January 8, 2008
On January 11, 2002, 20 prisoners were led off a C-141 transport plane
from Afghanistan and onto awaiting buses at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. From there, they were loaded onto a ferry and finally driven into the now-notorious Camp X-Ray
. There they were kept for months on end in 6- by 8-foot outdoor cages, shackled in stress positions, and some of whom - we later learned - were tortured at the hands of the U.S. government.
After the first photos of detainees were released by the Department of Defense
, their face masks and orange uniforms quickly became associated with the brutal torture tactics, sensory deprivation and psychological torment that we have learned so much about in the last six years
. It was not long before Guantanamo became a symbol of national disgrace - of America's willingness to torture prisoners and detain them for indefinite periods of time. Six years later, over 700 people have been detained at Guantanamo. Not a single trial has been completed.
The ACLU has called on people of conscience everywhere
to mark January 11, 2008 - the six-year anniversary of the first prisoners' arrival at Guantanamo - by wearing orange
. Over 25 events are happening across the country, and people around the world are organizing protests, rallies, and vigils. To find out how you can get involved, visit www.aclu.org/closeguantanamo
Six years is six years too many. We must stop torture, end indefinite detention, and Close Guantanamo now!