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tv   William Rosenau Tonight We Bombed the U.S. Capitol  CSPAN  February 1, 2020 6:00pm-7:01pm EST

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make things go away . . . . homegrown terrorist organization called m19, the only american terrorist group organized and led by women most of the operations which culminated in a shop and bombing of the capital in november 1983 are documented in many sources including those in the custody of the national archives. in a recent interview william
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recalled spending days going through boxes of federal court records which have everything from transcripts to affidavits from fbi agents could grand jury testimony to evidence picked up at various crime scenes. those trial records he remarked were absolutely invaluable to getting inside this group. now let us hear from the author himself about this little-known domestic terrorist group and their campaign of violence, william rosenau is senior policy historian at cna center for strategic studies, and expert on united states and international military advisory roles and missions, international police training terrorist innovation and political warfare. his articles appear regularly in the media and his books include "acknowledging limits" police advisors and ãb
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insurgency, subversion, public order. before joining cna he was political scientist at rand corporation khmer senior policy advisor in the office of the coordinator of counterterrorism at the department of state and adjunct professor in the security studies program at harvard he was a teaching fellow at the department of history and research correlator for the national security program at the john f. kennedy school of government. please welcome william rosenau. [applause] >> thank you very much for that kind introduction. thank you all for coming out today. i want to start by giving a shot to the national archives and records administration. as the archivists of the united states point out, the court records among other things that
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i have access to, thanks to the professional men and women of the national archives branches in boston, philadelphia, and new york, i was able to delve deeply into this group. one of the fascinating things i uncovered just how important these court records are for the understanding of terrorism and political violence.in those cases where roundup with recitations. i never gotten solid answer to this but terrorism researchers attended to ignore these court records. they go far beyond transcripts and even i suppose one of the most valuable things were the items entered into as evidence internal documents from the
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group it's a tremendous honor to be here today at the national archives. i salute the men and women who are the professional backbone of this organization. absolutely invaluable to me ed historian. my guess is most of you haven't had a chance to read my book yet, having just come out last week. i'd like to read a few brief passages from the introduction to set the stage and hopefully prompt your questions and comments during the second half of today's program. in 1981 president ronald reagan announced it was morning in america he declared the american dream wasn't over, far from it. to achieve that dream the
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united states needed to lower taxes, shrink the size of government and flex its military muscles abroad. some call the program the reagan revolution. meanwhile, a chinese band of american-born well educated extremists were working for a very different kind of revolution. they spent their entire adult lives embroiled in political struggles, protesting against the vietnam war ãband opposing what they called u.s. imperialism. that is u.s. military aggression, political domination and economic exploitation. many of them had been close to or involved in the violent far left scene during the late 1960s early 1970s they were part of the so-called generation of 1968 a worldwide covert men embraced drugs, sex, rock music, and revolutionary
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politics with equal enthusiasm. the journalist jeffrey toobin writes and i "in the 1970s militant revolutionary ethos took hold in a substantial part of the american countercultural that's related to a degree that's almost unimaginable today the bomb became a common mode of the american political expression". perhaps the most notorious group operating on the far left fringes of the american political landscape was the weather underground which was responsible for dozens of bombings of government buildings and other targets during the 1970s. by the late 1970s whether was defunct, the leadership exhausted from a decade on the run, surfaced from the underground and those wanted on criminal charges surrendered to the authorities and i will add parenthetically, i was at
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columbia as an undergraduate in the late 1970s. i know i'm dating myself. at the time, these whether people who were living many of whom had been living on the upper west side started to surface. i think they probably were. many other vietnam era radicals also called eclipse and returned to graduate school started careers and reentered ordinary american life. pockets of militancy remain. revolutionary sensibility still smoldering and smart.
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the weather underground was gone but these militants and a few others decided to continue the struggle and do so by any means necessary. as another veteran radical recalled and i quote, we lived in a country that loved violence we had to meet it on its own terms ". in 1978 militants created a new organization to way to war against imperialism, racism, and fascism. they call their new revolutionary formation may 19 communist organization a name derived from the book name shared by two ecological heroes, malcolm x and bushman. may 19 was unique unlike any other american terrorist group before or since, may 19 was created and led by women. many of whom were self-described lesbians. i will talk about that later on.
