Nuland went on to say that in Dushanbe the day before that meeting, the Secretary spoke out in public about U.S. concerns regarding the human rights situation in Tajikistan. What Nuland didn’t say was that Mrs. Clinton made NO such public remarks while in Uzbekistan.
The State Department justified invoking the waiver as being in the U.S. national interest, apparently because of the need to grease the skids for greater Uzbek government cooperation with the Northern Distribution Network, which is now the only over-ground route the U.S. has to bring supplies to troops in Afghanistan. We can’t say for sure, however, because the justification Clinton sent to Congress was classified. It did come with an unclassified – and Congressionally-mandated – analysis of human rights conditions in Uzbekistan. According to that analysis, the use of forced adult and child labor remains systematic during Uzbekistan’s cotton harvest, when “many thousands of schoolchildren, university students, and teachers, among others, are required to work in the fields as a result of government mobilization.”