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2/03/2005

Elliot Abrams New Deputy NSA

Via Max, Elliot Abrams is one of Steve Hadley's new deputy NSAs:

Washington Post: Elliott Abrams, who pleaded guilty in 1991 to withholding information from Congress in the Iran-contra affair, was promoted to deputy national security adviser to President Bush.

Abrams, who previously was in charge of Middle East affairs, will be responsible for pushing Bush's strategy for advancing democracy.
For information on Abram's political rebirth, check out this May 2003 Washington Post article.
For Abrams, fighting communism and promoting human rights were one and the same. Although he criticized the right-wing Augusto Pinochet regime in Chile, he played down or ignored human rights violations by pro-American governments in Central America, where the struggle for geopolitical influence with the Soviet Union was most intense. In an exchange with the human rights activist Aryeh Neier on ABC's "Nightline" in 1984, Abrams insisted that widely reported massacres by right-wing death squads in El Salvador "never happened."

"Elliott was willing to distort and misrepresent the truth in order to promote the policy adopted by the administration," Neier said. "His approach was that the ends justified the means." Abrams has replied to past criticism by Neier by describing his human rights work as "garbage" and "completely politicized."
David Corn has more background in his 2001 Nation article.

Hadley probably got to know Abrams while serving as counsel to the Tower Commission investigating Iran Contra in 1986 and 1987. He goes into this with eyes wide open. They may have bonded in their numerous first term trips to Israel, where they, along with Burns, muddled the security fence issue.

In other news, Hannibal Lecter's name keeps surfacing for a new post to combat international hunger.

 

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