Only 12% of Guantanamo Detainees Released by Obama Have Returned to the Battlefield

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Counterterrorism crackpot Sebastian Gorka appeared on Fox & Friends this morning to argue against closing Guantanamo Bay:

President Obama released lots and lots of people that were there for very good reason, and what happened? Almost half the time they returned to the battlefield.

This comes via Jesse Singal, who points out that twice a year the Director of National Intelligence releases a report called “Summary of the Reengagement of Detainees Formerly Held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.” That makes it pretty easy to check on this. Here’s a summary of all the recidivism figures since they began the reports in 2012:

During his eight years in the White House, President Obama released 161 Guantanamo detainees—the ones Dick Cheney called “the worst of the worst” when he left office back in 2009. Thanks to careful vetting and competent diplomacy, the recidivism rate of these detainees has been only about 12 percent (5.6 percent confirmed). That’s three times better than the Bush/Cheney record.

As for Gorka, I suppose “almost” can be stretched to mean a lot of things. But can 12.4 percent be stretched to mean “almost half”? In the Trump administration, apparently it can.

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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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