Toward the end of a presidency, it is a ceremonial act that a president issues a select number of pardons and issues for clemency. Near the end of former President Barack Obama’s days sitting behind the resolute desk, he issued a pardon for convicted Puerto Rican nationalist, Oscar Lopez Rivera. Rivera was a member of the Puerto Rican independence group called the Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN), which was responsible for over 120 bombings in the 1970s and 1980s that claimed the lives of six and injured many more. This repugnant act of leniency towards a convicted murderer was overshadowed by the clemency order of Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning and will go largely unnoticed. But this leniency toward domestic terrorists is nothing new to the American political Left. The riots and bombings by Leftist domestic terrorists have almost become normal in our society since the 1960s.
Before there was Rivera and FALN, “revolutionary” groups such as the Weather Underground and the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) emerged on the 1960s radical scene. Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, founders of the Weather Underground who presumably fell in love with each other based on their hatred of the United States, were instrumental in orchestrating hundreds of bombings across the United States. Locations of the bombings included the New York Police Department (NYPD) Headquarters, the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon. In 1970, the Weathermen, under Ayers’s instruction, constructed a nail bomb in a New York City townhouse. The bomb detonated prematurely and killed three of Ayers’s comrades. Ayers would later claim that the bombings they conducted were never meant to kill anybody. I am not exactly sure what the purpose of constructing a bomb that would send sharp nails soaring throughout the air was intended to do, but terrorists are not known for being truthful. However, back when Ayers was more open about speaking of his evil ideologies, he said, “That bomb had been intended for detonation at a dance that was to be attended by army soldiers at Fort Dix, New Jersey. Hundreds of lives could have been lost had the plan been successfully executed. Ayers attested that the bomb would have done serious damage, 'tearing through windows and walls and, yes, people too.'” Dohrn, Ayers's wife, would later applaud the works of the Manson family for murdering pregnant actress Sharon Tate and others at her home in California. “Dig it!” exclaimed Dohrn. “First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them. They even shoved a fork into the victim’s stomach! Wild!” Another terrorist named Susan Rosenberg, a friend of both Ayers and Dohrn, would later be arrested for planning an attack of unspeakable proportions. At the time of her arrest, police discovered twelve assorted guns, nearly 200 sticks of dynamite, fake IDs to act as though they were police officers and many more weapons.
Now, it would be reasonable to assume that these horrid individuals would be imprisoned for their actions. Wrong. Bill Ayers is currently a retired professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Bernardine Dohrn is a retired professor of law at the Northwestern University School of Law. And in relation to Obama’s recent pardon, former President Bill Clinton pardoned Susan Rosenberg on his last day in office. Rosenberg was a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. It is irony in its most vicious form that Rosenberg, who once intended to murder innocent police officers, would later teach at a school containing aspiring police officers.
These acts of terror went on throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s from groups other than the Weather Underground. But as time went on and the bombings stopped, these kinds of murderous acts began to be accepted throughout the mainstream media. Why else would these aspiring murderers be asked to teach at some of the nation’s top universities? The narrative to accept these acts of terror would be that they were “protesting,” or making a “political statement.” When it is said that a “political statement” was made, then all is apparently good in the world and no harm was done. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), referred to Lopez Rivera as, “one of the longest serving political prisoners in history — 34 years, longer than Nelson Mandela.” Where the vapid geriatric from Vermont seems to get confused is that former South African President Nelson Mandela’s whole life was dedicated to freeing South Africa from the murderous regime of apartheid. Rivera’s whole life was dedicated to waging war on the United States and murdering innocent civilians. Rivera may be a political hero in Sanders’s and the Left’s eyes, but in the eyes of any coherent human being, they are clearly the personification of sheer evil.
Louis Ruziecki is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in political science with a minor in history. His column, “Conscience of a Co-Ed,” runs on alternate Wednesdays.
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