Talk:Weather Underground

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Orphan article?[edit]

There seem to be no link to this article (or to the Weather Underground) from the Vietnam War or Opposition to the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War articles. (talk) 11:25, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Although this was long ago (I was, this is no longer an issue; a template box of the opposition articile now links here. PaleoNeonate (talk) 13:07, 15 March 2017 (UTC)

Terrorism label in the lede[edit]

Regarding Xeno's revert, how does conflicting descriptions (your revert reason) end up with the one you reverted to? Arkon (talk) 04:10, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

Your question, Arkon, asks me to explain something that did not happen. Your edit took one disputed, conflicting descriptor ("terrorist") from the body of the article and placed it in the article lede in Wikipedia's voice as an asserted fact. My edit undid your insertion. I didn't also add (or "end up with") a conflicting description (i.e.; "not terrorist"). Xenophrenic (talk) 18:54, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
Please note that the content matter is being discussed at Talk:Bill Ayers‎, and the edit warring at WP:AN/I - Wikidemon (talk) 04:20, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
I'll look for, and respond to, any additions to this thread at the Ayers Talk page just to keep things together. Xenophrenic (talk) 18:54, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
No, you reverted to the previous description, obviously. Which is what I said. Why do you feel it's ok to put that in Wikipedia's voice, and not the other, which is just as well (actually better) supported. So you dodge the question. Not too important at the moment I suppose, as I'll be correcting it with attribution (and silly amount if that's what you like). Arkon (talk) 19:15, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
I do not see any good justification, or a new consensus, for adding the terrorist descriptor to the lede, with or without attribution. No source or argument has been advanced that was not already discussed in the earlier RfC. If there is anything new we can look at it, but the RfC already considered a few dozen sources of varying quality. - Wikidemon (talk) 19:31, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
Ah, but you are at the wrong article, that descriptor was in the stable version of the article, is more than well sourced, and summarizes the body. Arkon (talk) 19:46, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
What stable version? Could you link to it, please?--TMCk (talk) 19:50, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
Sure! [1] Arkon (talk) 19:55, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
To verify that you're at least operating in good faith here, Arkon, could you pull together a justification of why you are asserting that the link points to a stable version of the article? - Wikidemon (talk) 19:59, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
Because it existed prior to this editing dust up? That's the general definition. Also, considering it seems to be you in the history repeatedly removing this sourced information that is attempting to adhere to WP:LEAD, it appears you are letting your POV get out of control. Arkon (talk) 20:05, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
I'll ignore the accusation as an attempt to dodge the question, but do you seriously mean to advance the existence of this particular revision as a justification for your claim that the stable article called the organization terrorist? You're clearly wrong, I'm just trying to figure out if this is deliberate obtuseness or just garden variety sloppy reasoning. - Wikidemon (talk) 20:16, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
You know what, it's becoming boring having these side excursions while you continue to avoid addressing the facts of the edit. So I'm done engaging with you on anything that is not related. So here it is again. The descriptor is well sourced, in the body, WP:LEAD dictates that the lead summarizes the body. That's it. If you can't or won't address that, you're just being disruptive and OWNy. Arkon (talk) 20:22, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
If you think this edit 4 days prior made it a "stable version" you're very much mistaken. That would make any version you like the stable one.--TMCk (talk) 20:30, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
No, that was definitely the last stable version, feel free to point me to a different one if you disagree. Would be interested in seeing what you consider "last stable version" if not the one prior to the latest edit dispute. Arkon (talk) 20:35, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
Does repeated vandalism too become the stable version? B/c that's what you're arguing here.--TMCk (talk) 20:38, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
Good lord. No, I stated what the stable version was, and why, if you think this edit is anything like vandalism, you should report it as such, but it's not, so you can't. Also you didn't provide "your" stable version. Weird. Arkon (talk) 20:40, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
The stable version is the one that gained consensus and appears in between the "terrorist" disruptions.--TMCk (talk) 20:47, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
Shocker, after accusing me of selecting my preferred "POV" version, which is based on selecting the one before edit conflicts, you actually transparently select your "POV" version. Impressive. Arkon (talk) 20:52, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
