George Crile dies, author of bestseller on history of Afghan war against the USSRBreaking News
Mr. Crile, who spent much of his career working on the CBS program "60 Minutes," took on formidable topics, many in foreign countries, and earned a reputation for boldness that both won awards and drew stinging criticism. His 1982 documentary about Vietnam, "The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception," engendered one of the most bitter disputes in television history.
Working with the correspondent Mike Wallace and others, Mr. Crile attempted to build a case that General Westmoreland, the United States commander in Vietnam, participated in a conspiracy to mislead Americans about the war. The charge was that the military had deliberately underestimated enemy numbers in order to encourage Americans to believe the war was going favorably.
TV Guide printed an article listing ways it said the "CBS Reports" documentary violated network fairness standards, and a subsequent internal CBS investigation found 11 instances in which the program violated network guidelines or was unfair. General Westmoreland strenuously denied the program's charges and sued for libel, asking $120 million in damages.
The result was an 18-week trial in late 1984 and early 1985; CBS and General Westmoreland agreed to an out-of-court settlement in which no money changed hands shortly before the jury was to retire for deliberation.
He wrote a book, "Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History" (2003), that told how a Texas congressman and a C.I.A. operative worked together to supply Afghan rebels with weapons to fight the Soviets; the Russians' defeat helped precipitate the end of Soviet Communism and helped bring militant Muslims to power in Afghanistan. A movie is being made of the book.
comments powered by Disqus
- Fake News and Fervent Nationalism Got a Senator Tarred as a Traitor During WWI
- Debunking Viral Story, Art Historian Says ‘Allah’ Does Not Appear on Ancient Viking Garment
- Will Trump Be Remembered as the Worst President in History? Almost Half Think So
- Thank This Man For Your Last-Minute Halloween Costume
- Letters from young Obama show a man trying to find his way
- Thomas Childers says we’ve got the Nazis wrong in 5 different ways
- National security expert Tom Nichols: “Hey, I’m unstable” is a bad look for the president
- Fake news? It’s nothing new, says Trinity College Dublin historian
- Historian discovers early Reformation writings “hiding in plain sight”
- Victor Davis Hanson says we shouldn’t be rushing to war with North Korea