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women did the target, limited the planning and women made and planted the bombs. they created a new sisterhood of the bomb and gun. they were intellectuals but also warriors with the purported science of marxism serving as their invaluable god. they believe will in women and men could burn bend the arc of history and usher in a new world free of injustice and oppression. their vision of what this heaven on earth would look like was a little bit hazy. one thing was certain, creating it would require nothing less then violent revolution. this vagueness about ultimate objectives is typical among terrorists. as georgetown university bruce hoffman argues, and i quote " groups as varied as al qaeda and the red army faction live in future they are chasing
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after but they have only a very vague conception of what exactly that future might entail ". may 19 had much in common with other ideological ã ãshe concludes that the soviet agent noah field his commitment and submission to his cause total and ultimately as descriptive as those today's isis recruits ". ideologies whether communist emma fascist, nationalist white supremacist, jihadist, can offer the promise of what martin calls "a final correction of all personal, social, and lyrical injustices". for the captured mines of may 19 the variant of marxism leninism was a pathway to total
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liberation. in 1979 just after the founding of may 19 the great punk new-wave group talking heads released a song called life during wartime, some of you might call it one of their better hits. reportedly inspired by accounts of terrorists groups since such as the red army fashion and the liberation army. david burns song is a driving hallucinatory first-person chronicle heard of a man it's loaded with weapons. heard of great sites out by the highway. the sound of gunfire off in the distance, getting used to it now. lived in brownstone lived in a ghetto, i've lived over this
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town. this ain't no party this ain't no disco this ain't no fooling around no time for dancing or lovey-dovey i ain't got time for that now. may 19 lived the bands lyrics and in real time. what brought me to this story in the first place and i think there are three or four reasons. the first is the sheer audacity of their actions. i do want to say nihilist qualities but the extremely violent in some cases and somewhat bizarre activities of the group what about this during the period from 1979 to
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1981 may 19 was very involved with other radicals most notably veterans of the black liberation army in the f alm puerto rican separatist group and may 19 women participated in armored car robberies and bank robberies that netted about $1 million which is about $3 million in today's today's dollars. may 19 was part of one of the most armed robberies in american history i don't think i'm overstating that. the notorious october 20, 1981 brinks robbery in upstate new york in rockland county that left two police officers dead and one brinks guard was killed as well, one of those just sort of bizarre turns of fate the
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wounded brinks guard who was shot with an m-16 's arm was nearly severed. in about a year later he was in lower manhattan supervising the delivery or collection of some $9 million and currency from wells fargo he was in the basement of one of the twin towers and police ordered him out, he called his dispatcher and said, i'm told to get out and that's the last anyone ever heard of him. not perhaps meaningful on any great sense but an interesting or sad irony of history. what else? may 19 was involved in the two
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of the biggest prison breakouts most significant politically oriented prison breakouts of the 20th century. their first was in 1979 a man named willie moralis, and f alm bomb maker had been working in his workshop, his bomb making workshop in elmhurst queens when doing what he loved most which was making bombs and he was apparently making a pipe bomb, it went off in his face, it blew off half his face and nine of his fingers, somebody called the police of course and the police got there and they discovered something that i don't know what to call it other than a case of extreme
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revolutionary dedication or fanaticism. they found blood on one of the knobs of the gas stove and the police concluded he had dragged himself, after being wounded, to the stove and turned on the gas with his mouth hoping to fill the apartment and then have some cop light a cigarette and set the place. he was extremely formidable and committed militant or terrorist. the fbi, rather than allowing his digits to be sewn back on they were able to find most of them, they kept them as evidence, so he managed to come he wound up in the prison hospital at bellevue id new york waiting for a pair of artificial hands. he just got tired of waiting.
