San Francisco Police Sgt. Brian V. McDonnell was killed by shrapnel from an anti-personnel bomb built and planted by Bill Ayers’ wife, Bernardine Dohrn, according to an FBI report
WASHINGTON – While defenders of unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers cling to the rationalization that he never killed anyone during a spree of bombings in the 1970s, his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, built and planted the bomb that killed a San Francisco police officer in 1970, an FBI report claimed.
Ayers and Dohrn are the subjects of new attention because they helped launch Barack Obama’s political career in their living room. Ayers served with Obama for years on two foundation boards, while Dohrn worked in a law firm with Michelle Obama. They also contributed financially to Obama’s first campaign for political office.
While Ayers himself has never been implicated in a death among the high-profile bombings of the Capitol, the Pentagon and several other targets of the Weather Underground he served as a leader, it’s not true that there were no fatalities associated with the attacks.
On Feb. 16, 1970, Sgt. Brian V. McDonnell of the San Francisco Police Department was killed by shrapnel from an anti-personnel bomb planted on a window ledge at the force’s Park Station. The pipe bomb was filled with heavy metal staples and lead bullet projectiles. Another officer, Robert Fogarty, received serious wounds to his face and legs, and was partially blinded in the attack.
Dohrn, then living in a Weather Underground cell on a Sausalito, Calif., houseboat, has long been suspected of involvement in the bombing.
An FBI informant, Larry Grathwohl, who successfully penetrated the organization from the late summer of 1969 until April 1970, later testified to a U.S. Senate subcommittee that Ayers, then a high-ranking leader of the organization and a member of its Central Committee (but not then Dohrn’s husband), told him Dohrn constructed and planted the bomb.
Grathwohl testified that Ayers had told him specifically where the bomb was placed (on a window ledge) and what kind of shrapnel was put in it. Grathwohl said Ayers was emphatic, leading Grathwohl to believe Ayers either was present at some point during the operation or had heard about it from someone who was there. In a book about his experiences published in 1976, Grathwohl wrote that Ayers, who had recently attended a meeting of the group’s Central Committee, said Dohrn had planned the operation, made the bomb and placed it herself.
Grathwohl recounted in his report that Ayers complained to other Weather Underground operatives that they were not contributing enough to the bombing campaigns, pointing out that Dohrn built the bomb and planted it herself.
While Obama has attempted to distance himself from Ayers and Dohrn, WND columnist Jack Cashill has made the case that the college professor and radical education activist may have even ghost-written the presidential candidate’s first book, “Dreams From My Father.”
Obama has said variously that Ayers was just someone who lived in his neighborhood, that he didn’t know he was the notorious Weather Underground leader during his long association and that he assumed he had been “rehabilitated.” Ayers and Dohrn have never condemned their terrorism spree. In fact, Ayers was quoted in the New York Times Sept. 11, 2001, as saying he was sorry he hadn’t done more. Ayers had previously described his reaction to being cleared of all charges due to a technicality this way: “Guilty as hell, free as a bird – America is a great country.”