Charlie Wilson’s War by George Crile read by Christopher Lane

Imagine overhearing the comments of secretaries, girlfriends, GS-11s, GS-18s, CIA heads of station, assistants to CIA heads of station, busty, born-again Texan society matrons, outrageously charming right-wing politicians with more friends than God, superstitious immigrants and sons of immigrants, Muj(ahadeen) terrorists, Afghani torturers, Pakistani tyrants, Egyptian defense ministers turned mule and donkey merchants, so that you can actually see the pieces of history being pushed into place, so that a cult of personalities and a war become cause and effect. Almost. Because things are not so simple….

It is the genius of Crile, ace reporter, that manages these unmanageable personalities and tracks one mad Texan after another, one fanatic after another across the Washington political stage, quoting all the way.

“Now [Avracatos] was forced to recognize that without Charlie he would still be roaming the halls of the CIA without purpose….The man who tried to pretend nothing could hurt him discovered he actually loved Charlie Wilson.”

He risked an awful lot for us. He was unique. He ran with the CIA instead of hitting us from the outside. How many fucking Congressman in the last 40 years have gone to bat publically to get the CIA more money? …Even in the heyday of Eisenhower and John Foster Dulles when the cold war was one big fucking goat fuck, noone was publically calling for more money for the CIA to use in Guatamela or Cuba or anywhere.

This is not just a text read out loud. This is not a written momento of what was written about guns, mules, Afghanis. It is a tale of what was said, who said it to whom and how, with what kind of accent, and what they were wearing when they said it and who was looking at them when they said it and who wanted to fuck them because they said it …. and how they were fucked. Short, hard, telegrammic statements that moved men and things and boundaries. What Sartre would have called: the gossip, the rumours, the news. Told, and told again because it was originally told, this story which when read is re-heard, again. But differently.