In the Bush administration, no crime goes unrewarded.
Elliott Abrams, who pleaded guilty in 1991 to withholding information from Congress in the Iran-contra affair, was promoted to deputy national security adviser to President Bush.
Abrams, who previously was in charge of Middle East affairs, will be responsible for pushing Bush’s strategy for advancing democracy.
Abrams’s 1991 plea stemmed from the congressional inquiry into the Iran-contra affair during President Ronald Reagan’s administration. On Oct. 10, 1986, Abrams, then a State Department employee, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he did not know that Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North was directing illegal arms sales to Iran and diverting the proceeds to assist the Nicaraguan contras.
Abrams was pardoned by Bush’s father, President George H.W. Bush.
His name surfaced last year as part of the investigation into who leaked the name of a CIA operative whose husband publicly disputed Bush administration claims that Iraq tried to buy uranium in Africa. White House spokesman Scott McClellan has said that Abrams denied responsibility.