---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 09 Nov 2001 13:30:33 -0800
From: radtimes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Miss Olson Regrets
Miss Olson Regrets
Wall Street Journal
Sara Jane Olson is right: This is not a good time for aging radicals.
Not that long ago people might not have paid much attention to former
Weather Underground leader Bill Ayers saying "I don't regret setting
bombs." But when the quotation is published in the New York Times the same
day that Osama bin Laden's men level the Twin Towers, folks take notice.
Likewise, Mr. Ayers's wife and fellow Weatherperson, Bernardine Dohrn,
found her prestigious slot at Northwestern University's Law School suddenly
attracting some unwanted attention in this new era. And earlier this week
Ms. Olson -- a.k.a. Kathleen Soliah of the Symbionese Liberation Army --
found herself before an angry Los Angeles Superior Court judge, Larry
Fidler, who asked her what the heck she thought she was doing by pleading
guilty and then walking outside to hold a press conference proclaiming her
The terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, she told the newsmen,
would have a "negative effect" on her trial. As her attorney put it, his
client "is truly a victim of Sept. 11."
Leave aside the monstrous insensitivity of equating her predicament with
the innocent families who lost their loved ones in the rubble of the World
Trade Center and Pentagon. Ms. Olson did not spend more than two decades
underground because of her politics. She went underground because she was
wanted for the attempted murder of two Los Angeles policemen who were lucky
that a pipe bomb under their patrol car didn't explode; among the evidence
pointing to Ms. Olson is an order for fuses in her handwriting. Prosecutors
say the bomb was retaliation for the spectacular shootout with police that
killed six SLA members just two weeks earlier. And they also have evidence
linking Ms. Olson to the SLA bank robbery/felony murder of Myrna Lee Opsahl
a few months before.
All along, her attorneys had declared that the case against her was thin.
But her cries of a "witch hunt" notwithstanding, Ms. Olson has never really
been eager to make her case in a place where it would count: a court of
law. Instead, she transformed herself into a progressive cause clbre,
even publishing a fund-raising cookbook that treats the whole thing as a
lark ("Serving Time: America's Most Wanted Recipes"). The irony is that if
she hadn't sought postponement after postponement, she would have already
had the fair trial she now says America cannot give her.
Oh, yes. Does it also tell us something about the atmosphere before Sept.
11 that among the sterling character witnesses listed on the Sara Olson
Defense Fund Committee are William Ayers ("distinguished professor of
education") and Bernardine Dorhn?
Now, we would agree that the public mood has changed. But if Americans
these days have less of an appetite for radical chic, it's not because
they're growing more narrow-minded. It's because they're finally paying
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