Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has a heated exchange with Elliot Abrams, the U.S. special envoy to Venezuela, highlighting his role in the Iran-Contra affair. She says, „I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony you give today to be truthful.“ The exchange came during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.
(7. Oktober 1991) From July 1985 through 1988, ELLIOTT ABRAMS was Assistant Secretary of State and headed the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Inter-American Affairs.
As Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, MR. ABRAMS chaired a Restricted Interagency Group („RIG“) comprised of, among others, representatives of the United States Department of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Central Intelligence Agency („CIA“), the National Security Council („NSC* 1 ), and the Department of State. During 1985 and 1986, the RIG met regularly to coordinate the activities of these agencies in Central America.
(8. Oktober 1991) As the State Department’s point man on Latin America, Mr. Abrams headed the Restricted Interagency Group, a panel that coordinated the Administration’s Central America policy among officials at the White House, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon.
Other members included Mr. North, the Marine Corps lieutenant colonel and White House aide who managed the day-to-day operations of secretly aiding the Nicaraguan rebels, and Alan D. Fiers Jr., who supervised Central Intelligence Agency activities in Central America.
In this capacity, Mr. Abrams operated as a high-visibility figure who seemed to relish his combative public role in defending Administration policy in Central America, while at the same time working closely with officials who were engaged in secret efforts to supply the rebels with arms after Congress barred direct military assistance in late 1984.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) engaged in a testy back and forth on Wednesday with special envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams, accusing the diplomat of being a liar and pressing him on his involvement in the Iran-Contra affair and killings in Central America during the Reagan administration.
The one member of Congress who knew what was going on was Dick Cheney, a close friend and confidant of Bush’s from their days together in the Ford administration. In 1976, in the aftermath of the Church Committee’s inquiry into CIA abuses, standing intelligence committees had been set up in both the Senate and the House, charged with holding the CIA and other intelligence agencies to account. But it was understood by all those involved in the vice president’s secret team that these committees could be bypassed, even though the laws governing covert intelligence activities had been stiffened: there was now a legal requirement that all covert CIA and military intelligence operations had to be made known to the committees through a formal, written document known as a ‘finding’. But there was a big loophole in the legislation, in the view of the vice president’s men. ‘There was no requirement for a finding for merely asking questions,’ the officer said, ‘and so we’d make routine requests for intelligence assessments from the CIA through the Joint Chiefs and the National Security Council. Our basic philosophy was that we were running military’ – not intelligence – ‘operations and therefore did not have to brief Congress. So we could legally operate without a finding.’ He was describing an ingenious procedure for getting around the law: one that would be put into use again after 9/11, when Cheney, by then vice president, triggered the unending war on terror.
Er erzählt, wie George H.W. Bush damals einen neuen Militärgeheimdienst einrichtete, um auf die Ressourcen der CIA zugreifen zu können, aber die CIA selber zu umgehen…
(13.1.2014) By 1981, the country that was picked for this purpose by the National Security Council (NSC) was Libya. Libya was an OPEC country with few powerful connections, lots of nearby enemies, and a small population. In short, the perfect target. Once Libya was chosen by a few higher ups in the NSC, what was needed was to get the president, Ronald Reagan, on board. Seymour Hersh details in his New York Times report, Target Gaddafi, how the NSC and the CIA quickly accomplished this goal. “’It was clear early in the Administration,‘ one former White House aide recalls, ‚that the best way to get the President’s attention was through visual means.’” This led to the creation of a 15 minute long video, “to show the nature of the beast. If you saw it, there’s little doubt that [Gaddafi] had to go.” Once the president was on their side, the NSC, in cooperation with the CIA, began to leak reports endorsed by Reagan that Libyan hit squads were roaming the United States, planning assassinations on diplomats and even the president.
“One involved official recalls, ‘we came out with this big terrorist threat to the U.S. Government. The whole thing was a complete fabrication.’”
One of Mr. Bolton’s longtime associates, Charles M. Kupperman, a former Reagan administration official and defense contracting executive, has taken a temporary leadership post on the National Security Council, while at least three others — Frederick H. Fleitz, Sarah Tinsley and David Wurmser — are believed to be under consideration for posts.
Mr. Bolton’s relationships with most of the associates date back decades, to his days working in positions related to foreign policy in the Reagan administration.