(outdent) Arkon, if it's too "boring" to get your facts right, I'll do it. For the record, the edit calling them terrorist stood for 5 days 19 hours from September 4 to September 9, over a holiday weekend here in America. The immediately prior appearance of the label lasted about six hours of minor edit warring on July 22[2][3][4] Before that, less than a minute on June 14[5] and about 12 hours on February 1-2[6][7], and 1 minute on November 13, 2014,[8]. So, in the past 365 days Wikipedia has called the organization terrorist during five episodes totaling just over 6 days, mostly from IP and mobile edits, reverted by five different editors and a vandalism bot. There is no way you can claim in good faith and with due WP:COMPETENCE that a stable version of the article designated them as terrorist. Your claims that this is sourced and in the body are equally dubious but I've done enough of your work for you, it would be up to you to justify a proposed change here. Flinging accusations when caught making obstinately untrue statements, and accusing me and other editors of lying about this article's history, is not going to convince anyone. Face it, you're flaming out here. Best cut your losses and engage in some productive editing somewhere. - Wikidemon (talk) 20:55, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
Your inability, or unwillingness, to address the merits of the edit are noted. You'll go spend time to dig through a years worth of history to try to claim your edit was to the last stable version, yet won't actually justify the edit. Where did I say you lied? I'll repeat one last time:
  • The descriptor is well sourced, in the body, WP:LEAD dictates that the lead summarizes the body. That's it. If you can't or won't address that, you're just being disruptive and OWNy.
You're welcome to dispute those things, since it's so "dubious". Arkon (talk) 21:02, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
No, it's up to you to present your case if you wish, not for everyone else to dispute a case you haven't even presented. Petty argument tricks, like stubbornly insisting on something that any competent editor would know is blatantly untrue, then accusing editors of over-scrutinizing when they prove you wrong, do not make a case for anything.The baseless and untrue accusations that I am lying are here and here. You accuse TracyMcClark of dishonesty immediately above, in this thread. Please, just cut all out all this nonsense. If you want to present a specific proposal for changing the article and a justification to try to convince editors to accept it, go right ahead, ideally in a new subsection that isn't full of distracting accusations. Take all the time you want, the encyclopedia is not going anywhere. - Wikidemon (talk) 21:27, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
FWIW, regarding the claptrap about me being a liar, after Arkon carelessly said that this article describes the Weather Underground as terrorists I checked it out and found that indeed, there had been yet another drive-by edit that people had somehow missed. Usually these get caught in somewhere between 1 minute and a few hours (per my analysis of the last five times this happened in the past year) but this time the edit stood 5 days, over the Labor Day weekend in America. So I explained this to Arkon[9] concluding my comment with: Incidentally, the Weatherman article does not designate them to be terrorists. Editors occasionally make that drive-by edit and it is quickly reverted. For some reason nobody noticed the last one, five days ago, but I've fixed that now. BTW, please don't edit war. I am informing Arkon that I have removed the label, which is not properly part of the article. How they could possibly twist my informing them that I was editing the article into an accusation that I lied by hiding that I had edited the article is hard to fathom, but lots of Arkon's statements on the subject are pretty random. Classic illustration of why you should assume good faith, here and in real life. It's a lot more likely that you are simply having trouble with logic or reading comprehension, or at worst miscommunication, than that another person is deliberately lying about something they just did in front of everybody for all to see. Rather stunning that people don't get that. - Wikidemon (talk) 00:24, 11 September 2015 (UTC)
Guys, whoever ends up with the last word, can someone other than me please close this discussion, as it does not appear to be fairly directed to a proposed change or improvement to the article. There is an open WP:AN/I thread to discuss any behavior issues. Any content proposal ought to be in a new place devoted to discussing content, not other editors. Thanks, - Wikidemon (talk) 21:34, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
Hahahaha. Seriously? How many times must I say "well sourced, in the body, lead should summarize body". That's the argument. Refute it or find something useful to do. As to your accusations of calling you a liar, do you dispute the content of those links? Cause timestamps don't lie. That's a fact based description of your actions, not an attack on your character, though if you dispute those facts, that might change things. Still not addressing the merits of the edit. Arkon (talk) 21:36, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
Actually, anything about this so-called accusation or anything other than arguments related to the edit belong on my talk. Go there. Arkon (talk) 21:51, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
(ec) Are you done with the accusations and personal attacks, because if not we can continue this on AN/I. Your prior edit was rejected by the community. No change to consensus. Your move, if you want to pursue this any further or propose something different. Wikidemon (talk) 21:57, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
