These are jarring and upsetting images. This is not the Washington that we know, love, and call home. It doesn't feel like a peaceful transfer of power is imminent in a great democracy.
Rather, it appears that the city is having a nervous breakdown and that the military has taken over.
The downtown area is sealed off by miles of fencing, hundreds of troops are on patrol, even the bridges that cross the Potomac are closed.
Robert Moore has the latest from Washington as America waits for Wednesday's inauguration:
It follows the scenes of chaos when the Capitol was stormed by a mob on January 6th.
Ahead of his Inauguration, President-elect Joe Biden will arrive in Washington later today to see all of this for himself.
If he needs reminding of the scale of the challenge that awaits him, he will see it looking out from his motorcade.
Although he has spent a lifetime in America's capital - he first came here as a Senator at the age of 30 - nothing can prepare Biden for the security operation that is now surrounding him.
When insurrectionists erected mock gallows outside of Congress, one name was written at the base: Joe Biden.
The Secret Service have now put in place such extraordinary security in place that the President-elect had to reassure people that the inauguration ceremony would not be moved inside.
There are even reports that Pentagon officials fear that one of the soldiers guarding the Inauguration may go rogue and launch an insider attack.
We now know a little more about the opening plan of the Biden-Harris Administration.
There will be an immediate flurry of Executive Orders reversing some of Trump's most controversial measures.
With a stroke of the pen, the US will re-join the Paris climate accords, the ban on travel from Muslim countries will be lifted, and masks will have to be worn on government property.
But the political poison that has characterised these last four years is not over.
Donald Trump will soon face a Senate trial on a single charge of inciting an insurrection, following his impeachment last week. That could reopen the divisions of the election, splintering the Republican Party and the country.
Banned from social media, the trial in the Senate may be the greatest gift to Donald Trump, allowing him to dominate the agenda and the national conversation in the weeks after he has left the White House.
Democrats, even as they take the reins of power, may have fallen into their first trap.
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