Former U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson had a reputation for liking women, good booze and it has been debated for decades as to whether he shared cocaine with two strippers in a hot tub in Vegas.
“Good Time Charlie” Wilson, 76, died Wednesday, February 10th, in Lufkin, Texas from an apparent heart attack.
Back during the Reagan years as we sternly warned the Soviets about repercussions in their war in Afghanistan, it was a liberal congressman from Texas that actually did something about it. Charlie Wilson almost singlehandedly is responsible for meaningful American support to combat the Soviets via backing the Mujaheddin.
For his efforts, Wilson, a 12-term congressman from Texas (1973-1997), inspired the non-fiction book and movie “Charlie Wilson’s War,” which told of his campaign to supply weapons to Afghan Mujaheddin fighters battling Soviet invaders. “Campaign” is a very mild description of his efforts to put weapons into the hands of Afghani.
Charlie broke all the rules:
- Used his position on the House Appropriations committee to use CIA money to fund support and to buy weapons; hijacked $300 million of unused Pentagon money just before the end of fiscal year to buy even more weapons; pushed for the Afghani rebels to get direct access to one of our most advanced anti-aircraft STINGER missile systems, and much more.
- In political life, he took 30 days leave from the Navy back in 1960 and went home to Texas to run for a state legislature seat. Military members are not allowed to run for political office but Charlie won and was seated anyway at the age of 27.
- His real political career started when he was just 13. His neighbor, a city councilman, poisoned his dog. Farm families could get driver’s licenses at very early ages, and Charlie put his to good use. He went out and found voters that would not normally vote and got them to the polls — telling each that the city councilman running for election, his erstwhile neighbor, had poisoned his dog. The councilman lost.
As his reward for helping defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan by supporting the Mujaheddin, Wilson was the first civilian to receive the Honored Colleague Award by the CIA.
So now we bid you goodbye Charlie. Try to behave yourself … wherever it is that you find yourself in your next life.