FACT CHECK: No, The Military Did Not Sentence Tom Vilsack To Death

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An article shared on Facebook claims the U.S. military sentenced Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to death for his alleged role in the destruction of food processing plants around the country.

Verdict: False

Vilsack has not been arrested or charged with any crime. The rumor stems from a website that publishes “humor, parody, and satire.”

Fact Check:

A recent string of fires at food processing plants across the U.S. has fueled conspiracy theories about planned food shortages, Reuters reported. An article shared on Facebook claims Vilsack was recently arrested and sentenced to death for his alleged role in the fires.

“Military Sentences Vilsask to Hang,” reads the article’s title. The article appears to have since been deleted. “Well guys we have our arsonist of all our food plants right here! Busted and he hangs next week for treason,” reads the Facebook post’s caption.

This claim is baseless. Check Your Fact searched the websites of the Defense Department, the Justice Department and the Agriculture Department but found no mention of Vilsack’s alleged arrest and sentencing. There are likewise no credible news reports about the secretary’s purported death sentence.

Vilsack testified before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on May 10 about the Agriculture Department’s 2023 budget request, according to C-SPAN. He has also been active on Twitter since his alleged arrest and sentencing. (RELATED: Does Joe Biden’s Climate Plan Require Americans To Eat 90% Less Red Meat?)

The viral claim appears to have originated with a May 10 article with the same headline published by the satirical website Real Raw News. The website includes a disclaimer on its “About Us” page that states, “This website contains humor, parody, and satire.”

The death sentence story appears to be a continuation of an April 29 article published by Real Raw News that alleged Vilsack had been arrested by the military. Check Your Fact debunked that claim at the time.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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