In his column in today’s Washington Post, Charles Lane writes about Bill Ayers — the terrorist who won’t just won’t fess up and just won’t go away.  As Mr. Lane explains: “He’s got a book to sell and a misspent youth to rationalize.”   (Fugitive Days: Memoirs of an Antiwar Activist was published on Election Day by Beacon Press.)

After averring that he didn’t think the Ayers-Obama acquaintance disqualified Mr. Obama from the White House, and that he considers any post-election guilt by association pure canard, Mr. Lane gets down to the business of demolishing Ayers’ jiggery-pokery approach to autobiography:

In a Dec. 6 New York Times op-ed — headlined “The Real Bill Ayers” — Ayers cast himself as the victim of a “profoundly dishonest drama” in which he was branded an “unrepentant terrorist.” He cops to “posturing” and “blind sectarianism” — but insists that he never killed or hurt anyone and never intended to. His Weather Underground committed “symbolic acts of extreme vandalism directed against monuments to war and racism” — not terrorism. Its bombings were surgical strikes “meant to respect human life.”

Some people might buy this, but not if they know the actual history — as opposed to Ayers’s selective version. Ayers omits the 1969 “Days of Rage” riot in Chicago, spearheaded by his Weatherman faction of Students for a Democratic Society. He kicked it off by helping to blow up a downtown police monument the night of Oct. 6, 1969; the blast showered rubble on a nearby expressway and shattered more than 100 windows. 

Perhaps the most damning detail from Mr. Lane’s column of Mr. Ayers’ prevarications is contemporary:

Ayers told me this week that he did not know about the nail bomb in advance — and condemned it afterward. I take him at his word. So why obfuscate in the Times? Editors cut the article, he protested — before conceding that his original version left it out, too. 

William C. Ayers is the Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago.