Sordid Details on 'Black Site' at Diego Garcia Island Come to Light

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband issued an embarrassing apology to members of Parliament last month. Despite "earlier explicit assurances" to the contrary, he admitted, two planes carrying prisoners of the U.S. "war on terror" had landed on the British-owned island of Diego Garcia in 2002 before flying to foreign territory as part of the American extraordinary rendition program.

One flight went on to Guantánamo, one to Morocco. The identities of the detainees remain classified, but one of them has since been set free. According to the CIA, neither was tortured. But -- Miliband would have the public believe -- the CIA didn't bother to tell the British government that its territory was being used as a landing pad for American torture taxis.

Human rights attorneys and a handful of British MPs have long raised the possibility that Diego Garcia, a small island in the Indian Ocean that is home to a massive American military base, has played a role in extraordinary rendition -- and that it is among the United States' "black sites" -- secret CIA-run prisons, the existence of which President Bush himself confirmed in 2006. Even loose-lipped American officials have acknowledged it. As London-based human rights attorney Clive Stafford Smith, director of the legal organization Reprieve (which, over a year ago, unearthed flight logs recording the arrival and departure of a CIA rendition plane at Diego Garcia), wrote in the Guardian last January:

Read More Show less
ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up