From the guy who led the prosecution of the Weathermen:
Re “Politics of Attack” (editorial, Oct. 8) and “Obama and ’60s Bomber: A Look Into Crossed Paths” (front page, Oct. 4):
As the lead federal prosecutor of the Weathermen in the 1970s (I was then chief of the criminal division in the Eastern District of Michigan and took over the Weathermen prosecution in 1972), I am amazed and outraged that Senator Barack Obama is being linked to William Ayers’s terrorist activities 40 years ago when Mr. Obama was, as he has noted, just a child.
Although I dearly wanted to obtain convictions against all the Weathermen, including Bill Ayers, I am very pleased to learn that he has become a responsible citizen.
Because Senator Obama recently served on a board of a charitable organization with Mr. Ayers cannot possibly link the senator to acts perpetrated by Mr. Ayers so many years ago.
I do take issue with the statement in your news article that the Weathermen indictment was dismissed because of “prosecutorial misconduct.” It was dismissed because of illegal activities, including wiretaps, break-ins and mail interceptions, initiated by John N. Mitchell, attorney general at that time, and W. Mark Felt, an F.B.I. assistant director.
William C. Ibershof
Mill Valley, Calif., Oct. 8, 2008
I guess it is worth pointing out that the folks screaming the loudest about that jackass William Ayers are, in large part, the same folks who, the past eight years, have embraced and excused the same Nixon era surveillance tactics that kept him out of jail in the first place. One of life’s little ironies, I guess. Some people never learn.
Axe Diesel Palin
Axe Diesel Palin
Yes, Mr. Throat:
You realize, John, that this post will only be used as evidence that you want to coddle terrorists.
The problem that the folks who are embracing and excusing the Nixon era surveillance tactics have is that those tactics were illegal, not that they were being used. They’ll be more upset about the fact that "liberal judges" threw the evidence out because it was collected illegally than the fact that the evidence was collected illegally in the first place.
That sort of "tough on crime" rhetoric has been with the GOP as long as I can remember, and it’s only gotten scarier in recent years.
The Grand Panjandrum
@Axe Diesel Palin: Yep. Whoa! That jumped off the page at me as well.
Why is William C. Ibershof in the tank for Obama? Do we know his connections to radical domestic terrorists? He claims he was a prosecutor, but for how long? What about his connections to radical abortionists? How about that liberal homosexual Barney Frank? Did he get a mortgage from Countrywide? If so, at what rate, and what did gay liberal Barney Frank have to do with it? Also, did he ghostwrite Obama’s books along with Bill Ayers?
This is HUGE. The whole notion that Ayers and Wright are "distasteful" characters should be challenged because it is the primary assumption of the "character" argument against The Whippersnapper. Break the primary assumption, and the rest of the argument is nonsense.
Sean Vannity is going around screaming at people "would you sit on a board with a terrorist? Can someone who is friends with terrorists win the war on terror?" And no one will call him on it. One of Obama’s advisors tried to turn the tables on Vannity, but that is simply arguing "shut up", "no, you shut up".
Ayers is a reformed criminal and Wright, well, he said a lot of things that are right. This needs to be the counterpunch.
Comrade Warren Terra
Umm, John, I don’t think that you’re using "irony" correctly. The Police State Republicans see nothing wrong with Hoover’s FBI, so it’s not at all ironic that they’d denounce someone who got away with stuff because the excesses of Hoover’s FBI were exposed.
John, John, John… These are facts, and they will never get through Republicans.
But seriously, watch Ben Stein write an article about how Felt was a traitor and not to be trusted (because he ratted Nixon out to Woodward and Bernstein) – and in the same article Stein will probably say all the illegal surveillance was justified because some DFH once looked at him funny.
Round and around we go.
The only thing I like about what’s happening right now is Republicans are making enemies of many groups where they would previously draw significant support. Scientists, teachers, prosecutors, judges, anyone working at a government agency – these people are all now the enemy unless they parrot the current Republican thinking (which I can never keep up with).
Just like Republicans "lost" the black vote with their embrace of the Southern Strategy, they will lose the "sane" vote with their current "party first" strategy. I know, there aren’t enough "sane" people to win an election, but combined with gays, Latinos, blacks, etc. the Democratic tent starts to look awfully big.
As I mentioned above, some on the right are now trying to push the meme that Bill Ayers actually wrote Obama’s autobiography. Seriously.
I really hope they bark up this tree. As if the other garbage they are pushing isn’t dumb enough, this one is just insanity at its finest.