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a plot was hatched involving his lawyer, some members of the black liberation army and may 19 women, about 18 people involved total to spring him so this man willie moralis was able to come he got some bolt cutters smuggled in by his lawyer under her skirt. he was able to somehow use his stumps to snip the screen, the fairly light screen covering the window in his prison word her room. he was able to lower himself at the building, several stories with an improvised rope made out of ace bandages. fortunately for him, well or unfortunately, the ace bandages broke, he felt about a story hit an air conditioner and bounced off landed on the
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ground, got scooped up, somehow he made his way to mexico with the help of may 19 and the others which is kind of remarkable.he was horribly disfigured. things were good for a few years. the fbi tipped off the mexican authorities about him at one point. there was a shootout. moralis went to prison for six years. he got sprung. he wanted to be extradited back to the united states, a difficult relationship with mexico at the time. he was allowed to go to cuba where he lives to this day as a guest of the cuban government and been granted political asylum. the second big prison break you are involved in involved a woman named joanne to the marred better known as sodom
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chicora. a long forgotten terrorist group worthy of its own book made up of faction of the black panther party and they rob banks and assassinated policeman and they assassinated about 15 policeman and mostly in new york. in a rather patronizing description of justin martyr, a u.s. attorney or local prosecutor, i can't remember who, described her as a bla mother hen. she was involved in a shootout on the jersey turnpike in 1973, she or her court shot a state trooper with his own revolver, who was point-blank range. she was convicted in 1973, by 1979 there was a plan to break her out.
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so the may 19 women who did a lot of the logistics renting of state houses, peer procuring weapons, getting fake ids, many were expert printers. smuggled the gun into the prison a more innocent time but apparently there were no metal detectors. shows marred in indicting the tulips occur basically took some guards hostages, may 19 is a car switch come may 19 women spirited asado should core out, she wound up in the statehouse in pittsburgh. then they got her to the bahamas and in 1984 she wound up in cuba being granted political asylum by the den castro regime.
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there is a $2 million reward on her head from the federal government and various new jersey authorities that was one piece of may 19 the second piece of their campaign began in 1983, we heard from the archivist of course in the title of my book suggests what happened in november, november 7 1983 when they bombed the us capital outside of the majority leader's office. they also bombed and fbi field office in new york they bombed the navy yard twice other targets the israeli aircraft industry association in new york the south african consulate in new york in the
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patrolman benevolent association in new york and all this was to protest things varied as the u.s. invasion of granada apartheid in south africa the occupation of the west bank and gaza. that was the first thing that drew me to this group was this range of violence and sometimes bizarre and certainly audacious terrorist activities. the second thing that drew me were the personal stories of participants of the women themselves and to some degree men couple men in the inner circle. and i'm just going to mention three of them that i found that were particularly compelling. marilyn buck, she was the daughter of a veterinarian turned episcopal priest in
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austin texas where she was brought up, went to saint stephen's a private episcopal school and then was admitted to brown but decided to go to berkeley and then came back to the university of texas, wound up back in the west coast she became what was described as the only white member of the black liberation army and she was a quartermaster buying guns, a nice white episcopal girl from texas, less likely to raise suspicions then the militants of the bla so she was able to buy weapons in multiple states. she got picked up in 1973 for buying 1000 rounds of ammunition using a fake id which is a federal offense. she gets sent to women's federal prison in west virginia
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and this is perhaps simpler and more innocent time federal prisoners at that time were allowed furloughs so she got a furloughs serving 10 year sentence, got a furlough to his of her parents who moved to galveston and came back. in the 1977 got a second furlough to visit her lawyer in new york.the same lawyer who smuggled in both coders to help moralis escape. she gets a six day furlough and never comes back. she was not captured until 1985 so if my math is right, eight years on the run. a second person, rosenberg, daughter of a kindly new york dentist a graduate of a private
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school in new york she attended bernard come up fascinating character in her new right. she has a couple memoirs that came up left a few years ago. memoirs of former terrorists pretty light on the operational details, the things that we terrorism researchers tend to be interested in. interestingly, she was pardoned in 2001 on the same day last day of the president clinton administration. the same day he pardoned the notorious fugitive financier marc rich. she got a pardon and do in part one of her staunchest advocates was someone who has been in the news many many times. alan dershowitz. but also none other than jerry nadler. one of those strange
