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Mr. Rice Guy

ADVANCE COPY from the December 16, 2002 issue: The significance of Elliott Abrams's new job at Condi's NSC.

Dec 16, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 14 • By FRED BARNES
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Press stories about Abrams's elevation to the new job stressed a single point: Iran-contra. In 1991, Abrams pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of withholding information from Congress, for which he was pardoned by the first President Bush in December 1992. The Washington Post headlined a wire story on the Abrams appointment, "Iran-Contra Figure Named To Senior Post In White House." The lede of the story in Newsday said, "Iran-contra figure Elliott Abrams, who received a pardon from the first President Bush for his role in the scandal . . . has been promoted to a key post among the current President Bush's national security aides." Neither newspaper mentioned the policy significance of Abrams's appointment. They missed the real story.

Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard.