Did former President George W. Bush appear before a military tribunal on December 8, 2021? No, that's not true: At the time of writing, Bush is not indicted nor facing a military tribunal, a Department of Defense spokesperson told Lead Stories. The website where the claim was posted is known for publishing fictitious content.
The claim originated in an article published by Real Raw News on December 11, 2021, titled "George W. Bush Military Tribunal: Day 1 -" (archived here) which opened:
Wednesday, December 8
The officers empaneled to judge the military's case against George W. Bush sat in silence as the defendant, shackled at the wrists and flanked on either side by a uniformed MP, entered GITMOs south courtroom and took a seat beside his attorney, David D. Aufhauser, at the defense table. Next to them was a throng of junior lawyers and paralegals dressed in dark suits and somber ties, a conclave of legal minds hired seemingly to intimidate the military's resolute prosecutor, Rear Adm. Darse E. Crandall.
Users on social media saw this title, description and thumbnail:
George W. Bush Military Tribunal: Day 1 - Real Raw News
Wednesday, December 8 The officers empaneled to judge the military's case against George W. Bush sat in silence as the defendant, shackled at the wrists and flanked on either side by a uniformed MP, entered GITMOs south courtroom and took a seat beside his attorney, David D. Aufhauser, at the defense table. Next to them [...]
Lead Stories has previously debunked claims from Real Raw News that Bush was arrested and that he was denied an extension in a military tribunal. This claim is no different. In an email to Lead Stories on December 13, 2021, the Department of Defense said:
We are unaware of any military tribunals with George W Bush.
Additionally, there was no mainstream media coverage of the Bush tribunal claim, as evidenced by the lack of relevant results on CNN, NBC News, Fox News and ABC News, with an identical search of "George W. Bush Military Tribunal" on the CBS News website.
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.