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Kathleen Soliah - Judgement Approaching By: Jamie Glazov
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, February 15, 2001


SHE'S VERY UPSET with Clinton's pardon of Patricia Hearst.

That's because she's Kathleen Soliah and her trial is set to begin on April 10, 2001.

Hearst has been subpoenaed to the trial, and she doesn't have many good things to say about Kathleen. Clinton's pardon will legitimize Hearst's testimony, and that is why Kathleen issued a public statement on January 22 denouncing both Clinton's pardon and Hearst.

Soliah is being charged with placing pipe bombs beneath two randomly selected Los Angeles police cars. These deadly explosives would have killed the occupants of the vehicles, and any man, woman, or child walking by, had they not failed to detonate.

So what is the connection with Hearst? The terrorist gang, the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), kidnapped Hearst from her Berkeley, California apartment in February 1974. The gang repeatedly raped the 19-year-old girl to break her will, and Hearst ended up being involved in a SLA bank robbery. Soliah was a member of the SLA. She had been a fugitive for almost 24 years -- until she was arrested on June 16, 1999, near her home in the Highland Park Neighborhood of St. Paul, Minnesota.

In the early 1970s, Soliah joined the SLA, which was led by ex-convict Donald DeFreeze. The defining slogan of this gang was: "Death to the fascist insect that preys on the life of the people." On November 6, 1973, three SLA "soldiers" gunned down one of the "fascist insects" -- Dr. Marcus Foster, the first African-American superintendent of schools in Oakland, in a parking lot behind the Oakland School District office. Foster had to be killed because, as the official SLA death warrant explained, he had been found "guilty" by a "Court of the People." His crime? He followed a school board directive to issue ID cards to students to protect them from drug dealers and gang members who entered their campuses.

Hearst became another victim of the SLA, but she lived to talk about it. Because of her ordeal, she has been able to confirm that Soliah participated in the 1975 bank robbery in a Sacramento suburb. During that episode, SLA member Emily Harris gunned down Myrna Lee Opshal, an innocent bystander who had come to the bank to deposit church funds. Later, when SLA members found out that Opshal had been married to a doctor, they were extremely satisfied. As Harris explained the importance of the killing to her comrades: the victim was "a pig" because "she was married to a doctor."

De Freeze and five other SLA members ended up being killed in a shootout with police in Los Angeles. Soliah was devastated. She led a rally for the "victims" of the "fascists" in her favorite place: Berkeley's "Ho Chi Minh Park." Her stance was that the six martyrs were "viciously attacked and murdered by 500 pigs in L.A."

Surrendering was not on Soliah's mind. After trying - unsuccessfully -- to kill L.A. police officers by putting pipe bombs under their cars, she went into hiding. She renamed herself "Sara Jane Olson," married a doctor, and conveniently moved on to be an upper-middle-class mother who raised three daughters. Needless to say, she saw no problem in her marriage to a physician, even though Myrna Lee Opshal deserved to die because she had been "a pig" for being married to one.

Ever since her arrest, Soliah has been championed as an "idealist" by myriad members of the "progressive" establishment, all of whom demand that she be exonerated from her past activities. Her intentions, they explain, were in the right place, and they occurred during "different times."

Josef Anderson, a screenwriter who knew Soliah at UC Santa Barbara, explains that Soliah's trial should be dismissed because: "We had seen the Kennedy assassinations, Martin Luther King's, and people wanted a revolution." Mike Whalen, a close friend of Soliah's, pleads that she is "an unbelievable cook. I remember these cheesecakes two feet high." Sandy Gordon, who knew the real Soliah a long time ago, hopes we understand that "She used to read a lot of Marx -- and she understood it."

But this case is ultimately not about cheesecakes, nor about understanding Karl Marx; it is about the fact that Kathleen Soliah is not "Sara Jane Olson" - she is Kathleen Soliah. And Kathleen Soliah had the privilege of watching her three children grow up, a luxury that Marcus Foster and Myrna Lee Opshal could not afford with their own children, since someone else had decided it was time for revolution.


Jamie Glazov is Frontpage Magazine's editor. He holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialty in Russian, U.S. and Canadian foreign policy. He is the author of Canadian Policy Toward Khrushchev’s Soviet Union and is the co-editor (with David Horowitz) of The Hate America Left. He edited and wrote the introduction to David Horowitz’s Left Illusions. His new book is United in Hate: The Left's Romance with Tyranny and Terror. To see his previous symposiums, interviews and articles Click Here. Email him at jglazov@rogers.com.


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