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WorldNetDaily.com - 11/20/2008

Earlier this week Salon.com’s Washington bureau chief, Walter Shapiro, sat down with terrorist emeritus, Bill Ayers, for a chummy 55-minute conversation.

Shortly into the interview, Shapiro asks a question that took me rather by surprise. Says Shapiro, “Did you follow the right-wing blogger, I believe it was, who was totally convinced that you wrote Barack Obama's books?”

The “right wing blogger” in question is yours truly. A week ago, WND publisher Joe Farah kindly defended author Jerome Corsi and me from such “annoying” and “dismissive” shorthands.

“Let me tell you who Jack Cashill is,” wrote Farah. “He's a popular WND columnist to be sure – not a blogger. He is also executive editor of Ingram's Magazine Kansas City's premier business publication.”

“He has written for Fortune, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Weekly Standard. He is the author of five non-fiction books, a collection of essays and one novel. Like Corsi, he, too, has earned a Ph.D., his being from Purdue University in American studies.” Thanks, Joe!

A nationally recognized political scribe and former Jimmy Carter staffer, Shapiro might have done just a little homework before asking such a patronizing question.

Shapiro would have known the limits of my accusation: namely that Ayers was involved in only one Obama book, the 1995 memoir, Dreams From My Father.

As I have argued, Obama provided the skeletal narrative for the book and likely maintained executive control. Ayers only wrote the good parts. He appears to have edited the rest, sometimes heavily, sometimes hardly at all.

In the weeks since the election, correspondents from Hawaii to Ohio to Israel to Australia have sent me new information. The cumulative evidence is self-evident, accessible, and overwhelming. I have no doubt at all that my thesis is correct.

Ayers obviously knows this as well. “I saw that,” he tells Shapiro of my assertions, “because my oldest son, who is a writer, sent it to me. It was something that struck us as very, very funny.”

Not “wrong” but “funny.” By the way, Ayers’ son does write and very well. The samples that Ayers included in an earlier book of his son’s work as a 12 year-old, both prose and poetry, were clearly superior to Obama’s writing as a Harvard Law Student.

“Barack Obama is a brilliant man, obviously,” Ayers continued. No, there is nothing obvious about it. Ayers helped build the foundational myth of Obama’s presumed genius on the strength of Dreams.

“I was astonished by his ability to write, to think, to reflect, to learn and turn a good phrase,” confirms Nobel prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison upon reading Dreams. “I was very impressed. This was not a normal political biography.''

In his spontaneous interviews, the one with Rick Warren at Saddleback Church for instance, Obama comes across as an unexceptional policy wonk with a limited vocabulary and an ordinary mind.

Ayers has positioned him otherwise. “He is a talented and well-educated and erudite and articulate guy,” he tells Shapiro, “and he wrote two really brilliant and well-written memoirs.”

No one denies Obama wrote some part of both of those books or that he put his name on each. As to the “brilliant” part, Ayers is patting himself on the back.

“But somebody did a textual analysis that proved that the nautical images in "Fugitive Days" were similar to his work,” the former merchant seaman continues, “and I was the ghostwriter.”

True, the following words do appear in both Dreams and in Ayers' work: fog, mist, ships, seas, boats, oceans, calms, captains, charts, first mates, storms, streams, wind, waves, barges, horizons, ports, panoramas, moorings, tides, currents, and things howling, fluttering, knotted, ragged, tangled, and murky.

If this were the only evidence, it would be damning, but there is much more, none of which deters Shapiro from jumping in with a smarmy non-sequitur, “Ho Chi Minh also played a big role in Obama's ‘Dreams of My Father.’” Huh?

“It's amazing where the paranoid mind can take you,” Ayers responds. “I got an e-mail recently that said that Philip Lopate, who was my teacher at Bennington where I got my master's in fine arts, was the ghostwriter for ‘Fugitive Days.’” So now we have Philip writing my book and me writing Obama's book and it all seems quite preposterous.”

I give Ayers full credit for writing Fugitive Days. He does write, if not honestly, at least eloquently. To claim otherwise is preposterous.

Ayers’ involvement in Dreams will only seem preposterous as long as America’s literary gatekeepers shield their minions from the obvious.

In my book on intellectual fraud, Hoodwinked, I examined any number of bogus biographies that excited the literary left to the point of complicity, Edward Said's, Alex Haley’s and Rigoberta Menchu's prominent among them.

Menchu won a Nobel Prize for hers. Haley won a Pulitzer, and Said won Obama’s loyalty and friendship.  All were eventually busted, however quietly.

Dreams runs the risk of being busted rather noisily. Ayers did not likely anticipate this. In the Salon interview he gives a glimpse into his motivations for helping Obama, and they were not as grand as they might seem in retrospect.

“Everyone who knew him thought that he was politically ambitious,” says Ayers of Obama. “For the first two years, I thought, his ambition is so huge that he wants to be mayor of Chicago.”

The political calculus behind that ambition helped shape Dreams. This was a careful book written to launch the career of a future Chicago mayor.

Who is Jack Cashill?


Posted on WorldNetDaily.com - 11/20/2008
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Editor's note: For a more complete account of this phenomenon, read Jack Cashill's amazing new book, "Hoodwinked: How Intellectual Hucksters Have Hijacked American Culture.


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