The Ghost


I’m not inclined toward conspiracy theories – I suspect, for example, that in the end we’ll learn that Barack actually was born in Hawaii.

I am, however, impressed with Jack Cashill’s writings on Barack’s writing, and the theory that his first book, Dreams From My Father, was ghosted by Bill Ayers. If I was placing a bet on the matter, that’s where I’d put my money.

“We strongly think this bears immediate investigation by the academic community at large as the initial data presented is highly suggestive that these two documents share large portions of authorship.”

Even for those who don’t care that Barack had Ayers as a close ally, the fact that he lies about the relationship so comfortably should provide value in assessing Obama.

Here’s an update from Cashill.

I write this from a hotel room in Washington, D.C., to which city I have repaired in only a semi-successful attempt to bring the news to our truth-phobic national capital.

At the heart of my message is that Barack, a man who has been lip-synching for the last 13 years to lyrics pre-recorded by, among others, Bill Ayers.

Exhibit A in my testimony is Obama’s 1995 memoir, “Dreams From My Father.” The evidence overwhelms the dispassionate observer that Bill Ayers served as chief book doctor on this fulsomely praised persona-builder.

Now, the science is coming in, from a variety of sources, and it confirms a hypothesis that is evident to anyone who cares to look: Obama had substantial help from Ayers.

Early in this investigation, I had contacted Patrick Juola, one of the nation’s leading authorities on data-driven computer analysis. Juola cautioned that in his field, “the accuracy simply isn’t there.”He continued, “The best-performing methods we know about can get 90-plus percent accuracy, but can also get 50 percent or less (and we don’t yet understand the conditions that cause that to happen), which means that for high stakes issues (such as national politics), the repercussions of a technical error could be a disaster (in either direction).”

Juola added, “A better approach is simply to do what you’re already doing (as far as I can tell from the columns you were so kind as to send) – good old-fashioned literary detective work.”

That much said, there was a general feeling among people interested in this story that the public would need the confirmation of science, and not just from one source.

Fortunately, five different sets of researchers have taken the challenge to test the hypothesis that Ayers was heavily involved in the writing of “Dreams.” And although there are admitted limits to this emerging science, the consensus among these researchers is noteworthy.

I am aware of a fifth stylometric analysis, soon to be released, this one from a British scholar of international repute, but here are some quick summaries from the first four. The authors’ contact information could be made available on deep background for serious news sources.

“Using the chi-square statistic,” observes one professor, “Obama’s and Ayers’s books were indistinguishable, while Obama’s book was easily distinguishable from books by other authors.”

Writes another analyst, using his own proprietary software, “There is a strong likelihood that the author of “Fugitive Days” ghost-wrote “Dreams From My Father” using recordings of dialog (either tape recorded or notes). Alternatively, another scenario could be possible: Ayers might have served as a ‘book doctor.'”

One systems engineer writes, “The statistical style analysis performed by our research team suggests that the writing style of ‘Dreams From My Father’ is significantly more similar to the style observed in ‘Fugitive Days’ than to the style found in other works by Barack Obama such as ‘Audacity of Hope.'”

He continues, “Even more interesting, when we extract those sections of ‘Dreams From My Father’ that Dr. Cashill believes to be Ayers’ writing and treat this as a unique document, the style analysis software

identifies a stronger correlation between this sample and Ayers’ ‘Fugitive Days’ than we see between this same sample and the remainder of ‘Dreams From My Father’! Thus we have reason to believe that ‘Dreams From My Father’ had at least two authors, and one author’s measured style features more closely match those of Ayers than they match those of the other author(s).”

“Under the Q-value statistic,” argues one university-based analyst who tested “Dreams” against Ayers’ 2001 memoir, “Fugitive Days,” “segments of ‘Dreams’ consistently compared as well with ‘Fugitive’ segments as it did with other segments of ‘Dreams’ itself. In contrast, ‘Dreams’ compared poorly with other documents.”

Writes another: “The Ayers-Obama matching shows a measurable and substantial effect. It is easily and objectively distinguishable from comparison to a third document. These results achieved through good methodology should readily stimulate scientists skilled in the particular relevant fields to construct their own tests, place objective metrics on the correlation between the Ayers-Obama documents and publish results.”

He adds, and I agree, “We strongly think this bears immediate investigation by the academic community at large as the initial data presented is highly suggestive that these two documents share large portions of authorship.”

Here is one of the more user-friendly of the studies in pdf format, as well as my summary of the literary detective work that has taken the project this far. Those readers who have influence the media, now is the time to use it.

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