Bush lies and deceptions: Uzbekispin

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Devil in the Details: Bush Admin officals, GW Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Gen. Franks, Douglas Feith and Colin Powel in photgraphs with Islam Karimov

Uzbekistan's authoritarian leader, Islam Karimov, whose Communist membership in the Soviet power structure dates back to Leonid Brezhnev, served notice to the United States Government that the US Karshi-Khanabad (K2) Airbase in southeastern Uzbekistan, known as the K2 airfield "which since October 2001 has been a hub for military and humanitarian supplies that are flown or trucked overland into Afghanistan," was no longer welcome, and must be closed. [1]

The Bush administration almost immediately claimed the expulsion was caused by Bush's principled stand in defense of human rights; his calling for an international investigation into the killing of civilians in the Southern Uzbekistan city Andijan on May 13, 2005, and his push for the evacuation of several hundred Uzbek refugees in Kyrgyzstan, who had fled the government's military crackdown after their killing of civilians, to Romania, and to be later settled in other countries. [2]

Metaphorically speaking, this may well have been the final twist of the rack which cracked the rendered detainee's spine, but it is another in the ever growing list of the Bush administration's consciously offered dissembling of facts, an administration whose public actions often contradict their public statement of ideals. There are indications that the Karimov government has decided to realign with the growing geopolitical sphere of influence from Russia and China, believing that his alliance with the USA can no longer be used as a solidifying force of its power.

The Bush administration has since just weeks after September 11, 2001, been openly sleeping with an enemy of democracy, known to be a torturer and murderer:

"Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, both on Afghanistan's norther border, have granted a U.S. request to let commandos launch strikes from the former Soviet republics."
Rowan Scarborough, "[3]", Washington Times (Nucnews dot net mirror), September 28, 2001

The Bush Administration entered into the Faustian Karimov pact with their eyes open. The US Department of State's 1999 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices clearly defined Uzbekistan's government as a flagrant violator of human rights. GW Bush had not previously shown any anxiety regarding many documented allegations of the Karimov government's usage of barbaric methods to treat his political enemies. He has defended his renditions of prisoners to the Karimov government.

After being told by the Uzbekistan government that the American base was no longer welcome, the Bush Administration is attempting to reshape a political defeat in the Central Asian Steppes into an example of their uncompromising stand for human rights. The mainstream American media has been complicit and/or shallow in their analysis, generally restating the official government spin.

Principled Stand or Political Expedience?

Uzbekistn Map

The city of Andijon is in the Ferghana Valley located in the Southeastern part of Uzbekistan. It is an economically depressed part of the country in which many are opposed to their dictatorial form of government. Karimov has defined all of the dissidents to be Islamic extremists, and has outlawed many groups. On May 13, 2005, armed rebels stormed a jail to free 23 popular businessmen who were imprisoned and charged with membership in a banned Islamic extremist group, but many felt were being unjustly tried.

"The prison break ultimately released as many as 2,000 inmates and became a mass demonstration in the city of Andijon, which was later dispersed when soldiers and armored vehicles fired on the crowd, according to the accounts of journalists and witnesses."
C. J. Chivers, "Skirmishes Continue at Uzbek Border", New York Times, May 15, 2005

Another May 15th report, this one by the Associated Press said:

"An estimated 500 bodies have been laid out in a school in the eastern Uzbek city where troops fired on a crowd of protesters to put down an uprising, a doctor said Sunday, corroborating witness accounts of hundreds killed in the fighting.
[. . .]
The doctor also said she believed some 2,000 people were wounded in the clashes on Friday, but it wasn't clear how she arrived at that estimate."
Bagila Bukharbayeva, Witness: Hundreds Dead in Uzbek Uprising, The associated Press (published by ABC News), May 15, 2005

This happened at an awkward time for the Bush Administration. GW Bush had just returned from a European trip that had included a speech he made on May 10, 2005 in Georgia, loudly claiming support for freedom and the democratic process for everybody in the world. (White House transcript).

