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Ayers: The Day I Bombed The Pentagon

From his screed, Fugitive Days, pp 256-258, published September 10, 2001:

Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon. The sky was blue. The birds were singing. And the bastards were finally going to get what was coming to them.

I say “I” even though I didn’t actually bomb the Pentagon—we bombed it, in the sense that Weathermen organized it and claimed it—but I’ve had difficulty writing this, and I thought if I just said it boldly—”I bombed the Pentagon”—that might liberate me to go on.

There’s a necessary incompleteness in this account, an incoherence which is in part an artifact of those times and that situation. Some details cannot be told. Some friends and comrades have been in prison for decades; others, including Bernardine, spent months and months locked up for refusing to talk or give handwriting samples to federal grand juries. Consequences are real for people, and that’s part of this story, too. But the government was dead wrong, and we were right. In our conflict we don’t talk; we don’t tell. We never confess.

When activists were paraded before grand juries, asked to name names, to humiliate themselves, and to participate in destroying the movement, most refused and went to jail rather than say a word. Outside they told the press, I didn’t do it, but I dug it. I recall John Brown’s strategy over a century ago—he shot all the members of the grand jury investigating his activities in Kansas—but we weren’t there, and so we built a strategy of non-cooperation: Don’t talk. Even all these years later I look at it—a bomb inside the Pentagon and my breath catches, I tremble a bit. I used to say, Those who tell, don’t know, and those who know, don’t tell. It was a clever way to keep the bastards guessing. But I do know this, and I’m going to tell. In my way.

Why did you bomb the Pentagon?

My dad wants to know. He was once offered a cabinet position and was once considered for Secretary of the Army. He knows that I bombed a lot of things—Those were crazy times, he says, better forgotten—and he knows, too, that Diana, whom he liked, is dead—She was older, he says now, and she led you astray. He’s stuck in other patterns as well—You need a haircut, he says automatically, and, You’d better cover that tattoo in front of Mother—and now he wants to know why I bombed the Pentagon.

I didn’t really think that three pounds of dynamite would knock it down or even do much damage—although it turns out that we blew up a bathroom and, quite by accident, water plunged below and knocked out their computers for a time, disrupting the air war and sending me into deepening shades of delight.

I didn’t think that our entire arsenal, 125 pounds of dynamite, would actually count for much in a contest with the U.S. military, but I was never good at math, and I did think that every bomb we set off invoked the possibility of more bombs, that the message—sometimes loud and clear—was that if you bastards continue to wage war, we’ll go into places you don’t want us to go, places like the Pentagon, and we’ll retaliate, and soon—who knows?—you might completely lose control.

It was a story we told ourselves, and a story we spun out into the world. Armed anecdotes. Explosive narrations.

The Pentagon was ground zero for war and conquest, organizing headquarters of a gang of murdering thieves, a colossal stain on the planet, a hated symbol everywhere around the world. Do you know what the word for Pentagon is in Chinese or Korean, Arabic or Haitian Creole? Pentagon.

We went back and forth, not only between us but within each one of us. I called up all the courage I could summon in order to take the next risk—to bomb the Pentagon, say—and then I ran my commitment through the severest tests. And then I thought, enough. There must be another way. And then the ferment stirred and the demand to do more, to go further, again issued forth. Back and forth. Without end.

I thought about the justification for each action. Sometimes I answered technically: we worked hard and did our best to take care, to focus, to do no harm to persons and no more damage than we’d planned. The psychological answer, I think, was that we were young with an edge of certainty and arrogance that I would be hard-pressed to recreate or even fully understand again.

The moral justification requires remembering the context of the times. I could barely justify eating my own breakfast because it seemed a kind of inaction, or a kind of moving along blindly as if normal life included unending slaughter. I went for days on end with nothing to eat, no money of my own, no change in my pocket, thinking only of how to stop the war, how to make the price for continuing the war great, how to reach out to the victims of the war and stand alongside them and experience something of what they were experiencing. I wanted intimate knowledge of their situation, of their suffering. I’d marched on the Pentagon more than once, scaled its walls, confronted armed troops there, and even peed on its side. If I could have, I’d have duct-taped it shut, or put it in a trash compactor, but the closest I could come was a tiny bomb in a toilet drain.

We’d already bombed the Capitol, and we’d cased the White House. The Pentagon was leg two of the trifecta.

Millions of people had died in the war by now as the United States rained millions tons of explosives on Indochina. Where was there room for all those bombs? I imagined I could taste the ash in my mouth, smell the acrid smoke from something still smoldering in my chest.

Ho Chi Minh had said long ago, “Neither bombs nor shells can cow our people and no honeyed words can deceive them. We Vietnamese are resolved to fight till not a single U.S. aggressor remains on our beloved land.” He was right.

