Friday, July 1, 2011

Bringing Bernardine Dohrn & Bill Ayers to Justice

Statement of Larry Grathwohl
National Press Club June 28, 2011

In 1999 the Phoenix task force was set up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was comprised of representatives from the San Francisco Police Department, attorneys from the San Francisco District Attorney's Office, investigators from the California Bureau of Investigation, the office of Attorney General for the state of California, the office of the United States Atty. Gen. from Northern California, retired FBI agents who had worked the Weatherman cases during the late 60s and early 70s, and current FBI agents who were to act as a liaison between the San Francisco FBI office in the task force. The focus of this task force was to investigate the murders of several San Francisco police officers who were killed during this time period. It was believed that advances in the forensic sciences would allow new evidence to be developed in such cases, particularly the Park police station bombing that involved the Weather Underground.

Recently this task force has been reduced to a skeleton of its former self. The number of staff assigned to the task force is reduced to possibly one or two individuals who work part-time. The investigation of the Park police station bombing is no longer being vigorously pursued and the task force is being allowed to slowly slip into oblivion. This does not mean that the individuals who worked on the task force have given up; it simply means that their superiors have made a conscious decision to allow the task force to go out of business. Lieut. Joe Engler, who was in charge of the task force most recently, has been promoted and transferred to the Tenderloin police station while still being on record as being in charge of the Phoenix Task Force. How Lieut. Engler can be assigned full-time to the Tenderloin police station while still being in charge of the Phoenix Task Force is difficult for me to comprehend. Also, when I have attempted to call the numbers that are supposed to be assigned to the Phoenix Task Force, I get no answers.

The one significant success of the task force was bringing to justice eight members of the Black Liberation Army who were involved in the shooting at the Ingleside police station that resulted in the death of Sgt. Young. This case was developed while the task force was pursuing the individuals involved in the Park police station bombing. The attack on the Ingleside station occurred on the night of August 29, 1971. It began when a young white woman whose description matched that of Weather Underground and BLA member Marilyn Buck entered the Ingleside police station looked around, and left. Shortly thereafter a BLA member attempted to fire a LAU rocket through the front door but was unsuccessful. Fortunately the individual attempting to fire the rocket did not know how to extend the tube and release the safeties in order to be able to use the weapon. The rocket requires several steps to extend the tube, arm the rocket and release the safeties. It’s a good thing that the individual lacked the training to know how to properly use the weapon. This did not however dissuade at least seven members of the BLA from entering the police station with weapons that included a 12-gauge shotgun which was used to murder Sgt. Young.

It's important to reiterate that Marilyn Buck was a member of the Weather Underground working with members of the Black Liberation Army. This is in keeping with the weatherman's attempt to link its activities with that of other radical terrorist groups active in the United States at that time.

Of the eight individuals charged in the attack on the Ingleside police station, only two were sentenced and that was probation and time served. The charges were dropped against five other individuals and the only one remaining is Francisco Torres, who maintains he is innocent. Needless to say, the one success that the Phoenix Task Force can claim is dubious at best -- with only two individuals sentenced for the murder of Sgt. Young having agreed to plea to a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter and conspiracy to voluntary manslaughter. This is the outcome of having plotted the attack on the Ingleside police station and the murder of a police officer with a 12gauge shotgun.

As might be expected, all of those implicated in the attack on the Ingleside police station claim to have been tortured by the police with the use of electric shock, cattle prods, beatings, sensory deprivation and wet blankets used for asphyxiation. Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim pleaded to lesser charges but still claim that they are political prisoners and should be released immediately. Wasn't there a time when murdering a police officer was something to be avoided at all costs? It no longer appears that way, at least for those who are involved in domestic terrorism here in the United States.

