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Deportation/exile of the Chagos Islanders

CIA World Factbook (Diego Garcia) and criminal lies

by Charles Judson Harwood Jr.

U.S. CIA seal: http://www. cia.gov/cia/ publications/ factbook/ index.html

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, likely the world’s largest media organization, devotes substantial resources to make U.S. military and other federal employees feel proud to be an American and feel good about the missions they are ordered to undertake and to minimize doubts among them and the U.S. public (in addition to manipulating foreign public opinion).

Accordingly, the CIA employs, trains, and recruits thousands of talented, accomplished, meticulous, professional, prolific, anonymous liars and undercover mouthpieces.

Many work for prominent press and media organizations (U.S. and foreign), many work in other government agencies, and many work in-house at the CIA or DoD, supplying broadcast scripts and print copy, to their out-housed undercover colleagues and operatives, for placement in otherwise legitimate media, and on other tasks.

In their words:

U.K. BIOT flag

Background ...

The largest and most southerly of the islands, Diego Garcia, contains a joint U.K.-U.S. naval support facility. All of the remaining islands are uninhabited. Former agricultural workers, earlier resident in the islands, were relocated primarily to Mauritius but also to the Seychelles, between 1967 and 1973. In 2000, a British High Court ruling invalidated the local immigration order which had excluded them from the archipelago, but upheld the special military status of Diego Garcia.”


No indigenous inhabitants. Note: approximately 1,200 former agricultural workers resident in the Chagos Archipelago, often referred to as Chagossians or Ilois, were relocated to Mauritius and the Seychelles around the time of the construction of U.K.-U.S. military facilities; in 1995, there were approximately 1,700 U.K. and U.S. military personnel and 1,500 civilian contractors living on the island of Diego Garcia.”

British Indian Ocean Territory{current version link} World Factbook 2001 (U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, Langley Virginia) http://www. odci.gov/cia/ publications/factbook/ geos/io.html, visited Aug. 9 2002).

That sounds like, the people formerly living there, they were not indigenous inhabitants, but mere sojourners instead, temporary residents, foreigners, contract guest-workers, originally located elsewhere, brought to the Chagos to work, and then relocated again, when the need arose, as happens, for example, with U.S. military personnel — a normal part of life for expatriate contract workers.

It sounds this way, because this is a carefully crafted lie, by talented professionals, an example of the CIA’s best and usual propaganda-lie, namely, combining partial truth with careful omission and ambiguity, to willfully induce an erroneous inference, an inference the CIA officers know is untrue, or believe is untrue, or doubtful, any anyway know to be contested, by material facts, they willfully conceal, to preempt inquiry, to conceal violent crime, hence, a willful lie, willful complicity in the violent crime, and identical to the blatant lie the British Government promoted for 35 years, eventually exposed in Britain in the press, in Parliament, and by honest judges, in a diligent U.K. court.

CIA officers crafted this lie by concealing that many people formerly living in the islands were indeed indigenous inhabitants, namely: the citizens of Chagos, a settled permanent population, families of men, women, and children of all ages (many of whom were not “workers”) born, and not merely “resident” but also domiciled there, and belonging for generations to the Chagos with “a public law right to live there.”

Never having been located anywhere else, they were not “relocated,” nor in the consentual manner CIA officers imply, with this word. Instead, “the whole of the Ilois population of BIOT (and other civilians living there) were compulsorily removed to Mauritius.”

CIA officers crafted this lie to conceal the truth, namely: that U.S. and U.K. officials committed a prima-facie international crime against humanity and that, in addition to the criminal prosecution of those U.S. officials responsible, the United States itself, under international law, is obligated to pay damages to the victims of this tort (“state responsibility”), because U.S. officials incited and aided and abetted this tort, and because the tort was conducted by the U.S. general partner in the enterprise (the United Kingdom). But — flouting the rule of law — the United States will not prosecute its officials, will not pay damages, and will not consent to be sued in any court.

