Thursday, February 03, 2005

Evil smug scum watch


Elliott Abrams, who did such a lovely job undermining democracy here and in Central America during the Reagan administration, has been promoted to deputy national security adviser with responsibility for advancing democracy. Back then, I said that if one good thing came out of Iran-Contra, it was that that smug prick would never become secretary of state. If you’re too young to remember this supporter of death squads, dictators and Contras, do google him. The first Google hit is a David Corn article in the Nation, which should be a good place to start. But a list of his misdeeds doesn’t convey how obnoxious this guy’s smugness was, how irritating his ubiquitous appearances on McNeil-Lehrer and Nightline.

My favorite Abrams story: a Congressional committee once asked him if any foreign governments had contributed funds to the Contras. He said no, which was technically true only because when Abrams had solicited $10 million from the Sultan of Brunei, he gave him the wrong Swiss account number, so the money hadn’t technically gone to the Contras but to one temporarily lucky (until he got caught) Swiss citizen.

So Abrams’s rehabilitation continues. At a glacial pace, I suppose, compared to the near-instant whitewashing of torture apologists like Alberto Gonzales (yesterday I caught a bit of the Senate speeches, with Orrin Hatch outright accusing D’s of racism). Still, even Bush daren’t put him up for a position requiring Senate confirmation (he was after all convicted of lying to Congress, later pardoned by Bush the Elder) or make the announcement on any but a busy news day. I think the best response to this is a reminder that Bush’s father still hasn’t answered questions about his role in Iran-Contra, about which he said the Reagan administration had “erred on the side of life.” Ah, the culture of life.

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