EXCLUSIVE: Interview with former GTMO military attorney - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with former GTMO military attorney

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AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

President Obama addressed the nation with the counter-terrorism policy which includes the controversial plan to shut down Guantanamo Bay. FOX54 has the exclusive interview with a former military defense attorney who represented one of the GTMO prisoners.  

Lorraine Barlett made numerous trips back and forth to Guantanamo Bay to visit her Saudi Arabian client who was accused but later cleared of being a terrorist facilitator of a safe house in the Middle East.

"In fact the average American would be really surprised to learn that out of 166 people currently residing in Guantanamo; 86 of them have been cleared for release," said Barlett.  

A concern that was also brought up during President Obama's speech on Thursday. A protestor interrupted the President when he began talking about his plan for GTMO, inundating him with statements such as, "86 people are cleared for release. You are the Commander-in-Chief, you can close Guantanamo Bay."

Evidently, the former attorney is not the only one with strong feelings about whether or not the prisoners should still be at GTMO. However, she said there is one detail everyone should be concerned about.

"I'm sure the American public would rise and demand that they be sent home if they realized they are costing the government about $1.17 million dollars a year per detainee," said Barlett.

However, the President renewed his charge to congress during Thursday's address.

"Today, I once again call on congress to lift the restrictions on detainee transfers from GTMO," said President Obama.   

At the very least, Barlett hopes there will be progress made.

"I want to see Guantanamo be completely closed. If not closed, I think they would have done a much more successful resolution if they had tried the ones that are actually going to be tried in federal court," said Barlett.

President Obama said he has already asked the Department of Defense to designate a site in the United States for those prisoners.

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