There had been increasing criticism placed on the Administration regarding their own human rights record. An early March CBS 60 Minutes ran a hard hitting piece about renditions, and Uzbekistan had been an integral part of it. [4]

The New York Times had published an article on May 1, 2005 critical of the Bush Administration's Uzbek alliance:

"Seven months before Sept. 11, 2001, the State Department issued a human rights report on Uzbekistan. It was a litany of horrors.
The police repeatedly tortured prisoners, State Department officials wrote, noting that the most common techniques were 'beating, often with blunt weapons, and asphyxiation with a gas mask.' Separately, international human rights groups had reported that torture in Uzbek jails included boiling of body parts, using electroshock on genitals and plucking off fingernails and toenails with pliers. Two prisoners were boiled to death, the groups reported. The February 2001 State Department report stated bluntly, 'Uzbekistan is an authoritarian state with limited civil rights.'
Immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks, however, the Bush administration turned to Uzbekistan as a partner in fighting global terrorism. The nation, a former Soviet republic in Central Asia, granted the United States the use of a military base for fighting the Taliban across the border in Afghanistan. President Bush welcomed President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan to the White House, and the United States has given Uzbekistan more than $500 million for border control and other security measures.
Now there is growing evidence that the United States has sent terror suspects to Uzbekistan for detention and interrogation, even as Uzbekistan's treatment of its own prisoners continues to earn it admonishments from around the world, including from the State Department."
Don Van Natta Jr., "U.S. Recruits a Rough Ally to Be a Jailer", New York Times, May 1, 2005-also published on May 1, 2005 in the San Francisco Chronicle

The Christian Science Monitor's May 16, 2005 article posited that Bush's Georgian speech may have acted as a catalyst for the Andijon uprising:

"Andijon is just 24 miles from the Kyrgyz town of Osh, where the revolution that overthrew President Askar Akayev began. Experts say the pro-democracy uprisings around the former Soviet Union, most recently in Kyrgyzstan, may have helped spur Andijon residents to stand up to police and troops.
Another impulse may have come from President Bush, who hailed Georgia's Rose Revolution before cheering crowds in Tbilisi, and suggested its influence could reach more broadly: "Now, across the Caucasus, in Central Asia and in the broader Middle East, we see the same desire for liberty burning in the hearts of young people," Bush said. 'They are demanding their freedom - and they will have it.'"
Fred Weir and Peter Boehm, "Uzbek violence challenges leader's hard line", The Christian Science Monitor, May 16, 2005

The first of the Downing Street memo exposés by the London Times had also been published on May 1, 2005. [5] The Blair government, still smarting from the May 5, 2005 General Election were quick in renouncing the Andijon massacre.

The release of Amnesty International's Report 2005, which forcibly criticised Bush's human rights record, was two weeks away, and the report's Uzbekistan article began with:

"Uzbekistan: Covering events from January - December 2004 Hundreds of men and women, said to be either devout Muslims or their relatives, were arbitrarily detained following a series of explosions and attacks on police checkpoints in March and April and three suicide bombings in July. Scores of men and dozens of women, all accused of 'terrorism'-related offences, were sentenced after unfair trials to long prison terms for their alleged participation in the violence. Evidence reportedly obtained under torture was routinely admitted in court and there was no presumption of innocence. Death sentences and secret executions continued on a large scale, bucking the regional trend towards abolition."

It could be argued, given the circumstances, that the Bush Administration had no other expedient political choice to make other than to support an International Investigation. Still, there was no official response to the killings in Andijon until May 16, 2005, and the early responses were less than a rousing and unyielding support for democratic processes in Uzbekistan, or vocal criticisms for Karimov's wanton shooting of protesting citizens:

"The United States tonight finally broke its silence on the reported massacre of hundreds of unarmed citizens gunned down by security forces in Uzbekistan.
The State Department said it was 'deeply disturbed' by the reports. We certainly condemn the indiscriminate use of force against unarmed civilians and deeply regret any loss of life," said spokesman Richard Boucher.
But American officials tip-toed around direct criticism of the regime of President Islam Karimov.
Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, called on Mr Karimov to adopt political reforms to head off future outbreaks of violence. 'This is a country that needs, in a sense, pressure valves that come from a more open political system,' she said of the Central Asian republic that is a key American ally in the War on Terror.
Ms Rice, flying back to Washington after her surprise visit to Iraq, herself offered no censure of Uzbekistan despite the reports, several days old, of a massacre in the city of Andijan last week. She said Washington's main concern was to prevent further violence, but made no public appeal to Mr Karimov."
Roland Watson and Jeremy Page, "America breaks its silence over Uzbekistan", The London Times, May 16, 2005

By the end of May, Karimov had sealed a new alignment with China, meeting with Chinese Premier Hu Jintao in Beijing. Both sides were more than willing to justify each other's acts of repression, venerating them as propitious actions by leaders acting justly in defense of their homelands from Extremist Islamic Terrorists.

