Fact Check: Oprah Winfrey Was NOT Sent To GITMO On December 3, 2023

Fact Check

  • by: Marlo Lee
Fact Check: Oprah Winfrey Was NOT Sent To GITMO On December 3, 2023 No Proof

Was former talk show host Oprah Winfrey arrested and sent to Guantanamo Bay in early December 2023? No, that's not true: There is no evidence that Winfrey is in Guantanamo Bay. She has posted as recently as January 15, 2024, on her verified social media accounts and has made public appearances since December 2023.

The claim appeared in an article published by Real Raw News on January 14, 2024, titled "Oprah Winfrey Goes to GITMO" (archived here). It opened:

Charged with treason, accessory to mass murder, conspiracy to influence an election outcome, aiding and abetting the enemy, and other high crimes and misdemeanors, talk show host Oprah Winfrey has been an inmate at Guantanamo Bay since early December, a source at GITMO told Real Raw News.

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

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(Source: Real Raw News screenshot taken on Tue Jan 16 14:46:37 2024 UTC)

The article claims that Winfrey was arrested by U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General (JAG) investigators on December 3, 2024.

A Google News search of "Oprah Winfrey AND arrested AND Guantanamo Bay AND December 3, 2023" (archived here) did not result in any relevant articles that could corroborate this claim. A search for "Oprah Winfrey arrested on December 3, 2023" (archived here) on the U.S. Navy JAG website produced no results.

At the time of writing, Winfrey's latest social media posts were January 15, 2024, on her verified Instagram account and her verified Facebook account (archived here). She was also seen at the 2024 Critics Choice Awards (archived here). The award show was held on January 14, 2024, in Santa Monica, California (archived here).

Under the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, the U.S. military can not arrest civilians. However, this act can be nullified under certain circumstances if the U.S. Congress proposes an act or if it has been authorized by the U.S. Constitution. Congress.gov shows there is no act authorizing the arrest of Winfrey.

We have contacted Winfrey's representation and will update this article when a relevant response is received.

Additional Lead Stories fact checks that mention the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps can be read here.

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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Marlo Lee is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Howard University with a B.S. in Biology. Her interest in fact checking started in college, when she realized how important it became in American politics. She lives in Maryland.

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