Ronald Fliegelman built explosives for the Weather Underground, a far-left group that launched a domestic bombing campaign in the 1960s and ’70s, including one explosion inside NYPD headquarters.
“When you’re young and you’re confident, you can do anything. So, yeah, you play with it, and try to build something. The timer is the whole thing, right? It’s just electricity going into the blasting cap.”
— Ronald Fliegelman
But when the group dissolved, Fliegelman managed to safely fade away into the square life. For 25 years, he worked as a public special-education teacher, retiring to a quiet life in Park Slope, Brooklyn, according to “Days of Rage: America’s Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence” (Penguin Press).
And he’s unapologetic about his past, according to author Bryan Burrough.
“Ron is proud of what he did,” he told The Post.
The Weather Underground first organized in 1969 as a splinter of the Revolutionary Youth Movement within the ’60s protest group Students for a Democratic Society.
“Without him, there would be no Weather Underground.”
– Brian Flanagan — Former Weatherman
Their members were mostly white and middle class, advocating the complete overthrow of the US government.
Under the leadership of co-founder Bill Ayers — who went on to become a University of Illinois professor whose political relationship with then-candidate Barack Obama was scrutinized during the 2008 presidential campaign — the group also pushed for a sexual revolution.
“Their slogan? ‘Smash monogamy’.”
To achieve their goals, the militant group — popularly known as the Weathermen, derived from the Bob Dylan lyric, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows” — embarked on a years-long bombing campaign, targeting places it considered pillars of US imperialism, capitalism, racism and anything contrary to their “ism” of choice: communism.
To protest the US invasion of Laos, for example, they bombed the Capitol Building in 1971. That same year, they targeted the headquarters of the state Department of Corrections in Albany for the deaths of 29 inmates during the Attica prison riot. They even busted LSD guru Dr. Timothy Leary out of a California jail and helped smuggle him to Algeria in 1970 — the same year they issued a “Declaration of a State of War” against the United States.
“We believed Third World countries would rise up and cause crises that would bring down the industrialized West, and we believed it was going to happen tomorrow, or maybe the day after tomorrow,” a former Weatherman tells Burrough.
“The myth, and this is always Bill Ayers’ line, is that Weather never set out to kill people, and it’s not true — we did,” group member Howie Machtinger tells Burrough. “You know, policemen were fair game.”
Despite the tough talk, the group was already in crisis not long after its formation.
On March 6, 1970, a bomb exploded prematurely inside a town house at 18 W. 11th St. in Greenwich Village. Three Weathermen were killed — the two building the bomb, Terry Robbins and Diana Oughton, and another, Ted Gold, who was entering the building.
If the Weathermen were going to wage a war, they needed to do so without killing their own members, Burrough notes.
“No one knew what to do. I gave a thought to giving up, and I had a gun pulled on me and was told I was not leaving,” recalls Fliegelman. Read the rest of this entry »
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) June 30, 2014
Debra Heine reports: Bill Ayers, the unrepentant former leader of the Weather Underground domestic terrorist group and avowed (“small c”) communist, has admitted on numerous occasions over the past five years that he wrote “Dreams from My Father,” for which Barack Obama has taken full credit.
But Ayers always shades his admissions with a layer of irony, using the now familiar line, “yes I did, and if you can help me prove it, I’ll split the royalties with you.”
The conversation took a familiar path, but toward the end, Corsi tried to cut through the irony, pointing out to Ayers that he typically says he wrote it and will split the royalties with anyone who can prove it.
Corsi asserted that Ayers’ familiar, ironic reply was a declaration that he doesn’t really mean what he’s saying, that he was “taking it back.”
“No, it does not take it back,” Ayers insisted.
“It doesn’t?” asked Corsi.
“No,” Ayers said.
“You wrote it?”
“I wrote it,” Ayers said.
from The College Fix:
Former Weather Underground terrorist and Obama associate Bill Ayers is having trouble with his book tour, it seems. Local news sources in Wisconsin report that his latest public appearance has been canceled due to a lack of public interest.
