“He didn’t know,” was the excuse the Governor’s Office used (it came from one of Deval Patrick’s 67 state-payroll-glutting “staff assistants”) when confronted about a taxpayer-funded terror talk that would have taken place at UMass-Amherst this Thursday.

He didn’t know? UMass-Amherst put out press releases about the talk by convicted terrorist Raymond Luc Levasseur — the founder of a group that bombed nearly two dozen buildings, including the Suffolk County Courthouse in Boston, a blast that maimed 20 people — as a colloquium on social change.

The publicly-funded university’s terrorist talk would have taken place just days after the town of Amherst voted in favor of relocating suspected terrorists from Guantanamo Bay to western Massachusetts. One former UMass professor, Ruth Hooke, told reporters she was “delighted” that the terrorists would resettle in the Bay State adding that they seem “like fun guys.” Yeah, when they are not plotting a Fort Hood-like massacre against soldiers and civilians I’m sure those two dirtbags are a barrel of laughs.

I’m sure Patrick would try and tell us he “didn’t know” about terrorists being located to the college town either. The good news is that after pressure applied by the widow of Phil Lamonaco — a New Jersey state trooper who was assassinated by the United Freedom Front in 1981 — and from the Massachusetts state police union — who remember all too well the two troopers here who got in a shootout with United Freedom Front gunmen — Patrick pulled the plug on the terror talk.


“The UMass Libraries developed this forum as an opportunity to focus on terrorism,” said Robert Cox, head of Special Collections and University Archives. “Continuing with this talk would be counterproductive, but the Libraries will continue to seek avenues to explore significant issues in social change.”

What’s pathetic about the school’s response is the total lack of remorse anyone there had for the idea that a mother of three who buried her husband on Christmas Eve 1981 had to relive the horror of her husband’s murder by confronting the head of the terrorist group that killed him at a taxpayer-funded event.

“What kind of a ‘meaningful exchange’ can impressionable college students have with a terrorist?” Donna Lamonaco asked me. I couldn’t answer her.

— The Michele McPhee Show can be heard on 96.9 FM WTKK weeknights 7 to 10 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to noon.

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