Six long years ago today, “the first orange-clad, shackled and blindfolded prisoners arrived at Guantanamo’s Camp X-Ray.” Since that “dark day in recent American history, more than 700 people have been detained without due process and not a single trial has been completed,” notes the ACLU.
Today, people worldwide marked this anniversary with protests. More than 70 people were arrested at the U.S. Supreme Court, which is currently considering “whether prisoners still detained at Guantanamo Bay have a right to challenge their confinement in U.S. courts.” In London, Amnesty International organized an all-night vigil outside the U.S. embassy. A look at some of the protests around the globe:
President Bush continues to resist calls to close Guantanamo and has found a strong backer in Vice President Cheney, who has expressed objections to shutting down the facility. Some of the conservative voices who have urged Bush to close it:
Gen. Colin Powell: “[W]e have shaken the belief that the world had in America’s justice system by keeping a place like Guantanamo open. … We don’t need it, and it’s causing us far more damage than any good we get for it.” [6/10/07]
Defense Secretary Robert Gates: “In his first weeks as defense secretary, Robert M. Gates repeatedly argued that the detention facility at Guant¡namo Bay, Cuba, had become so tainted abroad that legal proceedings at Guant¡namo would be viewed as illegitimate, according to senior administration officials. He told President Bush and others that it should be shut down as quickly as possible.” [New York Times, 3/22/07]
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice: “I fully agree, we would like nothing better than to close Guantanamo.” [10/9/07]
Sign the ACLU’s petition to close down Guantanamo HERE.