Stanley Kurtz, of National Review Online, finds his efforts to investigate the full extent of Barack Obama’s relationship with former terrorist, now university professor, William Ayers mysteriously blocked.
The problem of Barack Obamaâ€™s relationship with Bill Ayers will not go away. Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn were terrorists for the notorious Weather Underground during the turbulent 1960s, turning fugitive when a bomb â€” designed to kill army officers in New Jersey â€” accidentally exploded in a New York townhouse. Prior to that, Ayers and his cohorts succeeded in bombing the Pentagon. Ayers and Dohrn remain unrepentant for their terrorist past. Ayers was pictured in a 2001 article for Chicago magazine, stomping on an American flag, and told the New York Times just before 9/11 that the notion of the United States as a just and fair and decent place â€œmakes me want to puke.â€ Although Obama actually launched his political career at an event at Ayersâ€™s and Dohrnâ€™s home, Obama has dismissed Ayers as just â€œa guy who lives in my neighborhood,â€ and â€œnot somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.â€ For his part, Ayers refuses to discuss his relationship with Obama.
Although the press has been notably lax about pursuing the matter, the full story of the Obama-Ayers relationship calls the truth of Obamaâ€™s account seriously into question. When Obama made his first run for political office, articles in both the Chicago Defender and the Hyde Park Herald featured among his qualifications his position as chairman of the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a foundation where Ayers was a founder and guiding force. Obama assumed the Annenberg board chairmanship only months before his first run for office, and almost certainly received the job at the behest of Bill Ayers. …With a writ to aid Chicagoâ€™s public schools, the Annenberg challenge played a deeply political role in Chicagoâ€™s education wars, and as Annenberg board chairman, Obama clearly aligned himself with Ayersâ€™s radical views on education issues. With Obama heading up the board and Ayers heading up the other key operating body of the Annenberg Challenge, the two would necessarily have had a close working relationship for years (therefore â€œexchanging ideas on a regular basisâ€). So when Ayers and Dorhn hosted that kickoff for the first Obama campaign, it was not a random happenstance, but merely further evidence of a close and ongoing political partnership. Of course, all of this clearly contradicts Obamaâ€™s dismissal of the significance of his relationship with Ayers. …
A large cache of documents housed in the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), is likely to flesh out the story. That document cache contains the internal files of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. The records in question are extensive, consisting of 132 boxes, containing 947 file folders, a total of about 70 linear feet of material. Not only would these files illuminate the working relationship between Obama and Bill Ayers, they would also provide significant insight into a web of ties linking Obama to various radical organizations, including Obama-approved foundation gifts to political allies. Obamaâ€™s leadership style and abilities are also sure to be illuminated by the documents in question.
Unfortunately, I donâ€™t yet have access to the documents. The Special Collections section of the Richard J. Daley Library agreed to let me read them, but just before I boarded my flight to Chicago, the top library officials mysteriously intervened to bar access. Circumstances strongly suggest the likelihood that Bill Ayers himself may have played a pivotal role in this denial.