The magazine said its information came from a source it described as "a frequent participant in White House Situation Room meetings" in 2002 and 2003. The source, who has since left government, said a CIA counter-terrorism official described the use of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean and said prisoners may also have been kept on ships anchored near the island.
Richard Clarke, who served in the administrations of presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, told Time he had heard Diego Garcia discussed as a place to hold suspected terrorists. He said he did not hear a final decision.
"Given everything that we know about the administration's approach to the law on these matters, I find the report that the (United States) did use the island for detention or interrogation entirely credible," he said.
Clarke said using the island without British permission would violate British law and the agreement between Britain and the United States for joint military use of Diego Garcia.
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