Dr.David Ucko at the excellent Kings of War blog has his story and he is sticking to it:
I recently watched The Weather Underground, a 2002 documentary on the eponymous radical organisation active within the United States during the 1970s. The film may be of interest to those studying radicalisation, insurgency and political violence, as it effectively explores the rise, evolution and demise of a revolutionary organisation. It also raises some semantic/ethical questions about ‘who is a terrorist’.
….The use of violence for political messaging may be viewed as ‘terrorism’, and this is typically how the Weather Underground is understood. But is this accurate? Terrorist groups deliberately target civilians to scare or terrorise wider populations into a certain political behaviour. The WUO refrained from such action: they used violence against buildings rather than people, to symbolise their discontent with specific policies and actions, but without killing those held responsible. It was ‘propaganda of the deed’, but without the bloodshed. Accordingly, none of WUO’s attacks resulted in casualties (the one exception has not been definitively linked to the group), and for this reason alone, it is difficult to call WUO a ‘terrorist’ organisation.
Uh, no it isn’t. As the commenters at KoW are busy trying to inform Ucko, this narrative does not fit the facts of the history of the Weathermen.
David, I suspect, is not trying to romanticize the Weathermen here so much as force-fit them into his theoretical model of terrorism, possibly influenced by a tactical turn that was undertaken by the IRA to drive up financial costs for the British government while minimizing the bad press that and damage to their public image that had been growing from earlier, bloody, IRA bombings.