Over the weekend activists with COPEPINK and Witness Against Torture staged massive protests outside the homes of former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan.
Cheney: Wanted for torture! Scuffles with police ensue during protest at dick Cheney’s house, 2 activists arrested pic.twitter.com/cvkj3wczMD
— CODEPINK (@codepink) January 10, 2015
The protests were part of CODEPINK’s “Guantanamo Anniversary Weekend Torturers Tour”, marking the 14th anniversary of the Guantanamo Bay prison. While wearing orange jumpsuits the activists protested outside of Cheney’s McLean, Virginia property. Security called the police as protesters stormed the gates. The Fairfax County Police arrested two activists who they said refused to comply. Tighe Barry and Eve Tetazwere were charged with trespassing. Members of another Code Pink group protested outside the home of CIA Director John Brennan in the same area. No arrests were made at the protest.
The activists are part of growing chorus around the United States calling for criminal charges against former and currently serving members of the U.S. government who made decisions contributing to the torture of suspected terrorists. Indeed, the United Nations and Human Rights Watch have called for prosecution of U.S. government officials.
Many of the individuals held at Guantanamo Bay who have been tortured are cleared of any wrongdoing yet are prohibited from leaving. They may have been subject to cruel interrogation techniques such as rectal feeding, force-feeding, waterboarding and sexual assault.
Since the Senate report on CIA torture was released in late 2014 the topic has been prominent in the minds of some Americans. Cheney himself called the report “full of crap”, denying that anything wrong was done and declaring that he would support it all over again.
Activists and journalists have begun a call for a Global Day of Action Against Torture, both by the United States government and governments of the world. On January 31st at noon activists will hold rallies, protests, and mock waterboardings to call attention to the Senate report and disturbing use of torture by nation states.