I am a radical, Leftist, and small “c” communist.
–– William Ayers
In the waning days of the 2008 presidential campaign, legal U.S. voters are faced with the following gut-wrenching question -- who do you trust?
With the financial well-being of the nation at stake, the economy has moved front-stage center, yet embedded in the economy issue are collateral issues of national security, national identity, and survival of the Republic form of government. The day that Congress passed the bailout bill, a journalist chortled, “Well, we are all socialists now.” This chilling response has cast a shadow on the presidential election, even as the candidates chant their “change” mantra. Unfortunately, too much is changing too fast.
Sen. Barack Obama, that would-be agent of change, remains an unknown quantity. Gov. Sarah Palin on the campaign trail raises a legitimate question, “Who is Barack Obama?” She dares to question the relationship between Obama and William Ayers, the domestic terrorist, who was a proud member of the Weather Underground Organization (WUO) in the 1960s and 1970s. Ayers is proud of taking part with the Weathermen in bombing U.S. government buildings in the 1960s and 1970s. Yet the Palin questions have hit a nerve. Irate Democrats are crying “smear tactics,” “despicable right-wing hatred,” “character assassination,” and “That was 40 years ago; Obama was just a lad of 8.” Democrats protesteth too much. The following questions are valid: What did Obama know about Ayers, and when did he know it?
Palin raised the questions but stopped at providing the answers, so here are a few. The more-than-casual relationship between Ayers and Obama extends back at least 16 years.
Ayers is the son of Thomas Ayers, wealthy former CEO of Commonwealth Edison (now Exelon) -- the energy giant serving Northern Illinois. Thomas Ayers was a mover and shaker of Chicago cultural, financial, political, and social circles. The Daley machine has run Chicago politics for 40 years, and Thomas Ayers became the gray eminence of Daley machine politics and Chicago society -- a gray eminence that an ambitious young politician like Obama would have sought out. Bill Ayer’s brother John has said that his father “believed in change.” Thomas Ayers died in his Hyde Park home in 2007 at 92 years of age.
Williams Ayers, now a professor of English at the University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC) and his partner Bernandine Dohrn were both members of WUO, which began as a violent and extremely radical breakaway from the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). The Weathermen were responsible for deaths, robberies, and mayhem as part of a communist/anarchy scheme to “change” the U.S. government. Dohrn now teaches at Northwestern Law School. Thomas Ayers was in a position to grease the wheels in getting them their present teaching positions, despite their federal indictments as domestic terrorists.
On the day of 9/11, Bill Ayers wrote in The New York Times: “I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.” Such statements and writings establish that he remains an anti-American seeking “change” in the U.S. form of government. From his powerful father, William Ayers may well have learned that “change” comes from within the system, and he still does not rule out violence as a mode of “change.”
Paths Cross in Chicago
Obama and Ayers had their first documented meeting in Chicago in April 1992 at a public gathering sponsored by the University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC) and the Center for Public Intellectuals. The topics included “Intellectuals: Who needs them?” and “Intellectuals in Times of Crisis.” Among the panelists were Obama, Ayers, and Bernadette Dohrn. Ayers and Obama had much in common, for Ayers’ checkered past included work as a community organizer in Cleveland, Ohio.
The following year in 1993, Obama was appointed to the board of directors of the Woods Foundation, an ultra-liberal philanthropy. Ayers also sat on the board.
On Nov. 20, 1994, the University of Chicago held a panel discussion on juvenile justice, and the main attraction was Ayers. Obama was also a panel member. Michelle Obama, associate dean of student services and director of the University of Chicago Community Service Center, organized the event.
The Chicago Annenberg Challenge
In 1995, the Annenberg Foundation awarded a grant of $48.2 million to a proposal submitted by Ayers, Anne Hallet, and Warren Chapman to reform Chicago’s public schools. The project, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), thus was created and added millions of dollars from other foundations, including the Woods Foundation, for a total budget of nearly $100 million. Obama, just four years out of law school, was appointed CAC president by his buddy Ayers. Obama served as CAC president until 1999 and then filled a seat on the CAC board of directors until 2001. As CAC president and then board member, Obama oversaw millions of dollars passed into community organizing and radical educational entities. Ayers, as co-founder of CAC, was the day-to-day decision-maker in constant contact with Obama, especially signing checks for CAC recipients, including the infamous voter fraud organization, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), and also the Developing Communities Project, for whom Obama had worked. Obama also had worked as a paid instructor for ACORN and later provided legal counsel to the group. Obama was an ACORN mouthpiece.
The CAC grant proposal included a vision by Ayers of school reform founded upon community organizing, grass-roots action, participatory democracy, and “change” in the existing public school structure. The whole purpose of CAC was to radicalize public education away from the fundamentals of reading, writing and mathematics and toward brainwashing children that the United States of America is an imperialistic, war-mongering, racist nation and that violence is the answer. Evaluators of CAC, after the fact, determined that the $100 million boondoggle presented no evidence of educational improvement. Just where did all those millions go?
After CAC closed down, Obama served on a successor group for “change” called the Leadership Council of the Chicago Public Schools Education Fund. And guess who served with him -- Ayers’ brother John and their father Thomas.
Obama’s State Senate Campaign
In 1996, when Obama announced his candidacy for the Illinois Senate, guess who hosted a candidate’s party at his residence -- Ayers, who donated $200 to the Obama campaign. During Obama’s first political campaign, Anton “Tony” Rezko, a Chicago political player, originally from Lebanon, was his main finance person. Rezko, who with his wife, assisted the Obamas in the purchase of their Hyde Park home, recently was convicted in federal court of bribery and money laundering.
During the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries, Obama replied to a query about his relationship with Ayers by claiming that he knew him but only slightly as a man in the neighborhood whose children attended the same school as the Obama children. Now Ayers and Bernandine have two sons, Malik, named for Malcolm X, and Sayd, named for a Black Panther killed in a shootout with New Jersey police. Both are in their late 20s or early 30s. Obama’s children, however, are 9 and 6 and not likely to be attending school with the Ayers children. This incident is an example of Obama’s evasiveness regarding his relationship with Ayers.
If elected president, the real Barack Obama will shed his chameleon facade. With the cult-like support of a Democrat Congress, a Democratic news media, a Democratic academia, and a Democratic cadre of billionaire globalists, Obama will set out to “change” the United States into a socialist environment, and we will all be socialists then.
The author is a former federal prosecutor.
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