Over a period of years, one-by-one, and family-by-family, when islanders went to Mauritius to tend to their business, U.K. officials unlawfully prohibited their return, and as for the rest: after trying to induce others to leave by endeavoring to create starvation via an unlawful embargo/blockade to prevent supply ships from calling, U.K. officials, island-by-island, unlawfully kidnapped the islanders by force, unlawfully deported them from their homeland, and, by armed force and threats, continue still unlawfully to prevent their return to their outer islands, far distant from Diego Garcia — all at the insistence of U.S. officers, both military and civilian.

Their last sentence under ‘background’ contains two lies, and CIA officers crafted the first of these as an interesting compound-lie. They fabricated an ambiguity (virtually a blatant lie) to induce an erroneous inference, which is otherwise pointless and harmless (the little lie), to serve as an engine to induce an important erroneous inference (the big lie):

The “local immigration order” (the little lie) was not an unauthorized technical mistake by a bumbling distant minor bureaucrat, as CIA officers by their lie imply. This willfully-induced erroneous inference (the big lie) is an illusion which the CIA officers know, hence a willful lie, to be a fiction which the U.K. Court explicitly rejected as “an abject surrender of substance to form.”

Instead, as the CIA officers know, the British Indian Ocean Territory has never had a local government and has always, from its inception, been directly administered by the British Government in London, through the BIOT Commissioner, an official of the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office, resident in London, who does not act independently but instead “under the control and direction of the Secretary of State.” The immigration order was a direct order of the British Government in London, issued in London, after several years of careful preparation in London, “upon the orders of the Queen’s ministers in London,” by command of the British Prime Minister in London at the insistence of U.S. officers — a prima facie violent criminal act, in a violent criminal enterprise.

CIA officers crafted this compound-lie to conceal the truth, namely:

U.S. and U.K. officials acted with knowing, willful, specific intent when they deported/exiled the islanders. This was not an inadvertent error by officials of a distant local government acting independently on their own initiative. Senior U.S. and U.K. officials, in Washington DC and London, knew that their own action, which they took, was unlawful — a deliberate decision in secret and in willful violation of the public policy of both their nations, to conspire and act unlawfully in concert.

Their last lie, in their last sentence under ‘background’, is inferior by CIA standards and thus a mark of the desperation of CIA officers, as U.S. officials beat the drums of war and assert that stubborn flouting of the rule-of-law justifies violent offensive remedies. (Desperation, because, on this point, ‘terrorists’ agree with U.S. officials). It’s a blatant lie (a willful assertion of an untrue fact) instead of their more artful, though no less deceitful, inferential lie (induced by willful omission of material facts):

The “special military status of Diego Garcia” — as the CIA officers know from the Court’s opinion which they cite — was not an issue before the Court and the Court did notuphold” it. The plain import of the Court’s holding is the precise opposite, namely: The U.K. government is without legal capacity to transfer to the U.S. by secret agreement — or in support of that secret agreement to exercise — rights which it does not itself possess, including the authority (which was notupheld” by the Court but expressly rejected and condemned instead) to expel the indigenous citizens from their homeland.

CIA officers crafted this lie to conceal the truth, namely: that words used by U.S. officials to describe other nations apply equally to the United States: The United States is an international outlaw, which will not submit to the rule-of-law, and will not be held to account for its wrongdoings, except by force—the world’s most aggressive rogue-state, an international pariah which has shown utter contempt for the United Nations, and earned for itself, over decades of persistent violent crimes and torts, well justified widespread condemnation and well justified widespread hatred. And each time U.S. officials repeat these claims against other countries, for the millions of people worldwide, who observe or experience the wrongful conduct of the United States—this hypocracy intensifies their hatred.

