Larry Grathwohl: Requiem for an American Hero

ObamaWhiteRedsExploitingBlacksTheWeatherUndergroundBarackObamaandtheFundamentalTransformationoftheUnitedStatesA great patriot who suffered and risked everything he had to defend the United States of America by infiltrating the Weather Underground terrorist group in the late 1960s, died suddenly last week.

Larry Grathwohl passed away at the age of 65 in his Cincinnati apartment on July 18, apparently of natural causes. Although no cause of death has been made public, he had been in poor health for some time.

Born in Cincinnati on Oct. 13, 1947, Larry David Grathwohl was a highly decorated Vietnam War veteran.

After fighting Communists abroad, he decided to fight them at home. He returned to America after serving in the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division and took it upon himself to infiltrate the group, joining the Weatherman collective in Cincinnati. In his clandestine enterprise he rose quickly, aided by his perceived authenticity as a working class Vietnam vet, unlike the spoiled rich-kid draft resisters who ran the organization.

The story of Grathwohl is very much also the story of Bill Ayers.

For reasons that historians will argue about for decades to come, the revelation that socialist Barack Hussein Obama was close personal friends with unrepentant Weather Underground bombers Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn failed to torpedo Obama’s presidential bid. In fact, it caused little more than a ripple at the time in the mainstream media and only came up when alleged journalist George Stephanopoulos, a longtime Bill and Hillary Clinton loyalist, raised the disturbing connection during a primary-season presidential debate to hurt Obama’s campaign.

Grathwohl’s daring venture into the bowels of the anti-American Left showed that the subversives of the Weather Underground Organization (WUO), which grew out of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) splinter group Weatherman, worked with Cuba and the governments of other hostile foreign nations.

WUO bombed the Pentagon, the U.S. Capitol, and various other sites of national importance throughout the 1970s. One of its key leaders, trust fund baby Ayers, now portrayed by the media as an innocuous school reformer, famously said he didn’t regret what he did and he’d do it again.

Ayers claims the WUO never killed anyone. If that’s true, it wasn’t for lack of trying. Sometimes bombs failed to detonate. In a Greenwich Village townhouse, one bomb that was supposed to be planted at a well-attended dance exploded prematurely, killing several terrorists including Ayers’s girlfriend at the time.

Ayers was obsessed with violence, Grathwohl explained. Ayers spearheaded the group’s effort “to make plans to select and destroy targets that were symbols of authority. If necessary, we would kidnap government officials for ransom and assassinate others when it was politically expedient,” according to Grathwohl.

In his recently reissued work, Bringing Down America, a fascinating 1976 book he co-wrote with the late Frank Reagan, Grathwohl summed up why he took the unusual step of joining the Weather Underground in order to undermine it. He feared these New Left revolutionary communists might actually make headway with their totalitarian program.

“The Weathermen’s government will be one of total control over each individual in the society,” he wrote. “In Weathermen terminology, this new society will be ‘one people working in total unity.’”

“This means an elimination of all the individual freedoms we are accustomed to having; it was my absolute belief in the freedoms offered by our form of government that drove me to fight the Weathermen in the first place. Even though I am no longer in the underground movement where I could help prevent violence before it happened, as in Dayton, Detroit, Madison, and Buffalo, while creating as much disunity as possible, I am still working against Weathermen and other radical conspiracies. Their way of life is not mine.”

Although plenty of largely sympathetic drivel has been written about the Weather Underground, very little scholarship has focused on the truly diabolical plans the group hoped to execute had it succeeded in its stated goal of overthrowing the elected government of the United States. Time magazine once boosted Grathwohl as the only successful infiltrator of the Weather Underground, but the media could only yawn when he resurfaced on a few television shows during our terrorist-friendly president’s first drive for election. It was media malpractice at its worst.

By contrast, media outlets are enthralled by Ayers. Few treat him as a villain. Newspaper articles typically treat him as a well-intentioned community organizer or at worst as a misguided eccentric. The headline of a particularly infamous New York Times softball of a profile published on Sept. 11, 2001, labeled Ayers a mere “War Protester.” This would be akin to describing racial arsonist Al Sharpton as a social worker or a motivational speaker.

But Grathwohl’s secret project, which put his life at risk, showed Americans that the WUO aspired to liquidate those people who stubbornly clung to the American ideals that took a daily pounding throughout the national suicide attempt known as the 1960s.

Grathwohl attended a kind of Wannsee Conference at which WUO members plotted the murder of 25 million Americans. At the Wannsee meeting in 1942, Hitler’s cabinet members and senior bureaucrats set in motion the “Final solution to the Jewish question,” that led to the systematic murder of six million Jews.

At the meeting Grathwohl attended he said the Weather Underground planned to exterminate those who resisted the communist revolution. In a discussion about internal debates within the group, he told an interviewer:

I brought up the subject of what’s going to happen after we take over the government: we become responsible then for administrating 250 million people. And there was no answers. No one had given any thought to economics, how you’re going to clothe and feed these people.

