British Colonial Secrets Released

Colonial-documents-from-t-008Via the Guardian:

Today the Foreign Office has made public the first batch of thousands of “lost” colonial-era files believed to have been destroyed. The documents were secretly sent back to the UK when former colonies became independent. They shed new light on how British officials ran countries such as Kenya, Cyprus and present-day Malaysia.

Thousands of documents detailing some of the most shameful acts and crimes committed during the final years of the British empire were systematically destroyed to prevent them falling into the hands of post-independence governments. Here’s what [journalists] have published from the files today:

• Monthly intelligence reports on the “elimination” of the colonial authority’s enemies in 1950s Malaya (now part of Malaysia).

• The name of Barack Obama, the father of the American president, is on the top of a list of names revealed in a hitherto secret British colonial file of Kenyans studying in the US.

• Papers detailing the lengths to which the UK went to forcibly remove islanders from Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

• Britain planned to test a very virulent type of poison gas in what is now Botswana, the colonial archives reveal.

• Records showing ministers in London were aware of the torture and murder of Mau Mau insurgents in Kenya, including a case of a man said to have been “roasted alive”.

16 Comments on "British Colonial Secrets Released"

  1. Probably released it on their own in order to deflate the outrage that would occur if this were published on Wikileaks.

    That said, this is sure to be an interesting set of documents.

  2. hope that ppl see the parallels between the british empire and current u.s. imperialism (or as i like to call it, the british empire v2.0). there are some subtle as well as substantial differences, but in essence the same thing.. or as we say in my home town, “same shit, different smell”.
    on the upside, there exists the possibility that the citizenry of the u.s. can avoid the fate of their colonial forerunners.. mind you, people in the third world are not as stupid as most “westerners” believe.. and they have quite a long memory (i.e. beyond arbitrary electoral cycles).
    secretly hope the BRIC countries gain control of the World Bank/IMF and impose economic “shock therapy”/austerity on a financially bankrupt America.
    ahhh, that would be irony.. which is like bronzy or goldy, only irony.

    • What if the British took over the US and have been the secret government that many people suspect makes the US’s decisions. Obama’s dad being at the top of that list would reinforce that theory. Also explains why Rupert Murdoch is allowed to manipulate them, and few other things I can think of.

      • steff worthington | May 4, 2012 at 7:56 am |

        If the UK took over the US govt today, Americans would be rejoicing tomorrow (if they had any sense). Corporate croneyism is low but still bad in the UK and we’re outraged. In the US you should be reaching for your gun at the level of how corrupt your government has become under the dual kingship of the Koch brothers.

        • I’m not from the US, but this would have probably happened as far back as the civil war and to avoid any outcry, they simply let them believe they’re independent. As far as the UK taking over officially, it wouldn’t be possible without using manipulation on the scale that Rupert Murdoch and other propaganda leakers are/have been using.

        • Jin The Ninja | May 4, 2012 at 10:05 am |

           as a colonial subject under the guise of constitutional monarchy, i really do think it’s completely laughable you think the UK is in any way better off than the US. the levels of british corruption are staggering. the inequality just as bad. the racial tensions flaring. the conservative PM, just as big an oligarchic technocrat as his US counterpart. seriously. give me a break.

        • Liam_McGonagle | May 4, 2012 at 11:18 am |

          I don’t begrudge anyone in their quest for alternatives.  There are undoubtedly some aspects of British solutions that are indisputably better than those in the U.S.

          But when I see how austerity measures are crushing the U.K., and Cameron getting his *ss handed to him in the wake of a massive media corruption scandal, I really can’t say I see a clear overall winner.

    • Irving Greenfield | May 4, 2012 at 7:15 am |

      secretly hope the BRIC countries gain control of the World Bank/IMF and impose economic “shock therapy”/austerity on a financially bankrupt America.

      Not likely to happen though.

      • Liam_McGonagle | May 4, 2012 at 11:25 am |

        Sorry, but have you REALLY been following events in the U.K. and in Europe? 

        It’s beyond dispute that austerity is crushing their infrastructure at every level, social and technical.

        If you see austerity/non-austerity as the real characteristic of interest in determining economic/political success, any objective observer must give austerity a big FAIL.

      •  It’s happening already
        just not the way described.

        The BRICS already settle all their trades in BRICS currencies
        and not US $.

        While the US is busy bombing and arming Africa
        the BRICS are building infrastructure and developing trade there.

        When the West boycotts Iran’s oil
        the BRICS buy it with BRICS money.

        Is China gonna buy any mor T-Bills?
        Not till they can find a buyer for the trillion they already own.

  3. steff worthington | May 4, 2012 at 7:54 am |

    Meh. Nothing other powers haven’t done. Only those who already hate Britain will be outraged really.

    Diego Garcia was cleared on US insistence so they could stage their planes there. I for one care if it happens today. Not yesterday. As yesterday has already happened. Never again for sure… just don’t bring up bad days and expect me to care.

    • Jin The Ninja | May 4, 2012 at 10:00 am |

      ‘Nothing other powers haven’t done. Only those who already hate Britain will be outraged really.’

      i really liked the way you framed 400 years of colonialism, which basically led to the modernisation of the UK (namely britain) through the advances of industrialisation. The UK killed millions of people (subjugating billions) worldwide, and created one of the largest  colonial empires in all of known history. The effects of colonisation, whether through cartographic boundary, ethnicity, national language, currency, parliamentary democracy, reservation systems and several wars, are still influencing events, peoples and disputes at this very second.

      but you’re right. it’s a total ‘meh’ moment.

  4. Yeah, that stuffs pretty bad.
    But compared to what the US has done in the last 50 years
    (invading dozens of countries, bombing Laos, Vietnam, Iraq & Bumfuckistan back to the stone age,
    torturing untried political prisoners in secret prisons and abrogating the US Constitution)
    it’s insignificant.

    • Jin The Ninja | May 4, 2012 at 11:19 am |

       i agree that what the US has done, even within the short span of 50 years, will effectively lead (or has led) to a devastating legacy of colonial effects; that at the very least, will parallel the effects of british imperialism -if not surpass it outright.

    • Why only 50 years? The US has been causing havoc for a lot longer than that, the trail of tears, the stealing of half of Mexico, the Philippine-American war, the stealing of the Panama canal, and so on.

  5. GoodDoktorBad | May 4, 2012 at 12:37 pm |

    Guy Fawkes, we need you…..

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