Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Charlie Wilson 1933-2010

Charles Nesbitt Wilson died today, shortly after noon local time, at Lufkin Memorial Hospital in Lufkin, Texas, of cardiopulmonary arrest. He was 76.

A former United States naval officer, Wilson served for twelve terms as a Democratic congressman representing the Texas 2nd District. He was best known for leading Congress into supporting Operation Cyclone, the largest-ever CIA covert operation, which supplied military equipment, including anti-aircraft weapons such as Stinger antiaircraft missiles, to the Afghan Mujahideen during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. His behind-the-scenes campaign was the subject of the non-fiction book Charlie Wilson's War and a subsequent film adaptation.

In the 2007 film, the role of the congressman was played by Tom Hanks, with Julie Roberts as friend and romantic interest Joanne Herring, and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the maverick CIA operative Gust Avrakotos. Here at Chez Alexandre, we've watched the film dozens of times. Tonight we'll watch it again, to honor a man who was definitely his own man.

And may God have mercy upon him.

(Information courtesy of Wikipedia.)

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