The New York Times, which played a key role in getting convicted and unrepentant murderer Kathy Boudin a parole, has now published a similar massive plea posing as a news story for her accomplice, Judy Clark. The piece is maliciously titled “The Radical Transformation of Judy Clark” as though Clark, understanding the heinous nature of her crime which left 9 children fatherless, is prepared to renounce the life that led to it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Of course Clark is in her sixties now and regrets her separation from the infant she abandoned to commit the crime (her last crime not her only crime). Her daughter is now 31 and she would obviously like to be able to share the kind of life with her that her victims cannot share with their dead fathers. And, of course, being old and gray, she no longer thinks Amerikkka is on the brink of a violent revolution and liberation. Unlike Boudin, moreover, she does seem to have given some thought to the enormity of what she did to those nine fatherless children. But that said, there is no indication that her parole plea is anything but self-serving, or that she has turned her back on the progressive terrorists — Boudin,Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn among them — who were her comrades-in-arms through the twelve years of armed warfare she conducted against her country and its citizens, which left more than a handful of people dead.
To begin with, Clark and her mouthpiece at the Times, present the culprit as an absent-minded accomplice to the one crime for which she was convicted, the Brinks robbery in Nyack NY in 1981. According to Clark, her participation was an “obligation” — the fulfillment of a promise she had made to participate as a getaway driver in a robbery she thought would never take place. This is baloney. Clark was part of a group that called itself “The Family,” which was a working alliance between the Black Liberation Army and the May 19th Communist Movement (so-named in part to commemorate the day the BLA murdered a black and white police team in New York for no reason other than that they were a black and white officer working together).
The May 19 gang was mainly women (among them Boudin, Clark and Susan Rosenberg) who served as the getaway team for the BLA in a string of bank robberies in which people were killed. One attempted assassination of a New York judge was unsuccessful. All these crimes were committed in the name of the revolution, which in the perverse eyes of progressives like Judy Clark, justified them. The Family had also sprung a cold-blooded killer — Assata Shakur — from federal prison. Clark’s role in the May 19th organization was not the beginning of her criminal career but its fulfillment. Previously she had spent 7 years as one of the most fanatical members of the Weather Underground, helping to conduct many bombings and kill at least three people, and probably also two police officers whose deaths are still under investigation.
A guilty person who understands their guilt and has genuine remorse begins by accepting responsibility for what they did and for all they did — and not pretending (as Clark does in this article) that they became a violent radical only after they were arrested as a result of guilt for not having been revolutionary enough. Or that their participation in the one crime they were apprehended for was actually the result of inattention or some other excusable offense.
Far more important, a truly remorseful terrorist will feel obligated to turn his back on his fellow terrorists and their supporters and do the innocent a service by revealing what they know, and who their networks are, and what they actually did — not just what they got caught doing. This kind of truth-telling is an authentic form of atonement and would protect others — and particularly young radicals just starting out who may become involved in criminal ventures just as Clark did when she was young and the tragedies she caused were still in front of her.
David Horowitz was one of the founders of the New Left in the 1960s and an editor of its largest magazine,Ramparts. He is the author, with Peter Collier, of three best selling dynastic biographies: The Rockefellers: An American Dynasty (1976); The Kennedys: An American Dream (1984); and The Fords: An American Epic (1987).