Obama's ties to Thomas Ayers (father of Obama's terrorist friend Bill Ayers)

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Sep 19, 2008, 8:05:54 PM9/19/08

Barack Obama has a new entanglement with unrepentant Weatherman Bill
Ayers which I detail below. The gist is this - back in the mid-90's
Bill Ayers was instrumental in the creation and early operation of the
Chicago Annenberg Challenge, an effort committed to the reform of
Chicago's public schools. Barack Obama was Chairman of the Board of
the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, which suggests he worked closely with
Ayers for several years.

Yet in his recent nationally televised appearances and at his website,
Obama fails to mention this Ayers entanglement. Why so coy? It's
hard to believe he actually forgot his executive role in this
important foray into public policy; that said, the Chicago Challenge
foundered on the hard rocks of Chicago politics and was widely viewed
as ineffective, so perhaps he would prefer not to highlight his
failure to bring people together and produce real change.

Or maybe Obama was a do-nothing figurehead who honestly forgot that
Bill Ayers was running the show. Awkward spin, that. In any case,
there is also a question of shared values. Ayers brings a highly
progressive approach to education - dare we ask whether Obama shares
his values?

Details and plenty of background links after the break.

With Ayers, two themes are emerging:

(1) It's not the crime, it's the cover-up - why can't Obama manage to
deliver a clear answer about his relationship with Ayers? It has
long been reported that they both sat on the board of the Woods Fund
of Chicago.

We now also know that Ayers helped found the Chicago Annenberg
Challenge Fund, with Obama as the first Chairman of the Board.

We also know that Obama, Thomas Ayers (Bill Ayers father) and John
Ayers (Bill's brother)

all served on the Leadership Council of the Chicago Public Schools
Education Fund (described here as "the successor" to the Chicago
Annenberg Challenge project).

That is a lot more of a connection than Obama has admitted in two
recent appearances on national television or at his websites "Fact
Check". At the Philadelphia debate, Ayers was described as

... a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who's a professor of English
in Chicago, who I know and who I have not received some official
endorsement from. He's not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a
regular basis.

In Philadelphia, it was left to Hillary to mention the Woods Fund
board overlap.

And on Fox News, Obama seemed utterly hazy as to what board he was on
with Ayers, offering this:

Now, Mr. Ayres [Ayers] is a 60 plus year old individual who lives in
my neighborhood, who did something that I deplore 40 years ago when I
was six or seven years old. By the time I met him, he was a professor
of education at the University of Illinois.

We served on a board together that had Republicans, bankers, lawyers,
focused on education, who worked for Mayor Daley. Mayor Daley, the
same Mayor Daley probably who when he was a state attorney prosecuted
Mr. Ayres’s wife for those activities, I (INAUDIBLE) the point is that
to somehow suggest that in any way I endorse his deplorable acts 40
years ago, because I serve on a board with him.

Baffling - neither the Woods Fund of Chicago nor the Chicago Annenberg
Challenge Fund could reasonably be described as working for Mayor
Daley; the Leadership Council of the Chicago Public Schools Education
Fund fits that description, but it was the elder Ayers and the other
Ayers who served with Obama on that board. There is a theory that
Obama is pretty tight with the Ayers family, so maybe that caused his

Finally, the Obama website presents a "Fact Check on Clinton Attacks
on Obama and Ayers"

which makes no mention of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge Fund. OK,
given the fame of Annenberg's FactCheck organization, maybe this was a
subconscious cry for recognition. But where is the transparency?

(2) The second emerging theme in this Ayers drama is, what about
shared values? OK, so Barack was eight years old when Ayers was
blowing things up. But Ayers brings a very, hmm, progressive mindset
to his educational agenda, or so I glean from the Ayers website (or
this panel presentation). So, does Barack share these views? Seems
like a fair question, since Ayers helped found a group Barack promptly

We have moved a long way past the notion that Ayers was just some guy
from Barack's neighborhood who happened to host a fundraiser for him
in 1995 and later overlapped with him on a charity board. How much
farther this story will move, and how much assistance Barack will
provide in moving it, remains to be seen.

C'MON - I enjoy this drollery from the hardworking and surely
underpaid chaps at Hot Air:

The obvious exit question: How closely did Obama and Ayers work
together at the Challenge? It may be that they had little contact,
that Ayers’s role ended in setting the thing up and he was
sufficiently uninvolved in day to day operations that Obama sincerely
forgot he was associated with the program.

Obama is a bit young to be having memory problems; surely he
anticipated an Ayers question and gave the topic some thought. And in
fact, he did describe an education-related board, not the Woods Fund

DIG IN: Background on the Annenberg Challenge; a final report on the
Chicago Annenberg Challenge experience (271 page .pdf).

THIS WILL BECOME IMPORTANT: Some history of the Chicago Annenberg

Having secured Annenberg funding for Chicago, the working group would
soon evolve into a more formal organization, albeit with strong ties
to the groups that wrote the grant proposal. Initially run out of
shared space in the offices of the Cross-City Campaign and
administered through an existing philanthropic organization called the
Donors Forum, the Chicago Challenge soon became its own new foundation
with status as an independent fiscal agent. By late 1995, Ken Rolling
had been named executive director, a board of directors had been
established, and the first round of grants had been awarded. Rolling
lacked experience in education but came from the foundation world and
was well-versed in community organizing.