Interestingly, the U.K. government could have complied in two other ways with its secret agreement to depopulate the islands and ensure they remain so. This secret agreement U.S. and U.K. officials concealed when they published what they falsely represented to be their entire joint-venture agreement. These two alternatives are negotiation with the citizens to purchase their right to continue living in their homeland, and tabling an Act of Parliament to expel the citizens in violation of international humanitarian law and instructing its majority-party Members of Parliament to enact it {see next}.

Though of academic interest only (the U.S. won’t be suing the U.K.), a court applying international law (eg: The United Nations’ International Court of Justice, in The Hague) would not enforce an obligation on the U.K. to enact an unlawful law (violating international humanitarian law), because a court (if acting lawfully) will not itself facilitate and participate in an unlawful enterprise by issuing its order to enforce an unlawful agreement.


H.C. logo

In the U.K. parliamentary system, the executive branch dictates and controls the legislative agenda and can enforce its will by the routine practice (the “3-line Whip”) of requiring its majority-party Members of Parliament to vote in favor of legislation proposed by the Government, the executive officers being themselves also voting MPs.

The sanction, to enforce obedience, is three-fold, if they vote against the Government: First, MPs who are also Ministers (‘front-benchers’) will forfeit their executive office and the nearly doubled portion of their salary which goes with it. Secondly, they and the other disobedient MPs of the governing party (‘back-benchers’) will, for a period ‘in the wilderness’, lose their prospects of advancement to a post as a Minister. Thirdly, if they make a habit of it, their political party will exclude them from their party in Parliament and will not nominate them at the next general election (unscheduled, but at least every 5 years, unless Parliament changes that law) and they will thereby lose their seat in Parliament and the salary which goes with it (£56,358 $99,000). Additionally, party-Whips regularly coerce hesitating back-benchers in other ways, typically by threats to reveal their personal indiscretions.

This scenario has three exceptions: First, if the Government permits its party-members a ‘free-vote’ (rare, and normally on issues of conscience only). Secondly, when perceived public-opinion and its own back-benchers are strongly opposed, and the Government ‘backs-down’ and alters or withdraws the Bill (not uncommon). Thirdly, if the Government nevertheless proceeds to a vote and the back-bench revolters are numerous (rare), though their names are recollected when appointing new Ministers.

The House of Lords is powerless to block a law passed by the Commons though, as a ‘revising chamber’, it can debate any Bill, and amend any non-‘money’ Bill, and thereby burden the Government to consider, but not accept, the amendments. Thusly, the Lords can sometimes influence public-opinion and, in turn, the Government to modify a Bill and enforce a new vote in the Commons. But, on impasse, a Bill passed by the Commons and rejected or amended by the Lords nevertheless becomes law if the Commons so votes in the next annual session of Parliament, and not less than one year after the ‘second reading’ of the Bill in the Commons in the previous session. The Lords cannot amend tax or budget Bills, which become law after one month.

This system of government has been termed an “elective dictatorship” because of this executive control of legislative power (including lawful coercion of votes) and because the U.K. has no constitution, meaning the House of Commons has the authority, by simple majority vote, and despite opposition by the Lords, to pass any law, and repeal or infringe any human rights, as the Government may direct it to do.

(When you hear U.K. people on TV or radio discussing their “constitution,” what they’re talking about is their current law, custom, and practice, all of which can be changed at any time by simple executive order, or majority vote of the Commons, and this they don’t usually mention in these conversations. In the lexicon of other nations, a “constitution” is a super-law which defines certain fundamental rights, procedures, and practices and which can be amended, but not by a simple majority vote, influenced by the political whims of the moment, eg: that there must be an election every 4-5 years, come what may. The U.K. Parliament, twice in the 20th Century, voted to abandon elections to keep the then current government in power).

See Quentin Hogg (Lord Hailsham, former Lord Chancellor of Great Britain) ‘The Richard Dimbleby Lecture’ (The Listener, Oct.21 1976) (“elective dictatorship” excerpt); “Parliamentary Pay and Allowances”; ‘An Introduction to Parliament’ (House of Commons Information Office, U.K. Parliament); “The Parliament Acts” {171kb.pdf} (Parliamentary Publications and Archives, House of Commons Library, Research Papers and Standard Notes).



