Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe this Monday, author and Weather Underground founder Bill Ayers promoted his new book “Public Enemy: Confessions of an American Dissident” and reflected on his past life as an anti-war activist.
But it didn’t take long for the discussion to turn towards the 2008 presidential campaign and the right wing rhetoric, mostly fueled by Sarah Palin’s talking points, which labeled him as a “domestic terrorist” who “palled around” with a younger Barack Obama.
Ayers discussed how the book picks up after the end of the Vietnam War when he was no longer a fugitive, entering into a career as a teacher but still trying to live his life true to the values that inspired his anti-war stance.
Morning Joe co-host Mark Halperin then pressed Ayers on whether or not he had any regrets from his time as the leader of a militant anti-war group.
“I am 68 years-old,” Ayers said. “You can’t be 18, let alone 68, and not have a lot of regrets. So, everyone has regrets. What I don’t regret and what, you know, intensely people want me to say something that I’m sorry about is destroying property, destroying war material — and the reason is because the war in Vietnam was a horrendous crime against humanity. Six-thousand people a week were being murdered.”
Halperin then raised a point that many of Ayers’ critics have voiced, wondering that if he had the chance, would Ayers have assassinated the Secretary of Defense at the time.
“Absolutely not,” Ayers replied.
“Why not?” Halperin asked.
“Well, because we had made a decision early on that while we were willing to engage in extreme tactics, we were not going to harm human life, and we never did.”
Watch the full segment in the video below.