But the TV privileges underscored potential difficulties to come, according to one current and one former U.S. official. Not long after being granted access to TV, some of the Uighurs were watching a soccer game. When a woman with bare arms was shown on the screen, one of the group grabbed the television and threw it to the ground, according to the officials.
Since then, officials at Guantanamo have bolted down the TVs and shown pre-taped programs, editing out any images they thought Uighurs might find offensive.
U.S. officials said they expected any release of former Guantanamo Bay prisoners into the U.S. to generate opposition among Americans.
"It is a very emotional issue," said the official familiar with the internal discussions. "It is all about determining the risk of placing these people into American society."
But the Obama administration's plans reflect the view that, despite expected opposition, the Uighurs would be the easiest detainees to relocate in the U.S.
Sabin Willett, a lawyer for some of the Uighurs in Guantanamo, argued that his clients should be set free immediately. But he said officials should make sure that the Uighurs have some measure of protection from people who might mistakenly consider them a threat.
"I fear political opponents of the Obama administration will try to sow fear and paranoia about the Uighurs," Willett said. "Once America gets a look at our clients, all this mythology will fall away, and America will feel ashamed at the fact they were in prison so long."
U.S. officials have supported Chinese Uighurs who have sought asylum to remain here but are opposed to elements of the Uighur movement. Earlier this week, the Treasury Department froze the assets of a Uighur leader, Abdul Haq. Haq's Eastern Turkestan Islamic Party advocates secession from China and creation of an independent state.
In a statement, the Treasury Department focused on a threat by Haq to attack the 2008 Olympic Games in China, and cited his party's support for Al Qaeda. There have been no allegations that the Guantanamo detainees have been affiliated with Haq.
Human rights advocates read the move against Haq as a diplomatic olive branch to Beijing to blunt the fallout from releasing the Uighurs into the U.S.
Willett, the detainees' attorney, said that of the five former Uighur prisoners released to Albania, four are still there and one has moved to Sweden.
"They have been living peacefully for three years," Willett said.
Times staff writer Barbara Demick in Beijing contributed to this report.