Wow. Talk about a blast from the past.
Tillerson expected to pick Elliot Abrams as Deputy at State. Former Reagan State Dept official experienced conservative knows the Dept
— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) February 4, 2017
And I can’t resist:
For the youngsters out there, Elliott Abrams began his diplomatic life as Ronald Reagan’s Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs. He achieved fame, however, for pleading guilty to some misdemeanor charges of lying to Congress during the Iran-Contra witch hunt. However he achieved immortality in the left’s Pantheon of boogeymen for his work killing commies in Central America.
He was on George W. Bush’s National Security Council because Bush knew there was no way in Hell his nomination was moving through a Senate controlled by Democrats.
Here is a sampling of more current commentary on him:
David Corn in Mother Jones:
One Abrams specialty was massacre denial. During a Nightline appearance in 1985, he was asked about reports that the US-funded Salvadoran military had slaughtered civilians at two sites the previous summer. Abrams maintained that no such events had occurred. And had the US Embassy and the State Department conducted an investigation? “My memory,” he said, “is that we did, but I don’t want to swear to it, because I’d have to go back and look at the cables.” But there had been no State Department inquiry; Abrams, in his lawyerly fashion, was being disingenuous. Three years earlier, when two American journalists reported that an elite, US-trained military unit had massacred hundreds of villagers in El Mozote, Abrams told Congress that the story was commie propaganda, as he fought for more US aid to El Salvador’s military. The massacre, as has since been confirmed, was real. And in 1993 after a UN truth commission, which examined 22,000 atrocities that occurred during the twelve-year civil war in El Salvador, attributed 85 percent of the abuses to the Reagan-assisted right-wing military and its death-squad allies, Abrams declared, “The Administration’s record on El Salvador is one of fabulous achievement.” Tell that to the survivors of El Mozote.
Eric Alterman in The Nation:
It may seem small in the saga of President Trump’s first two weeks, but according to The Washington Post, there’s a good chance he’ll appoint an actual war criminal to be the second-ranking US diplomat.
I don’t mean someone that we on the left like to call a “war criminal,” such as Henry Kissinger or Dick Cheney. These people might actually qualify, but the cases are at best arguable, and no one in authority has ever been asked to rule on them. Not so for Trump’s potential pick, the onetime neocon golden boy (and son-in-law to Norman Podhoretz and Midge Decter) Elliott Abrams.
The course of Abrams’s failing-upward career reveals the moral rot at the heart of our political establishment.
Like Trump himself, Abrams has behaved so badly in so many different arenas, it actually works in his favor: No one can keep up. The Post piece—which notes that the Trump administration has decided not to appoint a deputy secretary of state for management, giving the sole remaining deputy an enormous amount of influence over both policy and management issues—observes that Abrams was forced to plead guilty to deliberately misleading Congress regarding his nefarious role in the Iran-contra scandal. (He was also disbarred in the District of Columbia.)
However, this is just the tip of a colossal iceberg. As a member of George W. Bush’s National Security Council staff, Abrams encouraged, according to credible reports, a (briefly successful) military coup against the democratically elected government of Venezuela in 2002, poisoning the US relationship with that government once it returned to power. He also worked to subvert the results of the 2006 elections in the Palestinian territories, a move that ended up strengthening the most radical elements of Hamas and undermining—perhaps forever—the possibility of a democratic peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
So, yes, Satan personified.
In a serious vein, I’ve always liked the guy. If you want a man in State who will be kicking ass and taking names every single day to move America’s foreign policy forward in meaningful ways, then you could do a helluva lot worse than Elliott Abrams. He is a foreign policy veteran, he doesn’t sit around and wait for things to die, he goes out and kills the sonsabitches. But he’s not going to get a great reception by some parts of the Trump coalition. He’s Jewish and…
The original neocon nutcase?
Pepe just shot himself in a bathroom stall.https://t.co/tVks14b0nJ
— John Schindler (@20committee) February 4, 2017