Wednesday, February 02, 2005

New buddies share recipes for freedom 

Posing for moral leadership

"Because of the US help, Karimov is getting richer and stronger.":
Independent human rights groups estimate that there are more than 600 politically motivated arrests a year in Uzbekistan, and 6,500 political prisoners, some tortured to death. According to a forensic report commissioned by the British embassy, in August two prisoners were even boiled to death.

The US condemned this repression for many years. But since September 11 rewrote America's strategic interests in central Asia, the government of President Islam Karimov has become Washington's new best friend in the region.

The US is funding those it once condemned. Last year Washington gave Uzbekistan $500m (£300m) in aid. The police and intelligence services - which the state department's website says use "torture as a routine investigation technique" received $79m of this sum.

Mr Karimov was President Bush's guest in Washington in March last year. They signed a "declaration" which gave Uzbekistan security guarantees and promised to strengthen "the material and technical base of [their] law enforcement agencies". ~Guardian UK, May 2003

More, including photos, via the Memory Hole: Senior US Officials Cozy up to Dictator Who Boils People Alive

Maybe he'll boil David Brooks alive if we throw in a lobster and a bushel of clams as a gesture of good faith. Is that doable? Alberto?

On topic - Corrente backtrack: Outposts of Empire...

By May 2002, a thousand American soldiers from the Tenth Mountain Division and a squadron of F-15E fighter jets were deployed there. Russian sources claim that Uzbekistan has leased the base to the United states for twenty-five years. The Pentagon denies this but refuses to say how long the lease actually is. [...] The Pentagon has given Vice President Cheney's old company, the Kellogg Brown & Root subdivision of Halliburton, an open-ended contract to provide logistics for the Khanadad base-... [source: Sorrows of Empire, Chalmers Johnson; pp 184]

1- Uzbekistan: Pentagon's Foriegn Military Financing (FMF) fund provides money for weapons and training to countries such as Israel, Jordon, Colombia, India, Pakistan Turkey among others. Appropriations for such outlays are in the billions of dollars. Pentagon requested Over 4 billion in 2003. Uzbekistan received 8.75 million from this 2003 budget. (and 1.2 million from the State Departments International Military Education and Training (IMET) program. [source: Sorrows of Empire, Chalmers Johnson; pp 137]


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