Elliot Abrams is an American lawyer and author who has served in a variety of foreign policy positions for several U.S. Presidents. He received his B.A. from Harvard College, a Masters degree in international relations from the London School of Economics, and his J.D. from Harvard Law School. During George W. Bush’s first term in office, Abrams was appointed as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director on the National Security Council for Near East and North African Affairs. In Bush’s second term, he was given the job of deputy national security adviser. Abrams first came to national prominence in the Reagan administration in the 1980s, where he was Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights, and later Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs.
Abrams is one of the most controversial figures in the current Bush administration. During his tenure the Reagan administration in the 1980s, Abrams regularly clashed with church groups and human rights organizations over Reagan’s support for military regimes in Central America. These groups accused Abrams of playing down or covering up atrocities committed by the militaries of nations the U.S. supported, such as El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. Abrams also has a role in the Iran-Contra Affair, where he was indicted for giving false testimony about his part in the illegal fund raising and arms selling scandal that was sanctioned by Reagan himself. Abrams plead guilty to two lesser counts of witholding information from Congress in order to avoid a probable term in prison.
Abrams is the author of several books on foreign policy and related subjects, including Undue Process,Security and Sacrifice, and the controversial Faith or Fear: How Jews Can Survive in a Christian America. In Faith or Fear, Abrams remarks “Outside the land of Israel, there can be no doubt that Jews, faithful to the covenant between God and Abraham, are to stand apart from the nation in which they live.” He says that this should not imply disloyalty to America or any other country where Jews live outside of Israel, but that Jews must be loyal to Israel because they “are in a permanent covenant with God and with the land of Israel and its people.”