WASHINGTON—Explaining to the House Foreign Affairs Committee that it was a totally acceptable practice at the time, Elliott Abrams defended Wednesday the war crimes he committed in Latin America by pointing out that it was just something everyone was doing back in the ’80s. “You’ve got to understand that running roughshod over universally accepted notions of basic human rights was simply how things were done in those days,” said Abrams, who explained that during his years in the Reagan administration, supporting the massacre of an entire village of helpless civilians and then heading out to a bar to celebrate with your buddies was just what you did. “All of us were into that stuff. You’d find a military force friendly to American business interests, get them to slaughter anyone who wasn’t, and then dismiss the victims as communist guerillas. People were doing it all the time. It certainly didn’t stop anyone from letting me be assistant secretary of state for human rights and humanitarian affairs. Hell, I knew people who would make fun of you if you hadn’t committed a war crime or two.” Abrams went on to wax nostalgic about all the crazy late nights he spent with Lt. Col. Oliver North funneling money to right-wing terrorist groups in Nicaragua.

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