"China welcomed the Uzbek president, Islam Karimov, to a summit meeting yesterday, saying the two countries stood united against terrorism.
With western countries calling for an independent inquiry into the reported killing of hundreds of civilian protesters earlier this month, Mr Karimov received support and gestures of friendship from China.
[. . .]
Reuters reported that 14 agreements were signed by the two parties, including a deal for a $600m oil joint venture and a treaty of friendship and cooperation.
The welcome highlighted China's focus on strategic stability in the former Soviet states of central Asia, a region that Beijing considers a hotbed of Islamic militancy that could spread to its own territory.
[. . .]
The unrest (Andijon) occurred about 120 miles from China's western region of Xinjiang, which shares Uzbekistan's Muslim religion and Turkic language roots. Chinese authorities claim Uighur separatists in the area are fighting for an independent theocratic state and are part of an international terrorist network.
'East Turkestan separatists have carried out a lot of terrorist incidents in China. The Uzbekistan side fully understands and supports the Chinese government's stance on this issue,' said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Kong Quan.
He said that China's leaders 'firmly support the efforts by the authorities of Uzbekistan to strike down the three forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism'."
Various Press Services, "China welcomes Uzbek president", The Guardian, May 26, 2005

Russia had started to support Karimovs move away from the west by late May. At a NATO meeting in Sweden for its members and partners Russia’s deputy foreign minister Vladimir Chizhov questioned the NATO demand for an investigation of Uzbekistan, which is itself a NATO Partner,

"We are gathered here as partners and partnership means trust. If one partner says it can carry out an investigation itself...The countries calling for an international investigation recently competed with each other hailing Uzbekistan’s role as a key player in the global anti-terrorist coalition."
"Russia Says International Calls to Probe Uzbek Crackdown Unfair", Mosnews, May 25, 2005

On June 30, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was offering direct cover, and an alternative to the UN's International Investigation; an "International Investigation" comprised of the regional nations only. Within his message was a transparent quid pro quo: Russia using the Karimov crackdown to help justify their own war against Chechen insurgents by agreeing with their designation as "terrorists":

"We have information that radical Islamists, groups belonging to the so-called Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and surviving Taliban fighters were involved in the Uzbekistan events."
"Chechen Terrorists Implicated in Uzbek Bloodshed — Russia", Mosnews, July 2, 2005

Uzbekistan then made a deal with Russia's Gazprom for their natural gas and oil resources. The UK's former Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Muray was quoted in the Independent saying the eviction of the US was more about control and money, than the refugees:

"'This is about the Karimov regime's decision to turn to Gazprom and the Russians, not the US, to develop Uzbekistan's oil and gas,' he said. 'This deal was brokered between the President's daughter, Gulnara Karimova, and Alisher Usmanov, the Uzbek-born Russian who bought 27 per cent of Corus [British Steel]).'
'They were concerned that Western companies could build centres of wealth not under their direct control. They have decided to turn to Russian and Chinese state companies for investment.'
Andrew Osborn, "Uzbekistan told US to close down airbase 'after gas deal with Russia' and get out", Independent, August 2, 2005

Russia was more than willing to accept the prodigal former Soviet breakaway province back under their wing. The Gazprom deal reeked of nepotism and kleptocracy, but was advantageous to both Russia and Uzbekistan, and both sides offered each other rationales for their own "Defense against Terror" Wars.

The Bush Administration was now minus a highly overcompensated Central Asian ally that had been one of the glaring exceptions to the Bush Doctrine. The alliance with Uzbekistan had ended up further leveling the hill and dimming the beacon in the eyes of a candid world, that was once America's place as it called for freedom from the moral high ground.

White House Statements

Statements made by the Bush Administration after the civilian slaughter in Andijon, Uzbekistan have been equivocal regarding their stance about Karimov's actions. In the May 13, 2005, White House press briefing, spokesman Scott McClellan said:

Q ...On Uzbekistan, do you have any reaction to what is going on over there, on the crisis? And have there been any high-level contacts since this erupted?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I know that the Department of State has been in touch with our embassy there, and so they probably will be talking more about this at their briefing, as well. We have had concerns about human rights in Uzbekistan, but we are concerned about the outbreak of violence, particularly by some members of a terrorist organization that were freed from prison. And we urge both the government and the demonstrators to exercise restraint at this time. The people of Uzbekistan want to see a more representative and democratic government, but that should come through peaceful means, not through violence. And that's what our message is.

