Elliott Abrams, Ilhan Omar, And The Eighties: She Doesn't Know What She's Talking About, But We Do
02/14/2019
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In Congress, Elliott Abrams, who worked in the Reagan Administration fighting Central American Communists in the 80s, is being harassed by Somali-American Ilhan Omar about atrocities committed by Salvadorans. Salvadorans are a little atrocity-prone, and it wasn't being "US-backed" that made them that way when they were fighting the guerillas who the American press would never refer to as "Soviet-backed". Atrocity is the custom of the country in El Salvador, and MS-13 gangsters have brought this to America.

But here's Omar harrassing Abrams:

Of course Ilhan Omar has no idea of the historical factors involved, she's just been handed this by a staffer, who for all I know, got it from Wikipedia.

I'm going to skip over the history of Central American communism and anti-communism, and point out that Abrams has been through this sort of thing before. The Deep State resistance to Trump has been turning political differences into crimes with "process" violations, and Abrams has been through this before.

See VDARE.com editor Peter Brimelow's Cardiac Arrest, a 1992 review of  Undue Process: A Story of How Political Differences Are Turned into Crimes, by Elliott Abrams

DROP! Someone had thrown a ball at my chest . . . I sat up, shaken, startled awake .... A dream, probably. Or maybe just a small heart attack."

Elliott Abrams was only 43 last fall [1991] when he was rushed to the hospital from special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh's office in Walsh's official limousine. (Walsh was worried about his image. An earlier victim had attempted suicide.) The doctor said the symptoms seemed to be caused by "this pressure you are under." Abrams was indeed under pressure. He and his lawyers were negotiating the final details of what was to be a much-gloated-over guilty plea: to two charges that he had "withheld information'' about the Contra support network when testifying before Congress as a Reagan Administration official back in 1986.

Abrams passes over this incident relatively quickly in his clear and forceful journal of the few weeks in which Walsh suddenly reactivated his case after years of silence and in effect bastinadoed a settlement out of him. He is also perhaps more discreet than it appears at first sight about the impact of the ordeal on his wife and three small children, although their presence is constant in the narrative. He prefers discussing the legal and political implications. And these are indeed profound and disturbing.

Yet that poor fluttering heart cries out for attention. Like the forgotten moment in Spiro Agnew's very different memoir,  Go Quietly . . . or Elsewhen his wife, informed of his decision to accept a nolo plea, faints dead away, it is a reminder that democratic politics is not just a spectator sport. At times, it is literally more than flesh and blood can bear.

The distinguished moral philosophers who edit The New Republic, in the first of what will certainly be many savage notices Abrams will receive, have been harrumphing because his publisher's blurb draws a parallel with Darkness at Noon, Arthur Koestler's novel about how the Old Bolsheviks were induced to confess during Stalin's Purge Trials. But the analogy, which was scrupulously qualified, is eminently reasonable.

Like Stalin's prosecutor, Walsh was able to make headway with Abrams only when he stopped trying to prove that the Reagan Administration had really conspired to evade the vague and varying congressional restrictions on helping the Contras. (The pathetic truth was that the Administration had been so eager to please that Abrams even remembers an internal debate on whether wristwatches could be counted as "humanitarian aid," which at that point was permitted.) Instead, Walsh focused on a surreal logical point: Had Administration officials like Abrams in effect shaped their testimony to Congress to emphasize some things and downplay others?

Of course, Abrams had. Isn't that what politics is all about? It had never occurred to him that it was against the law. In fact, it's not against the law—if you are a member of Congress. The Speech and Debate Clause of the U.S. Constitution specifically grants the legislative branch absolute protection against such charges, even in the case of outright lies. This is because of the obvious danger that to do otherwise would lead to the criminalizing of political differences. [ More]

So Ilhan Omar can lie all she wants when questioning, but Abrams, or anyone testifying, can be charged with perjury whether what he said is true or not.

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