In one of the opening scenes where Charlie Wilson is receiving the award, Joanne Herring is shown clapping in close up, wearing black gloves. In the subsequent wide shots showing the entire audience, she is gloveless.
The presentation in the airplane hangar before the Clandestine Service has a series of flags from the intelligence community in the background. One of the flags bears the distinctive seal of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), which was reorganized on November 23, 2003. Before that, it was the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) with a completely different seal.
When Charlie Wilson is in Las Vegas, the date on the screen is April 6, 1980. The next day, back in Washington, Larry Liddle visits Charlie to complain about a problem with a crèche in front of a firehouse in Nacogdoches, TX, stating that it's Christmas time.
To give a colleague an idea of how boring his tasks are, Gust Avrakotos describes in one scene how he has to analyze phone conversations "between French and German generals arguing over office space at NATO headquarters". However, France was not a part of NATO's military arm between 1966 and 2009.
Towards the beginning of the movie, Charlie is at a Vegas Club in April 1980. The next day, he is back in Washington to meet with his constituent about a Christmas display. Later that evening, Charlie is with a young lady who sings along with "Angel of the Morning." However, the cover version by Juice Newton was released in 1981.
When Charlie and Gust are talking with the Green Beret in the park playing chess with 4 guys the Green Beret (Mike) states, "The Russians did not come in on a Euro Pass they came in on...", the EuroPass was not implemented until 2004.
When Gust Avrakotos and Charlie Wilson talk in Charlie's office after Gust removes the bug from the scotch bottle, Gust sits down next to a table that has a picture of a B-1B Lancer bomber with a gray paint scheme. B-1Bs were introduced in 1985. Until the mid-1990s, they were painted in a green, dark green, and grey "European I" or "lizard" paint scheme.
When Charlie Wilson's secretary leans down to put his coffee cup in her desk drawer, she is facing forward and is putting the coffee cup down with her left hand. When the camera view switches to the side, she is facing mostly to the side and is putting the coffee cup down with her right hand.
In Gust's first scene, he fights with his boss about who owes whom an apology. The window that Gust had previously broken has just been replaced. As the fight continues and he's ordered out of the office, Gust breaks the window again, leaving shards of glass in the frame. In subsequent shots, most of the shards are gone.
When Charlie Wilson and Joanne Herring meet for the first time in the film, they tilt their heads to the right as they kiss. In the subsequent shot when they break the kiss, their heads are tilted to the left.
When the strippers are asking Charlie what he does for a living while they're in the hot tub, Kelly's position keeps changing back and forth from leaning against the side to sitting up straight, depending on which camera is being used.
During the talk with Larry Liddle, when Charlie's assistant hides his mug of whiskey in a drawer, she lifts the mug with her left hand. In the next shot, she holds the mug in her right hand before placing it in the drawer.
When Charlie Wilson returns to Washington to cast his vote, he enters the House floor from an adjoining room. Several times, he enters that same side room from the hall outside his office, which would be impossible. The interior architecture of Charlie's office indicates that his office is in the Rayburn House Office Building, across the street from the Capitol building.
The clips showing the downing of Soviet aircraft include the distinctive silhouettes of a McDonnell-Douglas F-4 and Bell UH-1. These primarily US manufactured models were not available in Afghanistan in the period covered.
The Pakistani Army helicopter used to take Charlie Wilson to Peshawar had a Pakistani flag from edge to edge on the vertical tail fin and the green circle insignia on tail boom. In real life, the helicopter has a significantly smaller Pakistani flag (with or without white stripe) on its vertical tail fin, and the green circle insignia is on the cabin's body, just before the tail boom. It is also a much lighter color.
Larry Liddle complains about a problem with a crèche in Nacogdoches, in east Texas. Charlie Wilson represents the 2nd Congressional district, in southeast Texas near Houston. However, that was the result of redistricting in 2003. In the 1980s, the second district included Lufkin and Nacogdoches.
In the montage where the Mujahideen shoot down Russian planes and helicopters, four of the aircraft (an A-6 Intruder, an F-4 Phantom, a UH-1 Huey helicopter, and an F-16) are American-made, and would never have been used by the Soviet military.
FLIPPED SHOT: During the Red Square military parade, the army vehicles and the soldiers move southwards, with the Kremlin wall on the right. Suddenly, the parade changes direction, and the Kremlin wall is on the left.