Thursday, February 11, 2010

Charlie Wilson Is Dead.

How did support for Section 907 unravel? Unable to mount a full-fledged challenge against Section 907 in the late 1990s, House members sympathetic to Azerbaijan, such as then Appropriations Committee Chairman Bob Livingston, R-La., and Rep. Charlie Wilson, then ranking Democrat on the panel’s foreign aid subcommittee, used their committees and subcommittees to nibble away at the edges of Section 907. They began by allowing Baku to participate in distributing humanitarian assistance and in democracy promotion programs. Congressman Livingston’s interests in Azerbaijan probably had little to do with his concerns for international equity. He represented an “oil state,” and he was one of the oil industry’s strongest supporters in Washington. Oil was discovered in Louisiana in 1901, “followed by the huge Baton Rouge refinery that became the training ground for generations of top oil executives” (Barone, Cohen, & Ujifusa 2000: 659). Source at Harvard
"...Charlie Wilson, the former member of the US House of Representatives, who has died at the age of 76 from a heart attack, played a key role in channelling US funds to the Afghan mujahideen when it fought Soviet forces in the 1980s. ..." BBC Obituary

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