Bill Ayers’ terrorist associate Mark Rudd said on Wednesday that News Corporation Chairman Rupert Murdoch paid him $50,000 ($25,000 in advance and $25,000 on completion) to write his memoir about his days as a member of the Weather Underground. But “Fifteen percent went to my agent and the rest went up my nose for coke.”
One of the members of Murdoch’s board is Professor Viet Dinh, a former Bush counter-terrorism official who had fled Vietnam as a child when Rudd’s communist comrades took over South Vietnam in the wake of the U.S. military withdrawal.
In his talk, Rudd made it clear that his communist ideology had not changed and reiterated his support for Communist Vietnam and Communist Cuba.
Some members of the small audience at Cal State East Bay in Hayward, California, did not think Rudd, who appeared rumpled and disheveled, was joking about his cocaine reference. The bizarre talk, which was interrupted by barbed questions about Rudd’s terrorist past, concluded with Rudd professing his devotion to non-violence, truth and love.
During a previous appearance in Berkeley, California, at a left-wing bookstore, Rudd had declared that the election of Barack Obama was a major “advance” and provides an “opening” for the far-left to continue making gains. Rudd serves on the board, with Ayers and his wife, fellow terrorist Bernardine Dohrn, of the “Movement for a Democratic Society,” which hopes to resurrect a “new SDS” on the college campuses. The SDS was the predecessor of the Weathermen and the Weather Underground.
Ayers is now a professor at the University of Illinois and Dohrn teaches law at Northwestern University. Rudd said that he had been teaching math at a community college in New Mexico but will be returning to teach social activism.
Because of the presence at Cal State East Bay of about 10 critics of Rudd, including this columnist, who passed out fliers about his involvement in a group that killed at least four police officers, university officials ordered seven members of the campus police to stand by. Two police were actually in the room, which was in the university library, and others were posted outside. But they never had to intervene. In fact, the police seemed disgusted they had to be there to protect someone who had specialized in calling police “pigs” and whose organization bombed police stations and killed police officers.
Rudd is not the only terrorist on a speaking tour. His comrade Bill Ayers is scheduled to be at Brandeis University in Massachusetts on April 30.
Michael Graham, the Boston-based talk show host who led the opposition to Ayers’ scheduled appearance at Boston College, is spearheading criticism of the Brandeis event. The Boston College appearance was cancelled after Graham highlighted the involvement of Katherine Anne Power and Susan Saxe, two members of a Weather Underground spin-off group, in the murder of Boston Police Officer Walter Schroeder. Power and Saxe had attended Brandeis.
Rudd had been invited to Cal State by History Professor Henry Reichman, who was part of the protests that Rudd led in 1968, after visiting Castro’s Cuba, which shut down Columbia University. It was after this that Rudd went “underground” as a fugitive with Ayers and Dohrn.
Reichman, who claims to be an advocate of free expression, tried to confiscate the fliers about the Weather Underground’s history of violence and terrorism before Rudd showed up to deliver his talk. Because Rudd and Reichman are such close friends, Rudd did not charge for his talk.
Rudd was labeled a murderer by several members of the audience who were affiliated with the Campaign for Justice for Victims of Weather Underground Terrorism.
At the end of the event, Rudd tried to shake hands with the critics, but one, retired San Francisco Police Officer Jim Pera, refused, calling Rudd a killer with bloody hands.
Rudd claimed not to know anything about the February 16, 1970, bombing murder of San Francisco Police Sergeant Brian V. McDonnell, the subject of a news conference in San Francisco on Thursday. The FBI has blamed the murder on the Weather Underground but no charges have ever been brought in the case.
Under questioning, Rudd said that he had been contacted by the FBI several years ago about terrorism-related matters. However, he refused to cooperate with the FBI and now has a criminal defense lawyer, Nancy Hollander of New Mexico, where he lives. There appears to have been no follow-up by the FBI regarding Rudd’s possible knowledge of or involvement in the Park Police Station bombing case.
Incredibly, rather than interrogate Rudd under oath, Rudd was invited to lecture on terrorism to the FBI Academy in 2005 by Special Agent Andrew Bringuel.
Larry Grathwohl, a former FBI informant in the Weather Underground, who was in the audience, was acknowledged by Rudd and got up to repeat his sworn testimony that Bill Ayers had told him that Bernardine Dohrn had planted the bomb, whose heavy metal staples tore through McDonnell’s head and injured nine other officers. The bombing occurred at the Park Police Station near Golden Gate Park.
Grathwohl also described how Ayers had ordered the destruction of police facilities in Detroit, using similar bombs.
There remains the possibility that other members of the Weather Underground were involved in the Park Police Station bombing, along with members of the terrorist Black Liberation Army. Both groups had worked together.
Rudd claims in his book that he never met Grathwohl. But Grathwohl said that was false and that they had met on several occasions. Rudd conceded that his memory was faulty on that point.
Grathwohl questioned Rudd about his continued close association with Dohrn, who at a national Weathermen conference had praised mass murderer Charles Manson, whose drug-crazed followers killed pregnant actress Sharon Tate and others and then ate dinner in a room with the victims. Dohrn adopted a three-finger “fork salute” to signify the forks used to eat dinner with the dead and had called Manson a “true revolutionary.”
Rudd appeared to get emotional, saying that he still regards Dohrn as a “sister.”
Grathwohl has said that leaders of the Weather Underground wanted to impose a Communist dictatorship and had forecast that up to 25 million Americans who could not be re-educated would have to be eliminated.
Asked why his fingerprints had been found in an apartment in San Francisco that the FBI labeled a bomb factory with bomb-making paraphernalia, Rudd said he had only been living in the place for a while. But in answering the question, he repeatedly referred to the “apartment” as a “factory,” only to catch and correct himself. Ayers’ fingerprints were also found in this location on Pine Street.
In his book, Rudd acknowledges his close relationship with David Gilbert, a former Columbia student and mentor who was also a member of the Weather Underground. Gilbert is now in prison for a 1981 robbery, conducted by the Weather Underground and the Black Liberation Army, that left two police officers and a security guard dead.
Rudd also admits approving a bomb plot targeting a servicemen’s dance at Fort Dix, New Jersey. But the bomb prematurely exploded, killing three Weathermen.
At a previous appearance at Moe’s Bookstore in Berkeley, California, Rudd gave his assent to a plan for a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” that would attempt to get Gilbert freed from prison.
The same event turned into an orgy of Israel-bashing, as Rudd introduced his “Rabbi,” a woman working with the Americans Friends Service Committee, who was advertising a Sunday “Citizen Hearing” at the Department of Health in San Francisco to examine “the use of US weapons in the recent [Israeli] assault on Gaza.” Rudd, who believes Israel is doomed because of its association with the United States “empire,” prefaced the announcement by saying that he doesn’t believe in God.
Rudd never commented on the irony of having his book published by the chairman of the parent company of Fox News, a media group considered too conservative by the liberal/left and which, during the campaign, highlighted Ayers’ and Dohrn’s ties to then-candidate Barack Obama.
But Rudd did say that whatever financial proceeds he generates, over and above what he spends on cocaine, will go to “peace and justice” organizations.