Source: Vice News
By Ben Bryant
September 16, 2014
The place they call "Britain's own Guantanamo" is a horseshoe-shaped atoll in the central Indian Ocean. One side of its teal lagoon is pockmarked with military outbuildings, and an airstrip scores through the jungle like a cable redaction. With a 12-mile exclusion zone, it has earned a reputation as one of the most secretive military bases in existence.
Leased to the US by the UK for 50 years in 1966, Diego Garcia has been a key US outpost ever since, serving as a launch pad in the recent Iraq and Afghanistan wars. This is the place that two CIA torture flights landed to refuel in 2002, the place that allegedly concealed an illegal US detention center, and the place that ultimately hides the truth about Britain's complicity in the CIA's torture and renditions program. Over the next few weeks, the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee "torture" report is expected to confirm that the US operated a black site on Diego Garcia in the early-2000s with the "full co-operation" of the British government. If it isn't redacted out, that is.
Catch this hollowed-out tropical island on a warm day with a stiff breeze, though, and you might see a different side of it. The flicker of a mainsail within the exclusion zone. Sunbeds peppering the beach. Squint through your binoculars and you could swear you glimpsed a banana boat skimming the waters. Maybe it's all part of a bigger conspiracy, or maybe Diego Garcia just loosened up. But today there is no frenzied military operation. Today, the only waterboarding that takes place is a drenching in the drunk tank.
"I think the saying is you become a hunk, a chunk or a drunk in your time there," says Pete Carr.
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