Editor’s note: This is the second of a three-part series based on an interview with former Weather Underground founder Bill Ayers after his debate with Dinesh D’Souza. In the first part, Ayers suggest D’Souza would take a plea bargain on his indictment for alleged violations of election laws.
HANOVER, N.H. – Bill Ayers, the unrepentant former leader of the radical 1960s Weather Underground group, has often toyed with reporters who ask him whether claims that he wrote Barack Obama’s autobiographical “Dreams from My Father” are true.
Ayers repeated the claim even after WND tried to cut through his irony in a brief conversation before his Dartmouth College debate with Dinesh D’Souza Jan. 30, pointing out he typically adds to the admission a quip that obscures his true intent.
In a wide-ranging 35-minute exclusive interview following the debate, WND returned to quizzing Ayers about the true authorship of “Dreams.”
In the course of the interview, Ayers first affirmed he wrote “Dreams” before denying it, only to end up berating WND for daring even to ask the question.
WND asked: “This whole question of ‘Dreams,’ could you please put it to bed once and for all?”
“I wrote ‘Dreams from my Father,’” Ayers answered without hesitation. “Every word of it. I sat with Obama twice. We figured it out. I wrote the whole thing. I made most of it up. And, if you can help me prove it, I’ll split the royalties with you.”
Again, WND objected: “But you always say that. It sounds like you don’t mean it. It sounds conditional.”
“I do mean it,” Ayers admitted.
“But it sounds like you are taking it back,” WND responded.
“I’m not taking it back,” Ayers insisted.
“Just tell me the truth about whether you wrote dreams,” WND countered. “Just tell me straight out.”
“I mean, I’ve said it so many times,” he said.
“I know, but people think you are fooling with it.”
At that point, he shifted gears completely, without explanation. “I obviously did not write ‘Dreams,’” he now insisted.
“I have a lot of criticism of President Obama, criticisms of the administration … the policies of the war, of many, many things. But the thing that strikes me as preposterous is the idea there should be a ‘birther’ controversy, or a controversy over who his parents were, or a controversy over who wrote his books. [Obama] wrote the book. He was born in Hawaii. He’s six years into the presidency. Can’t you think of something else to fall back on?”
“But you keep toying on this,” WND said.
“Well, I toy upon it because I think the people who ask me are knuckleheads,” Ayers replied.
“So you’re just toying with them because …”
“Because you’re being a knucklehead,” said Ayers.
“I’m just asking the question.”
“It’s an insane question,” Ayers responded.
WND asked Ayers if he had refuted the arguments Jack Cashill made in his 2011 book, “Deconstructing Obama.” Cashill presented an analysis of literary references, common themes, identical phrasing between “Dreams” and books that Ayers has authored as evidence Ayers was the true author of “Dreams,” not Obama.
“I haven’t read Cashill,” Ayers asserted, “at least not deeply. But no. No merit. But you want to know why? Because it just strikes me as so preposterous.”
Ayers said the primary reason it’s preposterous is that “whatever else you think of his politics, he’s a very smart, intelligent guy. He writes. He wrote that book. He writes a lot of his speeches.”
Cashill’s literary analysis was confirmed in a 2009 book by celebrity biographer Christopher Anderson, “Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage,” which recounted in some detail how a desperate Obama in the mid-1990s, facing a second canceled book contract, sought the help of Ayers.
Cashill, who makes his case in his book, “Deconstructing Obama,” said in a 2011 interview with WND he believed Ayers’ irony was not aimed at critics like him but at the White House.
Cashill said Ayers is “letting Obama know that he could blow Obama out of the water, if he gets serious about it.”
“All Ayers would have to do is give a press conference in which he demonstrated he was the principle craftsman behind ‘Dreams’ and the whole myth of Obama’s literary genius would come crashing down,” Cashill said.