The only thing that I could get was that they expected that the Cubans and the North Vietnamese and the Chinese and the Russians would all want to occupy different portions of the United States.

They also believed that their immediate responsibility would be to protect against what they called the counter revolution and they felt that this counter revolution could best be guarded against by creating and establishing reeducation centers in the Southwest where would take all the people who needed to be reeducated into the new way of thinking and teach them how things were going to be.

I asked, well, what is going to happen to those people that we can’t reeducate that are diehard capitalists and the reply was that they’d have to be eliminated. And when I pursued this further they estimated that they would have to eliminate 25 million people in these reeducation centers. And when I say eliminate I mean kill – 25 million people.

I want you to imagine sitting in a room with 25 people most of which have graduate degrees from Columbia and other well known educational centers and hear them figuring out the logistics for the elimination of 25 million people and they were dead serious.”

One chilling idea WUO leaders entertained was working enemies of the revolution to death in labor camps, something many so-called progressives today would no doubt favor doing to Tea Party supporters.

Nearly a half century after the fact, Ayers denies Grathwohl’s allegations. Of course, Ayers is a notorious prevaricator and he’s admitted his memory is awful. As Ayers wrote in Fugitive Days, which one reviewer called his “self-indulgent and morally clueless” 2001 memoir:

“Memory is a motherf—er. I myself remember almost nothing. I don’t remember the places I’ve been in the last year, where I’ve stayed, or the people I’ve met. It’s all a blur, really, all that traveling, all that work, for what?”

Grathwohl also helped law enforcement officials in their efforts to deal with other Weathermen.

He was involved in the case of Sgt. Brian V. McDonnell, who was killed in the Feb. 16, 1970 bombing of the Park Police Station in San Francisco. (Another police officer was injured.) McDonnell lingered a while. After suffering major injuries to his neck, McDonnell succumbed two days later. The murderers have never been brought to justice.

Grathwohl testified under oath that Ayers informed him that Dohrn planted the shrapnel-laden explosive device. The bomb contained nails and heavy construction staples, which Grathwohl said Ayers favored as a way of maximizing deaths and injuries. A federal grand jury investigated the couple in 2003 and in 2009 the San Francisco Police Officers union formally accused them of participating in the attack. The case is still open.

On Oct. 18, 1974 Grathwohl testified behind closed doors before the Internal Security Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee about his experiences. (Months later the subcommittee made the transcript from his testimony public.) His testimony showed that his involvement with Weatherman and the aftermath ate up years of his life.

The U.S. government did recognize Grathwohl’s contributions in one way. At the time he agreed to penetrate the Weather Underground, Grathwohl was using the GI bill to attend college. The time limit ran out while he was still assisting the FBI. Congress approved a special law to restore his lapsed GI educational benefits.

Sen. Samuel Hayakawa (R-Calif.) introduced a private bill “for the relief of Larry Grathwohl,” on March 7, 1979. After Congress approved the bill, President Carter signed it into law on Dec. 16, 1980.

Grathwohl paid a high personal price for his service to his country, as he explained in congressional testimony and in Bringing Down America.

When New York City police inadvertently “made” Grathwohl in front of other Weathermen, he had to be indicted in order to preserve his cover. After the prosecution fizzled, he still had to deal with the consequences of being named in a high-profile criminal case. His name made headlines in his hometown, not as a hero, but as a dangerous fugitive waging war against his own country as a member of a high-profile terrorist group. Even his own mother didn’t believe him at first when he explained he was working undercover.

Grathwohl did more undercover work for the FBI for a while, but he had to be careful because Ayers and his coterie of revolutionaries had put out a “wanted” poster after sentencing him to death for crimes against the people. The FBI helped him get work but on the books he remained a fugitive. He spent years in limbo waiting around to testify at trials as other Weathermen were apprehended.

Grathwohl’s testimony before a grand jury in Detroit was central in the case against Ayers and led to his indictment. Ayers eventually got away scot-free and set about poisoning the minds of the young, a task at which he has been enormously successful as an education theorist.

After leaving the service of the FBI, Grathwohl worked as a private investigator and operations manager for various corporations. In recent years he worked for Cliff Kincaid at America’s Survival.

Twice divorced, Grathwohl leaves behind his best friend and ex-wife Sandi to whom he remained very close, along with three children, three grandchildren, his mother, and five siblings.

Disillusioned former leftist academic Tina Trent, one of Grathwohl’s many mourning friends in the conservative movement, wrote the introduction to the recent version of Bringing Down America.

“Larry died before achieving his goal of seeing Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Jeff Jones and other Weathermen convicted for their reign of terror against innocent police and soldiers,” Trent said.

