Jeff Goldstein, a senior policy analyst at the Open Society Foundations, has a letter to the editor in The Washington Post critiquing the statement from a senior State Department official claiming that Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov wants to introduce democratic reforms.
The statement was made during a briefing for the press while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's was visiting Uzbekistan.
The State Department's own reports don't support this premise, nor does a letter from Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake sent to NGOs recently, says Goldstein:
So why does a senior U.S. official now believe Mr. Karimov’s pious statements, against all the evidence of the Uzbek dictator’s past actions and previous official U.S. statements and reports? Is it because the United States needs Karimov to keep supplies flowing to Afghanistan?