Undue Process

Overview

Undue Process is a gripping personal account of a man caught in one of the most disturbing developments in recent American politics - the criminalization of political differences - and pursued for five years by a new legal process bent on making criminals out of loyal public servants. In 1985 Secretary of State George Shultz asked Elliott Abrams to serve as his Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs. Abrams moved into a world of secrets, spies, and covert armies aiming to topple the Sandinista government ...
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Overview

Undue Process is a gripping personal account of a man caught in one of the most disturbing developments in recent American politics - the criminalization of political differences - and pursued for five years by a new legal process bent on making criminals out of loyal public servants. In 1985 Secretary of State George Shultz asked Elliott Abrams to serve as his Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs. Abrams moved into a world of secrets, spies, and covert armies aiming to topple the Sandinista government of Nicaragua. But Nicaragua is only the background of this book. This is the story of how Abrams' service to his administration and its foreign policy was later turned into a criminal offense in our nation's capital. It is the story of how this man and his young family coped with a prosecution where the rules had been changed to create a special new class of political "criminals." Abrams left the State Department when the Reagan administration ended, and for three years - 1988 to 1990 - he heard not a word from the office of Lawrence Walsh, the Iran-Contra "Independent Counsel." But as the summer of 1991 ended, Abrams' nightmare began, and the following months were lived under the threat of indictment, trial, and imprisonment. As Abrams shows, the "Office of the Independent Counsel" had created a separate legal system, with special rules and special prosecutors whose only job was to pursue Reagan administration officials, and whose careers were tied not to doing justice but to finding victims. How did a family with three young children weather this storm? How did a man and his wife choose between risking bankruptcy, by spending two years fighting the weight of the entire U.S. government, or accepting a plea bargain that would make years of service into a criminal offense? It is, in its way, reminiscent of the tragic Soviet political accusations and "confessions" depicted in Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon, replayed in America sixty years later, but t
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Abrams, former assistant secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, provides a fast-paced, diaristic account of the accusations against him during the Iran-Contra investigation and explains his strategic decision to plead guilty to two counts of withholding information from Congress. Angry, wry and appalled by the righteousness of the prosecutors, Abrams, who is bolstered by his light sentence of two-year probation, defends his view that his crimes were more technical than willful. But the depth of detail--his daily worries, his conversations with his family and lawyers, as well as verbatim transcripts of hearings and drafts of his public statements--will interest only partisans. Abrams spends little time on weightier issues. Thus, his criticism of the institution of the Independent Counsel and his defense of U.S. policy in Nicaragua (``the President's policies were too hot for the Democratic Congress to handle'') are much weaker than his self-defense. (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780029001677
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 10/2/1992
  • Pages: 250

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