My prior edit wasn't rejected by anyone other than you and xeno (others have suggested a better way, others still sourced the previous edit). And neither you nor xeno, (though he did a little better with some blp handwaiving), have actually provided policy/guideline based reasons for your reversions. Are you at some point going to learn your attempts at intimidation are just funny? Arkon (talk) 22:04, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
@Wikidemon: Don't get yourself worked up on what has quickly involved into a troll thread with no substance. No closing tho b/c I believe it'll likely turn into more silly drama. My advise: Ignore as long as there is no basis for improvement presented.--TMCk (talk) 22:15, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
WP:LEAD Arkon (talk) 22:17, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
Good point, TMCk. - Wikidemon (talk) 22:22, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
  • [10] Since there is some dispute over calling the organization a terrorist grouop in WP's voice, I changed it in the lede to state that it was the FBI who called them that. So, now it's attributed and not in WP's voice. I think it should be mentioned in the lede, because the FBI is the US's designated organization for dealing with domestic terrorism. Cla68 (talk) 22:54, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
That's the point (or the problem if you prefer): The FBI is indeed "the US's designated organization" and they have so far not designated the WU as a terrorist organisation.--TMCk (talk) 23:32, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Yup. Thanks for that, also [11] if needed. Arkon (talk) 23:05, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
I have reverted. That proposal has failed to gain consensus to date. The source does not establish what the edit purports, and is unsupported by the body. The source is a single FBI web page, a history section, that uses the term "terrorist". That is quite different than the FBI making that claim. Even if this could be sourced, it is of undue weight to make that a defining statement in the lede. This was all discussed at length in the RfC. - Wikidemon (talk) 23:28, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
Arkon has a list that he linked to above that undeniably refers to the organization as terrorist. So, I encourage you to stop edit warring, as the sources support the new version in the lede. Since you have a problem with the FBI page, I'll use some of the other sources that Arkon found and readd the text in a little while. Again, please don't edit war when the sources are contrary to your position. Cla68 (talk) 23:32, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
Please do not do that without a consensus to do so. This matter has been discussed at length, and there was no consensus to do so in the lede. There is some discussion in the body about different reactions to describing the group as terrorist, and that is an appropriate place to introduce any new material. Only if that material truly rises to something of due weight, and can be described in a neutral, non-misleading way, would it belong in the lede. If Arkon has found any new sources they ought to be presented and discussed here first, rather than trying to shoehorn this in by edit warring. Thanks, - Wikidemon (talk) 23:36, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
It appears we have a new consensus here, Wikidemon, or at least enough editors objecting to your version to invalidate the previous consensus. I tried to find a compromise by putting the passage with attribution instead of WP's voice, but you have rejected that without offering an alternative compromise. That's not how WP works. We work together. So, if you don't want to keep edit-warring over it, please offer an alternative. Cla68 (talk) 00:03, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
A brief edit war followed by an admonition on AN/I and a few inconclusive comments on a talk page does not overturn a widely-discussed consensus that has held for seven years. There is no new proposal or argument, no new sources and no new developments, that call for much discussion or compromise. Right now the article does mention the subject, but not in a very well-developed way. To develop the coverage here of the group being called terrorist it would helpful to add and re-organized some sourced discussion, not just a list of people and groups that have used the term with Wikipedia editors trying to make sense of what it means, but some sources about the significance and history of their being called terrorist. When Ayers makes denials he is talking about that subject. Is anyone else? - Wikidemon (talk) 00:13, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
That's a long winded way of trying to claim OR. But no, the sources are clear and abundant. Arkon (talk) 00:39, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
Looks like Arkon, AkldGuy, and myself are in support of using those sources to put "terrorist" in the lede and Xenophrenic and Wikidemon are against. Although it doesn't give "us" a clear consensus to add it, it definitely refutes the argument that there is consensus against it. So, again, I suggest that we find a compromise here. Cla68 (talk) 01:14, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
If you have a proposal to make, you're welcome to do so and present any justification. Making hasty pronouncements about consensus is going to take any discussion off track, because it's a long way from calling any earlier consensus under question and the answer to that is an unambiguous no. It may or may not be possible to establish a changed consensus absent a new RfC. Timing-wise might want to wait for Arkon to complete and summarize the attempt at sourcing, if that's going to happen. - Wikidemon (talk) 01:39, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
Did I just see someone do a head-count to determine what consensus is? Facepalm Facepalm That one will never get old, and always provides a chuckle. Xenophrenic (talk) 19:16, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

Add mention of being designated/identified as a terrorist organisation in the lead. Why is this being opposed...oh, yeah, ownership and agendas. I hate when a small cabal of editors try to own an article and drive away people who add reasonable, sourced content just because it doesn't match the owners' agenda. JackTheVicar (talk) 11:08, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

+1 Arkon (talk) 16:38, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
The content is already in the article, so you aren't "adding reasonable, sourced content", correct? You are instead suggesting that a portion of existing content be duplicated in the lead? If I understand your proposal correctly, you'd like to copy text to the lead which says an anti-government organization has been designated by a government organization as a "terrorist organization", correct? You do realize that the anti-government organization has likewise described the government (and its bombing campaigns in Vietnam, racial subjugation, assassinations of civil rights leaders) as terrorist, too, correct? Yet you are proposing to add just one side of that controversy to the lead of this article? Uh huh. That's not how we construct article leads. Perhaps it would help if you reviewed our Terrorist article to better understand just how convoluted, complicated and subjective such a subject is, and why longstanding consensus has been that it is a matter for nuanced explanation in the body of the article rather than problematic summary quips in the lead. At least we agree in our hatred of small cabals of editors with agendas; which is why I prefer to stick with the consensus of a larger body of editors after reasoned discussion. Xenophrenic (talk) 19:16, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
There is so much wrong in that comment, but the actual somewhat on-point part regarding the WU's opinion's existing in the lead....Have you read the lead? I think I counted 6 references to WU papers etc. Arkon (talk) 19:27, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
If the relevant authorities did in fact, designate the organization as terrorist, then or now, that designation might well be significant enough to be in the lede. No agency did that at the time because the conception of terrorism was different in their day than now, and none is likely to do so now because there is no agency charged with making retrospective historical judgments. The history editor from the FBI's website communications department is not the one to make such an announcement. This article does face this stuff regularly, so the editors who have watched it for a while do not have a very high patience level for shenanigans. That's not ownership, that's taking the encyclopedia seriously instead of letting political sentiment color things. - Wikidemon (talk) 19:59, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
Wikidemon and Xenophrenic haven't proposed a compromise solution, so I'll go ahead and do it on my own. Judging by JackTheVicar's statement above, it appears that there are at least four editors who may be willing to mention "terrorism" in the lede in some form. In a little while, unless someone else gets to it first, I'll propost a text statement below with some accompanying citations and we can do a quick straw poll on it. Cla68 (talk) 00:29, 18 September 2015 (UTC)
No detailed proposal has yet been made recently to change the article. If you can make one, we will have something in front of us. Based on the discussion to date I am skeptical that anything new is in the works — but to be fair, it's best for everybody to keep their minds open. I wouldn't describe it as a compromise, but a middle-ground solution would be to explain somewhere in the lede if not in the first sentence that the organization has sometimes and sometimes not been descried as terrorist. So (to simplify), instead of reading "The WU was a radical leftist violent group that has been called terrorist. They bombed stuff" it might read "The WU was a radical leftist violent group that bombed stuff. [perhaps another sentence or two in between] A number of journalists / commentators / organizations in their own day, and now, described their actions as terrorism. Others disagree with the characterization". This is not a "quick straw poll" thing — if it's cleary reasonable it could be quickly accepted. If it doesn't look reasonable, it would have to go through a consensus process which, given seven years and an RfC since the last one, would take wider involvement. Regardless, though, if we are going to expand on the question of calling them terrorists or not, we should do that primarily in the body of the article. The lede is not supposed to contain new information, just a summary of the body. - Wikidemon (talk) 02:01, 18 September 2015 (UTC)
