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

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


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.

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate