Former Congressman Charlie Wilson, whose top-secret orchestration of the defense of Afghanistan kept that country free and crippled the Soviet Union, died today at age 76. His success in channeling hundreds of millions of dollars to that conflict was revealed years later and became best known through the movie Charlie Wilson’s War, where he was played by Tom Hanks. The movie ended on a poignant note as Wilson was unable to continue the funding that was essential for rebuilding Afghanistan, a failure that was a partial cause of the rise of the Taliban there.
Wilson was also known for his unabashed enjoyment of beautiful women and fine liquor. He will be remembered for his honest common sense and commitment to freedom.