In support of one of Nadezhda's arguments, by which Abrams' continued access to power is a horrible symbol for domestic governance, it's important to remember that, after all, he only lied to Congress. Others did all the real dirty work of Iran-contra. But wait, he lied, and then went on to write an entire book in which says that he had no regrets for having done so. Apparently, he only pled guilty to avoid a trial, and that he still thinks he did nothing wrong. (See his autobiographical Undue Process: A Story of How Political Differences Are Turned Into Crimes.)
Sounds like a model policy maker for the Bush administration to me!
UPDATE: David Adesnik seems to think that I'm "less than happy" about Abrams' promotion, not an unreasonable inference from this post. I'm actually rather indifferent -- for my own sanity and sense of well-being, I long ago withdrew from the gobiernos de turno the power to influence my personal state of happiness.
Praktike also responds:
I don't think it's so special for someone to be committed to democracy promotion, in all honesty. It's pretty easy. I'm pro-democracy and pro- rule-of-law, especially in the United States. But I think that Abrams' dreadful performance regarding postwar planning in Iraq ought to merit his dismissal regardless of what he believes or did twenty years ago. I haven't seen a convincing defense of him on that score, and David [Adesnik] doesn't offer one. For understandable reasons.