Soon after taking office, Barack Obama, the US president, signed an order to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay by January 2010 and set up a taskforce to come up with recommendations.

While publicly saying they remain committed to next January's deadline, a key report ordered by the Obama administration on the future of Guantanamo Bay detainees, has been delayed for six months, sparking concerns about the president's self-imposed timetable.  

Can Guantanamo Bay be closed on time? Is the US president backtracking on his pledges to shut down the infamous jail? Or is it just a matter of legal and political obstacles that take time to overcome?

Presenter Hashem Ahelbarra is joined by Nile Gardiner, the director of the Heritage Foundation's Margaret Thatcher Centre for Freedom, Andy Worthington, a journalist and author of The Guantanamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America's Illegal Prison - the first book to tell the story of every prisoner at Guantanamo, and Cori Crider, a staff attorney with Reprieve who helps represent over forty current and former Guantánamo prisoners.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Wednesday, July 22, 2009.

Source: Al Jazeera