Convicted Iran/Contra felon Elliott Abrams was appointed Trump regime point man for regime change in Venezuela—violence, chaos, and other horrific human rights abuses his specialty.
Instead of being imprisoned long-term for high crimes of war and against humanity, he pleaded guilty to two lesser offenses of withholding information from Congress to avoid a trial, likely conviction and imprisonment.
On Christmas night 1992, GHW Bush pardoned him and other Iran-Contra defendants—their high crimes forgiven, not forgotten.
He was involved in the aborted April 2002 two-day coup attempt to topple Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, the Bush/Cheney regime’s failed attempt to install puppet leadership in the country serving US interests.
Since the 1980s, his resume has been blood-drenched, what imperial rage for dominance is all about—targeting one country after another, including Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, the former Yugoslavia, Iran, Lebanon, Israeli state terror against Palestinians, and Venezuela twice over, toppling its government violently his current assignment.
In announcing his appointment as Trump regime special envoy for Venezuela, Mike Pompeo disgracefully called him a “true asset to our mission to help the Venezuelan people fully restore democracy and prosperity to their country”—a bald-faced Big Lie.
He’s charged with replacing Venezuelan social democracy with US-controlled fascist tyranny by whatever it takes to achieve this objective—including extreme violence similar to the 1980s Contra war against Nicaragua’s democratic government, if things go this far.
Former US Ambassador to Panama John Feeley called him “a kick-ass back channel operator…good at what he does.”
Former National Security Council director for South America and Acting Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs Fernando Cutz described him as a part of a Trump regime team “known for being more aggressive on the foreign policy side,” adding, “They are more than conservative. They are neocons. They are the types that like to swing the baseball bat around a bit and see how things shape up.”
Appointing Abrams to the Pompeo/Bolton team assures the gloves are off on Venezuela—anything goes official policy to try toppling its democratically elected government.
On Wednesday, Abrams testified before House Foreign Relations Committee members, grilled for the first time since appointed Trump regime’s envoy to crush democracy in Venezuela.
Dem Rep. Ilhan Omar challenged him, saying, “In 1991, you pleaded guilty to two counts of withholding information from Congress regarding your involvement in the Iran-Contra affair, for which you were later pardoned by President George HW Bush,” adding, “I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony you give today to be truthful.”
She pressed him on earlier calling the December 1981 El Mozote massacre of up to 1,200 Salvador civilians “a fabulous achievement,” adding, “Do you still think so?”
He ducked the issue calling Omar’s question “ridiculous,” adding, “I am not going to respond to that kind of personal attack, which is not a question.”
“Yes or no,” Omar countered, adding, “Would you support an armed faction within Venezuela that engages in war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide if you believed they were serving US interests as you did in El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua?”
Abrams again demurred saying that “this entire line of questioning [is not] meant to be real questions,” adding that the Trump regime “support[s] the Venezuelan people’s effort to restore democracy to their country.”
Fact: Trump, his hardline foreign policy team, the US intelligence community, other US agencies, along with the vast majority of Republicans and undemocratic Dems abhor the notion of democracy at home and abroad, wanting it eliminated wherever it exists.
Omar challenged Abrams again saying, “Whether, under your watch, a genocide will take place, and you will look the other way because American interests were being upheld, is a fair question,” adding, “The American people want to know that any time we engage a country, that we think about what our actions could be and how we believe our values are being furthered.”
For challenging Israeli brutality against Palestinians, House Republicans and Dems want Omar removed from its Foreign Relations Committee.
Trump disgracefully said, “I think she should either resign from Congress or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee”—for her remarks on Israel, vitally needed truth-telling unrelated to anti-Semitism.
During her short tenure in Congress so far, Omar courageously criticized Israeli apartheid ruthlessness and challenged Elliott Abrams’ involvement in high crimes of war and against humanity.
Lots more like her are needed in Congress, among the fourth estate, and throughout US society—challenging imperial lawlessness, US high crimes too egregious to ignore, going further by demanding accountability.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.