Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Charlie Rangel - guilty as charged...

It's sad news, but it's about time...


Rep. Charles Bernard "Charlie" Rangel (NY-15)...

Charlie Rangel, the 20-term Congressman from New York, was found guilty on a host of ethics violations today. Rangel, long-known to be a "dirty" pol, will now go down in the books for his misdeeds in office.

And that's a shame.

First, every member of Congress has the distinct opportunity to help his/her constituents in ways that almost no one else can. Holding office as a Representative is an honor and a privilege. Turning one's back on that in order to self-enrich/empower is criminal...and worse.

Second - and here's the really sad news - Rangel was a hero in the Korean War.

How Charles Rangel could have been remembered: as the Korean War hero...

"During the Korean War, he was a member of the all-black 503rd Field Artillery Battalion in the 2nd Infantry Division. In late November 1950, this unit was caught up in heavy fighting in North Korea as part of the U.N. forces retreat from the Yalu River. In the Battle of Kunu-ri, Rangel was part of a vehicle column that was trapped and attacked by the Chinese Army. In the subzero cold, Rangel was injured by shrapnel from a Chinese shell. Some U.S. soldiers were being taken prisoner, but others looked to Rangel, who though only a private first class had a reputation for leadership in the unit. Rangel led some 40 men from his unit, during three days of freezing weather, out of the Chinese encirclement; nearly half of the battalion was killed in the overall battle. Rangel was awarded a Purple Heart for his wounds and the Bronze Star with Valor for his actions in the face of death. His Army unit was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, and three battle stars."
(h/t: Wikipedia)

Today's obvious findings will be an unfitting conclusion to a political career that could have been great...as well as to a legacy of military leadership and heroism that was...

How he will be remembered: In this now-infamous photo from the NY Post, "Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel dozes on the beach at the Punta Cana Resort, where he owns and rents out a villa. He was squeezing in some vacation time before attending the Democratic convention." The photo, which was part of the public outcry about the Congressman's properties (and the taxes he avoided), hastened his undoing...


A report from the Wall Street Journal's News Hub, hosted by my radio colleague, Simon Constable...

Late add: Rangel's response...

3 comments:

deluxe hotel agra said...
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Anonymous said...

my uncle Leoris Sasser was a member of this battallion and died in action :(

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