- NAME: Charlie Wilson
- OCCUPATION: Military Leader, U.S. Representative, Spy
- BIRTH DATE: June 01, 1933
- DEATH DATE: February 10, 2010
- EDUCATION: Trinity High School, Sam Houston State University, United States Naval Academy
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Trinity, Texas
- PLACE OF DEATH: Lufkin, Texas
- Full Name: Charles Nesbitt Wilson
- AKA: Charlie Wilson
Best Known For
Former congressman Charlie Wilson helped fund Afghanistan's resistance to the Soviet Union. His story was told in the book and film Charlie Wilson's War.
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He decided to use his seat, through a series of backroom deals, to secretly steer billions of dollars to the Afghan rebels, known as the mujahedeen.
The appropriation for Afghanistan grew from a few million dollars in the early 1980s to an astounding $750 million a year by the end of the decade. As the money began to flow,
the CIA put Gust Avrakotos in charge of the operation. Avrakotos formed a small band of agency officers who arranged to have weapons and satellite intelligence maps sent across Pakistan's border into Afghanistan on the backs of mules.
In 1986, then-U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani from the Southern District of New York, on the hunt for white collar crime, investigated Wilson for allegedly snorting cocaine at a hot-tub party in Las Vegas.
When the last Soviet soldier left Afghanistan in February 1989, Wilson was invited to celebrate at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. On a large movie screen in an auditorium flashed a huge quotation from Pakistan's president, General Mohammad Zia ul-Haq: "Charlie did it." The Soviet Union collapsed two years later.
Wilson retired from Congress in 1996 after serving 24 years. More than a decade later at 74 years old, he underwent a heart transplant operation in 2007. On December 21 of the same year, a Hollywood film version of Crile's book was released. The film starred Tom Hanks as Charlie Wilson, Julia Roberts as conservative supporter Joanne Herring and Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Gust Avrakotos, an American case officer and Afghan Task Force Chief for the United States Central Intelligence Agency.
Charlie Wilson died on February 10, 2010, at the age of 76 from cardiopulmonary arrest.
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