Three and a half decades after avoiding punishment for bombing the Pentagon, Bill Ayers is still “guilty as sin, free as a bird,” to use his own phraseology of 35 years ago.
“For every human being life is, in part, an experience of suffering and loss and pain,” Ayers writes in Teaching with Conscience in an Imperfect World: An Invitation, published by the Teacher’s College Press at Columbia University this year. “But our living experience also embraces other inescapable facts: that we are all in this together, and that much (but not all) of what we suffer in life is the evil we visit upon one another—that is, unjustified suffering, unnatural loss, unnecessary pain—the kinds of things that ought to be avoidable, that we might even imagine eliminating altogether.”
Apparently, he wasn’t feeling that imaginative 15 years ago. In an extraordinary interview he gave the New York Times, which appeared on September 11, 2001, the day that thousands of Americans lost their lives in a terrorist attack, Ayers said, ”I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough,” during his time in the Weather Underground movement in the 1960s and 1970s.
“He still has tattooed on his neck the rainbow-and-lightning Weathermen logo that appeared on letters taking responsibility for bombings,” Dintia Smith, who conducted the interview, wrote.