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coincidences. i'm not sure it means much of anything but fascinating to go through these documents and see letters written on her behalf to the white house counsel from people like ellie gisele and so on. the third person who really peaked my interest perhaps the most fascinating of all for me was judy clark. judy clark was a classic red diaper baby. her parents were high-level functionaries in the communist party of the united states. she grew up in the warm embrace of the party which had tons of social activities, summer camps, she would go to these hootenanny's out in lakeside hootenanny's in connecticut, she loved to party. amazingly, she spent the first few years of her life in moscow where her father was employed
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as the daily worker correspondent, daily worker being the communist party's daily newspaper. the parents came back from moscow having looked into the yellow-eyed upper face of stalinism and decided they were done with the party. judy kept the faith and judy was extremely bitter toward her parents for having left the party. her father, who went on to be, he remained ãbdemocratic socialist. he was very involved in dissent magazine and when judy was kicked out of the university of chicago for writing in 1968, 1969, writing and occupying administration building he was able to persuade the great literary critic irving how to intervene with the great novelist ãbwho was a major
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presence at the university of chicago get bella to try to intervene with edward leavy, the president of the university of chicago and future attorney general. so bella talks to leavy and says, can you rescind this? he let her come back. leavy said, no, she's a bad one. she spent 35 years, more than 35 years in prison in connection with the brinks robbery. she was sentenced to three consecutive 25 years to life sentences for second-degree murder. basically not eligible for parole. that was until 2016 when the governor of new york andrew cuomo spent an hour with her and decided to commute her sentence, which meant she became eligible for parole. the first time she was up she
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didn't get it, she got sprung in april of this year. after 37 years, judy is a free woman. just to wrap things up here, i want to talk about the third thing that attracted me to this story there were many other things the fact that not the sexuality of the women involved but the fact that they saw, as one member of the group whitehorn said, my lesbianism made me a better anti-imperialist. she recognized at an early age she had a different sexual orientation and that this created within her a feeling of kinship with other minorities and persecuted groups but i think the most important reason
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ultimately was a desire to excavate our own history to recover our own past. and what we mean by this? 9/11 aside, americans have been quick to forget or never remember in fact, the violent political extremism that's been part of the past 400 years of the american experience. how many of us give thought to the terrorist attack on the federal building in oklahoma city in april 19, 1995, how long often is that commemorated? this bombing, those of you who would recall by a pair of white supremacist, killed 168 people including children and wounded 680 more. fortunately, a younger generation of american historians are helping us to
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understand how terrorism and political violence has profoundly shaped our past and our present and i will mention two of these authors who i think have done really outstanding work the first is beverly gage professor of history at yale who did a magnificent book called the day wall street exploded story of america and its first age of terror by the september 1920 attack on the morgan bank building. in lower manhattan. the second scholar mentioned and her book i think is absolutely critical to understanding what's going on what supremacist front in the united states. kathleen belushi is a historian at the university of chicago and she is the author of hangover home the white power movement in military america. i think historians have come around there's been lots of
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great work and not putting my left tail in the realms occupied by kathleen and beverly but for those of you who decide to read it i hope you enjoy it i certainly enjoyed writing it, it was a labor of love and i think with that i will bring my formal remarks to a close and open up the floor for questions and comments. [applause] >> thank you for the talk. a couple things that maybe you could elaborate, i'm sure it's in the book, as far as patterns you talk about oklahoma bombing this is obviously was prior to that were around different circumstances, what's unique obviously as you are talking majority wise women and why specifically something related
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to sexual orientation but of someone to say, i'm recruiting in berkeley, what would be, psychological things that were looked at at these characters? whether psychiatric issues? were there abusive issues? was there anything that comes out? is there a kingpin like a medicine character that basically is going around specifically looking for, here's my newspaper i'm looking for lesbians, they are angry and want to get back after something like that but you can describe? >> shirt. i think with me 19th the important thing to recognize, and this is as a terrorism scholar named mark sabin who talked about many jihadist terrorists being a group of guys, a group of friends those are pretty important insight and certainly true with me 19th. these are people who have known each other for 10 to 15 years,
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there was nobody who was brought into the inner-circle, may 19 also had front groups there were several hundred people involved in things like the john brown anti-claim committee which was kind of an early version of nt 4.0. they had other front groups involved in fundraising for african independence movements and so on. but basically people in the core all knew each other. they were one of the guys in the group mentioned any of the guys but the important guy medical doctor named ellen bergman who had been involved in the weather underground he knew judy clark and laura whitehorn from back in fds days everybody knew everybody else. that was really the extent that there was recruiting going on it was amongst people known and
