I was thinking about this while I was waiting for Obama's Notre Dame speech to start: about the way the story had metamorphosed from one incident into Gingrich's "known for picking up television sets" (apparently not just once, but often enough to acquire a reputation), and Jonah Goldberg's "going ballistic". Suddenly the phone rang; I ran to get it, and realized: if some official with an axe to grind had been in my house, s/he could easily have told the LA Times that I fled the room as soon as the President got up to speak. It would have been true. But it would have been awfully misleading.
So I decided to find out what actually happened. I wrote to the Uighurs' lawyer, Sabin Willett. I have corresponded with him occasionally in the past, he has always been completely trustworthy, and I was hoping that he would be able to tell me the story behind this episode. But guess what? He has no idea what those officials are talking about.
Edit: a detail fixed -- it was Appel, not Sullivan, who directed me to hilzoy.