Minnesota Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar was clearly in no mood to waste time when war criminal and convicted liar Elliott Abrams appeared before the House Committee on Foreign Relations on Wednesday.
This was despite the fact that in recent days she’s faced a bipartisan furor for tweeting the truth about AIPAC’s outsized role in the buying and selling of politicians, as well as calls for her resignation from President Donald Trump for her alleged “deep-seated” anti-Semitism – an ironic statement coming from a man whose stock-in-trade has been open bigotry targeting Mexicans, Central Americans, Muslims, immigrants, and black people.
So when Abrams – now the Trump administrations special envoy to Venezuela and a hatchet man for the slow-motion coup against the Maduro government – appeared before Congress, Omar went straight for the jugular.
She seemed to enjoy it almost as much as viewers did.
The freshman congresswoman opened by detailing how Abrams was one of President Ronald Reagan’s main henchman in the Iran-Contra scandal before he was pardoned by George H.W. Bush, bluntly stating:
“I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony that you give today to be truthful.”
Abrams responded with sputtering outrage in an attempt to depict himself as some sort of victim before Omar authoritatively shut him down, saying, “That was not a question … thank you for your participation.”
She then proceeded to question him about his past dismissal of the notorious 1981 El Mozote massacre, where U.S.-trained troops murdered 800 villagers during the U.S.-backed counterinsurgency in El Salvador during the 1980s.
“More than 800 civilians, including children as young as two years old, were brutally murdered … During that massacre, some of those troops bragged about raping a 12-year-old girl before they killed her. You later said that the U.S. policy in El Salvador was a ‘fabulous achievement.’ Do you still think so?”
Showing zero remorse for the collateral damage resulting from his career of advancing U.S. imperialist interests, regardless of its bloody costs, Abrams offered a lame excuse for what he has described as a “fabulous achievement” that “democracy” came to El Salvador – a country riddled with corruption and poor socio-economic development that has been hemorrhaging refugees and asylum-seekers in recent years.
“Yes or no,” Omar continued. “Do you think that massacre was a ‘fabulous achievement’, that happened under our watch?”
Feigning offense and describing her question as “ridiculous,” Abrams insisted that he wouldn’t “respond to that kind of personal attack, which is not a question.”
Undeterred, Omar continued to rip into Abrams’ role giving political cover to and U.S.-backed Guatemalan butcher Rios Montt, the military leader who was found guilty in the commission of genocide and crimes against humanity during the Reagan years.
“Yes or no … Would you support an armed faction within Venezuela that engages in war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide, if you believe they were serving U.S. interests, as you did in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua?”
Smirking – perhaps out of guilt but more likely due to hubris – the bloodstained Abrams responded:
“I’m not going to respond to that question, I’m sorry … I don’t think this entire line of questioning is meant to be real questions.”
Omar, a former refugee from Somalia who is among the first Muslim women elected to Congress, was on a roll Wednesday beating back her detractors.
Her confidence and conduct have been admirable in the face of a disingenuous shock-and-horror act that has engulfed her since she caught flak for speaking the truth about the Israeli lobby’s role in U.S. politics – a manufactured outrage that AIPAC is now using for fundraising purposes.
— Mairav Zonszein מרב זונשיין (@MairavZ) February 13, 2019
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump chewed the fat about how “horrible” Omar was for her insensitive tweets, musing that she should step down from office:
“What she said is so deep-seated in her heart, that her lame apology, and that’s what it was, it was lame, and she didn’t mean a word of it, was just not appropriate … I think she should resign from Congress, frankly, but at a minimum she shouldn’t be on committees.”
Omar, clearly giving no fucks, blasted back that Trump “trafficked in hate your whole life—against Jews, Muslims, Indigenous, immigrants, black people, and more.”
Yet her detractors have been absolutely shameless in their attacks. In the immediate aftermath of her confrontation with Abrams, Twitter was already aflame with conservatives, evangelical Christian Zionists, and pro-Israeli users who saw her attack on the so-called “Jewish diplomat” as further proof of her alleged “anti-Semitism.”
Even erstwhile GOP stalwart Max Boot — who, like fellow “woke neocon” Bill Kristol, has since become an anti-Trump hero of the “resistance” and regular pundit on CNN and MSNBC — jumped into the fray, laughably calling Abrams “a leading advocate of human rights and democracy.”
User OLAASM responded to Boot’s tweet in the only suitable manner, tweeting:
— #HandsOffVenezuela (@OLAASM) February 13, 2019