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Calling Kabulsh*t: Dana Rohrabacher's War

Feb 25, 2010

Washington, Feb 25, 2010 - Mother Jones: In 1988, shortly after winning his first term in Congress, Dana Rohrabacher dabbled briefly in another vocation - freedom fighter. With Afghanistan's anti-Soviet insurgency a cause celebre for conservatives, he traveled to the front lines. Sporting a thick beard and traditional Afghan attire, the congressman-elect joined up with a rebel infantry unit whose mission included laying siege to a Soviet position.

When I met Rohrabacher recently at his Capitol Hill office - adorned with mementos of his Afghan adventures, including a tapestry of the legendary mujahideen commander Ahmad Shah Massoud - I asked if he'd joined the battle. "Let's put it this way," he said, a glimmer in his eye. "I didn't carry a gun - most of the time."

It's the kind of adventure that has earned the Orange County Republican, who's 62, a reputation as "colorful," or, as some put it, "bat-shit crazy." He's a banjo-playing, folk-singing, arch-conservative surfer, who - at a time when other politicians insisted they'd never inhaled - publicly proclaimed he'd done "everything but drink the bong water." An outspoken climate change skeptic ...