Allegations of visas in exchange for sex against a British ambassador to some ex-Soviet republic; subsequently cleared on all counts but forced out nonetheless. Like many in Britain that was all that really remained in my memory of the lurid headlines and media reports of a year or so ago - and life carried on.
Anyone for whom that rings bells owes it to themselves to read this book, as does anyone wondering about the true nature of the West's so called 'War on Terror'. It is deeply disturbing on two levels:
1. It documents the appalling nature of the 20 year Uzbek Regime of Islam Karimov. A regime which spans the pre and post-to-date Soviet era. Not in some dry academic fashion either but through the exploits of the Ambassador who, at considerable risk to his own safety, intervened in numerous cases of offical brutality. The reader is left in no doubt that the Karimov regime of Uzbekistan is on a par with the very worst of the worlds self-serving and brutal dictatorships. It was during this period that controversy about US/UK willingness to 'make use of evidence obtained under torture' and US so called 'rendition flights' became public. The ambassador reported that any such 'evidence' from Uzbekistan was useless since the regime was simply in the business of forcing 'dissidents to confirm what the regime wanted the West to hear. His reports were unwelcome.
2. To have the true nature of one the then principal strategic allies in the West's 'War on Terror' exposed to scrutiny was judged by the Foreign Office top brass to be (euphemistically) 'counterproductive'. In spite of him having overwhelming support from human rights organisations and the Ex-Pat British business community, not to mention achieving more genuine influence with the Karimov regime than any of his predecessors, he had to be stopped. The methods employed to stop him were the inspiration of those headlines which hid a myriad of other kafkaesque stratagems . They bring shame on both the British government and the upper echelons of a politicised civil service which even now is doing all it can to prevent both the sale of this book and publication of documents which prove its authenticity.
Buy it while you still can here