By Douglas J. Hagmann
The plot of a film noir of a half-century ago consisted of an unassuming man confessing to police his involvement in a number of murders in London while each remained unsolved. The murders took place over a period of a few months and were ostensibly performed at the hands of a serial killer.
He purposely gave police incorrect information about the killer’s signature which was publicly withheld by the police, although he learned of this critical bit of information through an obscure contact he had in the department. Soon, the police tired of his confessions and treated him as a serial confessor, rather than the murderer he was. When an innocent man was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to death, the actual actor wanted to do the right thing to spare the innocent man, but no one believed him, including the police. Could this pattern of behavior apply to Bill Ayers with regard to his sarcastic admissions of authorship of Barack Obama’s highly acclaimed ‘Magnum opus’ Dreams From My Father? A recent private admission in an e-mail sent by Ayers suggests so.
I was provided with a lengthy thread of e-mail exchanges by Dan Popa, a private citizen who, for better or worse, decided to engage Ayers through that medium aggressively. The initial e-mails from Popa to Ayers were quite “spirited,” and included characterizations of Ayers’ wife, Bernadine Dorhn’s breath to that of a camel’s rear, among other things. To his credit, Ayers handled the unpleasant electronic impositions calmly, addressing legitimate issues with Popa while astutely deflecting the crass remarks with reason.
Then, on October 8, 2013, Ayers’ latest book, Public Enemy, Confessions of a Public Dissident was released. Included in Ayers’ book were the more salacious excerpts of Popa’s e-mails to Ayers, illustrating the unsolicited attacks and personal insults Ayers and his wife are being forced to endure. Upon learning of this, Mr. Popa was not pleased. To be fair, however, what might he have expected? The e-mails between Popa and Ayers continued, although something interesting happened during the exchanges during the spring. Mr. Popa abandoned the ad hominem attacks and began a serious dialogue with Ayers, who welcomed and embraced the newly found civility. In fact, Ayers and Popa began to agree on a number of critical issues, including the managed media and the policy of war. It was an astounding and very important evolution of their “relationship.”
After several more exchanges where civility and intellectual thought dominated, Mr. Popa asked Bill Ayers the one question that has been asked of him in numerous venues and answered by Ayers in either a sarcastic or cryptic manner. On Sunday, December 8, 2013, Mr. Popa wrote to Bill Ayers about the release of his new book, and posed the following:
“Now, why don’t you come out for REAL and admit you wrote DREAMS and throw a monkey wrench in Obama’s war plans by derailing him. If you are truly so war despising as you claim…PROVE IT. Give Obama a real Christmas present.” (emphasis by Mr. Popa and present in the actual e-mail).
On Monday, December 9, 2013, Bill Ayers answered Mr. Popa with the following response, copied in exact form from the exchange:
“I WROTE DREAMS!!! Read p 197 198 of Public Enemy. I wrote it, but nobody believes me.” Bill
While your first reaction might be to dismiss this admission as a continuation of Ayers’ cagey, sarcastic, and sometimes ‘playful’ responses to the seemingly omnipresent, rabid, right-wing ideologues who are often their own worst enemies, his reply should be considered in the context and within the venue it was made. It is here that a measure of critical thinking and analysis must be applied. Is this a genuine admission that Bill Ayers did, in fact, write Barack Obama’s most masterful work by comparison, Dreams From My Father, a book that Time magazine called “the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician,” and where the New York Times heaped praise on Obama as “that rare politician who can write … and write movingly and genuinely about himself?”
The reason this issue is so essential extends far beyond the obvious. It must not be equated with an average college student taking advantage of the more superior intellect of his classmate who completes an essay for his literary challenged peer. No, for it provides a window into Barack Obama as a man, as a leader, and as an icon to so many should this be the case. It represents the thin veil of an enormous lie, multiple lies, a veil that more and more people are beginning to penetrate the longer the lies persist. It also speaks to the mystery of Obama’s murky past, and some of those who helped elevate him to the messianic status he enjoys, only to be thrown under the proverbial bus once he had finished with them.
Think back to that movie plot where the man who really did something for which he needed to confess was rendered impotent and not to be believed by his own hand. Could it be that in this case, William Ayers the so-called unrepentant terrorist wants to come clean, set the record straight, and establish his legacy against the formidable odds of an illusion that so many people have accepted as reality?
Regardless of whether you agree with the ideology of Bill Ayers, his book Public Enemy is a profile of the consistency of his ideology. With Ayers, unlike the denizens of DC, much of what you see is what you get. His past belief in Barack Obama has been shaken, and there is a real sense of abandonment and a hint of despair from a man who wanted to see his ideology implemented by the man so well defined in Dreams From My Father. Now unceremoniously discarded by his one-time lesser literary peer caused by the politics of unfavorable public perception, perhaps Ayers has become of victim of his own making.
Could it be that Public Enemy is Bill Ayers’ second-best work, second only to Dreams From My Father? Could it be that Bill Ayers, a literary superior to his one-time understudy, is attempting to protect the advancement of at least part of his vision of a Progressive utopia? Perhaps the tire tracks across the back of Bill Ayers, left by the proverbial bus driven by Obama and his circle of insiders, serve to remind Ayers that the legend of Obama is so great that in his words, “nobody believes me.”
Clearly, painstaking analysis and anecdotal evidence that has been presented by others, including a detailed linguistic study by Jack Cashill, provide a legitimate and reasonable basis to question the authorship of the most celebrated of all presidential memoirs. Now we have a written admission, which if taken at its face, deepens the controversy. To be clear, we’re not talking about a college essay, but a critical historical document by which many honest and sincere Americans made a decision to put their trust, and the fate of their future, and the future of their country, in the hands of the author.
In light of this blatant admission memorialized in writing, sans the parenthetical snarky follow-up comments about royalties, Americans deserve the truth. Americans deserve genuine answers from the two people who really know the truth, if not for the sake of their own integrity and place in history, but for the sake of truth itself.
What say you, Barack Obama… and who is willing to ask the question?