Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) homed in on Elliott Abrams’ dubious past when the controversial diplomat testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday. Abrams is now the special envoy to Venezuela, appointed by President Donald Trump in January.
Omar ― who is embroiled in her own controversy over tweets viewed by some as anti-Semitic (she “unequivocally” apologized on Monday) ― questioned how Abrams, who has a history of lying to Congress and abetting war crimes by U.S. allies, could be trusted at all.
“I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony that you give today to be truthful,” — Omar told Abrams.
“I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony that you give today to be truthful,” Omar told Abrams.
The diplomat tried to defend himself against Omar’s remarks, but the congresswoman cut him off. “That was not a question,” she assured Abrams.
“It was an attack,” he replied.
Abrams is a neoconservative who previously served in the administrations of President Ronald Reagan and President George H.W. Bush. In 1991, he pleaded guilty to two counts of withholding information from Congress in the Iran-Contra scandal, which involved secret government operations including the promotion of arms sales to Iran and efforts to fund terrorist militia in Nicaragua.
Abrams was sentenced to two years’ probation and then pardoned in 1992 by the outgoing President Bush.
Despite Abrams’ rebuke on Wednesday, Omar kept pushing the diplomat to address his past. She highlighted the 1981 El Mozote massacre in El Salvador, which occurred while Abrams was serving in Reagan’s State Department. U.S.-trained Salvadoran troops murdered an estimated 800 civilians in the village, including families and children as young as 8 months old, according to a New York Times report from 1982 and a Washington Post report from 1993. But Abrams had dismissed early reports about the horror as “not credible.” …
(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2019. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )
Elliott Abrams: The War Criminal Running US Policy In Venezuela
The Real News Network (2/11/19)
The recently named US Special Envoy on Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, is back in the halls of power after a career of supporting dictators, violence and genocide around the world.