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trusted with ties of affection or kinship even. if that answers your question. >> i must've been out of touch, did the bomb go off in the u.s. capital? where was it? >> it went off on the second floor it went off about 11:30 p.m. at night. the senate was not in session but it could have been interestingly, created about $1 million worth of damage. a huge crater in the wall. this is one of those interesting ironies may be interesting only to historians it managed to shred the portrait of john c calhoun the
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notorious theoretician of slavery and the confederacy who the great historian richard hofstadter referred to as the karl marx of the master class. it's an added dividend from this bombing. the group is able to unintentionally shred this portrait of an arch white supremacist. the college at yale was renamed a couple years ago. it definitely went off it was a sophisticated device it was powerful at first they issued a communiquc using the name of the army resistance unit and they always had a communiquc after one of their actions and
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they used a variety of different names so read guerrilla resistance, armed revolutionary unit, that was for two reasons i think to try to throw off the authorities to make them think there were multiple groups but it was also to as a peach of abject prop to suggest there is a bigger movement out there to the general public. and it was only through the meticulous work of the fbi, lab down in quantico that they were able to figure out that they picked up the scraps from all these bombs and eventually figured out there was a signature. i had to learn more than i ever want to know about explosives in writing this book. bomb makers have signatures and they figured out the fbi was able to figure out that basically one person had made all these multiple bombs. that was a key break in the case. but it certainly went off.
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i'm curious in your interviews with surviving members of may 19 how open where they with you about their motives and operations and if they weren't, why you think they were withholding information and other surviving members are you aware are they still in touch with each other? still sharing sympathies or are they not? >> after trying for roughly a year and and a half to reach the surviving members, also people in aboveground front groups. i was ultimately unsuccessful. i did have correspondence with judy clark but as she was up for parole she said, i really can't say anything up for
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parole. i tried the old reporters trick this is a chance for you to tell your side of the story and to get your message out and posterity etc., that went nowhere. the only other response i got was from the second mail, tim blanc was part of the inner-circle. he sent me this email it said dear doctor rosenau, having read your biography what in the world makes you think i would ever speak with you? [laughter] sincerely, timothy .olc i admire that. i don't think they have much to share with me i think that's for a variety of reasons.
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i'm pretty convinced that they saw me, randy, cna, defense department, defense department saw me as one of the bad guys. i tried to be fair in this book. i worked really hard. i don't have sympathy for may 19 but i guess i have empathy, if that's the right term. i tried hard to be fair and balanced and weigh the evidence and to test different hypotheses. i think i was fair. what would've happened? was giving a talk up in new york this week and it was a double style thing and my interlocutor professor john j he asked me a great question he said, if you could sit down with them and have a drink, what you think you would talk
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about? which was a good question. if they had agreed to talk to me i have a suspicion it would be a lot of the same stuff. the same kind of political discourse. i'm very familiar with that. all the imprisoned women in lots of writing, poets, artists, they wrote political tracks gave interviews. i didn't really have any expectation they would reveal anything of real value. i suppose if i were a professional writer of nonfiction i might've been able to create the scene where we are in the cafc and somebody is smoking a cigarette and someone breaks out in a sweat and have those kinds of nice details but ultimately in terms of ãbthe
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most valuable source, it's one-sided. were these fbi special agents who would work these cases. they had very strong opinions but as i discovered, probably not as true nowadays it's all digital but when fbi special agents or nypd detectives, who i also interviewed, would leave their jobs and retire, these guys were long retired, they would bring stuff with them. they had photographs of the bomb sites, they had just incredible stuff to share with me. that was also extremely valuable. a long-winded way of saying, yes, i did talk to them. i think for the second part of your question, i think they are in touch with each other because some of the people i used some of the people served
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as entrces to the group those people kind of suggested the surviving members have discussed this and they had absolutely no interest in participating. is there another question? since i have a few moments, let me ask a question of myself this was something that somebody asked me during another talk and the question was, what was the one question you were unable to answer during the writing of this book, which i thought was a great one if you're ever interviewing a writer. one of the questions was, how far are they willing to go
