Did the military arrest former President George W. Bush? No, that's not true: The 43rd president was not arrested on his Texas ranch the morning of November 13, 2021, by U.S. Special Forces. A Pentagon spokesperson told us that this information was "false." Also, the Posse Comitatus Act prevents the current president from calling upon the armed forces to make arrests.
The claim originated in an article published by Real Raw News on November 15, 2021, titled "Military Arrests Former President George W. Bush" (archived here), which opened:
U.S. Special Forces arrested former President George W. Bush Saturday morning at his Crawford, Texas, ranch following a blistering firefight with Secret Service agents and private security contractors assigned to protect him.
Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:
Military Arrests Former President George W. Bush - Real Raw News
Here is what the article looked like at the time of writing:
(Source: Realrawnews.com screenshot taken on Thu Nov 18 16:24:32 2021 UTC)
The article continued:
On Friday evening, a Special Forces 'Alpha Detachment' stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, received from U.S. Army Special Operations Command orders to infiltrate the ranch and arrest the 43rd president. SF were told to expect resistance because recent intelligence on the ranch showed that Bush had surrounded himself with armed private security contractors in addition to the trio of Secret Service agents that routinely patrolled the grounds.
According to the Real Raw News article, Bush has been charged with treason and will face a military tribunal to account "for the deaths of thousands of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan and for his role in masterminding 9/11, in addition to other crimes."
A duty officer at the Pentagon told Lead Stories in an November 18, 2021, email that this story was "false."
The Posse Comitatus Act outlaws the armed forces performing "tasks assigned to an organ of civil government" (i.e. the police force) or "tasks assigned to them solely for the purposes of civilian government."
Lead Stories has also reached out to the George W. Bush Presidential Center and George W. Bush's official site, georgewbush.com. We will update this story with a response if a response is received.
Real Raw News has a long history of publishing false claims in mock news stories, many of them about convictions and executions of various public figures at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. For example, the site reported former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hanged (she wasn't); former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta was executed (he wasn't); and that "the military" convicted former Attorney General William Barr on charges of treason (it didn't).
The website for Real Raw News includes a disclaimer that warns readers not to take its content too seriously. Specifically, it says:
Information on this website is for informational and educational and entertainment purposes. This website contains humor, parody, and satire. We have included this disclaimer for our protection, on the advice on legal counsel.
(Source: RealRawNews.com screenshot taken Tue Aug 3 16:39:48 UTC 2021)
Lead Stories has covered claims published by Real Raw News in the past. Previous Lead Stories debunks of Real Raw News items is collected here.