Charlie Wilson, 76
Former Rep. Charlie Wilson dies; led U.S. support of Afghans against Soviets
Former U.S. representative Charlie Wilson, a flamboyant 12-term East Texas Democrat who used his control of CIA purse strings to finance and arm an Afghan insurgency that drove out the Soviet occupation in the 1980s, died Feb. 10 at a hospital in Lufkin, Tex. He was 76 and had a history of heart ailments.
Mr. Wilson's epic overseas engagements outlive him. The power vacuum left in Afghanistan when the Soviets exited in 1989 contributed to the rise of the Taliban, and the weapons that Mr. Wilson helped bring to that country were probably in use when the United States went to war there in 2001.
"We were fighting the evil empire," he told Time magazine in 2007. "It would have been like not supplying the Soviets against Hitler in World War II. . . . Anyway, who the hell had ever heard
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