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ultimately in their use of violence. they didn't pull triggers but they were getaway car drivers and deeply involved but participants in that deadly fail bank robbery and in their communiquc after the capital bombing november 7 1983 they said it specifically, tonight we chose not to kill any senators. we decided to attack an institution of imperialism but, i'm paraphrasing here, don't think you are safe. ultimately they didn't go on to conduct legal bombings but my question myself was how far? could they have gone further? you start looking into their
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reading being intellectuals of course they are constantly writing tracks and screens and which is probably pretty bad terrorist tradecraft but they have a lot down on paper like 20 page singlespaced singlespaced documents which made it difficult for reading sometimes. but toward the end i came across a couple documents they talked about when the time was right for selective assassination. prosecutors of policeman of politicians of henry kissinger and you could say, these people are all in this hothouse environment churning out these papers and this is just all rubbish but the thing that's interesting the counterargument to that is, when susan
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rosenberg and timothy blanc were captured and when alan bergman, doctor burkman and betty and duke, another member who also is still at large, she jumped bail in 1985 and the fbi still wants her. she is on the fbi's website. they had, they were wearing disguises, they had nine millimeters pistols fully loaded, chamber ground and they had storehouses that were uncovered after the arrest. they were storage lockers and things like that. would they have these lockers? hundreds and hundreds of pounds of tnt, which was in pretty bad shape i've learned more about
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hercules unit gel temp type then i really ever expected. nitroglycerin was weeping out extremely dangerous but thousands of rounds of ammunition detonation cord blasting caps and dozens of small arms. fully automatic uzis, lots of nine millimeters pistols, thousands of rounds of ammunition. thousands of blank social security cards, drivers licenses, dea cards, fbi cards. you have to ask, why did they have all this stuff? this isn't just a couple of sticks of dynamite. these were major arsenals to the point where the dynamite
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that was found in doylestown, not doylestown, cherry hill new jersey, across the river from philadelphia. the bomb squad came in to move it, when one of the bomb technicians said you might not want to do that because if this goes off it could drop a bridge going across the franklin bridge. i was left with the question, how far would they have gone? they only stopped when they were caught. nobody gave up, nobody effective, nobody surrendered. everybody was always well armed. i don't think i could ever think the question could be answered except by participants and they're not talking. i think we have another
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question here. yes, sir. >> did you find any links or similarities to european terrorist concepts that pretty much operate during the same time. you mentioned the army faction before or the ã >> absolutely. you are spot on with that. they were almost exact contemporaries with the red army faction. certainly with the renegades and on direct and one of the fascinating little excursions i took and i wasn't able to develop it as much as i like is apparently members of the raf, red army faction actually visited united states and met members of may 19. they had a couple sessions together according to fbi
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documents, i know independent reification but couple different documents talk about this and it's interesting, the red army faction, which definitely was more legal certainly in the 19 ãbin the 1980s but also a tiny band of people who were alienated from even the extreme left of german politics people on the far left didn't want have anything to do with these crazies and it was the same with may 19, may 19 in their internal documents kind of itching and moaning periodically about the left-wing groups aren't supporting them and what about our prisoners? but the thing that i found amusing is the red army faction people came over and apparently had a couple sessions in the rif came away very unimpressed with may 19 command of ãbthat
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their understanding of the theory and practice was certainly subpar by the high standards the raf sent. unless there are other questions ãbmaybe will bring this to a close. i want to thank you all again for coming out. i want to thank the national archives and the archivists for this great opportunity and this great privilege of speaking to you about my book. i'm going to be signing copies outside afterwards, upstairs and i hope you find it a good reading. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> here is a look at some books being published this week. former treasury secretary's timothy gardner and henry paulson and former chair of the federal reserve reserve been running key offer insights into the 2008 financial crisis in first responders. the scientist and the spy mar vista doll reports on industrial espionage conducted by china and the fbi efforts to stop it. investigative reporter jerry mitchell reopens the mississippi burning case of 1964 one more than 20 klansmen murdered three civil rights workers in "a race against time". also being published this week, political commentator kathy barnett argues that democrats have failed the african american community in "nothing to lose, everything to gain". in a black women's history the united states history professors dinah remy barry and kaylee nicole growth look at how every american women have shaped american history and radio host diane ream reports on the right to die movement.
