Domestic Terrorist Gets a Special Favor
Since January 6, FBI Director Christopher Wray has been targeting “domestic terrorism,” which he sees poised for a violent overthrow of American democracy. Nothing like that has taken place, but an actual domestic terrorist just caught a break from a prominent politician.
On his way out the door, disgraced New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo granted clemency to David Gilbert, a domestic terrorist serving a 75-year sentence for murder and robbery back in 1981. Gilbert, now 76, was a member of the Weather Underground, a domestic terrorist group that began with a formal declaration of war against “Amerika.” During the 1970s, according to an FBI report, the group claimed responsibility for 25 bombings, including the Pentagon, the U.S. Capitol and the office of the California Attorney General.
In 1981, Weather Underground member Kathy Boudin participated in the $1.6 million Brinks robbery in Nyack, New York, that claimed the lives of two police officers and one security guard. Weatherman David Gilbert drove the getaway car. Fourteen months before the robbery, Boudin and Gilbert had a son they named Chesa, after Joanne Chesimard of the Black Liberation Army. She was imprisoned for the murder of a police officer but escaped and fled to Cuba. With his mother and father in prison, Chesa was duly adopted by Weather Underground stalwarts Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.
Kathy Boudin was granted parole in 2003 and is now a researcher and adjunct professor at the Center for Justice at Columbia University. Like his parents, Chesa Boudin believed that criminals were victims of an unjust capitalist society. In 2019 Chesa Boudin prevailed over Suzy Loftus to become district attorney of San Francisco.
Though granted clemency, Chesa Boudin’s father David Gilbert must still make his case to a parole board. In the meantime, son Chesa could be cut loose by voters. As Ballotpedia explains, two recall efforts “allege that Boudin’s approach has led to increased crime rates.” Organizers have until October 25 to gather enough signatures to move the recall forward.