Is Closing Guantanamo Just a Pipe Dream?

President Obama repeated that he wants to, but experts think it's unlikely


The memory of Barack Obama's 2008 promise to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay now makes human rights activists roll their eyes. But last month, with comedian Jon Stewart as witness, the president repeated the same vow. Should Americans believe him?

Probably not, says Charles Stimson, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation who served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs under George W. Bush.

"I think that Obama's comment was part political and part aspirational," Stimson says. "He won't spend any political capital in his second term trying to close the prison, unless unique circumstances appear."