Fact Check: Former President George W. Bush Was NOT Arrested On Veterans Day, Denied Tribunal Extension

Fact Check

  • by: Christiana Dillard
Fact Check: Former President George W. Bush Was NOT Arrested On Veterans Day, Denied Tribunal Extension No Evidence

Was former President George W. Bush arrested on November 11, 2021 -- which was Veterans Day -- and denied an extension after being indicted in a military tribunal? No, that's not true: There is no evidence that Bush was arrested. Real Raw News, the website where the claim originated, is known for publishing satirical content.

The claim appeared in an article (archived here) originally published by Real Raw News (archived here) titled "George W. Bush Denied Tribunal Extension." The Real Raw News article was published on December 7, 2021. The article opened:

Tensions mounted Friday morning between the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps and attorneys scheduled to represent former President George W. Bush, with the latter requesting a continuance to gather exculpatory evidence.

Users on social media saw this title, description and thumbnail:

George W. Bush Denied Tribunal Extension - best news here

Tensions mounted Friday morning between the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps and attorneys scheduled to represent former President George W. Bush, with the latter requesting a continuance to gather exculpatory evidence. Counselors of the law firm Williams & Conolly arrived at Guantanamo Bay Friday, five days ahead of Bush's tribunal date, arguing that the [...]

The article said Bush was arrested on November 11, 2021. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush attended the Bush Institute Warrior Open on that day, as shown in the Instagram post below:

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Fri Dec 10 22:16 2021 UTC)

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 using the Real Raw News headline on the CBS News website. Lead Stories also conducted Google searches of "George W. Bush arrested," "George W. Bush Veterans Day arrested" and "George W. Bush 2021 tribunal" with no trustworthy or relevant results, despite the fact that Google indexes more than 50,000 news sites.

In an email to Lead Stories on December 10, 2021, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Defense said:

This story line is false.

Lead Stories also reached out to the George W. Bush Presidential Center and the Office of George W. Bush and will update this story with any relevant response.

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.

Real Raw snip.jpg

(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 are collected here. More specifically, we previously debunked a claim from Real Raw News that Bush was arrested by the U.S. military. That fact check is here.

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  Christiana Dillard

Christiana Dillard is a former news writer for Temple University’s Lew Klein College of Media and Communication. She received her undergraduate degree in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been a freelance writer for several organizations including the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, Pitt Magazine, and The Heinz Endowments. When she’s not producing or studying media she’s binging it, watching YouTube videos or any interesting series she can find on streaming services.

Read more about or contact Christiana Dillard

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