Sad news. Former Congressperson Charlie Wilson — the Texas Democrat who, along with Philip Seymour Hoffman, made it his mission in life to fund Afghan mujahideen freedom fighters well enough that they could wage a secret war against their Soviet occupiers — has died today at the age of 76…
Mr. Wilson's clandestine support for the Central Intelligence Agency's effort to arm Afghan mujahideen fighters inspired a book and a movie titled "Charlie Wilson's War." The movie starred Tom Hanks as Mr. Wilson.
Mr. Wilson represented his East Texas district from 1973 to 1997, and served on the House Appropriations Committee. From that position, Mr. Wilson forged alliances with powerful members of Congress, and with operatives in the CIA, to send weapons to the Afghan resistance capable of bringing down Soviet helicopters, according to George Crile's book. The defeat of the Soviet Army in Afghanistan and its retreat in 1988 was a turning point in the Cold War. As recounted in Mr. Crile's book, some of the Afghan fighters aided by the CIA and Mr. Wilson's efforts later turned on the U.S.
Here's some footage from Charlie Wilson later in life, after he left Congress and restarted his career as a black R&B singer…
Smooth as silk.
Tags: Afghanistan, Charlie Wilson, CIA, House of Representatives, Russia, Taliban