FACT CHECK: No, Donald Rumsfeld Did Not Commit Suicide At A Military Tribunal

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims late Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld committed suicide during a military tribunal.

Verdict: False

Rumsfeld’s cause of death was multiple myeloma. The claim appears to stem from a website that says it publishes “humor, parody, and satire.”

Fact Check:

Rumsfeld, the Defense secretary to former Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, died on June 29 at 88 years old, according to CNBC. Now, some social media users are sharing a post claiming Rumsfeld actually died by suicide during a military tribunal.

Rumsfeld did not, however, commit suicide, and was never on trial before a military tribunal. No mention of such a trial or any charges against him can be found in press releases published by the Justice Department or the Defense Department. Current Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin tweeted on June 30 that he was “saddened to hear” about Rumsfeld’s death, stating, “I extend my deep condolences to his family and loved ones.”

Had Rumsfeld committed suicide at a military tribunal, media outlets certainly would have reported on it, yet none have done so. Keith Urbahn, Rumsfeld’s spokesperson, said multiple myeloma caused his death, USA Today reported. (RELATED: Viral Image Claims To Show Article About Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Considering ‘Defunding, Maybe Disbanding’ The US Army)

The claim appears to stem from a July 18 article published by Real Raw News bearing the headline: “Rumsfeld Committed Suicide at Military Tribunal; Did Not Die of Natural Causes.” The article goes on to claim Rumsfeld was arrested on May 27, and that he killed himself after the military tribunal found him responsible for the deaths of American soldiers during the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.

Real Raw News includes a disclaimer on it’s “About Us” page that states, “This website contains humor, parody, and satire.” Despite the disclaimer, social media users have shared the claim without such a warning, seemingly believing it to be true.

This is not the first time a claim stemming from a Real Raw News article has been shared as misinformation. In June, Check Your Fact debunked the baseless claim that former FBI Director James Comey was sentenced to death by guillotine.

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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