Friday, November 14, 2008

Hang 'em High

I watched some of the ABC interview with William Ayers this morning. It is seldom I've seen such a self-serving bit of misdirection and semantic thuggery: or what it is, lieing.

Ayers skips around the central tenet of blind justice; it is the act not the end that is judged. However high toned his morality in describing his youthful indiscretion, the acts of the Weather Underground are precisely the same as the acts of the 16th Street Church bombers in Birmingham. Those men were brought to justice for a heinous crime. William Ayers and Bernadette Dohrn should be meted out the same. We are a nation of laws, not privilege, and he and his corrupt the very values they espouse.

Hang 'em high.


John Cowan said...

You know very well why Ayers can't be prosecuted: too much contamination of the evidence (mostly verbal) by Hoover's and later Nixon's FBI, and the resultant prosecutorial misconduct.

But in a wider view we often do judge the goal rather than the act. We no longer treat negligent harms as equivalent to intentional ones, for example, and we make distinctions between murder, manslaughter, and accidental homicide that depend critically on objective evidence tending to show the defendant's intent.

Len Bullard said...

I am aware that the prosecution fumbled on procedural grounds. The facts remain members of the underground died in the explosion in New York, and Sgt. Brian V. McDonnell died in a bomb used in San Franciso said to have been built and planted by Dohrn as said by Ayers himself to an FBI informant.

In both cases, the use of nails, staples and other shrapnel puts to rest the lie that the Underground did not intend to hurt, maim or kill others. The deaths in 1981 of Sergeant Edward O’Grady and Officer Waverly Brown also make hash of it. Although Ayers can put distance between himself and those deaths, he was nonetheless a leader of those who did commit those murders.

If intent is to be the metric, then is the intent of the Weatherman somehow different from the intent of the 16th Street bombers who wanted to "instill fear among Americans who had been demonstrating for an end to segregation and to disrupt court-ordered integration of public schools"?

While I will not defend the act of such, I cannot fathom anyone defending Ayers and Dohrn who except that the Klan members were smart enough or lazy enough to use time-delyaed dynamite instead of making shrapnel bombs clearly intended to harm people, were more incompetent than determined.

"Guilty as hell, free as a bird – America is a great country." Bill Ayers

That's not a confession of a bird watcher. That's a criminal with the arrogance of a man raised to believe his own judgement outranks the law of the land.

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