U.S. Code, U.S. House of Representatives database, via Cornell Legal Information Institute: http:// www4.law. cornell.edu/ uscode/

Willfully inducing an erroneous inference (eg: by willfully omitting material facts), the daily practice of the CIA, is also the regular practice of U.S. military officers, and the frequent practice of other government officials and politicians as well. Yet, it’s nevertheless a crime in many aspects of U.S. life. The government can lie to us, but we can’t lie to the government:

Sec. 1001. Statements or entries generally

(a)  Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully —

(1)  falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;

(2)  makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or

(3)  makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;

shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.”

18 U.S.C. § 1001(a).

Omitting material facts from a statement (necessary to be stated in order that the statement be not materially misleading) constitutes a “materially false statement”, as courts have held and this statute, for example, articulates:

Sec. 1515. Definitions for certain provisions; general provision

(a)  As used in sections 1512 and 1513 of this title and in this section — * * *

(3)  the term “misleading conduct” means —

(A)  knowingly making a false statement;

(B)  intentionally omitting information from a statement and thereby causing a portion of such statement to be misleading, or intentionally concealing a material fact, and thereby creating a false impression by such statement; * * *

18 U.S.C. § 1515(a)(3)(A)-(B).

Congress exempted itself from these provisions, and so its Members are free to lie with impunity in their debates and written statements. 18 U.S.C. § 1001(c). Likewise in the U.K., and this method of lying to Parliament (willfully inducing an erroneous inference by omitting material facts) is a routine practice of government ministers and their civil service briefers and, in committee-hearings, by other government officials as well. (U.K. Ministers are both legislative and executive officers).

Unlike the U.K., however (where witnesses can lie to Parliamentary committees with impunity), in the U.S. it is a crime for witnesses (including government officials) to lie to Congressional committees and their investigators. Ditto, civil servants and other unseen officials who brief the witnesses knowing that the lies in their briefings will be passed to Congress under oath. 18 U.S.C. § 1001(c)(2).

Such provisions do not apply to lies in press conferences and other public statements by government officials in either the U.S. or U.K. (and I guess that includes the CIA World Factbook), though at common law — derived from an English statute in force for 500 years by 1776 — such lies are a crime if they lead to public disorder or might reasonably do so:

“It is commanded that from henceforth none be so hardy to tell or publish any false news or tales whereby discord, or occasion of discord, or slander may grow between the king and his people or the great men of this realm. And he that doeth so shall be taken and kept in prison until he hath brought into the court which was the first author of the tale.”

First Statute of Westminster, cap-34 (3 Edward I, 1275) — 60 years after his Barons coerced King John, by force, to sign the Magna Carta (1215), 50 years after they bribed his son, King Henry III, to ratify the Magna Carta, for money (1225), 22 years before his son King Edward I ratified the Magna Carta of his own free will and Parliament first enacted it as a statute (1297), and 17 years after Baghdad was sacked, and 80,000 inhabitants massacred (Feb. 10 1258), by the Mongols, commanded by Hülegü Khan, a grandson of Genghis Khan. According to the designer and sculptor of the bronze doors {348 kb pdf} of the United States Supreme Court Building, the adoption of the First Statute of Westminster (1275), depicted on the doors, is “The greatest single legal reform in our history”.

But, government officials, especially military officers, also lie to each other, as well as to the public, and these internal lies, when they concern official business (for example in reports), are crimes in the US, and some of these crimes have foreseeable deadly or other tragic consequences, not least by preempting and foreclosing corrective measures.

For this reason, these U.S. official criminal liars thereby also become criminally complicit in these subsequent events, as in the case of Pan Am 103 {500 kb).


This document may be freely copied.

© 2002 Charles Judson Harwood Jr.


Posted Sept. 1 2002. Updated May 21 2008.


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