Yesterday marked sixteen years since the first prisoners were brought to Guantanamo Bay's current iteration as a permanent holding cell for politically inconvenient Muslim men captured in the inconvenient "pre-drone" stages of our eternal war against everyone else on Earth. Andy has more on a commemoration protest at the White House, which I attended, along with a crowd of people still interested in the subject; one wishes it were larger. Andy himself was there as part of his annual visit to our shores, as was Todd Pierce, with whom I drove down. Andy was one of the speakers, as was Mark Fallon, and a number of others from the worlds of law, social activism, the arts, and religion. It was an emotionally moving rally venued in Lafayette Park across from Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House.
As a matter of personal observation, there is definitely a darker feeling in D.C. For the first time in all the years I have been attending rallies like this, park officials were strictly enforcing sound and other rules. There was also a massive police presence in the street in front of the White House (culminating in the arrest of several protesters for audaciously setting foot on Pennsylvania Avenue... not attempting to enter the White House grounds-- merely the street, which the police had cordoned off for no ascertainable reason).
In related news Candace has more on a new filing by lawyers for eleven prisoners (including her own client). The filing, spearheaded by the Center for Constitutional Rights, and timed for the sixteenth anniversary is here, and argues, among other things, that the current Administration's commitment to never releasing another prisoner from GTMO during its tenure is a blatant violation of law. We can hope that both the composition of the courts and the state of things has evolved enough so that there is a shot at some semblance of rule of law.
In other grim milestone news, we are rapidly approaching the one year mark of national madness, to wit, the inauguration of you-know-who, and frankly, substantial damage to the fabric of the republic has already been done (even if many people who live in relatively affluent bubbles might not have observed any particularly glaring change in their own lives). I shudder to think about the next three years (or, if national madness prevails again, seven).