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in "when my time comes. look for these titles in bookstores this coming week and watch for many authors in the near future on book tv on c-span 2. sunday book tv features the latest book from journalist andrea bernstein and author and professor deidre mccloskey. starting at noon eastern on in-depth a live conversation with deirdre mccloskey her most recent book is why liberalism works. other titles include the rhetoric of economics and the bourgeois era trilogy. join in the live conversation with your phone calls for tweets, and facebook messages. at 9:00 p.m. eastern on "after words" andrea bernstein chronicles the trump and kushner families in her latest book "american oligarchs". >> where the president as a private businessman was extremely adept at sending off criminals investigations. he made sure that he understood
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who his friends were and they understood hugh he was. he was able to make it work for him. he was never charged in any criminal case. it's interesting to have that background sort of in the rearview mirror as they go into the impeachment situation where he's being called to account and where there is a public reckoning and where in some ways even though he's president he is not able to make things go away as he wants could. >> watch featured authors this weekend and every weekend on booktv@c-span.org on c-span2. >> on our offer interview program "after words" new york times contributing contributor discussed the "me too" movement she was interviewed by new york magazine columnist and author rebecca traced her buxom husband was in chicago for work and he went out to a bar like a bar that somebody recommended it was like a bar owned by
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queer people of color and then this dance night that night and someone told him this is a great bar you should go hang out there. he sitting at the bar and a middle-aged white man came in, sat down and struck up a conversation and basically said,, that looks like so much fun out there on the dance floor i wish i was dancing. my husband was like, well, why don't you to go dance? he said, i'm not allowed to dance and my husband was like, why? and the guy was like, well, i came here last week to the queer people of color dance night is a 45-year-old white man and i went on the dance floor and i started dancing with this woman and she said, i
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don't want to dance with you and all her friends got weird about it. so i guess i'm not allowed to dance which is such an agonizingly ãblike it's such a contortion of reality to go into a space that is explicitly not for you and try to violate people's boundaries, overstep people's boundaries and then be victimized by their response. it's not that he's not allowed to dance, he's just not allowed to dance with whoever he wants, whenever he wants, touch whoever he wants, make himself the center of this moment will stop go ahead and dance by yourself and don't touch anyone. have a good time but that's not what he wanted. he wanted interaction with these people. he wanted to do whatever he wanted. being told that he wasn't allowed to felt like criminalization to him which i think is very telling.
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>> it gets to the broader couple overarching themes throughout this book of essays and one of them is this sense that challenge or critique of those in power reads as it is itself a witchhunt which is metaphor you returned to very often and victimization of the powerful. so that those who powerful people who been critiqued for sexual harassment feel and have perhaps lost their jobs for centuries briefly or as you write, forced to stay in their mansions for a few months before going on sold-out comedy tourist that in fact, the language that they use about themselves and people using their defenses the language of victimization that they then killed their life of an edit, their careers ended. by the way, language that actual victims have been denied the use of. how much do we get to hear
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about like when we actually hear about all the women who quit various fields because they were sexually harassed at work. all those people are visible. they're not out, we are starting to talk about it a little bit but think of how many people you actually is. >> the questions of what happened to theirs careers in light of harassment or whether they are themselves were harassed or working at an environment where harassment and discrimination meant they didn't have those avenues. nobody talks about their crushed careers or ambition. >> it's an emergency and national emergency that we figure out how these men can be redeemed and get everything back the ever wanted. the thing that frustrates me is that posed to us as can we forgive? can we permit people to evolve which is something i want to get to. this is always posed with regard to powerful people of
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abuse. their power when they need or want to get another job or position of power and then it's framed as our collective ability for forgiveness redemption or understanding published possible.>> i've been saying this lately i've been thinking about this a lot and because people are always asking, i'm sure they're asking you constantly like what the path, what's the path to redemption?i try to come up with an answer because people keep answering the mcafee and i realized that the answer is i don't know? it's not my responsibility to figure it out. how about you workshop it, you troubleshoot, keep trying stuff until people forgive you. i don't know, how about you figured out. >> to watch the rest of this program visit our website booktv@c-span.org and search for lindy west or her title of the book "the witches are coming" using the boss at the
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top of the page. >> but tv in prime time starts now. first up, james mann reports on the relationship between cole and powell and dyck cheney. former secretary of state call discuss u.s. china relations followed by journalist andrea bernstein who chronicles the truck and kushner families drive to prominence .......

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