April 21, 2012 8:39 AM Subscribe
The Foreign Office’s “guilty secret” revealed 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. Those papers that survived were flown back to Britain and hidden for 50 years in a secret Foreign Office archive in breach of legal obligations for them to be transferred into the public domain.
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The Guardian details some of those papers released earlier this week.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.
In June 1957, Eric Griffiths-Jones, the attorney general of the British administration in Kenya, wrote to the governor
, Sir Evelyn Baring, detailing the way the regime of abuse at the colony's detention camps was being subtly altered.
The "elimination of ranking terrorists
" was a repeated theme in secret monthly reports on casualty figures circulated by the director of intelligence in British-controlled Malaya during the 1950s.
The extent to which successive British governments set out to hoodwink
parliament and the public over the decision to give the US a military base in Diego Garcia and force out the islanders is now laid bare.
Britain planned to test
a very virulent type of poison gas in what is now Botswana, the colonial archives reveal.