Fact Check: US Marines Did NOT Arrest Assistant Defense Secretary Tanya Skeen -- Story Is Made Up

Fact Check

  • by: Kaiyah Clarke
Fact Check: US Marines Did NOT Arrest Assistant Defense Secretary Tanya Skeen -- Story Is Made Up Pentagon: Nope

Did U.S. Marines arrest Assistant Defense Secretary for Acquisition Tanya Skeen? No, that's not true: A Pentagon duty officer told Lead Stories that this claim is "false." This claim appeared in an article on a website that regularly publishes fabricated content often mistaken for real news.

The claim appeared in an article (archived here) published by Real Raw News on December 19, 2023, under the title "Marines Arrest Assistant Defense Secretary." It opened:

White Hat forces on Saturday arrested Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition Tanya M. Skeen, one of many unknown and seemingly irrelevant undersecretaries who answer to the criminal Lloyd Austin. A source in General Eric M. Smith's office told Real Raw News that U.S. Marines apprehended Skeen based on evidence that she, ostensibly with Austin's blessing, wired $35 million--pilfered from the DoD's war chest-to Volodymyr Zelenskyy's personal savings account in Kyiv.

This is how the a:

Marines Arrest Defense Secretary Image.png

(Source: Real Raw News screenshot taken on Fri Dec 22 19:56:43 2023 UTC)

Pentagon duty officers responded to an inquiry from Lead Stories regarding this claim via email on December 22, 2023, writing:

That claim is false.

Ms. Skeen departed her position at the Department of Defense earlier this year after a long and highly successful career in public service.

While you've noted the disclaimer on that website, as we've pointed out to your organization before, we recommend that you also review the Posse Comitatus Act, Public Law 45-263, 18 U.S.C. § 1385, which prohibits the use of the U.S. Armed Forces in law enforcement activities except under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress.

Congress.gov does not show legislation making such authorization.

The official LinkedIn account of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition & Sustainment posted an announcement of Skeen's retirement in August of 2023. In this same post, Gary Ashworth was named the new assistant secretary of defense for acquisition.

Real Raw News

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 "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 declares the site does not stand by the contents of the stories, calling them entertainment. Specifically, it says:

Information on this website is for informational and educational and entertainment purposes. ... 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.

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  Kaiyah Clarke

Kaiyah Clarke is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Journalism. When she is not fact-checking or researching counter-narratives in society, she is often found reading a book on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Read more about or contact Kaiyah Clarke

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