Guantanamo Protest in DC

| June 28, 2008

Today in Washington, DC, Amnesty International and the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition, staged events protesting Guantanamo. I learned that they were in town from reading VanHelsing at Moonbattery, so I took the Blogger Urban Reconnaissance Vehicle (BURV) and headed downtown. The first thing I found was the Amnesty International’s Guantanamo Cell Tour 2008.

A child who really needed to get a sandwich or two was handing out fliers to passers-by;

Then there was the cell itself;

The woman who was conducting the tour told me that it’s not representative of normal cells, but those of “Class V” prisoners. But according to Fox News, that’s not true;

Amnesty International-USA said the cell, which contains a toilet, sleeping bunk and a small window, is meant to symbolize the U.S. government’s alleged mistreatment of detainees at the prison.

It said the tour is designed to increase public awareness and mount pressure on the Bush administration and Congress to close down the U.S.-controlled detention center. The group planned its display in Washington to coincide with a House Judiciary subcommittee’s hearing on harsh interrogation techniques.

But Charles “Cully” Stimson, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs, lashed out against Amnesty’s campaign, calling it a “complete fraud in misrepresenting the condition of detention at Gitmo today.”

Not having been to Guantanamo myself, I can’t attest to either story so I’ll just go with the experts on this. Since AI has an axe to grind and funds to raise, I’ll stick with the ex-government guy. Here’s an interview I did with the “tour guide” Cicely;

The particular Gitmo alum who was identified as the suicide attacker in Mosul last month was Abdullah Salim Ali al-Ajm. Cicely said he was held six years at Gitmo, but that’s not true he was there three years before he was released.

After I was done taping, we all had our picture taken – that’s Gabrielle Birchak and Rob Raffety from Project Breakout.

Their corner of the Mall was virtually ignored by the thousands of tourists out on this sweltering June morning;

But their cell on the Mall was a little bit more realistic than the one I found at the other event in Lafayette Park (across from the White House where there are usually more tourists);

It seems someone should have spoken up and mentioned thats how Americans get treated, not how we treat foreign prisoners. But, oddly, no one did speak up.

I don’t think this guy’s hunger strike began intentionally;

Just as I got there, they formed up for their march – around Lafayette Park.

I was doing an interview with the Washington Post so I missed the shot of them walking by the White House. It might have been part of WaPo’s plan. But the reporter assured me that he wasn’t a communist, so who knows.

These two guys (Raoul might know who they are) were lamenting the fact that their planned protest in Denver wasn’t going to be as good as their protests at Fort Benning’s School of America or Seattle because they weren’t going to be in charge. I’m guessing they’re not happy that the umbrella organization is making them tone down their dissent.

About that time, this guy started eye-balling me;

And sent this woman over to take my picture;

I just noticed this guy from the picture three photos above taking my picture;

I don’t what that was about, but I handed all of them my card and told them if they needed to ask me anything they can reach me at this blog. We’ll see how that turns out. Here’s a video of their little march around Lafayette Park and some REALLY BAD sax playing;

All-in-all it was a pretty pathetic event. They were vastly outnumbered by the apathetic tourists. I didn’t see any support for them from the tourists, hardly any asked questions, and aside from me and the Washington Post reporter, I didn’t see any media. He told me that he was so new at the Post, he didn’t have business cards yet.

Code Pink had the event on their website, but there were none of the usual suspects there – in fact the only people I saw wearing pink were tourists.

There were more participants at the protest in the middle of January in the pouring-ass rain. Today was a sunny June day. I think they’re losing their cache`.

Thanks to Jammie Wearing Fool , Little Green Footballs, Nice Deb, Stop the ACLU , Gateway Pundit, The Real Revo, Inoperable Terran, Libertarian Republican, Pirate’s Cove and McClatchy Watch for the links.

Welcome Weekly Standard readers.

Category: Antiwar crowd, Code Pink, Protests/Rallies, Terror War

Comments (29)

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  1. Gramps says:

    Huh! I’ve been in civilian jails here in the good ole U S that were no better than what you show here.

  2. Mike says:

    Pathetic, indeed – and what’s up with the goon squad?? Looks like they have problems with opponents exercising their own human rights, tsk tsk.

    Jonn wrote: I’m seeing more and more of this lately. I don’t usually like to be part of the story, but since March, they’ve made me part of the story by trying to restrict my access to the story. I guess it’s because citizen journalists are having a real effect on the public’s perception of their message.

  3. ponsdorf says:

    I’ve been in civilian jails here in the good ole U S that were no better than what you show here.

    Yep! I do reckon AI has already weighed in on that as well. In fact, our jails are worse in several ways. Fewer CO’s per prisoner for one. How many of the Gitmo prisoners have killed each other, etc, etc.

  4. Maggie says:

    I do worry about you. One of these days the exposure is going to get to you. I love that you converted the couple.

    Jonn wrote: Thanks for your concern, Mags, but I always have an exit plan. Besides, this is my milieu.

  5. Johnny Boy says:

    Good to see AI is putting their money to good use… haha I made better forts out of cardboard boxes when I was a kid.

  6. dm60462 says:

    For the ultra realistic Gitmo experience do visitors get to throw fecal material and urine at the guards?

    BTW, see Rusty Humphries for his fist hand account of Gitmo

  7. Skye says:

    Wow, looks like there were slightly more Gitmo-groupies in DC then CCPM in West Chester today.

  8. Anonymous says:


    no water torture rides ?

    WTF !

  9. Matt says:

    I noticed two generators in the third picture. What were those used for. All I could see were what appear to be two fluorescent lights in the mock cell. Were the lights really needed in the middle of the day?

    Jonn wrote: They had some computers for an interactive experience;

    I take hundreds of pictures at these things just for questions like yours. 🙂

  10. antishock8 says:

    Did you ask them how they felt that the Guantanamo detainees are killing people once they’re released? They probably are incapable of discussion beyond Leftist talking points. Blegh.

    Jonn wrote: Yep, that’s in the video.

  11. JorgXMcKie says:

    Oops. Maybe someone should set up an al-Qaeda or jihadi kidnapping experience. You could take people, tie a black bag over their head, shackle them, play very loud Muslim prayers, then cut their throat just enough to draw a little blood.

  12. John: Thank you for your time today, and talking with us at the Guantanamo Replication. I apologize if I got any Democrat/Republican/Independent/FlipFlopping koodies on you today. 8^) That was a nice video of our video and interview inside the prison cell.

    By the way, my name is Gabrielle Birchak and the tall gentleman is Rob Raffety, and we will be reporting at the two conventions later this summer for Project Breakout.

    Jonn wrote: Thanks for dropping by and clearing all of that up, Gabrielle. I hope you keep us updated on your doings this summer. And thanks for making me look so tall. 🙂

  13. Shane says:

    The humorous part of this is simple: We know that we have prisoners at Gitmo, they may or may not torture them. If they do we don’t care. If they told me straight up they tortured them I would ask; Whats your point? They think Americans don’t know, we know. We just really couldn’t give a flyin f***.

  14. Renwaa says:

    Hey, Jonn! Again, great pictures. One day I swear I’m coming to DC to join you for one of these events. All is good in Mumbai even with the monsoon. Best to the wife!


    Jonn wrote: Renwaa! All the way from India! Thanks.

  15. Michael Carr says:

    They should have the sax player play his rendition of Blowin’ in the Wind for the Gitmo detainees. They would tell the interrogators what ever that needed to know just to get him to stop.

  16. John E. Smoke says:

    So essentially they embellish the truth (that’s putting it politely) and people still don’t give a shit. What’s the world coming to when you can’t lie and commit blood libels and have people pay attention?

  17. Sgt.Slappy says:

    That lady that they sent over to take pictures of you looks like someone familiar… was she 4 feel tall and mumbling something about Carol Ann?

  18. Raoul says:

    A Washington Post reporter who’s not a communist? He’ll new become an official of the Newspaper Guild that way!

  19. Raoul says:

    “And sent this woman over to take my picture;”

    Thank God she didn’t eat you…

    Seems all these “progressives” are born with a “KGB gene” that makes them conduct illegal domestic surveillence on fellow Americans.

    If sure that the local Committee For the Defense of the Revolution will be examining your photo at tonight meeting.

    Jonn wrote: What they don’t realize is that I’ve been playing the camera game with communists for decades. To wit;

  20. Raoul says:

    For the guy in the wheelchair with the large peace sign, google “Peacewalker”.

    [“These two guys (Raoul might know who they are) were lamenting the fact that their planned protest in Denver wasn’t going to be as good as their protests at Fort Benning’s School of America or Seattle because they weren’t going to be in charge.”]

    Just proves that it’s not about peace, it’s about power.

  21. Skye says:

    Yikes! Is that a female version of Gollum?

  22. Ray says:

    Two quick observations.

    1: That’s more personal space than I had onboard the Submarine I served on… quityerbitchin.

    2: That Commie that who’s picture you took… Did have on little round glasses? and after he took you picture did he look up and say “Verrry Interesting… but shtoopid.” ? LOL

  23. David M says:

    The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the – Web Reconnaissance for 06/30/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day…so check back often.

  24. joe says:

    Im for closing gitmo too. only execute the prisoners there first. poof. problem solved. IDIOTS!!!!