None of them were considered, he said, noting that gestures would reinforce bad behavior. Ultimately, he said, they want to be released from Guantánamo, and thats something he has no authority to do.
That was before the raid that locked everybody at the communal camp inside an individual cell, a single-cell style of confinement that Obaidullahs lawyer says the Afghan hadnt seen since the Bush years.
The morning of April 13, Poteet said, Obaidullah was doing ritual washing in an inner recreation yard in anticipation of pre-dawn prayers when the guards arrived, throwing tear gas and firing something he could not identify. Obaidullah swears he did not resist, his lawyer said, and believes he is consigned to suffering a kind of collective punishment for the bad acts he attributes to some, not all.
Obaidullah told his lawyer Monday that he knew the troops who hold him dont have the authority to send me home. But they do have the authority to be nice.
He pleaded, Poteet said, for some basic human dignity and reasonableness.
To claims of collective punishment, Navy Capt. Robert Durand, the prison spokesman, offers a quote from Southcoms commander, Marine Gen. John F. Kelly: Never, ever, ever, ever, ever reward bad behavior.
Because every camera within reach was covered in the communal cellblocks, the military says, every captive who was there is being punished. Bogdan would not predict when they might return to group meals and prayers; Zak said he hoped at least some would be together by Ramadan. It starts in early July.
A few with limited freedom
In a section of Camp 5, now Guantánamos most populous, maximum-security prison, there still exists an unseen corner of communal confinement about a dozen prisoners who can walk around the corridor unshackled, with the guards watching from outside.
Each man now has his own player to watch DVDs in his cell. None of those men happens to be a hunger striker, says Army Lt. Col. Samuel House, a prison camp spokesman.
An unscripted view of the block last week seemed to confirm this.
Just as eight men in Bravo Block were finishing up pre-dawn fajr prayers inside their cells, a monitor in the command center showed a bearded captive pop something into a microwave oven. He waited perhaps 60 seconds, then carried that something away a privilege no longer possible for the men in lockdown.
A meal arrives three times a day and is offered through a slot in a steel door, presenting a choice: eat it or the guards will throw it away.