He repeated it two second later:
Letterman: "who did he pall around with, other than...?"
McCain: "William Ayers, who said on nine eleven that he wish he'd bombed more"
McCain: "Mr Ayers on 2001, uh, September 11th, 2001, said 'I wish I'd had bombed more'".That's a lie. McCain makes it sound like the comment was "I wish I'd have bombed more" and he suggests the comment was made the very day of the September 11th attacks, suggesting the comment was in response to the attacks. But this is a lie. An interview with Ayers had been conducted months earlier and only coincidentally published on September 11th 2001. Therein, Ayers was quoted as:
''I don't regret setting bombs,'' Bill Ayers said. ''I feel we didn't do enough.'' Dinitia Smith reporting in an article on Ayers, published in the NYTimes 9/11/01Ayers said he'd wished he'd have done more, and even that quote is not in any context other than that crafted by Dintia Smith and the NYT editors - note the seperate quotes. Again, this comment, was made well before September 11th, it was merely coincidental that it was published on the same day as the 09/11/01. Unless McCain is suggesting Ayers had prior knowlegde of the September 11th attacks (omg conspiracy!), McCain is flat out lying when he claims Ayers made the statement on 9/11/01.
Now, one could argue that Ayers out of context quote can be interpreted as wanting to "bomb more", however consider what Ayers wrote to the editor on 9/15/01:
September 15, 2001Hardly sounds like a terrorist to me. More like a Buddhist.
To The Editors—
In July of this year Dinitia Smith asked my publisher if she might interview me for the New York Times on my forthcoming book, Fugitive Days. From the start she questioned me sharply about bombings, and each time I referred her to my memoir where I discussed the culture of violence we all live with in America, my growing anger in the 1960’s about the structures of racism and the escalating war, and the complex, sometimes extreme and despairing choices I made in those terrible times.
Smith’s angle is captured in the Times headline: “No regrets for a love of explosives” (September 11, 2001). She and I spoke a lot about regrets, about loss, about attempts to account for one’s life. I never said I had any love for explosives, and anyone who knows me found that headline sensationalistic nonsense. I said I had a thousand regrets, but no regrets for opposing the war with every ounce of my strength. I told her that in light of the indiscriminate murder of millions of Vietnamese, we showed remarkable restraint, and that while we tried to sound a piercing alarm in those years, in fact we didn’t do enough to stop the war.
Smith writes of me: “Even today, he ‘finds a certain eloquence to bombs, a poetry and a pattern from a safe distance,’ he writes.” This fragment seems to support her “love affair with bombs” thesis, but it is the opposite of what I wrote:We’ll bomb them into the Stone Age, an unhinged American politician had intoned, echoing a gung-ho, shoot-from-the-hip general… each describing an American policy rarely spoken so plainly. Boom. Boom. Boom. Poor Viet Nam. Almost four times the destructive power Florida… How could we understand it? How could we take it in? Most important, what should we do about it? Bombs away. There is a certain eloquence to bombs, a poetry and a pattern from a safe distance. The rhythm of B-52s dropping bombs over Viet Nam, a deceptive calm at 40,000 feet as the doors ease open and millennial eggs are delivered on the green canopy below, the relentless thud of indiscriminate destruction and death without pause on the ground. Nothing subtle or syncopated. Not a happy rhythm. Three million Vietnamese lives were extinguished. Dig up Florida and throw it into the ocean. Annihilate Chicago or London or Bonn. Three million—each with a mother and a father, a distinct name, a mind and a body and a spirit, someone who knew him well or cared for her or counted on her for something or was annoyed or burdened or irritated by him; each knew something of joy or sadness or beauty or pain. Each was ripped out of this world, a little red dampness staining the earth, drying up, fading, and gone. Bodies torn apart, blown away, smudged out, lost forever.I wrote about Vietnamese lives as a personal American responsibility, then, and the hypocrisy of claiming an American innocence as we constructed and stoked an intricate and hideous chamber of death in Asia. Clearly I wrote and spoke about the export of violence and the government’s love affair with bombs. Just as clearly Dinitia Smith was interested in her journalistic angle and not the truth. This is not a question of being misunderstood or “taken out of context,” but of deliberate distortion.
Some readers apparently responded to her piece, published on the same day as the vicious terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, by associating my book with them. This is absurd. My memoir is from start to finish a condemnation of terrorism, of the indiscriminate murder of human beings, whether driven by fanaticism or official policy. It begins literally in the shadow of Hiroshima and comes of age in the killing fields of Southeast Asia. My book criticizes the American obsession with a clean and distanced violence, and the culture of thoughtlessness and carelessness that results from it. We are now witnessing crimes against humanity in our own land on an unthinkable scale, and I fear that we might soon see innocent people in other parts of the world as well as in the U.S. dying and suffering in response.
All that we witnessed September 11—the awful carnage and pain, the heroism of ordinary people—may drive us mad with grief and anger, or it may open us to hope in new ways. Perhaps precisely because we have suffered we can embrace the suffering of others and gather the necessary wisdom to resist the impulse to lash out randomly. The lessons of the anti-war movements of the 1960s and 70s may be more urgent now than ever.
Bill Ayers Chicago, IL
"I condemn all forms of terrorism — individual, group and official" - Bill Ayers, letter to the editor, Chicago Tribune, September 23, 2001This comic sums it up:
It reads: "During the Vietnam war, the Weather Underground took credit for bombing several government installations as a dramatic form of armed propaganda. Action was taken against symbolic targets in order to declare a state of emergency. But warnings were always called in, and by design no one was ever hurt. "When I say, 'We didn't do enough,' a lot of people rush to think, 'That must mean, "We didn't bomb enough s---."' But that's not the point at all. It's not a tactical statement, it's an obvious political and ethical statement. In this context, 'we' means 'everyone.'
"From his Chicago home, Bill Ayers responds to the 'We didn't do enough,' statement, a soundbite echoing ad nauseam through the media."
"It's impossible to get to be my age and not have plenty of regrets. The one thing I don't regret is opposing the war in Vietnam with every ounce of my being.
"The war in Vietnam was not only illegal, it was profoundly immoral, millions of people were needlessly killed. Even though I worked hard to end the war, I feel to this day that I didn't do enough because the war dragged on for years after the majority of the American people came to oppose it. I don't think violent resistance is necessarily the answer, but I do think opposition and refusal is imperative."
"During the Vietnam war, the Weather Underground took credit for bombing several government installations as a dramatic form of armed propaganda. Action was taken against symbolic targets in order to declare a state of emergency. But warnings were always called in, and by design no one was ever hurt.
"When I say, 'We didn't do enough,' a lot of people rush to think, 'That must mean, "We didn't bomb enough s---."' But that's not the point at all. It's not a tactical statement, it's an obvious political and ethical statement. In this context, 'we' means 'everyone.'
Educate yourself about the Weather Underground:
Watch the movie online here.