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Government & Politics

Guantanamo Lawyer Doubts President Obama Has the Political Will to Close the Notorious Prison

prison guard tower

President Barack Obama has renewed his pledge to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, but as WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair reports, a northeast Ohio lawyer says he doubts his clients at Guantanamo will taste freedom anytime soon.

"We don't hold men for what they might do, ... we hold men for what they have done."

  Carlos Warner is a federal public defender for Northern Ohio who represents nine of the 91 inmates still being held at the base in Cuba.

He says none of his clients are facing charges or likely to be charged, but he doesn’t believe President Obama has the political will to release them.

“If this was a priority for him throughout these eight years, there’s many things he could have done to close the prison and he’s just refused to do it,” says Warner.

Carlos Warner represents nine Guantanamo detainees. He says his clients have never been charged, and are unlikely to be charged, yet after 14 years, remain in legal limbo.

Warner doesn’t buy the argument that the detainees at Guantanamo are too dangerous to let go.

“We don’t hold men for what they might do in the future, we hold men for what they have done.”

About a third of the detainees are on a list to be transferred to a third country.

Warner says the rest should be moved to the US to face trial, and the prison closed