We were mostly into armed propaganda then, propaganda of the deed, guerilla theater, invisible resistance. Our bombings were less frequent, but we were not done with bombs. We reserved big attacks for big targets and big moments. We knew they would come

No, he’s not a terrorist.

Not much.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, October 9th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

19 Responses to “Ayers: The Day I Bombed The Pentagon”

  1. Jed_Black says:

    This person has the worldview of a child. If this is who Barry-HO is in bed with, and he is (steals the election) elected, we have much to fear.

  2. Lurkin_no_mo says:

    There’s an old adage that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.
    In this case, just whose “freedom” was this POS fighting for? The “freedom” of the North Vietnamese to invade South Vietnam and commit genocide?
    He lives in the best country for freedom in the world, born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He’s just some smart ass spoiled brat whining “waaa, waaa, the world isn’t perfect”.
    I don’t know what “freedom” the current crop of terrorists are fighting for, either. Seems to me they want to suppress freedom. But then, I’m an infidel.

  3. Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:

    Every time I see that booking picture (or any picture really) of that douche bag, i really want to knock that cocky look off his face. I normally don’t like violence but I really think I could make an exception in his case. This election has really got me pissed in case you hadn’t noticed.

  4. sheehanjihad says:

    LMGS! Normally, I always keep violence for smarmy little losers like him. Because of the damage he has done to our education system, or helped to do, I think I will make him stand in the corner. Of a concrete bunker. During JDAM practice. Oh! And have his darling wife play “where’s my esophagus?” at recess.

  5. Faye says:

    What is so frightening is that most liberals today have the same childish world view – and that includes Obama. Their ilk simply have too much which wasn’t earned and have never, and will never appreciate this great country. Rather, they want to make it into something entirely different from what the Founders envisioned. I’m so sick and tired of this crop of baby boomers, or bombers as it were, these smug, socialist radicals do not deserve to enjoy what their parents fought and sacrificed for. They hate this country – and yet never leave; they stay and become rich while lecturing the rest of us. They simply won’t be satisfied until they’ve made the U.S. over entirely by forcing their worldview down our throats. Except these days they spread their disease through the schools. I don’t even want to imagine how much worse it will be with Obama and friends at the controls.

  6. Liberals Demise says:

    125 LBS. of dynomite compared to the U.S. Military…….never really good with math…….we’ll go into places you don’t want us to go like the Pentagon and we’ll retaliate!
    This commie stooge is teaching the youth of America what? You are who you associate with and the American people had better wake up to the notion that if Brotha HO gets elected Prez of this nation, the finacial problems we have now will look like $2.00 per gallon gas after the fact. I don’t understand the GOD like worship Bro HO has on the sheep of America. Are we witnessing the opening of the “Seven Seals?” I’d sooner have that happen to us rather than a HObama/Biden regime!

  7. Morning in America says:

    As I understand it; his conviction was overturned because of problems with the evidence. Could not someone gone after him for civil damages for all of the structural damage to the buildings because, like OJ, the rules of evidence are not the same. How could he and his convicted wife ever have received positions of authority in our universities? This is the same situation with Angela Davis. Unbelievable!

  8. The Redneck says:

    –How could he and his convicted wife ever have received positions of authority in our universities?–
    That’s the truly irritating part. In what screwed-up world could this man be made a professor?

  9. Steve says:

    Ayers now likes to claim that he never targeted people — just property. But that is a blatant lie.

    The Pentagon bombing, for instance, was not done to minimize casualties. The bomb was put in a women’s restroom.

    And there are dozens of other instances in Fugitive Days of other failed or only partly successful attempts to murder human beings.

    Such as on page 190:

    A group of Cops in Cleveland had dragged Black men from a motel and shot them down in cold blood and now we would. I thought, even the score. We’d walk into their precinct house several times, this time under the pretense of reporting a stolen bicycle. One of us unscrewed a vent down an isolated hallway while another stood watch; we crammed some dynamite with a crude cigarette fuse into a tight space, slipped around a corner where we met our set, and then we ran. How inevitable it all seemed then, how entirely impossible now, driving through the night. The device never went off — out of oxygen, it exhausted itself a millimeter short of an imagine modern-day Harper’s Ferry — and I was unsure of why we were spared.

    Harper’s Ferry is yet another reference to John Brown. Ayers really seems to have hoped he was at the point of starting a civil war.

  10. thetimeisright says:

    Ayers is the lowest life form known. He is a terrorist period. He will target individuals or groups he just dont care, I can only hope that the FBI keeps a close watch on him at all times. Ayers is a dangerous person that will never love the USA. Or anybody that is not a kool-aid drinker

  11. eminenima says:

    Ayers & Dorhn – are undisputed and unrepentent of their hatred and warfare against America. A few folks like that are in Gitmo today.