The Madison Public Library, which had organized the hour-long event, said they “didn’t have the kind of interest” they had anticipated.
Ayers has been touring the country in support of his new book, Public Enemy: Confessions of an American Dissident.
via The Corner
(Reuters) – The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, which forecasters had predicted would be more active than normal, has turned out to be something of a dud so far as an unusual calm hangs over the tropics. Read the rest of this entry »
By JOHN M. MURTAGH
Somewhere near Boston early Monday morning, he packed a bomb in a bag. It was by all accounts relatively crude — a pressure cooker, explosives, some wires, ball bearings and nails . . . nails which, hours later, doctors would struggle to remove from the flesh of bleeding victims.
His motive is unclear. His intent is not: It was to maximize injury, suffering, pain, trauma and, yes, death.
Perhaps Monday’s bomber will be caught, perhaps not.
Perhaps Monday’s bomber will be offered a teaching job at Columbia University.
Forty-three years ago last month, Kathy Boudin, now a professor at Columbia but then a member of the Weather Underground, escaped an explosion at a bomb factory operated in a townhouse in Greenwich Village. The story is familiar to people of a certain age.
Three weeks earlier, Boudin’s Weathermen had firebombed a private home in Upper Manhattan with Molotov cocktails. Their target was my father, a New York state Supreme Court justice. The rest of the family, was presumably, an afterthought. I was 9 at the time, only a year older than the youngest victim in Boston.
One of Boudin’s colleagues, Cathy Wilkerson, related in her memoir that the Weathermen were disappointed with the minimal effects of the bombs at my home. They decided to use dynamite the next time and bought a large quantity along with fuses, metal pipes and, yes, nails. The group designated as its next target a dance at an Officer’s Club at Fort Dix, NJ.
Despite the misgivings of some, it is reported that Kathy Boudin urged the use of “anti-personnel bombs.” In other words, she wanted to kill people not just damage property. Before they could act, her fellows were killed in the townhouse explosion. The townhouse itself collapsed; Boudin fled.
She reappeared over a decade later driving the getaway car for the rag tag mix of Weathermen and Black Panthers who held up a Rockland County bank in 1981, murdering three in the process. Survivors of the ambush along the New York State Thruway recount how Boudin emerged from the driver’s door, arms raised in surrender, asking the police to lower their guns. When they did, her accomplices burst from the back of the van guns blazing.
As I said, people of a certain age remember this history. For those that don’t, Robert Redford is kindly about to release a movie recounting the Rockland robbery (albeit relocated to Michigan). By all accounts, the film lionizes the Weather Underground terrorists, Boudin and her accomplices.
Perhaps to bring it full circle, Professor Boudin can soon guest-lecture at a film class at Columbia when the Redford movie is screened.
Other than the passage of time, one can find no real distinction between the cowardly actions of last Monday’s Boston murderer and the terror carried out by Boudin and her accomplices. Yet today we live in a country where our leading educational institutions see fit to trust our children’s education to murderers and Hollywood sees fit to celebrate terrorists.
The Web site of Columbia’s School of Social Work sums up Boudin’s past thus: “Dr. Kathy Boudin has been an educator and counselor with experience in program development since 1964, working within communities with limited resources to solve social problems.”
“Since 1964” — that would include the bombing of my house, it would include the anti-personnel devices intended for Fort Dix and it would include the dead policeman on the side of the Thruway in 1981.
Maybe, if he is caught, Monday’s bomber can explain that, like Boudin, he was merely working within the community to solve social problems.
Perhaps Monday’s bomber will be caught, perhaps not. Perhaps, some day, Monday’s bomber will be offered tenure at Columbia University.
John M. Murtagh is Of Counsel to the White Plains law firm of Gaines, Gruner, Ponzini & Novick, LLP. He lives in Westchester.