As I have testified and stated before, I was told by Bill Ayers in February of 1970 that Bernardine Dorn was the main perpetrator of the bombing of the Park Police Station which resulted in the death of Sgt. Brian V. McDonnell. This bombing bears significant similarities to the planned bombing of the Detroit police officers Association building and 13th precinct in that city in Feb, 1970. Having infiltrated the Weather Underground, I was involved in the planning of these bombings. Bill Ayers gave specific instructions on how the bomb was to be built and when and where it was to be placed. This included the use of fence nails and staples to act as shrapnel, that the bomb was to be place during a shift change, and that it would be placed on a window ledge. All of these so-called coincidences are the same as what occurred at the Park Station in February of 1970. These bombs failed to detonate; otherwise several deaths would have occurred as was clearly emphasized by Bill Ayers during the planning sessions for these actions.

The reasons given for the closing of the Phoenix Task Force include the alleged lack of new evidence in the Park Station bombing. However, former FBI agent Max Noel, who worked the Weatherman case, has made it clear that all of the evidence has not been reviewed by the task force. In discussions Max had with members of the task force and others, including myself, he stated that evidence collected from the Weatherman's Pine Street bomb factory has not been reviewed and has probably not even been requested from the FBI’s archives. Max asked one investigator if he had looked at the lab report from the materials collected at the Pine Street bomb factory and the response was negative. This lab report includes detailed information regarding the tools, wire, timing devices and other bomb making materials that possibly could have been compared to the remnants of the bomb that was detonated at the Park police station. Latex gloves were also found and while developing fingerprints from inside of this material was impossible in the early 70s we know that it is easily accomplished in today's laboratories. There is also the possibility of DNA residue existing inside these gloves which could also be explored if retrieved from the FBI storage centers but this will only be done when and if the Phoenix Task Force requests these materials.

In exploring why the people who are now in charge of the Phoenix Task Force have decided to allow these investigations to end, I have attempted to contact the San Francisco district attorney and the San Francisco Chief of Police to no avail. After several attempts and after leaving several messages I decided that these individuals did not want to comment on why the task force was being allowed to slowly fade away. Keep in mind that on paper the Phoenix Task Force still exists. But when I contacted Capt. Mike Beil, who is/was directly in charge of the Phoenix Task Force, he referred me back to Lieut. Joe Engler who stated that he, “could make no comment” and he offered no explanation beyond that. I am curious as to why it cannot simply be stated that a determination has been made to allow the task force to come to an end. If the belief is that new evidence is truly unavailable then why not state that this is the situation and close the task force down? Such a conclusion, however, would be false, because new evidence could be gleaned from a fresh examination of the old evidence.

As we know, President Obama’s first fund raiser was held in the living room of Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dorn's home when he ran for the State Senate in Illinois. It has also been alleged that Ayers wrote the Obama book, Dreams from My Father. Eric Holder, the Attorney General of the United States, was instrumental in helping to free Weather Underground members Susan Rosenberg and Linda Evans during the Clinton administration. Is it possible that the demise of the Phoenix Task Force is somehow being influenced by the friendship that exists between Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dorn and President Obama? Could Eric Holder be influencing the release of information and evidence the FBI collected in the Pine Street bomb factory in 1971? Certainly these are legitimate questions when considering that the task force has basically gone out of existence.

The Weather Underground came into existence with the avowed purpose of overthrowing the government. Contrary to the position taken today by ex-members of this terrorist organization, their purpose was not against the war in Vietnam but rather was to bring the war home. Many instances exist in verbal and written communications of this intention and purpose in the commitment of the Weathermen.

Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dorn claim that the Weathermen were merely an anti-war group and that their purpose was never to harm or kill anyone. However, the evidence found in the Pine Street bomb factory definitely indicates otherwise. One of the devices discovered was a voice activated detonator, which means someone would have had to be within voice range in order to activate the device. Nails and heavy metal staples were also discovered; again meant to be used as shrapnel in bombs they were building. Shrapnel has only one purpose and that is to kill, injure and maim human beings. Along with explosives, tools and other hardware for use in the building of bombs the FBI failed to find any anti-war literature. However, they found a library of Marxist-Leninist propaganda. If all the Weathermen wanted to do was stop the war in Vietnam, why wasn't there literature in the apartment attesting to that fact? I would also ask Bill and Bernadine to explain why the Weathermen continued their acts of terrorism long after the war was over. I think it is obvious that their purpose was to bring the war home. That is why Bernadine stated at the “National War Council” meeting in Flint, Michigan that the way to accomplish this was to go home and kill your parents. It’s also why Mark Rudd, another founder of the Weathermen, states in his book that he approved of the plan to place bombs at a dance at Ft. Dix in order to kill as many soldiers as possible.

