Ellison’s support for terrorist not a concern
Reaction to revelations spark ‘no comment’ in Congress
Posted: January 25, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Jay Baggett
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
WND’s report that new Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, once advocated the release of a woman charged with placing pipe bombs under police cars and who was a member of a terror group that allegedly attempted to assassinate Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has generated a string of “no comments” from the parties, as well as a key congressional leader.
“The information (question) was received and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can,” A. Tianna Scozzaro, a spokeswoman in Feinstein’s Washington, D.C., office told WND when asked about the situation. But no call was returned.
One day earlier, she had explained that no comment could be obtained because lawmakers were busy waiting for President Bush’s State of the Union address later that night.
At issue is Ellison’s support for and participation in a fund-raiser in 2000 for the then-recently arrested Kathleen Soliah, a.k.a. Sara Jane Olson. She was a member of the New World Liberation Army and associated with the Symbionese Liberation Army during the 1970s and had been on the run from law enforcement for over two decades when she was captured in St. Paul, Minn.
Arrested in 1999 for placing pipe bombs beneath Los Angeles Police Department squad cars in 1975, Soliah-Olson was eventually charged with – and pleaded guilty to – the shotgun murder of Myrna Opsahl, a bank customer killed during a 1975 SLA robbery.
Soliah-Olson also pleaded guilty to placing pipe bombs under LAPD police cars.
Ellison spokesman Rick Jauert did not respond to multiple requests over several days from WND to comment on the circumstances of Ellison’s support for his fellow Minnesotan. Feinstein’s office also has not returned messages requesting information.
During her time with the SLA, Soliah-Olson, two of her siblings and several friends, exploded a series of bombs in the Bay Area under the banner of the NWLF. Following the September 1975 capture of most members of the SLA, Soliah-Olson was linked to several NWLF bombings by authorities and witnesses.
In 1976, a NWLF bomb placed beneath the bedroom window of then-San Francisco Supervisor Dianne Feinstein’s daughter failed to explode due to a rare freeze that disabled the detonator.
In 1995, Feinstein, by now a U.S. senator, testified at Senate hearings on terrorism where she explained why she began carrying a concealed weapon:
“Because less than 20 years ago I was the target of a terrorist group. It was the New World Liberation Front. They blew up power stations and put a bomb at my home when my husband was dying of cancer. And the bomb didn’t detonate. … I was very lucky. But, I thought of what might have happened. Later the same group shot out all the windows of my home.
“And, I know the sense of helplessness that people feel. I know the urge to arm yourself, because that’s what I did. I was trained in firearms. I’d walk to the hospital when my husband was sick. I carried a concealed weapon. I made the determination that if somebody was going to try to take me out, I was going to take them with me.”
The speech by Ellison, then a local criminal defense attorney, activist and radio talk-show host, is still preserved on an archived copy of the now-defunct Soliah-Olson defense website.
“For the people who want to incarcerate Sara Jane Olson, ain’t nothing changed,” said Ellison. “As a matter of fact, they want to settle scores with Sara Jane Olson and others who were fighting for freedom in the ’60s and ’70s.
“… I think, just like the people who want to come together and lock up Sara, we need to come together and free Sara. And all the Saras, because she’s not the only one.”
Ellison, crediting the speech given by Dohrn earlier that evening, continued.
“This is not about justice,” he said. “This is not about accountability, this is not about public safety. This is about symbolism. This is about making a point. This is about saying to you and to me that we are going to get you if you ever try to stand against what we’re about. We’re going to get you. And we’re going to lock you up and we don’t care how long it takes, we’re going to get you.”
He admitted his knowledge of the SLA wasn’t complete, but, “I can tell you what they stated … they were in favor of: It had to do with fighting poverty and fighting racism and stuff like that. I’m not even here to tell you how they did it, because I don’t know.
“… And so, I just want to welcome you for your contribution to the struggle and thank those of you who have been maintaining the struggle over the years, and say, ‘Hey, free Sara!'”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., through her Washington office, has not returned requests for a comment on a sitting congressman being on the record supporting a terrorist whose group tried to kill policemen and allegedly twice tried to murder Feinstein.
“I will get our press secretary to call you back. Thanks,” said a spokeswoman in Pelosi’s office who declined even to take the time to give her name before hanging up on a reporter.