    From their association: If nothing else Ayers knew he was using Obama. Obama says he didn’t know of Ayers past but Ayers knew and given that past it is no stretch to accept that Ayers was using and exploiting Obama. So either Barack is susceptible to manipulation or he was complicit and a student of Ayers’ method of politics. Either way that is unsettling and it certainly makes Barack Hussein Obama unfit as leader of the same America of which Ayers despises and has plotted murder & mayhem. How much different is Ayers than say Osama bin Laden? Who else in the world senses the usefulness of a President Obama in efforts at limiting America’s strength and success?

    Perhaps at the outset of the realtionship it could have been that Ayers was merely exploiting just another highly educated “useful idiot” to his cause but it soon mutated in to something more sinister.

    Not only can we sweep away the implausible claim of Obama’s ignorance of Ayers’ history, it is entirely logical to indict him on the purpose of the link up. Because even if Barack Hussein Obama was merely a political opportunist he benefited from the the mentoring of Ayers. The symbiotic nature of the relationship permitted Ayers to launder his reputation and foundation money while Obama learned to refine his political rhetoric to blunt the sharp edges of his anti-capitalist views.

  12. Anonymoose says:

    Let me get this straight, he never confesses, bur writes a book about what he did.

    He wants to tell his story, but leaves parts out and changes others.

    He wanted to stop the military’s bombing….by doing bombing of his own.

    He claims to have bombed the Pentagon….but didn’t actually do it. At least not in any reality we know.

    Which makes perfect sense now to say he wants to relive his glory days and be bigger than he was before, but not risk any further consequences to himself.

    Revolutionary my……….

  13. Helena says:

    You got that right, Anonymoose – He’s a childish, hypocritical, narcissistic poseur.

  14. U NO HOO says:

    “Let me get this straight, he never confesses, but writes a book about what he did.”

    Bill Ayers and/or OJ Simpson!

  15. 1sttofight says:

    –How could he and his convicted wife ever have received positions of authority in our universities?–

    Because they are heros to academia.

  16. Morning in America says:

    At some point the evidence will come out as to the extent of active support that the Soviet KGB had with the anti-war movement in the U.S. I recall when Clinton met with Boris Yeltsin that a number of KGB files were being made public as a means of implementing the time honored Soviet policy of discrediting the “old” regimes. All files relating to KGB activities in the U.S. anti-war movement were suddenly sanitized. No mention of Sandy Berger (or Bill Clinton’s?) visit to Moscow as students, no mention of John Kerry’s meeting with the Vietnamese in Paris while still in uniform, no mention of Jane Fonda sitting astride an anti-aircraft battery in North Vietnam. Yeltsin was paid off by the Clinton Administration and the links between the Soviets and the American Left including mutts like Obama’s Hawaiian and Chicago friends were buried. This is why the Left went after J. Edgar Hoover, the CIA, Nixon (for his brilliant China gambit; check!), and Ronald Reagan (…”tear down this wall”; checkmate!). I just hope that the American people wake up before election day and connect the 1000’s of dots that the media ignores.

  17. Barbie says:

    Someone tell me what this sos is teaching in a university and not in prison somewhere? Yesterday, Obama had the audacity to tell an interviewer that he just assumed Ayers ‘had been rehabilitated’ – unbelievable. How can rational people seriously listen to BO? His excuse is Ayers committted these acts when OB was eight? What kind of an excuse is that? This BO is as untrustworthy as his pals Wright, Rezko, and Ayers. Why are people falling for this guy?

  18. 1sttofight says:

    At some point the evidence will come out as to the extent of active support that the Soviet KGB had with the anti-war movement in the U.S.

    Here you go Morning in America ,


  19. Morning in America says:

    Thanks First! Good article! I would really like to see the raw data files that the KGB had on the celebrities of the Left. I’d also like to see the check register on who was paid what and when. The disinformation campaign that they ran was dutifully picked up by the willing accomplices at the NYT. If you read the history the late 30’s and early 40’s; at the time of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939, the American Left was adamant that the U.S. stay out of the European political conflict. Even after Hitler rolled through France and the Low Countries in May 1940 they said “stay out!” Ambassador Joe Kennedy gave highly political statements to the press that England was finished and that German troops would be marching down Whitehall in 2 weeks. But; when Hitler attacked Mother Russia on June 22, 1941, the American Left suddenly made a 180 degree turn and screamed that we had to get involved.
    I am sure that lots of seed money flowed into Democrat Party coffers and friendly press was paid for by the Soviets during the 1932-90 timeframe. It is by no accident that House of Representatives changed hands in such a massive tidal wave in 1994, the main benefactor of the Democrat Party was in turmoil and collapsed in 1991.

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