(With thanks again to the excellent Ken Silverstein),
Gulnara Karimova is offering all expenses paid luxury junkets to Tashkent, plus a thousand dollars cash in the pocket, to US bloggers willing to blog about Uzbekistan without mentioning torture, massacre, dictatorship, slavery or environmental destruction.
As Obama has entered into a renewed military cooperation with Karimov, with military transit agreements already in place and an airbase agreement pending, it is interesting to note the Washington consultants organising this for Gulnara. It is a firm called Atlas International
Partners. The firm has three Principals. Here is an extract from the biography of each. What do their backgrounds have in common?:
Mr. Belk also assembled critical national security briefings in support of the President of the United States, the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and served as a biological weapons expert for the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) in Iraq in 1998. Mr. Belk’s government service also included a tour in the White House as a special assistant for the Office of the Counsel to the President
Mr. Chichester has been a member of the U.S. Army Chief of Staff’s Eisenhower National Security Series Working Group and the Council on Foreign Relations?”where he co-chaired the Washington Term Member Advisory Committee. He is currently a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies
Ryung Suh received a BS in Chemistry from the United States Military Academy and completed his medical and graduate studies at Georgetown University. He holds faculty research and teaching appointments at Georgetown University School of Medicine, the School of Nursing and Health Studies, and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and serves as Senior Fellow at NORC at the University of Chicago.
Interesting too that Atlas feel quite abe to write:
I understand that Ms. Karimova is reviewing the proposal personally and will get back to us within the next 24 hours, which would be necessary to get your visa processed on Friday. Our feeling is that she is likely to give us a green light, so I am assembling a team of bloggers now
Without any apparent diffidence that their client is still subject to an outstanding New Jersey arrest warrant, which presumably is enforceable throughout the States as it has prevented her from travelling there for years. Are there not any laws about rendering assistance to fugitives from justice?
We wait to see which US bloggers start to write about the wonders of the Karimov regime. I presume that some of the pro-Obama blogs will feel this is a duty they can undertake in support of the administration’s’ new pro-Karimov position.