
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