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Trump tweets false Gitmo claim about Obama

Commentary: In a Twitter escalation, the president says his predecessor released 122 "violent" prisoners from Guantanamo Bay. It was actually nine.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


The president accuses, again.

Pool, Getty Images

My first reaction on seeing a tweet from President Donald Trump that ends in an exclamation point is: "Oh, no! That's terrible!"

My second is to wonder: "Wait, is that true?"

On Tuesday morning, the US president tweeted: "122 vicious prisoners, released by the Obama Administration from Gitmo, have returned to the battlefield. Just another terrible decision!" I was horrified.

How could former President Barack Obama, who Trump also accused of wiretapping his phones without offering any evidence, have succumbed to such a misjudgment?

Then I looked at the numbers from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. They seemed to show Obama released nine prisoners who re-engaged with the enemy. As for the other 113, they were released by former President George W. Bush.

The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for clarification. Where, though, might the president have got these numbers?

Well, 31 minutes before his tweet, the "Fox and Friends" morning show tweeted: "Former Gitmo detainee killed by a U.S. airstrike in Yemen; at least 122 former Gitmo detainees have re-engaged in terrorism."

Could it be the assumption in the president's mind was this had to be the work of his immediate predecessor? Could it be that the words "Barack" and "Obama" now automatically stand for "bad" or "sick" -- two words that Trump used on Twitter to describe his predecessor on Saturday?

There's a lesson here for us all. Just as with texting and sending emails, it's good to pause for a little while before pressing "send."

Unless, of course, we're just trying to incite the reaction: "Oh, no! That's terrible!"

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