The Albany Times Union has a feature column called ‘Great Local Mind’ designed to “showcase just a few of the many, many brilliant members of our community.”

One of the brilliant minds highlighted recently was former Albany Common Council member, and current special community projects coordinator for the city of Albany, Barbara Smith.

As has been a longstanding tradition with the Times Union, they failed to do any level of digging on Ms. Smith, who attended and spoke at an event in 2012 that featured a veritable who’s-who of former domestic terrorists (bomb makers, convicted cop-killers).

In the piece, Smith is quoted as saying she “consistently works for justice.”  However, she wasn’t quite as devoted to the cause of justice when she attended an event called, The Weather Underground Meets Occupy Wall Street.

Smith was introduced as a speaker by Naomi Jaffe, and read excerpts from a book written by David Gilbert.  Both of these individuals played key roles in the domestic terrorism group, the Weather Underground.  Jaffe was one of thirteen people indicted on charges to commit bombings and murder in 1970.  Gilbert is currently imprisoned for his role in the Brinks Robbery of 1981, a botched armed effort that led to the murder of three people, including a security guard and two police officers.

But is the company Smith was keeping during the 2012 Occupy uprising really all that bad?

Observe these facts about the forum…

  • In attendance or serving on the panel were five major players in the domestic terrorism group – Naomi Jaffe, Jeff Jones, Eleanor Stein, Suzanne Ross, and Kathy Boudin.
  • All of the above named have been involved in the more radical elements of the group, including assaults on police officers, bomb plots, and murders.
  • All had been involved with the notorious Bill Ayers, some of which lived in a San Francisco ‘bomb factory’ that several entities have claimed was used in the San Francisco police station bombing that killed Officer Brian McDonnell.

Smith herself was reading excerpts from a book written by David Gilbert, a radical American leftist organizer and activist serving time in the Auburn Correctional Facility. Gilbert remains imprisoned for his role in the Brinks Robbery of 1981, a botched effort that led to the murder of three people, including a security guard and two police officers.

And now she’s being spotlighted once again for her community work and the cause of ‘justice.’

That’s quite the contradiction. Those concerned with justice should hardly be celebrating alongside convicted cop killers.