I wrote a few pieces about the current administration’s support for Uzbekistan’s president Islam Karimov last summer (here and here).
In the summer of 2005, U.S. trained and funded Uzbeki police forces conducted a brutal crackdown on political dissidents, creating a few hundred refugees and massacring several hundred people. After a failed cover-up and subsequent world wide outrage, the U.S. was forced into making some toothless criticisms. The Washington Post reported on page A15 that defense officials from the U.S blocked a NATO demand for an international investigation. 
Congress, notably John McCain, demanded to know why the U.S. had supported this cruel dictator for years. His brutality was not unknown. For several years in its annual human right report, our own State Department had listed Uzbekistan as one of the world's leading human rights violators.
At the time, I thought this is what was going to happen: The U.S. would announce a cut in military funding to Uzbekistan. It would later turn out that the amount of moncy cut had been reallocated through another channel, like money for cleaning up nuclear waste or something. I thought this because it had actually happened before.
Instead, to my surprise, Karimov evicted the U.S. from its air base. The propaganda mills quickly tried to rewrite this into a "principled stand" from the U.S. For example, the Christian Science Monitor put the matter thusly, "The eviciton notice is an important sign that the U.S is quite willing to antagonize a dictator and possibly lose a military base used in fighting terorism in order to acheive a broader aim: establishing democracy in Islamic nations.
That decision was forced on the U.S. last May" by protestors, journalists, and prolific U.S. Senators.  The "principled stand" came several years after the U.S. had enthusiastically aided and abetted the same repression and crimes it now stood tall against, and was not really a stand but a tepid reaction to popular protest. (Recall again that the U.S.'s blocked a NATO investigation.) The U.S. was evicted by Uzbekistan, we did not leave on our own in outrage. Military commanders quickly pointed out that the base was not much of a loss and they could relocate in neigboring country Afghanistan. So much for "principled stands."
Studying this situation is important for a number of reasons. First, there is no doubt that popular protest led to an end for the U.S.'s military and political support for Karimov. Secondly, it gives lie to the idea that U.S. foreign policy is based on human rights and spreading democracy around the globe. Much of U.S. foreign policy is about protecting interests and securing favorable investment clients for the rich, often at the expense of its rhetorical commitments, which are for little more than rallying domestic opinion.
The former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, is now publishing government memorandum documenting his struggle to end western support for this monster. Uzbekistan was one destination for U.S. rendition, the practice of outsourcing torture by our government. Murray criticized the U.S. and Britain for using information gained from Uzbekistan’s torture chambers and was rebutted by a British legal advisor. Murray notes that our use of information gained under torture is a violation of international law and goes on to describe its uselessness, relaying the story of one Uzbeki man who was forced to watch his sons tortured until he signed an admission that he had ties to Bin Laden.
Smith, Jeffrey & Kessler, Glenn. Washington Post. 14 June 2005.
Editorial, Christian Science Monitor. 1 August 2005.