This stated in reference to the Uzbek military's May 13, 2005 Andijon shooting of civilians the London Times described on May 16, 2005 with:

Uzbek troops fired into a crowd of about 3,000 protesters on Friday after armed rebels had stormed a jail, freed prisoners accused of Islamic extremism and occupied the local government headquarters. “They shot at us like rabbits,” one teenager said.
The protesters had demanded the resignation of President Karimov, who has ruled the Central Asian nation since Soviet times. Mr Karimov has blamed the uprising on Islamists and said that ten government soldiers and “many more” protesters were killed, although the Government has not released any official death toll.
Critics said that the President had ordered the crackdown to prevent protests from snowballing into a revolution similar to one in neighbouring Kyrgyzstan two months ago.
The violence presents the US with a diplomatic dilemma: it has hailed Mr Karimov as an ally in the War on Terror since he allowed US Forces to use an airbase for operations in Afghanistan. However, human rights groups have repeatedly accused the US and Britain of muting their criticism of abuses in Uzbekistan.

The first White House attempt to resolve this "diplomatic dilemma" had been to paint the protestors with a bright terroristic hue, and calling out to the Uzbek people to seek a peaceful resolution in response to their being "shot at like rabbits" by their country's military.

People who are violently abused and murdered by a repressive and non-democratic regime should seek peaceful methods to achieve a representative change in their government was the Administration's message to the Uzbek people on this day, given by McClellan. A incredibly bland statement by an Administration that had at this time revised their primary legitimizing cause for the War on Iraq into securing freedom for a violently repressed people. It is a soppy milquetoast position from an administration constantly claiming to support and defend the creation and nurturing of democratic institutions throughout the world. In practice, the Bush Doctrine has shown itself too willing to throw away stated principles, and engage in disingenuous liaisons for expedience's sake by allying with tyrannical leaders who view democratic processes derisively.

A few day later, during a May 18, 2005, Press Briefing, McClellan is less vociferous with placing blame at the victims' feet, but he bristled at an allegation of the Administration's hypocrisy evidenced in the comparison of their attitudes and actions towards Cuba and towards the Karimov government:

Q Scott, the President of Uzbekistan has now admitted that his government killed upwards of 170 of its citizens, some anti-government protestors, some escaped prisoners, apparently. Opposition groups say the figure could have been far, far higher. What's the President's view of this situation?
MR. McCLELLAN: Actually, we spoke about it just the other day. The State Department addressed this very matter and expressed our concerns about it. Obviously, we have continued to urge restraint by all and for all to work for calm in Uzbekistan. We were deeply disturbed by the reports that authorities had fired on demonstrators last Friday, and we expressed our condemnation about the indiscriminate use of force against unarmed civilians. And we certainly deeply regret any loss of life. So we've expressed that previously.
But we've also called on people to reject those who would try to incite violence, as well. And we talked about that, too. We've urged the government, as well, to allow humanitarian organizations, like the International Committee for the Red Cross, to have access to the region so that they can gather facts and help take care of people that need help.
Q That's very clear. I wonder if I can contrast it with something, though. In 2002, the President said of another leader who had arrested 75 people and had them sentenced: "The dictator has responded with defiance and contempt and a new round of brutal oppression that has outraged the world's conscience." The President was speaking of Fidel Castro, who imprisoned these dissidents, didn't kill any of them, and I wonder why the double standard.
MR. McCLELLAN: I don't know that I would look at it that way. Obviously, Terry, there are different circumstances around the world. You have to deal with those different circumstances. And so I wouldn't look at it that way at all. But we have long spoken about our concerns when it comes to the human rights situation in Uzbekistan, and we've laid out the facts as we know them about the human rights situation in Uzbekistan. We would like to see a more open and responsive government. But the way to achieve that is not through violence; it's through peaceful means. And that's what we always emphasize.
Q This is a leader who has been in power since before the fall of the Soviet Union. He's clearly a dictator by any definition of that word. And I wonder if you could respond to the concerns that many people have that this administration is going easy on him because he is necessary in the war on terrorism, in part because the United States has rendered certain detainees into his country and --
MR. McCLELLAN: I think the facts speak differently. The facts are very clear in terms of we speak out about the concerns that we have, we speak out when we are disturbed by events that take place. And that's what we have done in this instance, as well. And I just did.