The hardcore wingers, at this point, aren’t going to be persuaded by anyone. And that includes that obviously-biassed librul-commie collaborator who prosecuted the Weathermen. The questions that have to be asked are ‘Who is left to convince?’ and ‘Why (oh, why…) are they still unconvinced?". I’m not going to try to answer that, being pretty clearly the wrong person to ask…
Some people never learn.
You mean, like John "Let’s not play the blame game" McCain?
I doubt McCain and Palin have associated much with revered college professors or responsible citizens. They’ve been much too busy hanging out with felons and sleeping with secessionists.
Ya know, if the guy who was the lead prosecutor of the Weathermen can move on from something that happened over 30 years ago, why can’t McCain and Palin? Guess they’re just stuck in the past.
All I can say is the death of a political party/philosophy is a dirty, messy thing to watch and sadly it’s not going to go quickly or quietly. I imagine President Obama will have to have a segway version of the Pope Mobile just to get to the podium to make his inaugural address.
Those rallies that McCain and Palin are holding are verging on full on incitement to attack any democrat or perceived "liberal" not just Obama at this point. Now McCain is even levelling charges at Dodd and Frank. Further they’re paving the way to delegitimize Obama’s win with their attacks on ACORN and their overall strategy. Thank the gods Obama was prepared for it.
Stay classy, North Carolina
Those, of course, aren’t the people we’re trying to reach. We’re trying to reach everyone who isn’t already a hardcore wingnut, the people who may not like Obama and may not vote for him but who aren’t ready to believe the garbage from the right. That’s why this note is so important. If the Democrats are smart, they will mention this letter at every turn.
like i said yesterday, the Annenberg fund is a wonderful thing, anyone would be proud to serve on that.
and let’s be real here: Ayers was deemed acceptable by an extremely wealthy man who was himself respected by and personal friends with the heroes of the conservative movement. why would any young politician think he was doing anything wrong by accepting their judgment ? if Ayers was good enough for the man who introduced Ronald Reagan to Margaret Thatcher, who hosted parties with the Prince of Wales, who worked for both Nixon and Reagan, why shouldn’t he be good enough for Barack Obama, young nobody from Chicago?
Wow. In the words of Sarah Silverman: "Douchnozzle"
@Brian J: I really hope they bark up this tree.
Me too. As far as I’m concerned, the whole Ayers kerfuffle is just a rationalization for a hate that these loonies feel, though they either don’t want to articulate the real reason or maybe don’t even know what it is. I couldn’t say, either, but I think racism is one source, and the decades-long demonization of Democrats is another.
The nice thing about the Ayers horseshit is that it doesn’t seem to have a lot of traction with the public. So if the wingnuts stay with speculating about whether Ayers ghostwrote Obama’s book and stuff like that, they’re not pushing some more broadly palatable line of hate.
Yeah, it’s not like we’re about to get rid of Liddy Dole, and that we’re leaning Obama, so that McCain has to spend money here where he shouldn’t have to. Because the entire state is responsible for a few assholes.
Which sounds a lot like "Ayers! Ayers!" come to think of it.
@Dork: Actually, I thought that was pretty funny. An ornery old cuss getting people riled up. Not to mention, he was letting them park there, anyway.
And if you watch, you could see he and the mayor got along.
Kamishna ya Watu Xenos
This is not insanity. Just cynicism and dishonesty, as they look for a way to keep the Ayres smear in the discourse for as long as possible. Anyone pushing this line (Confederate Dickweed, e.g.) is not worth linking to or even publicly disagreeing with. Ever.
It’s because they’re still fighting the battles of the 1960s in the hope that they’ll be able to win this time. Why do you think they were so pissed when Hillary lost? They can’t play the Who Did What In Vietnam and Who Was A Dirty Fucking Hippie in the 60s games with Obama, because he was born in the 1960s.
Running against the 1960s has been a winning strategy for Republicans for 40 years now. They’re going back to the well, only to discover that the well is running dry.
Stuck in the Funhouse
So Henderson takes offense about the fact that Obama "is running". Not because he’s a liberal, or this cracker opposes his policies. Jim Crow still lives in the south and other places as well in this country, We will see much more of this, and worse, before it’s over. It’s bad enough for wingnuts that they have screwed the pouch with their phony "conservative movement" which has only moved the world away from us and the national treasury into their pockets.To lose to a black man will be more than some can take.
And you won’t see them take to the streets and expose themselves, because like most loudmouth bullies, they are cowards at heart. Whatever mischief will come from the shadows and the sewers. To say I’m worried about Obama and his family is an understatement. A Pope Mobile and full body armor may be needed before this is over.
i have personally been by his house and peered in his windows to check his kitchen countertops.
