From Canada Free Press:
By Cliff Kincaid
January 17, 2012
Sara Bennett, an attorney for convicted communist terrorist Judith Clark, is optimistic that her client will benefit from a New York Times Magazine article advocating her release from prison. “Did I think they did a good job for my client? Yes I do,” she said in a telephone interview. She said she is hoping for a meeting with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to ask for clemency for Clark.
A member of the Weather Underground and its May 19 Communist Organization spin-off, Clark was involved in a terrorist assault that left Nyack, New York Police Sgt. Edward O’Grady, Patrolman Waverly Brown and Brinks guard Peter Paige dead. A website, memorial and scholarship have been created in their honor. [Emphasis added]
The Times story, “Judith Clark’s Radical Transformation,” was written by Tom Robbins, a former Village Voice writer now at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism who visited Clark in prison and apparently became smitten with her. Clark, he writes, “is a model for what’s possible in prison.”
Attorney Bennett insisted that Clark has shown “genuine remorse,” a theme of the New York Times Magazine story, which also emphasizes her attendance at Jewish services in prison.
Incredibly, the Times story confirms that Clark earned educational degrees in prison, courtesy of “tuition aid” provided by the taxpayers. These degrees are also said to be proof of her turnaround behind bars.
Today, Clark claims to be a “writer and poet” who is “working for personal and social transformation of herself and others.” The Times piece was the cover story in the magazine and showed the convicted killer to be a gray-haired old lady who wants to be free from prison to be with her daughter.
But former FBI informant Larry Grathwohl, who infiltrated the Weather Underground and knew Clark, is among those urging strong opposition to her release.
“Here’s another 60s and 70s terrorist who has found God and has changed her life,” he says sarcastically. “The New York Times article contains very little in the way of repentance and only lightly touches on the families and children of the officers killed that day. Mostly it’s a story about her and the path she chose that resulted in the deaths of two police officers and a Brinks guard.”
The assault, carried out under the name of the Revolutionary Armed Task Force, included members of the Black Liberation Army (BLA) and occurred during a Brinks truck robbery of $1.6 million on October 20, 1981. For her role, Clark was sentenced to three consecutive terms of 25 years to life, totaling 75 years in prison, for three murder convictions. She is currently in state custody at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility.
Grathwohl added, “Note that this was a planned action with weapons and details that were meant to net this group of terrorists a million and a half dollars. When caught she chose to play the role of the political captive and the result was a 75 year sentence. Now she and her associates expect that a Master’s degree and poetry are enough to get you out?”
But while it may seem absurd, it has to be remembered President Clinton pardoned two members of the Weather Underground, Susan Rosenberg and Linda Evans, and another member, Kathy Boudin, was granted parole from New York state prison in 2003.
Evidence of Clark’s ideological change, if any, is lacking in the piece, which wonders, “Why three decades of exemplary behavior behind bars have not earned Judith Clark her freedom.” The fact is that she remains a militant lesbian who had a daughter through a “fellow militant” serving as the “surrogate father,” according to the article. A so-called red diaper baby, Clark’s father, Joe Clark, was a prominent figure in the Communist Party USA. As a child, she lived with her family in the Soviet Union for three years. There is no indication that she has renounced communism.
Homosexuality still seems to be one of the causes for which she has dedicated her life. “Governor Cuomo,” Clark says in her letter for clemency, “I have watched in awe at all that you have accomplished in your first year, from marriage equity to the new and fairer tax code. I’ve witnessed your strength and willingness to do what you believe is right. I turn to you as my only hope for release.” The reference to “marriage equity” is the homosexual marriage bill that Cuomo championed.
The pressure on Cuomo is building. “I’d love to sure get clemency from the governor of the state of New York,” Bennett said. “I’m always hopeful for my clients—that at some point there will be an appropriate review. For somebody like Judith Clark, that’s exactly what clemency is for.”
But Grathwohl counters: “I knew Judith Clark and in my opinion she is just as cold and dedicated to the overthrow of this country as Bernardine Dorhn and Bill Ayers. As Ayers said, his only regret was that they didn’t do more.”
Ayers and Dohrn largely avoided responsibility for their crimes, primarily because the Carter Justice Department indicted FBI officials and charged them with violating the civil rights of terrorists and their associates. President Reagan would later pardon the FBI officials.
Ayers and Dohrn went on to become academic activists and professors. Their association with Barack Obama when he was a community organizer and state senator from Illinois became a controversy when Obama ran for and won the presidency in 2008.
Clark has tried every possible legal maneuver to get out of jail, even having her lawyers file appeals based on inadequate legal representation when she had represented herself. The push for clemency, on the grounds that Clark has somehow changed, appears to be the latest ploy.