The shame of Diego Garcia


Diego Garcia“Diego Garcia: the UK’s shame” is the title of an article I wrote for the Guardian’s “Comment is free” section today, which follows revelations in TIME magazine that a senior US official, who was present in the White House Situation Room in 2002, recalled two occasions on which a CIA representative talked about a secret prison on the British-owned island (leased to the United States in 1971), in which “high-value detainees” in the “War on Terror” were held.

In the article, I run through the history of revelations relating to a secret prison on Diego Garcia, contrast this with the persistent denials that have been made by both the British and the American governments, and point out that the British position — though very possibly based on what Ministers perceived to be genuine assurances that the US had not been engaged in any kind of illegal activity — is no longer tenable.

The other option, of course, is that the British government has been lying, but whatever the case there must now be a full and open public inquiry.

Andy is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK). To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed, and see here for my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, published in March 2009.

A more detailed analysis of the Diego Garcia scandal is available here.

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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