As he danced upon the head of a pin, while splitting a hair; differentiating the brutal acts of the dictator Castro from the brutal acts of the dictator Karimov, McClellan ably managed to offer cautionary advice against the use of force to the Uzbek people desiring to end the rule of their totalitarian leader.

Mr. Bush addressed the Andijon issue in response to a question during his May 31, 2005, press conference in the White House Rose Garden:

Q [...] how come you have not spoken out about the violent crackdown in Uzbekistan, which is a U.S. ally in the war on terror[..]?
In terms of Uzbekistan -- thanks for bringing it up -- we've called for the International Red Cross to go into the Andijon region to determine what went on, and we expect all our friends, as well as those who aren't our friends, to honor human rights and protect minority rights. That's part of a healthy and a peaceful -- peaceful world, will be a world in which governments do respect people's rights. And we want to know fully what took place there in Uzbekistan, and that's why we've asked the International Red Cross to go in.

An absurd statement from President Bush who had, earlier the same month, sought to discredit a report by the International Red Cross describing his mandated treatment of prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as being "tantamount to torture" (NY Times May 1, 2005 report). He certainly has not allowed the International Red Cross unfettered detainee access "to determine what went on...to know fully what took place there ", even though this is the remedy he offered for Uzbekistan.

During a White House Press gaggle delivered by Trent Duffy at a private residence in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, at a Bush attended fundraising event on June 14, 2005, the message was a little more forceful. There was also a strident denial to reports that dissenting views opposing an official call for an International investigation had been coming from within the Department of Defense:

Q Trent, can you talk about the story today saying that the Defense Department was opposed to an independent inquiry into the Uzbekistan --
MR. DUFFY: Sure. The administration has made its view known that it wants the government of Uzbekistan to allow a credible, independent international investigation into the events at Andijon. The administration is speaking with one voice on that, and both the Defense Department as well as the State Department have made those views known to the government of Uzbekistan. So that's what the administration's policy is.
Q So was there some confusion in the Defense Department about what that policy was?
MR. DUFFY: No, the Defense Department, as I said, has issued the same request to the government of Uzbekistan, as has the State Department and other administration officials, that we want a credible, independent investigation into the Andijon events.

Bush seemed to have pulled back some from this stance in his June 29, 2005, Interview of President Bush by ITV (UK) in the White House Library.

What does make sense is for our generous nation to help countries that make good choices about how they govern, about transparency, but also good choices about investing in the health and education of their people. We're more than willing to help, and we're leading the world when it comes to help. And I wouldn't call it conditions-based, what I call it is --
Q What about a country like --
THE PRESIDENT: -- partnering, working together.
Q But what about a country like Uzbekistan, Mr. President, with a shocking, appalling record of human rights getting tens of billions of dollars of American aid because you have American bases there?
THE PRESIDENT: Again, I'm not exactly sure of the numbers you're throwing out there, but no question we have an American base there. They've been very helpful in helping fight the war on terror.
On the other hand, we are sending very clear messages that we expect minority rights to be honored, that people ought to be allowed to express themselves in the public square without fear of reprisal from the government.

These clear messages are difficult to discover from the public record. They indicate an administration whose actions are based upon moral relevancy. A country's membership in the coalition of the willing is weighted heavier that a country's governance by a willing citizenry.

Dissent of Principle Within the UK's Foreign Office

Craig Murray was considered to be a rising star within the United Kingdom's diplomatic corps. In 2002 he became the UK's ambassador to Uzbekistan, and was expected to remain there until November, 2005. Murray was removed from his post in October 2004.

At an October 2002, function celebrating the opening of a Freedom House in Uzbekistan's capital of Tashkent, Murray gave an inflammatory speech regarding his observations of human rights abuses by the Karimov Government. He claimed that as least two prisoners had been boiled alive in water, and that he believed these were not isolated instances. He clearly stated that Uzbekistan was not a functioning democracy. Although the Murray speech ruffled some feathers of big birds back home, it wasn't until after he began to publicly question the morality and lawfulness of the English intelligence service, MI-6, using data obtained from prisoners that had been brought to Uzbekistan by American representatives in the process of rendition, which probably was data obtained through torture, and therefore illegal under English law and International Treaties (UN Convention Against Torture article 3.1) that he became engaged in a public battle with his own government's bureaucrats, culminating in his recall from Uzbekistan, being charged with 18 violations and told that any public discussion of the charges would violate the Official Secrets Act which is punishable by imprisonment. He was later exonerated on all charges.

