Was former U.S. President George W. Bush convicted of treason and murder on December 16, 2021, by a three-officer military commission? No, that's not true: Lead Stories has repeatedly debunked claims from Real Raw News, a satirical news website, which said that Bush was arrested and was the defendant before a military tribunal.
The claim originated in an article published by Real Raw News on December 20, 2021, titled "Military Convicts George W. Bush" (archived here), which opened:
The military commission empowered to decide the fate of George W. Bush found the former president guilty of treason and murder, and decreed on Thursday that he be hanged by the neck until dead.
The 3-officer panel tasked with weighing the military's evidence against Bush reached a decision after hearing days of heated testimony.
Users on social media saw this title, description and thumbnail:
Military Convicts George W. Bush - Real Raw News
The military commission empowered to decide the fate of George W. Bush found the former president guilty of treason and murder, and decreed on Thursday that he be hanged by the neck until dead. The 3-officer panel tasked with weighing the military's evidence against Bush reached a decision after hearing days of heated testimony. On [...]
For an earlier fact check of the Bush tribunal claim, we reached out to the U.S. Department of Defense to confirm whether Bush was indicted in a military tribunal. In an email to Lead Stories on December 13, 2021, the department replied:
We are unaware of any military tribunals with George W Bush.
Real Raw News has continued to publish articles using the Bush tribunal storyline. Other Lead Stories fact checks of the Bush arrest and tribunal claims can be found here, here and here.
Additionally, no reputable sources have reported on any Bush trial or conviction in a military court, as evidenced by Google searches of "George W. Bush convicted by military," "George W. Bush treason and murder" and "George W. Bush tribunal."
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.