11.28.2005

Remember Randy 'Duke' Cunningham?


Maybe you've never heard of him but he's something of a legend. Cunningham flew Navy F-4 Phantoms during the Vietnam war and he eventually became the Navy's first "Ace" pilot when he recorded his fifth kill, and only the second ace of the war.

Legend has it that his opponent that day was Vietnam's top fighter pilot, Colonel Tomb, but, well, that's just legened, there never was a Colonel Tomb (or Toon). Other legends say it was a top Russian pilot and even other legends say whoever it was was so secret the NSA still has a lid on it.

In reality, it was probably just some Joe Schmoe, but you know how those fighter jocks like to talk. Hell, I watched a dramatic recreation of his ace flight on the Discovery Channel just a month ago.

Although a more sober analysis would indicate that he was a hotshot who took way too many chances, Cunningham went on to be the most famous pilot of the war and was later squadron commander for the A-4 aggressors at Red Flag and eventually turned his attention to politics where he represented California for the past 14 years in the US congress.

Um, until today, when he pled guilty to taking at least $2.4 million in bribes, conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud, and tax evasion.



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