The Journal Turkish Weekly, published a Craig Murray Interview January on 24th, 2005, in which Murray explains his belief that rendered prisoners are being tortured with the tacit approval of the Bush Administration:

Q: A controversial accusation you made was that MI6 was using information extracted from tortured Uzbek citizens. What evidence did you actually have to lead you to this conclusion?
CM: I’ve got no doubts about it whatsoever. I’m 100 percent sure of it, and in all my dealings with the British government about it – and I’ve been called back from Uzbekistan to have meetings specifically on the subject – they have never denied it. The British government has never denied it, and scores of British reporters have phoned up the Foreign Office and said, “What is the line?” and they always come back with the same line. It’s that “it would be irresponsible to ignore useful evidence in the war against terror”. They have never said, “No, we’re not gaining evidence from torture,” – the British government has never denied it. They can’t deny it.
Q: Taking things a stage further, there was a report a little while back about the American ‘Ghost Planes’ which would take people to countries where torture was used and get information from them. Do you know anything about this?
CM: Well yes, that Gulfstream plane came in to Tashkent several times while I was there, and it’d bring in detainees. As far as I’m aware it only brought in Uzbek detainees from Bagram airport, from Afghanistan. I’ve had many people allege to me that Americans used it to bring non-Uzbek-related detainees in specifically to be tortured for questioning. I never saw any evidence of that. I’m not saying it isn’t true, but to my knowledge I only know of it bringing in detainees from Afghanistan to Uzbekistan.
Q: Well, isn’t it against the UN Convention Against Torture article 3.1 (No state party shall expel, return or extradite a person to another state where there are substantial grounds for believing that he will be in danger of being subjected to torture) whoever they were and wherever they were from?
CM: Yes it is contrary to that, undoubtedly.
Q: And did you bring this up with the American government?
CM: Yes, I mean, I asked my deputy to speak to the head of the CIA station in Tashkent. And what I said was, “I don’t want to put my foot in it here. Now it’s possible that the CIA have got a special arrangement with the Uzbek security services which makes certain that the intelligence they get wasn’t obtained under torture, maybe they have special photographs, and CIA people posted at all interrogations, and arrangements are in place. I don’t want to make a fool of myself. We need to check that this really is obtained under torture.” So she went and saw the CIA head of station in Tashkent, and this was in November 2002, and said to him, “Look, my ambassador’s worried that the intelligence you’re passing on to MI6 is probably obtained under torture, and he wants your take on whether this is possible”. And she reported back to me, absolutely no reason to disbelieve her, the CIA head of station Tashkent said: “You’re right, it will be obtained under torture. But, we don’t see that as a problem.” Yes, I’ve got no doubt at all about it.
Q: And I suppose they justify this by saying it’s part of the War on Terror?
CM: Yes, but the War on Terror seems to justify any ablations of human rights whatsoever.
Q: Yes, I was quite interested to see Condoleeza Rice naming the ‘outposts of tyranny’, which obviously don’t include Uzbekistan. They’re Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Burma and Belarus.
CM: I think it’s fascinating that the Americans are much harder on human rights in Kazakhstan, which although bad, isn’t nearly as bad as Uzbekistan. It’s quite amazing really, and the Americans amaze me with their hypocrisy.

Murray has recently found himself under threat of prosecution once again. David Leighh in an article published by The Guardian Newspaper on July 27, 2005, reported:

"The Foreign Office is threatening action against Craig Murray, the former ambassador to Uzbekistan, if he publishes an unauthorised book attacking the use of intelligence obtained under torture."

During a March 16, 2005 Press conference, GW Bush offered a weak defense to allegations that detainees rendered to Uzbekistan were being tortured in his non-contexual response to a question:

Q As Commander-in-Chief, what is it that Uzbekistan can do in interrogating an individual that the United States can't?
THE PRESIDENT: We seek assurances that nobody will be tortured when we render a person back to their home country.

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