By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

FBI: Power was not in Weather Underground

I’m planning to write a much longer post tomorrow. But since Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media is attacking me today, I thought I would provide a sneak preview.

Both Kincaid and WTKK talk-show host Michael Graham have pointed to an FBI Web page identifying convicted murderer Katherine Ann Power as a member of the Weather Underground as proof that I’m wrong — OK, worse than wrong — in arguing otherwise (as I do here and here). Power and four accomplices killed Boston police officer Walter Schroeder in a 1970 bank robbery.

Well, here’s that FBI page again. Oh, look! The photo of Power has been removed. Let’s scroll down to the bottom of the screen, shall we? Here’s what it says:

Photo of Katherine Ann Power was removed because she was inaccurately associated with the Weather Underground.

As Graham himself so elegantly put it to one of the commenters on his blog recently: “I’m supposed to take your word for it that Powers [sic] didn’t consider herself a member of the Weather Underground…and NOT the FBI? You know–the people who actually investigated the crime?”

Michael, I’m taking the FBI’s word for it. How about you?

Kincaid responds: “Dear Professor: So what was inaccurate about it? This doesn’t explain anything. In order to clear this up, I strongly suggest that you explain who at the FBI you contacted, and who in the Bureau made this change on your behalf. What’s more, please tell me how this last-minute change refutes anything former FBI official Revell told me, or what was contained in the Senate report? How does it refute Romerstein’s comments? And what about the Park Station bombing case? You have a lot more explaining (and correcting) to do. You’re not out of the woods by any stretch. Sorry, but I won’t let you off the hook. Cliff Kincaid.”

Well, Cliff, you’ve got me. Regular readers of Media Nation know what great pull and clout I have with the FBI. I was hoping you wouldn’t find out.

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  1. Steve

    My prediction – you won’t get anything like an apology from Kincaid. Maybe Graham will acknowledge it. But both will quickly move off your point and denigrate you for being a supporter of terrorists. (And they’ll never acknowledge that you’re not defending Powers, you’re just pointing out that she was not WU.)Hey, how come Kincaid doesn’t allow comments?

  2. Dan Kennedy

    Steve: Oh, they will completely change the subject. I have no doubt about that. I don’t care. I am already looking forward to writing tomorrow’s post.

  3. Bill Baar

    Well, the whole reason for going underground, as I recall it, was to avoid silly things like membership cards. That’s the whole point of being underground, you’re covert, and united by the desired to bring the war home upon the heads of the pigs running Amerikkka…. a nasty time. Ayer’s best understood as a cultist, a charismatic guy who lead kids down paths of self-destruction, membership cards or not, while knowing Dad Ayers and ComEd wealth would bail him out in the end.A really dispicable fellow, still cashing in… Guilty as Hell and Free as a bird but History will have the final judgement on him.

  4. ron-newman

    Good work, Dan! I always love to see right-wing radio nuts embarrassed into silence.

  5. Dan Kennedy

    Bill: That’s all fine. We’ll take it up under new business. Old business: Despite what Graham says, the FBI does not consider Power to have been a member of the Weather Underground.

  6. jvwalt

    I guess the University of Illinois (that raging hotbed of radicalism) is part of the Bill Ayers cult, seeing as how they employ him as a professor. And count the Annenberg Foundation in there too, since it gave grant funding to an Ayers school reform project. Wow, Ayers has all these major institutions under his spell, and Dan Kennedy has the mystical power to influence the FBI. Amazing.

  7. mike_b1

    Shouldn’t Cliff Kincaid be out on a ledge somewhere?

  8. Peter Porcupine

    DK – I know you have no power with the FBI, because I do (grin).That said – any idea when the change was made? Although I am not very INTERESTED in the ‘issue’ given its antiquity, I don’t see anything sinister about Graham relying on the FBI page for his assertions; so it becomes germane to ask, that was changed…when?Kincaid is just a paranoid goof to make such an accusation, altjhough you DO bloviate beyond your sphere, according to the MSM.Full disclosure – I was well acquainted with SDS wannabes back in the day – not sure if any of us were taken seriously.

  9. Dan Kennedy

    PP: The FBI changed its page within the past few days. In fact, it was done after I started making inquiries. Now, that will give Cliff something to spin, won’t it?

  10. Bill Baar

    I guess the University of Illinois (that raging hotbed of radicalism) is part of the Bill Ayers cult…The real cult is the Ayers College of Commerce at Northwestern University, where the Ayer’s family go Bill’s wife a job at the NW law school. Money talks.They’re a powerful Family in Chicago and the Cult’s influence is cash which causes may to prostrate themselves before the Goldon Calf in this town.It’s an old story, rich kid radical creates a mess, folks get killed whether he directe them or not.. he was the guiding light of the movement… and after all the wreckage’s been down, old Bill Ayers lands on his feet…free as bird, guilty as sin…Anyone with any smarts keeps a good distance from Ayers…

  11. GFS3

    I thought your influence was with the CIA – not the FBI? At least that’s what my NSA files say…

  12. Steve

    Kincaid: “so what was inaccurate about it?”Well, Cliff, when I go to the link you provide to “prove” Power was in the WU, it says “Photo of Katherine Ann Power was removed because she was inaccurately associated with the Weather Underground.”So this is what’s inaccurate: You still give the link, you run no correction, yet your link doesn’t say what you say it says.Clear enough for you?

  13. LFNeilson

    I’m just waiting for someone to make the connection among all of us on the Internet. You’ll all be toasted for my rants!zzzzz

  14. Bill Toscano

    Geez, Dan, if I had known that I would have asked you to call the Fort Edward, NY, village court and fix my speeding ticket.

  15. Mr. X

    So, looks like you managed to “prove a negative” after all. Please let us know if/when Graham retracts (and especially Michelle McPhee, who started all this), saving us from having to listen. Not that I want you off on another chase of such things, but among the nutty things Kincaid says in his screed is that the SLA was connected to the WU (this is really very much like the insistence of the Johnson administration in the late 60s that the antiwar movement was being controlled from abroad — the CIA kept coming back with reports to the negative, and Johnson kept sending them back). Good job, though. Those of us in the field knew the craziness of the connection (Power to the WU), but it’s nice to have the FBI acknowledge the mistake (as I’ve mentioned before in this comments page, the FBI national reports in the that period are notoriously riddled with errors.

  16. Brad

    I feel compelled to provide a little perspective here: Dan, after you’ve had to stomp out a flaming bag of dog poop, since when did it become necessary to have a debate with the poop on your shoe?Most people just accept it for what it is, scrape it into the garbage and leave it there. Sure it stinks a little, but in less than a week it’ll go to the landfill where it belongs. But this extended discussion with dog poop? It’s not healthy for anyone’s psyche, ya know?:-)

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