And his kerning is highly suspicious.
J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford
Sean Hannity has been running the Bill Ayers talking points everyday for months on end on his shows and it has made no difference whatsoever. Every night he runs down the list of Obama’s offenses and only the Hannitized are receptive.
The only people who will claim "Obama’s relationship with Ayers changed their mind" are the bitter Hillary Clinton deadenders*. These people are looking for any justification to be haters.
(* I’m a big Hillary supporter but the folks who are "Hillary or nothing" voters are "deadenders")
I love how at the end of the video, the owner of the parking lot says he’s "offended" at the idea of Obama running for president. WTF is that supposed to mean, besides the fact that he doesn’t want a black Democrat as president? In any event, I urge him to get over his feelings, because it looks like Obama is going to win North Carolina in November.
Why go by his house to spy on him? Why not just put cameras around and in his house?
Ah, yes. A John Mitchell reference. Watergate. Back in the good old days when Presidents fired officials serving at the pleasure of the chief executive for not firing those below them. And of course what is a Mitchell reference without sparking fond memories of Martha Mitchell, who, in today’s enlightened era might have been Vice Presidential material.
My father – from whom I am estranged for many reasons, one of the least of which is that he’s a barely-disguised racist – was born and raised in backwoods North Carolina. He couldn’t stand the idea of Hillary becomng president, I can only imagine what he is going to think of one of those n-words as president.
If his type and Mr. Parking Lot can’t get over it, I sincerely hope their heads fucking explode this November so we can move forward without their poisonous racial attitudes. It’s the goddamned 21st century now, Jim Crow has been dead and buried for nearly 50 years.
(of course, they’re still carrying the torch for the Confederacy nearly 150 years on in the deep South, so I guess I shouldn’t get my hopes up that Pres. Barack Hussein Obama is going to go down well. I would highly suggest that Obama staff up that part of the FBI which investigates right-wing militias, they may enjoy a small boom in popularity after January 20.)
this is pretty freakin funny.
shhh. don’t jinx it!
In any other year, it might work. But they look particularly ridiculous this year because so many are economically insecure. It doesn’t look like it’s working, but because they are stupid, they will stick with it for a few more days, probably until the debate, then drop it. After that, they probably won’t have enough time to change the course of the race.
In other words, they are digging their own graves here. And this dirty Democrat couldn’t be happier to let them do it.
I don’t mean this as a "gotcha" or an attack of any kind. I am a fan of the site. But part of what makes your commentary compelling is that you were a lifelong Republican that basically gave up on the party (but not necessarily true conservative principals?) due to Bush. So I was surprised to see you rejecting policies as "Nixonian". It’s probably just my ignorance of the specifics of your prior political views (and I certainly agree with your current assessment). Would you say that you’ve always been opposed to this sort of thing or have recent developments made you reconsider past opinions? I’m asking less in the context of you specifically, but when I’m looking at how the current economic crisis and Obama’s candidacy is pushing lots of citizens towards voting for a Democrat for the first time, I’m wondering if that could result in a sea change type of political realignment or if it’s just a one election thing. I realize you’re not in exactly the same category as voters who are currently considering voting Dem, but there might be similarities.
My mom, as we were watching Olbermann’s show last night: "Did that woman just say…douchnozzle?"
Montysano (All Hail Marx & Lennon)
On a two hour drive to a business appointment yesterday, I called local talk radio to "discuss" the Ayers issue. My only point: if anyone can point to an Obama view/behavior and attribute it to Ayers’ radical philosophy, then we can talk. If all you got is "he knew the guy", then you got nothing.
An hour down the road, and the host was still literally frothing about my "defense of terrorists".
What, pray tell does that make those who have substituted Palin for "nothing." "Loose enders?"
Yeah, that’s what SwiftBoating is really all about. Take something which people know that they shouldn’t openly promote as a reason to dislike someone (race, education, etc.) and give them a more acceptable substitute which they can promote.
Anyone pushing the Ayers crap, like the swiftboat crap, are either bigots or are deliberately inciting the bigots.
Montysanto, only a terrorist supporter would crush a dwarf
with a cell phone. In Joe Biden’s neighborhood a perfectly good pair of pliers would suffice.
It would be even funnier if it didn’t represent the fact that a major political party is now out of ideas and start us down the slippery slope towards possible manifestations of hate through violence. Instead, it’s kind of scary.
If you have any wingnuts in your family/entourage, I’ve found a reasonably successful way to get them to not vote for McCain in the last couple of months.
My tack is to ignore anything they say about Obama and instead use their xenophobic bigotry to make up credible shit in order to destroy McCain’s image.