“Larry was a sweet and decent and very wise man,” she said. “He risked his life to protect us from murderous adolescent Marxists like Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.”

There would be family members of police and soldiers who would be without their loved ones today had Larry “not infiltrated the Weather Underground and exposed their crimes,” Trent said.

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  • Awake AndAlert

    RIP American Hero

  • tanstaafl

    Ayers and Dohrn should be prosecuted.

    • OfficialPro

      they should be rotting in jail or on death row, seriously. For plotting to commit mass murder.

  • mtnhikerdude

    The upside down Liberal Logic sees Ayers and Dohrn as Heroes and
    Grathwohl as a traitor / terrorist . You know your Nation is doomed when the ilk of Ayers and Dohrn are living the “Good Life” .

  • WhiteHunter

    “Total control over each individual in society….” Sounds like Ayers got his wish in his good friend and admirer Obama.
    Larry Grathwohl’s story has become the norm today: Risk your life to save the United States from the terrorists, and your reward is to be abandoned and thrown to the wolves. Just ask Dr. Afridi — if he can still answer questions from his Paki dungeon.
    The fate of these two heroes — and no doubt many more like them whom we don’t know about — is a sickening disgrace. I can’t imagine why anyone would still be willing to sign up with the Border Patrol (see “Ramos and Compean”), or to go under cover for the FBI, DOJ, DEA, or CIA, knowing what their “reward” will be.
    While Holder is beating the bushes for “evidence” to charge Zimmerman with “civil rights violations” after his acquittal and exoneration in a show trial, Ayers gloats that he’s “guilty as hell, free as a bird,” with no need to fear anything. Sickening.

  • FrontPgSubscr

    Larry Grathwohl’s (German extraction, it sounds like) name is vaguely familiar,
    but have not heard of him lately. Matthew Vadum’s correct when he says,
    “In his clandestine enterprise he rose quickly, aided by his perceived authenticity as a working class Vietnam vet, unlike the spoiled rich-kid draft resisters who ran the organization.” It’s really funny that these characters don’t, literally, have to ‘lift a finger’ to “get anywhere” in life! That’s what you call “real principles in action”!!! I wouldn’t say that theirs is much of an ‘accomplishment’ (kind of like “rolling off a log”). As I have intimated, all of this goes FAR beyond those idiot shills.

    Some info comes via quotes from Wikipedia): Thomas G. Ayers, of Detroit MI
    (one of America’s premier “garden spots”), & Bill Ayers’s dad, is/has been a member of the Bohemian Grove Club.
    From Wikipedia: “Membership in the male-only, private Bohemian Club takes a variety of forms, with membership regularly offered to new university presidents and to military commanders stationed in the San Francisco Bay Area. Regular, full members are usually wealthy and influential men who pay full membership fees and dues, and who must often wait 15 years for an opening, as the club limits itself to about 2700 men. Associate members are graphic and musical artists, and actors, who pay lesser fees because of their usefulness in assisting with club activities in San Francisco and at the Bohemian Grove. Professional members are associate members who have developed the ability to pay full dues, or are skilled professionals selected from the arts community. Honorary members are elected by club members, and pay no membership fees or annual dues.
    Each member is associated with a “camp”, that is, one of 118 rustic sleeping and leisure quarters scattered throughout the Bohemian Grove, where each member sleeps during the two weeks (three weekends) of annual summer encampment in July. These camps are the principal means through which high-level business and political contacts and friendships are formed.[1]

    This isn’t “your local Kiwanis Club”.

  • onecornpone

    Grathwohl paid a high personal price for his service to his country…

    He was an American hero who’s name we should all know, right up there with all men who have given more than the average to secure our continued liberty.

    Sadly, recently it seems we have let them down. It’s hard to grasp why the brave contribution of men like him is not taken more seriously by our society.

    R.I.P. Larry Grathwohl

  • William James Ward

    Evil doers are judged if unrepentant and those who think they have
    the good life in our short time span must face eternity and how does
    one do that with dirty hands?…………William

  • Undezog

    I bought and read Larry Grawthol’s book, “Bringing down America,” decades ago. A great American passed and he will be missed :(

  • UCSPanther

    In another time and another place, all of those radical leftists terrorist leaders would be sharing the same fate as Guy Fawkes…

  • Eva

    Ayer and Dohrn: may you burn in hell, and until that day arrives, may you never have a good day.

  • Ellman48

    This article may be Larry’s epitaph but he certainly deserves a lot more than this. This is a sad story and a revolting one. It should have been Ayers and his partner in crime that should have passed away into the sewer system, for sewage is what they were, and are. It is people like Ayers and Dhorn that make one realize that democracy and the rule of law do not always produce justice and that too often the guilty get away with diabolical and damnable actions.

  • Mary Grabar

    Great article, Matthew. Larry will be missed.

  • Rothschilds whores

    Clinton pardoned them