Mad Bomber Rants


Fifth Estate # 64, October 17-30, 1968

Here it is folks, an interview with Joshua Newton, demolition expert for the Rebel Army.

Q. Well, Josh, I guess we’ll get started with a little background: how old are you?

J. Twenty-one.

Q. So much for the background: how did you get started in this? I mean blowing up police cars and CIA offices is a pretty big step, I mean it’s the real thing.

J. Yeah, it sure is.

Q. What I meant was, what is your political background? What brought you to the state of consciousness where you feel the only way to bring about change is by blowing up police cars and CIA offices?

J. Well, I don’t know man, it seems you’d have to go all the way back to when I was born, but that’s all bullshit, but it’s all real too. I don’t know man, I’d much rather tell people how to blow things up than talk about all this bullshit.

Q. OK, tell us about your latest exploit, the CIA office in Ann Arbor.

J. Oh yeah, that was a groove. The whole thing about bombing places and espionage and sabotage, is that it’s like all out of the movies and cloak and dagger shit, it’s all that, but then it’s real too, I mean you really are riding on the back of a motorcycle at 100 mph with 20 sticks of dynamite to go blow something up, you know. And so it gets pretty funny sometimes when you try to do things the way they are in the movies and then you get stuck with some reality, sometimes they both aren’t the same.

Like when I was going to blow up the CIA, well first I had to go to Detroit to get the dynamite, it was supposed to be stashed in this alley, and I got to Detroit and drove around to be sure I wasn’t followed you know, all that movie stuff, I drove by the stash to make sure there were no FBI dudes running about, you have to remember that this is after Emmett and I blew up a whole shit load of stuff, in Detroit and the FBI and CIA and the pigs were thicker than flies on shit in that neighborhood, in fact a few of our brothers were being followed by the FBI at all times.

Anyway, I drove down the alley real slow, I got to the stash and turned off the car and just sat there to make sure I wasn’t followed and man I was scared, you know, I mean this is the shit you get shot for, but anyway I got out and walked over to the garbage cans where the dynamite was supposed to be, but I couldn’t find it. I looked in all the garbage cans and all the sacks, but it wasn’t there. I was pretty pissed off but I was pretty scared too, so I got back in the car and split. Then I made up my mind that it had to be there, so I went back and I was going to take all the garbage cans, man that was about 6 or 8. I picked up this sack of garbage and put it in the car but it stunk so bad I had to get rid of it, when I lifted it out of the back seat the damn sack broke and bottles and cans and all this rank shit garbage went all over and there I was trying to be real James Bond like, knee deep in garbage and bottles clanging up and down the alley. So I just got pissed off and split.

Q. So you never did get the stuff?

J. Oh, yeah, we got it. we finally got it the next night.

Q. Tell us about the night of the bombing.

J. Well, Emmett and I just smoked a lot of dope and made up the bomb.

Q. How did you make up the bomb?

J. Ah, I’m glad we’re getting to something real. Well, you have 3 parts to the bomb. Fuse, blasting cap and sticks. Three feet of fuse will burn for 2 minutes. You take the fuse and fray the ends, you stick one end in the blasting cap and tape it there, adhesive tape is the best or plastic tape, you know that black shit. Then you tape the blasting cap to 2 sticks of dynamite then you just tape on as many sticks as you want, keeping the blasting cap in the middle of the bomb.

Q. How do you place the charge?

J. Well mostly it depends on how scared you are. Sometimes you just light it and throw it. But this is bad because you have to be sure the fuse is lit correctly, sparks have to be coming from the fuse. What we did in Ann Arbor was, well this is another weird story, do you want to hear it?

Q. Sure.

J. We made the bomb which was 5 sticks and a little less than 3 feet of fuse, and put it in a paper bag. We started out to the CIA office in this car we borrowed,

Emmett was driving and son-of-a-bitch we were halfway there in downtown Ann Arbor when the goddam horn stuck. So there we were in downtown Ann Arbor with this fucking bomb and the horn on our car blowing all the time. We pulled into this parking lot to fix the horn and I sat there with 5 sticks of dynamite and tried to look inconspicuous, what a weird scene. Finally we drove to the front of the building and stopped, but then some asshole pulled right up behind us and stopped. We just hauled ass, man, that was too much. We smoked some more dope and decided to go back. We were going to tape it to the window but we were kind of shook up so we just laid it in front of the door and split. The rest is History, as they say.

Q. Why did you pick the CIA?

J. Well I guess this is getting back to the question of why we feel it is right to blow stuff up. See we’ve written articles in the underground press, we live a good life but the people in power won’t change, pot is still illegal, our black brothers are still getting shot in the street, Huey was convicted, everything man, they just keep fucking with us. We feel like Che did, that in the end armed struggle is the only thing that is going to bring about the change, armed struggle with us seizing power.

See man, we’ll only use the tactics that the oppressor makes us use, if they could change peacefully then good, but they can’t and they won’t. For instance you see that when we blew up the CIA office that the next day they had 10 pigs assigned to guard the place, plus all the FBI and CIA and other dudes that were kept busy. And you see that was 10 pigs that weren’t in the ghetto and 10 FBI dudes who weren’t fucking with draft card burners, and the whole thing is to keep these fuckers running all over hell so they can’t fuck with people. I mean we’re stone hippies, I mean we came out of that whole thing, we believe that everything should be free, the best way to make everything free is to get rid of the capitalist system. So we’ve joined with all the Liberation Fronts around the world to fight capitalism.

Q. You’re a socialist or a Communist then?

J. Sure, but only as a starting point, we will go way beyond Moscow or Peking or even Cuba for that matter. We’ll probably have to fight some weird kind of communistic government in 20 years, but in the end we’ll all be free.

Q. How do you see Czechoslovakia?

J. Ah shit, man, that just shows that communism don’t work either, because they still have money.

Q. What are your plans now?

J. Oh, I don’t know man, I think Emmett and I are going to split up, for awhile anyway, we’ll probably leave Michigan, it’s getting pretty hot around here. But we’ll just keep doing what we have been until we get killed.

Q. You feel you’re going to be killed?

J. Sure.

Q. How?

J. In battle, how else? See once you reach a certain awareness your every act, your every breath is an act of revolution, the life we live, the way we dress, our sexual mores, our music, our poetry, everything is a revolutionary act, and the oppressor will try to wipe it out.

Q. What do you have to say to people who are going to start blowing things up?

J. Just good luck.

Q. Are there any hints you can give them?

J. Yeah, they should read all of Che Guevara’s books, especially Guerrilla Warfare. Get feeling holy, fuck a lot, eat good food, smoke a lot of dope. Don’t get into it to the extent that you lose sight of the whole, don’t lose your sense of humor. But most of all just do it.