11.9.01

Island of Shame

In Rendition on May 11, 2009 at 8:49 am

A new book details the once-secret history of the U.S. base on Diego Garcia, turned into a hub for Bush administration-era CIA rendition flights:

Island of Shame: The Secret History of the US Military Base on Diego Garcia by David Vine. Princeton University Press

It is a story of an old empire passing the torch to the new, Britain handing over one of its furthest-flung territories to the United States and expelling the native inhabitants to make way for the construction of a military base that has since become central to US control of the Indian Ocean and domination of the Persian Gulf. It is the tale of how a remote island idyll was simply emptied of its people, allowing for the creation of a place so secret that no journalist has been allowed to visit, a key staging post in George W. Bush’s war on terror, both the launch pad for the B-1s, B-2 “stealth” bombers, and B-52s that pounded Afghanistan and Iraq and a crucial node in the CIA’s rendition system, a “black site” through which at least two high-value suspected terrorists were spirited, far from the prying eyes of international law.

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