Trump incorrectly said Obama released 122 recidivist Guantanamo detainees

Trump incorrectly said Obama released 122 recidivist Guantanamo detainees

By Loree Lewis   
Published
President Donald J. Trump discusses current military operations with Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command Commander, and Gen. Raymond A. "Tony" Thomas, U.S. Special Operations Command Commander at USCENTCOM headquarters on MacDill Air Force Base Feb. 6, 2017. (U.S. Central Command photo by Marine Corps Sgt. Alan Belser)

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump falsely claimed Tuesday that President Barack Obama released 122 “vicious” detainees from Guantanamo who intelligence agencies assessed have returned to the battlefield.

Trump appeared to be referencing the total number of Guantanamo detainees released under former Presidents George W. Bush and Obama that are considered recidivists.

Numbers provided by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), which are public and released on a quarterly basis, show that 113 of the 532 detainees (21.2 percent) Bush released are “confirmed of reengaging” in terrorist activities. Under Obama’s watch, 9 of 161 (5.6 percent) are confirmed.

In total, between the two presidents, this is 122 out of 693 (17.6 percent) detainees released from Guantanamo and confirmed by intelligence agencies of reengaging on the battlefield, according to the September ODNI report.

His official government account Tweeted the same thing word-for-word shortly after.

The White House has since said Trump was referring to the total number of detainees released and corrected itself during a briefing Tuesday.

The Tweets marked Trump’s first remarks on the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detention center as president. Trump’s Tweets come after the Defense Department’s disclosure Monday that a March 2 airstrike killed a former detainee who was released under Obama’s watch, Yasir al-Silmi.

Trump said while campaigning that he intended to keep the facility running, opened in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. The detention center currently holds 41 men.

Leaked alleged draft executive orders appear to indicate Trump is still taking a similar position, and key members of his cabinet have advocated for the continued use of Guantanamo.

Summary of the Reengagement of Detainees Formerly Held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Table: ODNI)
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