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
As House Republicans plow through a third week of protesting their body's recess without a resolution on offshore drilling, some in the media are suggesting that maybe they've already accomplished enough for one session.
Namely, the Wall Street Journal has gone as far as to compile a list of the important legislative issues tackled by the 110th Congress.
Here are some highlights…
July is now National Watermelon Month
Authored by Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
"As Mark Twain once said, 'When one has tasted watermelon he knows what the angels eat.' I encourage my colleagues to join me in acknowledging the wisdom of Mark Twain by supporting this resolution," Sen. Chambliss said on the Senate floor.
March 11th is now National Funeral Director and Mortician Recognition Day
Authored by Rep. Charlie Wilson (D-OH)
Wilson is a self-described "lifelong funeral director" who is riling up his base.
July 28 is now National Day of the Cowboy
Authored by Sens. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Larry Craig (R-ID)
Created to honor the memory of the late Sen. Craig Thomas (R-WY), a famous non-cowboy.
Decree acknowledging the 70th anniversary of the Idaho Potato Commission
Authored by Rep. Michael Simpson (R-ID)
Sets straight the terrorists who insisted the Commission was only 69.
$459.33 billion appropriated to the Department of Defense for Fiscal Year 2008
Authored by Rep. John Murtha (D-PA)
Eh… sounds boring.
Tags: Charlie Wilson, House of Representatives, John Murtha, Larry Craig, Saxby Chambliss, Senate