It usually goes like this: McCain was born in Panama (tilt), he was pal with Noriega (name recognition=bad), he wants to bring in more illegals/drug mules (recall bill=tilt), he is in cahoots with Mexican drug barons (logical extension of last point), he’s had affairs with transsexuals in Brazil (was in Brazil; Brazil=pervs; =tilt), etc.
They vaguely know some shit about McCain’s past, they’re scared of brown people, and there’s enough nuggets of truth in my paranoid tissue of lies that it usually shakes them up real good.
It won’t convert them to voting for Obama, although suggesting Bob Barr at this point pays off.
This method doesn’t work with Palin though; my anecdotal experience is that she is made of teflon in the wingnuts’ twisted little minds: I tried witchcraft, the Alaska secession to no avail.
But McCain is easy to take down.
Yeah, like that letter will change the loony narrative. What was that phenomenon Tim posted about that when the wingnut mind is presented with facts contrary to their beliefs they double down?
It’s easy out there for a wingnut. Their response: This prosecutor has always been a stealth, radical Democratic operative. Malkin said the same about Paulson recently. Proof the prosecutor has always worked for Soros is he did not secure convictions then and is now writing letters full of liberal facts to the evildoer NYT attacking our truth.
Patriotic shit these days.
I imagine Nixon rolling over in his grave trying to kick his own now bony ass. Pissed off thinking “Shit, I did it wrong. Before Watergate, or even after, I should have issued an executive order authorizing communications intercepts and break-ins to obtain them at my discretion. If ever called on it, I could say we need to know who’s talking to the commie terrorists. Deep thinkers in my party would have hailed me as a bold, forward thinking patriot keeping America safe. The Dems would have issued a sternly worded resolution of apologetic opposition. Might even have gotten them to put that executive order into law! Fuck!”
But those were different days. The Republicans had more honor, and the Democrats more spine. Thank God the serious adults have now arrived.
Montysano (All Hail Marx & Lennon)
I think the only man for the job is Nino the Incredible Mindbender.
Just go back to that oldie but goodie: "And George Bush reminded us that McCain has a black kid – but his wife and the first wife he cheated on were both white…"
OT: Don’t look now but the market crashing is the fault of people selling off because they’re afraid Obama will win and raise their taxes. Rush just said so so it must be true.
Grand Moff Texan
Yes, Obama will raise taxes in China, Germany, and Great Britain.
Limbaugh knows his audience is stupid, and cannot follow events overseas.
. . . and every 2 people who would have voted for McCain but don’t = one person who flips their vote, so there is a lot to be said for this idea.
Wait a minute, when did George Soros enter the equation?
It’s also worth noting that the fact that the tribal wing of the Republican party has embraced Nixonian and CONINTELPRO tactics in prosecuting the War on Terror.
The irony being that some pretty unscrupulous characters will probably be set free due to the misconduct of George Bush’s FBI, CIA, Justice Department and civilian military hierarchy.
Just as Ayers was freed by Nixonian/Hooverian stupidity, so might actual Al-Qaeda terrorists be freed by Bushian/Cheneyian/Rumsfeldian /Yooian stupidity.
Worth remembering when the right starts howling when the new administration does the right thing and sends these cases to trial.
You’re eeeevul! I’m gonna have to try that…
You don’t understand the tinfoil brigades – Soros is always in the mix.
He is the "wandering Jew" of 21st century conservative paranoia.
He’s always in the equation which is proof of liberal perfidy. Deep thinkers instinctively know that to be true. Like this one on a RedState post about a veterans organization that gave Obama a grade of “B” and McCain a “D” on veterans issues…
You can’t fool them, they see the big picture.
Montysano (All Hail Marx & Lennon)
Just a friendly reminder: if you’re going to reference an up-thread comment, use the little "reply to this comment" arrow, located right next to the date tag. It saves us all from scrolling around looking for context.
You nailed it. The weird thing is that even some supposedly sane liberals have become so … effete… that they cannot recognize the sound of a surly mob when they hear one. On an NPR show this morning, Juan Williams serenely contemplated whether McCain should try to capitalize on the "populist" sentiments being strongly expressed at GOP rallies.
But one of the sound clips was of a man vehemently stating that "I am angry! I am not angry about the economy. I am angry about the Socialists trying to take over our country! And it is up to you two [McCain and Palin] to take our country back!"
Williams or another NPR reporter went on to note the insults and potential threats that were being hurled at the Democrats by people at these rallies. This isn’t "populism" by even the broadest definition of the term. These are people who are so captive to their own fear and hate and wingnut ideological tribalism that they don’t even consider their own best interests.
