WASHINGTON (AFP) - President Barack Obama's administration has sided with predecessor George W Bush on the rights of detainees at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan, saying they cannot challenge their detention in US courts. In a two-sentence court filing Friday, the US Justice Department said "the government adheres to its previously articulated position" of denying habeas corpus rights to Bagram detainees, backing a similar decision by the Bush administration. Four inmates at the Bagram prison, where the United States has approximately 600 detainees, were given a hearing by US District Court in Washington last month, seeking the same rights accorded to prisoners at the US naval facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The two Yemenis, an Afghan and a Tunisian based their request on the Supreme Court's June ruling that granted Guantanamo detainees the right to know the charges against them and on what evidence they are being held. That ruling led to a flood of appeals in Washington courts from Guantanamo inmates challenging their detentions. Bush administration lawyers had argued that Bagram could not be compared to Guantanamo because the first was located "on the battlefield," while the latter was in Cuba, and that Bagram detainees would pose a security threat if they were released. US District Court judge John Bates had given the new administration a February 20 deadline to indicate whether it intended to "refine" the positions of the Bush administration on the Bagram detainee cases and "to provide input regarding the definition of 'enemy combatant.'" Attorneys representing the detainees reacted with dismay. "The decision by the Obama administration to adhere to a position that has contributed to making our country a pariah around the world for its flagrant disregard of people's human rights is deeply disappointing," Barbara Olshansky, lead counsel for three of four detainees, told AFP. "We are trying to remain hopeful that the message being conveyed is that the new administration is still working on its position regarding the applicability of the laws of war, the Geneva Conventions and international human rights treaties that apply to everyone in detention there." In one of his first major decisions in office, Obama ordered that the Guantanamo prison camp, where approximately 245 detainees are currently held, be closed within one year. He also ordered a review of overall detainee policy. But he had not indicated what he plans to do about the Bagram detainees or whether he would go forward with a planned 60-million-dollar expansion of the prison. Earlier this month, the Obama administration backed another Bush anti-terror policy when it urged a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit accusing Boeing Company of helping fly suspects to secret CIA detention centers overseas. The Justice Department said the case should be thrown out to protect state secrets. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama's administration stepped up efforts Friday to shut the Guantanamo prison, appointing a former federal prosecutor to determine the fate of the controversial camp's remaining prisoners. The "Guantanamo Detainee Review Task Force," led by former Department of Justice official Matthew Olson, was announced by Attorney General Eric Holder days before his visit to the war-on-terror detention facility. Olsen's team is to consolidate all the disparate information held by numerous branches of the US government on 240 remaining detainees " and to determine what do with those who cannot be released or prosecuted. After deciding if a detainee can be released or transferred to another country, the task force is to determine if it is feasible to pursue a prosecution in a court under US laws. And in the most difficult category, a legal quagmire for the Obama administration, the Guantanamo review is to determine what to do with remaining detainees who cannot be transferred, released or prosecuted. For these people the task force will "select lawful means ... for the disposition of such individuals," according to Obama's executive order, which does not elaborate on what could be done with the men. The move follows Obama's executive order on January 22 to close the US naval base prison in southwest Cuba within a year. At the time the newly inaugurated Obama set a determined tone to unleash fundamental political reform on how the United States handles Al-Qaeda and other militant suspects. He said the "war on terror" would no longer continue with a "false choice between our safety and our ideals." More than 800 men and teenagers have passed through Guantanamo since it was opened on January 11, 2002, as a place to ship suspects in the "war on terror" begun by Obama's predecessor George W. Bush in the wake of the September 11 attacks. As a leader of the Department of Justice National Security Division and a 12-year career as federal prosecutor, Olsen "has the experience and judgment to lead the team's evaluation of these individual cases," Holder said in a statement. "We've established a solid framework for the administration to make the right decision on each individual detainee " decisions that will most effectively serve the interests of justice and the national security and foreign policy objectives of the United States," he said. Earlier Friday the Pentagon announced it had completed a review ordered by Obama examining conditions at Guantanamo to ensure inmates are held in keeping with the Geneva Conventions and other laws. The Defence Department has always maintained the detainees have been held under humane and lawful conditions, but human rights groups have repeatedly raised concerns that the United States violated its legal obligations by holding large numbers of the inmates in extreme isolation. Fordham Law Professor Martha Rayner, who represents several Guantanamo detainees, called on Holder and other department officials Friday to "talk to the men that are locked up there." Other politicians and government officials have visited the camp since its opening, but have only taken "the stock tour orchestrated by prison officials," she said. Visitors will not be able to grasp the "truth of Guantanamo" if they do not talk to detainees who have experienced "torture, so-called 'harsh interrogation techniques' and being at the mercy of interrogators to obtain something as basic as a blanket," she said. The legal quandary experienced by detainees that are not released or prosecuted troubles many rights groups. When Obama signed the executive order, Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, called on the US government to deal with the remaining prisoners in accordance with international law. But, he said, "if the federal government cannot secure conviction with its vast resources and eight years of intelligence-gathering, then the American way requires that those individuals who are not convicted of a crime must be released." Security concerns were raised late last month after it emerged a former inmate identified as Abu Sufyan al-Azdi al-Shahri had been elevated to the senior ranks of Al-Qaeda in Yemen. The Defense Department acknowledged that as many as 61 former Guantanamo detainees " about 11 percent of 520 detainees transferred from the detention center and released " are believed to have returned to engage in terrorist activity.