The board, which was intended to set policy, raise matching funds, and
hire an executive director, included prominent educators and business
leaders. A second entity, the newly-created Chicago School Reform
Collaborative, was also established. Its twenty-plus members were
elected from the group of educators and advocates who had helped shape
the grant proposal. Initially, at least, this offshoot of the working
group functioned as the operations arm of the Chicago Challenge.
However, this situation created procedural and ethical concerns and in
time the Collaborative was transformed into an advisory body.

Ayers was one of the three original leaders of the working group and
eventually co-chaired the Chicago School Reform Collaborative (see his
resume). His early involvement:

When three of Chicago's most prominent education reform leaders met
for lunch at a Thai restaurant six years ago to discuss the just-
announced $500 million Annenberg Challenge, their main goal was to
figure out how to ensure that any Annenberg money awarded to Chicago
"didn't go down the drain," said William Ayers, a professor of
education at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Ayers, who was at
that lunch table in late 1993, helped write the successful Chicago
grant application.

The point is that Ayers led the way in securing the Annenberg grant,
then co-chaired the Collaborative, which was instrumental in the
operation of the Chicago Challenge. It is not likely Barack Obama, as
chair of the Board of Directors of the Challenge, was not working
closely with the co-chair of the collaborative. At any rate, it is
not at all plausible that he could have been unaware of Ayers' role
and later forgotten it.

I see trouble in paradise as "Hope and change" morphs to "Hope we can
change the subject."


Sep 19, 2008, 8:10:13 PM9/19/08


In 1959, socialists in the United States formed a national network of
college organizations for students who were culturally very far left,
called the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).

Forming the core of the 1960s counter-cultural movement known
collectively as the New Left, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)
was a radical organization that aspired to overthrow America’s
democratic institutions, remake its government in a Marxist image, and
help America’s enemies defeat her sons on the battlefield in Vietnam.
The group developed from the Student League for Industrial Democracy,
the youth branch of the socialist League for Industrial Democracy.

In 1968 events took a truly sinister turn, as an extremely radical
faction took control of the SDS, advocating violence.

Weatherman (known colloquially as The Weathermen) was a political
faction elected in 1968 to lead the radical group Students for a
Democratic Society (SDS)…. Emerging in 1969 as the most militant wing
of the SDS’s Revolutionary Youth Movement, the fledgling Weatherman
issued a “manifesto” eschewing nonviolence and calling instead for
armed opposition to U.S. policies; advocating the overthrow of
capitalism; exhorting white radicals to trigger a worldwide revolution
by fighting in the streets of the “mother country”; and proclaiming
that the time had come to launch a race war against the “white” United
States on behalf of the non-white Third World….

FBI files from 1976, recently made public under the Freedom of
Information Act, confirm the connections between Weatherman, Havana,
and Moscow. Weatherman leaders … traveled illegally to Havana … to
engage in terrorist training. There, camps set up by Soviet KGB
Colonel Vadim Kotchergine were educating Westerners both in Marxist
philosophy and urban warfare.

William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn were early leaders of The

William Charles “Bill” Ayers (born 1944) is an American professor of
education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, known for his work
in school reform and community organizing. While a radical activist
during the political upheavals of the 1960s, Ayers went underground
for eleven years starting in 1969 as a co-founder of the violent and
radical Weatherman group…. In 2001, the New York Times reported that
Ayers admitted in his biography that “he participated in the bombings
of New York City Police Headquarters in 1970, of the Capitol building
in 1971, the Pentagon in 1972.”

Bernadine Dohrn (born 1942), who became Ayers’ wife while they were
both fugitives, is an Associate Professor of Law at Northwestern
University School of Law and the Director of Northwestern’s Children
and Family Justice Center. In July 1969, representing The Weathermen,
she traveled to Cuba to conspire with representatives of the North
Vietnamese and Cuban governments.

While Dohrn led the Weathermen, the organization conducted a series of
bombings against the U.S. government and symbols of authority in the
early 1970s, bombing federal buildings and police stations. Dohrn was
a principal signatory on the group’s “Declaration of a State of War”
in 1970 that formally declared “war” on the U.S. Government, and
completed the group’s transformation from political advocacy to
violent action….

William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn were devoted to destroying our
government and our way of life. On May 21, 1970 an audiotape recorded
by Dohrn announced a declaration of war on the United States.

Hello. This is Bernardine Dohrn.


This is the first communication from the Weatherman underground.

All over the world, people fighting Amerikan imperialism look to
Amerika’s youth to use our strategic position behind enemy lines to
join forces in the destruction of the empire.

Black people have been fighting almost alone for years. We’ve known
that our job is to lead white kids to armed revolution…. Tens of
thousands have learned that protest and marches don’t do it.
Revolutionary violence is the only way.…

Now we are adapting … classic guerrilla strategy … to our own
situation here in the most technically advanced country in the world.