The oddest little revelation in this report was the revelation of one other commentator that while the McCain camp is reluctant to go further with inciting the crowd by explicit references to Rev Wright, the Palin camp is eager to go as far as they can with this.
The soft-minded NPR gang saw this simply as McCain’s reluctance to draw charges of race-baiting (since Ayers is white, presumably there is less reluctance to use him as terrorist bait). But is more interesting to consider the degree to which the Palin camp is comfortable with scorched earth campaigning and the degree to which they appear to be influencing the direction of the GOP campaign, usurping their own supposed handlers.
Sarah Barracuda indeed.
Montysano (All Hail Marx & Lennon)
Just to add to their lizard-brain confusion: as of this moment, who are the socialists? Is it really Kommander Obama X, or is it Bush & McCain as they move to socialize the banking and mortgage industries? Their world is completely upside down.
Mill Valley… Wonder what’s up with that, this guy and Deep Throat both retired there.
Montysano (All Hail Marx & Lennon)
Via Sully: a few weeks back, Kristol holds forth on the wisdom, the genius, that a Palin selection would demonstrate. The Fox Blonde introduces him by saying "If my next guest is right……"
@Stuck in the Funhouse:
And they’ll be throwing bricks.
@Montysano (All Hail Marx & Lennon): Just to add to their lizard-brain confusion: as of this moment, who are the socialists?
You really wanna mess with their heads? Ask them to define "socialist". Their whole concept of socialism is "socialist = bad."
Bob In Pacifica
One point I’d like to see Obama’s campaign use is his promise during the debate to screw people on Social Security and Medicare in order to pay for bailing out the bankers.
Just roll the tape.
Kamishna ya Watu Xenos
More to the point, socialism=giving money to black people.
"I take offense at Mr Obama running for president."
Hmmmmmm, wonder what he means by that? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. . .
Hello, Secret Service:
How convenient that this "lead prosecutor," who has been living in relative obscurity (out of sight and out of mind), now suddenly blazes into the public arena to defend the unrepentant domestic terrorist, Bill Ayers, as a "responsible citizen."
One can only wonder how many briefcases stuffed full of ill-gotten Chicago Machine money was provided to the oh-so-honorable Mr. Ibershof before he was convinced of his own duty as a "responsible citizen" to supposedly set the record straight.
This is yet another example of how Nobama and his hive-minded supporters are absolutely shameless in their deviousness and manipulation. There simply can be no doubt.
Since when was Juan Williams "liberal"?
Prosecutor; smosecutor. Who does this guy think he’s kidding?
Why all I have to do is zip over to RedState and I’ll discover that Obama is closer to Ayers than he is to Michelle and the kids.
Hell, not only did Ayers write Obama’s books, he took Obama’s SATs for him. I’m pretty sure Ayers was Obama’s best man. In fact, Obama never makes a move without first getting the OK from Ayers (and Kim Jong Il).
My fervent hope is that this campaign permanently destroys McCain’s reputation and sends Palin back to Alaska…forever.
And to think that if Obama had just agreed to a few hundred town hall meetings, none of this would have happened. Shame on Barack. It’s his fault McCain has become one of the biggest scumbags in American political history.
Really? I would say the operative relationship is more one of cause-effect:
Because they are incapable of learning anything from history/life-in-general, and because they display all the logical facility of flatworms, therefore they become wingnuts.
In earlier, more civil times, people like these were kept out of sight in locked attic rooms or basement crawlspaces, embarrasments to the family bloodlines which had spawned them.
Only with the advent of Reagan-era "mainstreaming" of the mentally-ill, and Reich-tard tycoon-funded wingnut welfare, have they emerged from the shadowed places in society to slobber and piss themselves in public — and by means of the many house organs of the Wingnut Wurlitzer, before the world at large.
In the process, they present to the world a distorted, funhouse-mirror version of America and Americans, and that should be deeply disturbing to citizens of this country, as well as its (former) admirers everywhere.
Something has made John McCain speak out about Obama being a decent person and there is no reason to be scared of him (Obama) as president at a rally moments ago. Also Norm Coleman (MN) has pulled all his negative ads long before the normal time in a campaign.
It’s not that difficult to understand there are Republicans who do not fit the label Joe six pack. A good set of legs means nothing to them when nothing occupies the space where it counts in a society south of Palin country. The McCain campaign aka Bush campaign depended on the 60s once too often.
So far I have read or heard about the former governor of MI, David Brooks and Chris Buckley. I am sure there are many more who are as disenchanted about the McCain smear campaign.