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Larry Grathwohl: Remembering an American Hero a Year Later

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Larry Grathwohl was one of a disappearing breed, from the working class, an American patriot, who had a clear moral vision. He fought communists in the jungles of Vietnam and then in their clandestine cells here in America. He was a gentleman, respectful of women, a loving father and grandfather.


A year after his untimely death, I still feel his absence. I hear his corny jokes. When I hear a funny phrase, I can hear him repeating it obsessively. In May 2013, he and Tina Trent and I were speaking to tea party groups in Florida about the republication of Larry’s book about infiltrating the Weather Underground, Bringing Down America. Larry’s sense of humor helped bring lightness to our grim and ugly subject, Bill Ayers and the group he cofounded, Weatherman, which became the Weather Underground.

After a summer break, we were to resume our tour. Then we got the devastating news that Larry had been found dead in his apartment on July 18, 2013.

I had met Larry at one of Cliff Kincaid’s conferences several years ago. Cliff is a fearless advocate for the forgotten victims of communist terrorist groups like the Weatherman. I was discussing my report about how Bill Ayers, terrorist-turned-education-professor, indoctrinated students toward his Marxist revolutionary plan. Larry talked about his experiences as an infiltrator, about Weather Underground’s murderous plans and actions. One of these actions—the bombing of a Detroit police station--he sabotaged.

Larry described such tasks and those he faced while serving in Vietnam matter-of-factly, never with bravado. He used the survival strategies he had learned in Vietnam and applied them to the very dangerous work of living in the cells of these revolutionaries.


During breaks between tea party events last year, Larry was reading Cathy Wilkerson’s "Flying Close to the Sun: My Life and Times as a Weatherman." Every few pages he’d have to stop because of his astonishment at her lack of remorse. We would compare her account with Bill Ayers’s versions. After serving time in prison, Wilkerson, like most of the other terrorists, went into teaching.

In recalling his days with the Weathermen, Larry repeatedly wondered aloud how such a group of privileged and college-educated young adults could casually discuss their plans for putting Americans into reeducation camps after the Revolution—and eliminate those who refused to be reeducated. Larry recounted Ayers’s lack of concern after Larry had warned him about the number of innocent people who would be killed if Ayers’s bomb intended for a Detroit police station went off. Ayers and these same academics now talk about “white privilege.” But these sons and daughters of real privilege cared not a whit about the victims, black and white, of their bombs, whether those in a Detroit restaurant or the black and white policemen and guards murdered in the 1981 Brinks Armored Car robbery.

Not even a full year after Larry’s death, the blowhard, Bill Ayers, was the celebrity/revolutionary-academic guest on Megyn Kelly's Fox News show. I was sickened by hearing her call him “Professor” and hearing him glibly lie about his past in his put-on soft voice. At an earlier time in America, Bill Ayers's nonsensical and polemical "scholarship" would have gotten him a firm “no thank you” by a university hiring committee. Instead, he quickly became “Distinguished Professor of Education” at the University of Illinois at Chicago. At another time, his preening and obfuscating would have gotten him hard-hitting questions from the press. Now he is given celebrity status on the only “conservative” cable news program.


Ayers’s “pal” Barack Obama is in the White House and “bringing down America”--not with actual bombs but with a radical transformation: nationalizing healthcare and education, undermining the military and police, using agencies like the IRS to persecute law-abiding citizens, increasing dependence on government programs, flooding the borders with third-world future voters, and choking the middle class.

Be prepared for pardons for the few remaining terrorists in prison, including David Gilbert, serving a 75-year sentence for three counts of felony murder in the Brinks case.

Larry is no longer around to rebut Ayers’s lies. Ayers lied about Larry on Fox News, without a challenge from Megyn Kelly. Larry’s book and testimony are there to read.

Fox could not invite Larry onto the program. But he has many friends and colleagues who knew him and loved him and know the real story. We are celebrating the life of Larry Grathwohl, true American hero, at the website for his book and story.

The event is being coordinated by Larry’s daughter, Lindsay, and Tina Trent, publisher.

They write, “We are asking that bloggers, radio folks, podcasters, and others in the media use July 18th to tell the truth about violent leftist radicals like Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.” They invite everyone to participate. Contact them at bringingdownamerica@gmail.com.


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