  • A consensus decided seven years ago frankly doesn't matter. No matter how many times you say "we decided this 7 years ago" it's a logical fallacy, an appeal to authority...sorry, but the result of a small discussion by a few users of similar agendas most of whom aren't even here anymore does not matter in 2015. That's like saying Darwin's critics at the time he published "The Origin of Species" with their outmoded theories that no one considers erudite and valid 170 years later deserve equal time today. Comparatively, you have some on the left that call WU an organization with a cause, some on the right who said they were a bunch of bomb-chucking terrorists. Both sides have valid reasons. There's little difference of opinions amongst sides 40 years later. If there's a very key criticism of WU discussed in the article body, a criticism that has persisted against WU for four decades, it deserves a mention in the lede. There is no rational reason to have a perfectly reasonable summary like "WU is regarded by the FBI, etc. as a terrorist organization" in the lede unless it's for reasons of agenda-driven obstructionism. If that's the case: it's not an encyclopaedia article, it's propaganda. If Cla68 creates a compromise draft of the lede, let's discuss it. But I'll say this emphatically: there will be a mention of WU being described and categorized as a terrorist organization in some way, shape or form. And it's something worth going to ArbCom about if you insist on any agenda-driven whitewashing or removal of it. JackTheVicar (talk) 19:18, 20 September 2015 (UTC)
Past consensus certainly does matter, but you are welcome to try to wish it away. You are also welcome to try to mischaracterize the past RfC or diminish it in all the various ways you can conjure up. (i.e.; "small discussion by a few users of similar agendas" — Incorrect; 2 dozen editors were notified, several noticeboards were pinged, with 30+ additional editors eventually joining in what amounted to many pages of discussion and debate.) You can also try attacking your fellow editors as "agenda-driven", just because they disagree with your personal opinion. I predict, however, that the community will quickly see through each of those tactics. If you then still retain editing privileges, you will have no recourse but to shelve your "emphatic" proclamations and instead work collaboratively with your fellow editors to produce policy compliant content. Why not skip straight to the collaboration part? Xenophrenic (talk) 21:43, 20 September 2015 (UTC)
I'd like to respond specifically to your assertion: There is no rational reason to have a perfectly reasonable summary like "WU is regarded by the FBI, etc. as a terrorist organization" in the lede...
Your proposed wording is not a summary; it's one-half of a summary, and therefore in violation of Wikipedia policy. You really can't propose to insert a summary of only your preferred half of the controversy over the "terrorist" description. No one disagrees with the facts that the government organization has called the anti-government organization "terrorist", and the anti-government organization has called the government "terrorist". There are plenty of citable sources which agree with both organizations. Your proposed wording also fails to provide any meaningful information to the reader; that's like saying "Politician John Doe has been called controversial", without giving any further explanation what that means until the body of the article. "Terrorist organization" couldn't possibly be more vague, meaningless and ambiguous. The lede already mentions that they were "a bunch of bomb-chuckers", to borrow your phrase, but you appear to want to also equate that with "terrorism" — something contradicted by the fact that the bombings were preceded by advanced declarations of intent and warnings with instructions to evacuate bomb target areas. It is also a sourced fact that WU was never officially added to a government list of terrorist organizations. There are numerous "rational reasons" why your proposed addition to the lede is problematic, ranging from policy-based to simple common sense. Xenophrenic (talk) 21:43, 20 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Best heed TMCk's advice given at 22:15, 10 September 2015 above, "Don't get yourself worked up on what has quickly involved into a troll thread with no substance." - Wikidemon (talk) 03:30, 21 September 2015 (UTC)

