“Historian” David Barton is either very gullible or thinks everybody else is.
Barton — Glenn Beck’s favorite “historian” and head of the Texas-based history revisionist organization WallBuilders — is promoting a list of executive orders a right-wing website suggests President Obama has issued so that our nation’s elected leader can destroy our freedom. But “historian” Barton apparently didn’t bother to do any basic fact-checking — President Obama issued none of the executive orders on the list.
“Historian” Barton posted on his Twitter page a link to an essay called A Comprehensive List Of Obama’s Worst Executive Orders, which appears on a website for an outfit called The Western Center for Journalism (WCJ). Despite the authoritative name, the Western Center for Journalism is a creation of far-right conspiracy promoter Joseph Farah. Farah also founded World Net Daily, a wack-a-doodle website worshipped by birthers who insist that Obama is lying about being born in the United States.
The “Comprehensive List” essay suggests that President Obama is issuing executive orders to lay the groundwork for taking over the country and overthrowing freedom:
“It is more than clear that Obama is planning for the total control and takeover of America via Martial Law. Food, energy, transportation, work, banking, and health…he has it covered.”
The essay lists 13 executive orders supposedly backing up the claim. But 11 of those executive orders were issued five decades ago, during the administration of President Kennedy. The other two were issued by Presidents Johnson and Carter. You can see a list of executive orders by president here, dating back to FDR in the 1930s.
A reader posted a comment on the WCJ website, calling out the error. Apparently in response, WCJ added an “Editor’s correction”:
This is a list of executive orders in force that outline Emergency Powers. Some of these were signed by prior US Presidents going back all the way to JFK. Obama specifically has signed executive orders starting with the number EO-13489 and forward. But these all reference powers Obama could use to limit your freedoms. Here is a full list of Obama Executive Orders.
“Some” of the executive orders in the list were signed by previous presidents? No. ALL of them were. But the article is still headlined “A Comprehensive List of Obama’s Worst Executive Orders.”
What a joke. But “historian” David Barton apparently swallowed it hook, line and sinker — or, at least, he hoped his own Twitter followers would:
UPDATE: Barton now appears to have removed the post from his Twitter page. But like the bogus zombie quotes that Barton has attributed in the past to famous Americans, you’ll probably see the bogus “comprehensive list” of President Obama’s executive orders live on in right-wing propaganda. In fact, 10 people had already retweeted Barton’s post before we captured the above screen image.