When author and journalist James Rosen was my guest in June to discuss his book on former Attorney General John Mitchell and the upheavals of the ’60s and ’70s, I asked him about unrepentant terrorist Wlliam Ayers, who was featured in the book:
HH: Did you happen to tape your interview with Ayers?
HH: Have you released those tapes yet?
JR: I haven’t. I have the transcript. I’m not sure…if he becomes more of an issue in the fall campaign, perhaps there’ll be some reason to do that.
HH: Did you ask him about Barack Obama?
JR: No, this was 2004. Obama wasn’t even in the Senate yet.
(Transcript here.) I speculated then that those tapes and transcripts would be very interesting if, as I suspected he would, Ayers became an issue in the campaign.
Rosen has now released the transcripts through Fox News, and they are indeed headline material:
The AP article focuses on Ayers assertion that the United States had committed acts comparable to 9/11:
“I think every American that I know was weeping over the next several weeks, and devastated and shocked. Was that an act of pure terror? It absolutely was. And there are many other acts of terror carried out by our government, even recently, that, that are comparable.”
This is of course an echo of Jeremiah Wright’s “chickens coming home to roost” sermon, and both Ayers and Wright are central to the political career and rise of Barack Obama.
Both men understand America to be guilty of acts as evil as 9/11, and Obama is tied to each of them –closely. Notes AP:
Obama and Ayers both served in the 1990s on a school reform board in Chicago. The University of Illinois at Chicago released documents Tuesday about Obama’s work for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, an effort that Ayers was instrumental in starting. Obama served as chairman during the 1990s and both attended some board meetings with Ayers in 1995, but the papers offered few details of their work together.
Obama and Ayers also served on the board of the Woods Fund, a Chicago-based charity that develops community groups to help the poor. Obama left the board in December 2002.
Obama’s dodge –that Ayers’ crimes were done when he was a boy– doesn’t begin to address his close working relationship and friendship with the terrorist whose views on America are deeply repulsive to the vast majority of Americans. Like he did with Wright, Obama will now try and persuade the public that this isn’t the Ayers that he knew, but the voters aren’t fools. The Rosen interview and the SDS Reunion Tapes from November 2007 tell us that Ayers has never hidden who he is or what he believes.
Obama knew. And as with Jeremiah Wright, Obama didn’t care.
Until the voters noticed.