Bill Ayers: I Was Not a Terrorist

But I saw no 'path to a rational discussion' during campaign
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2008 11:22 AM CST
William Ayers speaks about his two books to an audience at the All Souls Church, Unitarian in Washington, Monday, Nov. 17, 2008.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – Even as John McCain was painting him as a domestic terrorist in Barack Obama’s rogues gallery of acquaintances, William Ayers kept silent. “I saw no viable path to a rational discussion,” he writes in today’s New York Times. Now that the election’s over, it’s time to set the record straight. The Weather Underground carried out “symbolic acts of extreme vandalism,” he writes. It crossed lines. “But it was not terrorism.”

The bombings weren’t intended to injure or kill or spread fear. They were simply a “screaming response” to the Vietnam War, and his real regret is that they couldn’t end the conflict. He says the McCain camp’s dishonesty extended further, attempting to lay Ayers’ actions at the feet of a passing acquaintance. But “guilt by association and the politics of fear did not triumph, not this time. Let’s hope they never will again."