Interestingly the Weathermen utilized the Venceremos brigade, which they played a significant role in creating with the assistance of the Cuban DGI, to send members of the organization to Cuba where they were trained in domestic terrorism, political propaganda and other necessities of the urban guerrilla terrorist. The Venceremos brigades still exist today and it is noteworthy that while its purpose is supposedly to help the Cubans harvest sugarcane, in fact certain members are taken out of the group were they receive this training. This organization, the Venceremos brigade, represents the domestic terrorists continued ties to communist Cuba and the hope and intent of the communist regime to bring terror to the United States. It is also interesting to note that while
President Obama is considering the total lifting of travel restrictions to Cuba, terrorist fugitives from the United States continue to live there openly with no fear of extradition. One example of this is Joanne Chesimard, who escaped from prison with the help of the Weathermen. Chesimard was convicted of murdering a police officer and now lives freely and openly in communist Cuba. The really important message here is that the Venceremos brigade, which has been in existence since the late 60s, is still sending individuals to Cuba to be indoctrinated and train in terrorist activities. I believe that Chesimard, who now goes by the name Assata Shakur, is in Cuba to help train selected members of the Venceremos brigade who continue to travel there under the pretense of chopping sugar cane or “educational” missions.

It is important to note that Chesimard is not the only fugitive who is taken refuge in Cuba. Currently it is estimated that there are at least 70 individuals who are fugitives from United States justice and who are under the protection of the Castro regime. Some of these individuals were part of the terrorism that devastated the United States during the late 60s and into the 70s and even 80s. I think it is safe to conclude that these individuals have no love for the United States and no doubt are eager to participate in the indoctrination and training of future terrorists who come to Cuba as part of the Venceremos brigades.

Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dorn are presently active collaborators with the organization, "Code Pink," which, as we know, was instrumental in attempting to run the blockade of Gaza last year. This attempt resulted in the death and injury of members of the Israeli Defense force and individuals who were aboard the ships attempting to run the blockade. Code Pink has planned another attempt to run the blockade and no doubt the results will be the same. The purpose of these confrontations is to put the Israelis on the defensive and to force them to take extreme measures to defend themselves and to enforce the blockade. What possible purpose could justify the involvement of Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorn in this attempt to infiltrate Gaza and cause this confrontation with the Israeli Defense forces? Interestingly the so-called, "Arab Spring" has spread to almost every country in the Middle East and has become extremely violent, while the hatred and the avowed goal of destroying Israel has remained the same. Why President Obama supports this so-called Arab Spring is incomprehensible and flies in the face of the long-established support and close relationship that exists between the United States and Israel.

In October of last year I urged the new Congress to create a committee or subcommittee to investigate the internal security of the United States. As indicated in Paul Kengor’s book, Dupes, the congressional committees can play an important role by getting people who are involved in terrorist activities on the record under oath. By investigating the activities of terrorists, their support groups and networks, such a committee could disrupt and possibly stop another attack on the United States such as 9/11. This should be a bipartisan effort involving both Democrats and Republicans. Our national security and the safety of every citizen of this nation should be the top priority of every representative in the United States Congress and Senate. Given the fact that the goals set forth by the Weathermen have not changed, it is my opinion that some of the domestic terrorists of this era are still active and intent upon bringing the war home and ultimately the destruction of our government and our way of life.

Now is the time for our government to act. Time is running out. The American way of life is in jeopardy from enemies internal and external. Action must be taken before it’s too late!
Statement of Larry Grathwohl
National Press Club June 28, 2011
Bringing Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers to Justice