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Tuesday, September 20, 2005 

Uzbekistan Hits Pay Dirt, Courtesy the Pentagon

The President of Uzbekistan had a big day today. Not only did “Fifteen men pleaded guilty […[ to participating in an uprising in eastern Uzbekistan in May that led to what human rights groups say was a government crackdown that left more than 700 dead.” (AP), But at the same time, “The Pentagon intends to pay a nearly $23 million bill to Uzbekistan for use of an air base” (AP)

So, the US is forking over 23 big ones for the airbase that the Uzbeks said we cant use anymore after we called for an international investigation into the same event that the fifteen men pleaded guilty to. President Islam Karimov now gets the cash, and a conviction, all without anyone from the pesky "world community" looking in on his affairs.... Good Job.

Four Republicans and two Democrats sent a letter to Rumsfeld asking to have the money put into an escrow account until Uzbekistan starts acting like it is part of the human race again. (my words, not theirs). But the Pentagon says it feels “obligated” to pay up.