Bill Ayers actually does have some regrets, says Walter Shapiro in Salon.com. During the presidential campaign, the co-founder of the radical Weather Underground became an albatross to Barack Obama, as Republicans cited Obama’s civic associations with Ayers as evidence of the candidate’s radicalism. Sarah Palin famously attacked Obama for “palling around with terrorists,” while Ayers, an education reformer in Chicago, was described as an “unrepentant” terrorist because he has defended his group’s use of bombings and violence to oppose the Vietnam War. The charge that he’s unrepentant, he says, is not wholly accurate. “You can’t be 63 years old and not have many, many regrets,” he says. “Was it risky, were we a little nuts, were we a little off the track? Yes. Did we cross lines of legality and propriety and common sense? I think we did.” But Ayers has not wavered in his belief that his cause was just. “What I don’t regret is opposing the war in Vietnam. A murderous, violent, terrorist war against an entire population. What we thought we were doing was to raise a screaming alarm—to try to wake up anybody who was sleepwalking to the reality of what was going on in our name. I don’t regret resisting that war with every ounce of my being.”
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