Academia’s Truce on Terror

, Cliff Kincaid, Leave a comment

One of the popular topics of conversation in the media since the killing of Osama bin Laden has been how many other fugitives from justice are out there, waiting to be caught or terminated. Castro is hosting several of them. They include FALN terrorist leader William Morales and Black Liberation Army cop-killer Joanne Chesimard. Many Americans may have forgotten that some of the terrorists who laid siege to America in the 1970s and 1980s in the name of liberating the U.S. from the capitalist system were never brought to justice.


But with the apprehension and killing of bin Laden, it is appropriate for the media to ask President Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder whether they will now commit to devoting more federal resources to bringing these fugitives to justice.


In the case of Joanne Chesimard, who escaped from prison and fled to Cuba with the help of the Weather Underground, The New York Times has reported that she has been so open about her life in Cuba that she was once listed in the Havana telephone book.  Chesimard gives interviews to American radicals who visit Cuba, such as the late Manning Marable, the professor of history and political science at Columbia University whose biography of Malcolm X has been released after his recent death.


Chesimard (aka Assata Shakur) has an American attorney, Soffiyah Elijah, who serves as Deputy Director of the Criminal Justice Institute at Harvard Law School. Her bio says, “She has represented numerous political prisoners and social activists over the past 18 years. And, her travels to Cuba over the past 13 years have enabled her to conduct extensive research on the country’s legal system, with a focus on its approach to criminal justice issues.” Elijah also represented the recently deceased communist terrorist Marilyn Buck.


The FBI is offering a reward of up to $1,000,000 for information directly leading to the apprehension of Chesimard. It is against the law to harbor a fugitive.


Incredibly, in the case of Morales, he has been easily accessible on the communist island to far-left media figures such as Amy Goodman, who interviewed him in Havana in 1998. “If Morales returns to the United States, he faces a 99-year jail sentence,” Goodman noted. “Morales was the subject of one of the largest manhunts in US history. In May 1979, William Morales escaped from a guarded third floor room in New York’s Bellevue Hospital prison by climbing down an elastic bandage he dangled outside a window.”


Goodman, who described the terrorist Morales as just a “guerilla fighter,” could not be counted on to provide information about his location to U.S. authorities.


The complicating factor is that Attorney General Eric Holder, when he was deputy attorney general in the Clinton Administration, was involved in pardons for members of the FALN and the Weather Underground.


At the same time, some of the terrorists who did go to jail and either did not get pardons or refused them are now up for parole and want out of prison. One is FALN terrorist leader and founder Oscar Lopez Rivera.


Joe Connor, whose father was murdered in an FALN bomb blast in New York, is drawing attention to another attempt by Lopez to get parole. He notes that Lopez was one of the terrorists offered clemency by Clinton in 1999 but refused the offer because it did not include his FALN co-founder, Carlos Torres.


Connor says that, on the very same day the nation learned of justice for Osama Bin Laden, it was revealed that the U.S. Parole Commission would consider Lopez’s request for reconsideration on Tuesday, May 10. The parole commission had voted to deny parole to Lopez in February of this year.


Connor is asking concerned members of the public to consider contacting the commission stating objections to reconsideration of his parole request. The telephone number is 301-492-5990. He suggests that people declare their opposition to Oscar Lopez’s (inmate #87651-024) appeal of parole and state that the parole commission did the right thing in denying his parole in February and should now deny his appeal.


Connor explains, “Though he has had every opportunity (including before the FALN victims and their families), Lopez has never expressed remorse for his actions nor offered any cooperation to the public or law enforcement in solving the many unsolved crimes of the FALN.”


At Andrew Breitbart’s Big Peace website, Connor had written about going to the parole hearing for Lopez. “We met face to face” with the FALN terror leader, Connor reported. “It was Lopez’s FALN who proudly claimed responsibility for over 140 bombings including the infamous lunchtime attack on Fraunces Tavern during which our 33-year-old father, Frank Connor and 3 other innocent men were murdered.”


Connor sat through lies, rambling obfuscations and political diatribes, as Lopez blamed everyone but himself “for his admitted career in the murderous FALN and multiple prison escape attempts.”


Not only should Lopez continue to remain in prison, but Morales and Chesimard could be snatched in Cuba and brought back to face justice in the U.S. All that it would take is an order from the President of the United States.

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism, and can be contacted at