As assistant secretary of state for human rights, Abrams sought to ensure that General Efraín Ríos Montt, Guatemala’s then-dictator, could carry out “acts of genocide”—those are the legally binding words of Guatemala’s United Nations–backed Commission for Historical Clarification—against the indigenous people in the Ixil region of the department of Quiché, without any pesky interference from human-rights organizations, much less the US government.So it now looks like the Abrams appointment is off. Is this evidence of Team Trump's good judgment? Of course not. In fact, the allegations against Abrams don't even appear in the piece about Trump shooting down the nomination. Abrams is presented in an unfailingly flattering light now that Trump doesn't want him.
As the mass killings were taking place, Abrams fought in Congress for military aid to Ríos Montt’s bloody regime.... Abrams not only supported the nonsensical official explanation (there was “no evidence indicating other than that the deaths were due to an accident”), he also denounced a spokeswoman for the group who demanded an investigation, insisting that she had “no right to call herself a human rights worker.” When The New York Times published an op-ed challenging the official State Department count of the mass murders under way—by a woman who had witnessed a death-squad-style assassination in broad daylight in Guatemala City without ever seeing it mentioned in the press—Abrams lied outright in a letter to the editor, even citing an imaginary story in a nonexistent newspaper to insist that the man’s murder had, in fact, been reported.
I don’t know about you, but intentionally helping the US government to aid and abet the commission of genocide, while attacking the character and reputation of those trying to expose it, strikes me as securely within the definition of “war criminal.”
Two different publications, of course, but it's still enough to make one's head spin.