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Charlie Wilson's War : The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History

Charlie Wilson's War : The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History - 03 edition

ISBN13: 978-0802141248

Cover of Charlie Wilson
ISBN13: 978-0802141248
ISBN10: 0802141242
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 03
Publisher: Grove Press, Inc.
Published: 2003
International: No

List price: $16.00

Charlie Wilson's War : The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History - 03 edition

ISBN13: 978-0802141248

George Crile

ISBN13: 978-0802141248
ISBN10: 0802141242
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 03
Publisher: Grove Press, Inc.

Published: 2003
International: No
Summary

In a little over a decade, two events have transformed the world we live in: the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of militant Islam. Charlie Wilson's War is the untold story behind the last battle of the Cold War and how it fueled the new jihad. George Crile tells how Charlie Wilson, a maverick congressman from east Texas, conspired with a rogue CIA operative to launch the biggest, meanest, and most successful covert operation in the Agency's history.

In the early 1980s, after a Houston socialite turned Wilson's attention to the ragged band of Afghan "freedom fighters" who continued, despite overwhelming odds, to fight the Soviet invaders, the congressman became passionate about their cause. At a time when Ronald Reagan faced a total cutoff of funding for the Contra war, Wilson, who sat on the all-powerful House Appropriations Committee, managed to procure hundreds of millions of dollars to support the mujadiheen. The arms were secretly procured and distributed with the aid of an out-of-favor CIA operative, Gust Avrakotos, whose working-class Greek-American background made him an anomaly among the Ivy League world of American spies. Nicknamed "Dr. Dirty," the blue-collar James Bond was an aggressive agent who served on the front lines of the Cold War where he learned how to stretch the Agency's rules to the breaking point.

Avrokotos handpicked a staff of CIA outcasts to run his operation: "Hilly Billy," the logistics wizard who could open an unnumbered Swiss bank account for the U.S. government in twelve hours when others took months; Art Alper, the grandfatherly demolitions expert from the Technical Services Division who passed on his dark arts to the Afghans; Mike Vickers, the former Green Beret who created a systematic plan to turn a rabble of shepherds into an army of techno Holy warriors.

Moving from the back rooms of the Capitol, to secret chambers at Langley, to arms-dealers conventions, to the Khyber Pass, Charlie Wilson's War is brilliantly reported and one of the most detailed and compulsively readable accounts of the inside workings of the CIA ever written.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: A Hot Tub in Las Vegas
Chapter 2: Defender of Trinity
Chapter 3: A Rogue Elephant in the Agency Woods
Chapter 4: A Texas Bombshell
Chapter 5: The Secret Life of Charlie Wilson
Chapter 6: The Curse of Aliquippa
Chapter 7: How the Israelis Broke the Congressman's Heart and He Fell for the Muj
Chapter 8: The Station Chief
Chapter 9: Cocaine Charlie
Chapter 10: The Congressman Takes His Belly Dancer to the Jihad
Chapter 11: The Rebirth of Gust Avrakotos
Chapter 12: The United States v. Charles Wilson
Chapter 13 : The Seduction of Doc Long
Chapter 14: Gust's Secret
Chapter 15: The Opening Salvo
Chapter 16: Howard of Afghanistan
Chapter 17: Cogan's Last Stand