I would hope that editors will massage any problems with wording once this change is made through editing and the talk page instead of blind reverts. Arkon (talk) 22:07, 22 September 2015 (UTC)

This is getting repetitive. Rather than repeating the discussions we just had, please see my comments above, particularly those at 19:31, 10 September 2015 (UTC), 21:27, 10 September 2015 (UTC), 23:36, 16 September 2015 (UTC), 01:39, 17 September 2015 (UTC), and 02:01, 18 September 2015 (UTC), and Xenophrenic's comment of 21:43, 20 September 2015 (UTC), as well as the discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive899#Arkon on Weatherman articles. Thanks, - Wikidemon (talk) 17:07, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

Withdrawal of charges[edit]

The first paragraph of the Withdrawal of charges section has some citation problems. Added citation needed tags to problem areas. One link is dead and it points to an page that does not exist:

SteveJEsposito (talk) 00:56, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

Footnote 89, second paragraph appears fabricated: "New York"Barnard Coed Subpoenaed to Seattle" A search for that title at has no returns on that title.

Footnote 90: "New York"Presidential Amnesty for Vietnam War Objectors" Also appears fabricated. A search at returns no items with that title.

SteveJEsposito (talk) 01:08, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

Paramilitary group?[edit]

I see a lot of controversy regarding whether or not these people were terrorists. Considering the evacuation warnings, and the fact that they targeted governmental buildings against whom they had officially declared war. They're certainly compliant with basic military courtesy. Certainly more so than the US government itself, for instance.'%C3%A9tat

These are two instances of bombings carried out on behalf of the US government without any of the aforementioned considerations. If the US Government can do that without being branded a terrorist organisation, then I don't see why these people are terrorists. The notion that anyone who uses violence for political goals is a terrorist is simply absurd. Terrorism throughout most of history is the use of violence as a means of coercion to subvert democracy.

If we're supposed to be a neutral page, then why on Earth would we base the article on what the US Government thinks when they themselves were an involved party? This must be observed from a neutral perspective outside of the involved parties. That's a very basic and fundamental principle of objectivity.

Vladimir Tepes was a terrorist, because he genuinely created a climate of fear to undermine democratic assertion by the public. Daesh are terrorists for the same reason. Which can be demonstrated.

But the WUO had lots of support from the public. Perhaps they did not directly support this particular organisation, but their ideals and wanted policies were praised by the international community. Particularly in South America and even in the US. Especially during the latter years of the Cold War.

Even the United Nations have recognised collective property as a fundamental human right. Something which the radical left have fought for since the French Revolution.

This was not a group trying to use violence to repress the public. This was a group who used violence to fight an enemy which they perceived as a threat to the public. One might argue whether this is true or not, but to claim that this article is without bias when it completely distorts the meaning of terrorism in favour of US bias is absurd. You might as well use the ministry of information as a referenced source when writing articles about the first world war. It's just poor research.

So I am not saying that WUO were right, and the US government was wrong. But I am saying there is an ambiguity. An ambiguity which makes it more appropriate to define them as a paramilitary group, or perhaps even an insurrectionist group, due to how they certainly pay more heed to articles of war than most governments do, and let the readers make their own judgement. Perhaps they were revolutionaries, or perhaps they were terrorists. But those two words are entirely subjective in this context.

I think that's a rather balanced resolution which might settle the controversy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:01, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

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