Che taught us that “revolutionaries move like fish in the sea.” The
alienation and contempt that young people have for this country has
created the ocean for this revolution.

That was the first of four Communiqués issued by Dohrn. From
Communiqué #4 issued on September 18, 1970:

LSD and grass, like the herbs and cactus and mushrooms of the American
Indians and countless civilizations that have existed on this planet,
will help us make a future world where it will be possible to live in

Now we are at war.

With the NLF and the North Vietnamese, with the Democratic Front for
the Liberation of Palestine and Al Fatah, with Rap Brown and Angela
Davis, with all black and brown revolutionaries, the Soledad brothers
and all prisoners of war in Amerikan concentration camps we know that
peace is only possible with the destruction of U.S. imperialism.

Ayers and Dohrn remained federal fugitives for several years,
participating in numerous acts of domestic terrorism. They caught a
break through a bureaucratic foul-up at the FBI, which caused some
charges to be dropped:

Over the next decade, the Weathermen claimed credit for 25 bombings
but eventually the movement broke apart, and Dohrn and Ayers began a
life together in New York, still underground. Ten years later, Dohrn
and Ayers finally turned themselves in, in Chicago. Federal bombing
conspiracy charges had been dropped because of improper FBI

Upon rejoining society, Ayers and Dohrn completed their educations and
became university professors. Eventually, they became affiliated with
the Democratic party machine of Chicago’s Mayor Richard M. Daley.

That’s how William Ayers got where he was. When he came out of hiding
because the federal government was unable to prosecute him (because of
government misconduct), he got a degree in education from Columbia and
then moved to Chicago and got a job on the education faculty of the
University of Illinois-Chicago Circle. How did he get that job? Well,
it can’t have hurt that his father, Thomas Ayers, was chairman of
Commonwealth Edison (now Exelon) and a charter member of the Chicago
establishment. As Mayor Richard M. Daley said recently, in arguing
that the Ayers association should not be held against Obama, “His
father was a great friend of my father.”

Ayers was tapped by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley to help found the
Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a school reform program. Since 1999 he
has served on the board of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago, an
anti-poverty, philanthropic foundation….

Also a part of that Democratic machine was communist sympathizer Alice
Palmer, a sitting Illinois state senator. When she decided to run for
the US Congress in 1995, she presented her then protégé Barack Obama
as her chosen successor. This announcement that launched his political
career was made at an elite gathering of Chicago liberals at the home
of none other than William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.

In 1995, Palmer introduced her chosen successor, Barack Obama, to a
few of the district’s influential liberals at the home of two well-
known figures on the local left: William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn,
former members of the terrorist Weather Underground.

“I remember being one of a small group of people who came to Bill
Ayers’ house to learn that Alice Palmer was stepping down from the
Senate and running for Congress,” says Quentin Young, a prominent
Chicago physician and advocate for single-payer health care. “(Palmer)
identified (Obama) as her successor.”

Palmer lost a primary fight for the Congressional race, and decided to
keep her Illinois senate seat, but Barack turned on his mentor and
things got nasty.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Obama operatives flooded into the
Chicago Board of Election Commissioners on Jan. 2, 1996, to begin the
tedious process of challenging hundreds of signatures on the
nominating petitions of Palmer and three other lesser-known contenders
for her Illinois state Senate seat. They kept challenging petitions
until every one of Obama’s Democratic primary rivals was forced off
the ballot.

The important point here is that the political career of Barack Obama
was engendered in a group of liberal Chicago communist-affiliated
America-hating radicals. Until he cosmetically reinvented himself for
the national spotlight, everything he said and did, and everything his
wife said and did, bespoke anger and resentment toward our country.
His associates continue to reflect that attitude.

“God damn America” is their refrain.

William Ayers, with whom Obama continued to be assoicated on
educational projects in Chicago, is still unrepentent. He was
photographed in 2001 proudly stomping on the American flag.
Apparantly, experience and affluence have not tempered his hatred of

> We now also know that Ayers helped found the Chicago Annenberg

> Challenge Fund, with Obama as the first Chairman of the Board.http://ccsr.uchicago.edu/publications/p0b06.pdf

> We also know that Obama, Thomas Ayers (Bill Ayers father) and John

> Ayers (Bill's brother)http://www.interversity.org/lists/arn-l/archives/Dec2000/msg00035.html

> all served on the Leadership Council of the Chicago Public Schools
> Education Fund (described here as "the successor" to the Chicago

> Annenberg Challenge project).http://www.cpef.org/pdf/annual_report01.pdf

> on Obama and Ayers"http://factcheck.barackobama.com/factcheck/2008/04/17/fact_check_on_c...

Kickin' Ass and Takin' Names

Sep 19, 2008, 8:12:59 PM9/19/08
On Sep 19, 8:10 pm, repo <kcajy...@yahoo.com> wrote:
[ Nothing of value, consequence, or interest snipped. ]


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