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Sen. Mike Gravel
Mike Gravel was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, to French Canadian immigrants. He attended French-speaking Catholic schools and as a teenager, when he wasn’t working with his father and brothers in the house painting and construction business, volunteered in local Springfield politics, developing an avid interest in government

Senator Gravel enlisted in the U.S. Army (1951-54) and served as special adjutant in the Communication Intelligence Services and as a Special Agent in the Counter Intelligence Corps. He received a B.S. in Economics from Columbia University, New York City, and holds four honorary degrees in law and public affairs.

Mike Gravel served in the Alaska House of Representatives from 1963-66, and as Speaker from 1965-66. He then represented Alaska in the U.S. Senate from 1969-81. He served on the Finance, Interior, and Environmental and Public Works committees, chairing the Energy, Water Resources, Buildings and Grounds, and Environmental Pollution subcommittees.

In 1971, he waged a successful one-man filibuster for five months that forced the Nixon administration to cut a deal, effectively ending the draft in the United States. He is most prominently known for his release of the Pentagon Papers, the secret official study that revealed the lies and manipulations of successive U.S. administrations that misled the country into the Vietnam War. After the New York Times published portions of the leaked study, the Nixon administration moved to block any further publication of information and to punish any newspaper publisher who revealed the contents.

From the floor of the senate, Gravel (a junior senator at the time) insisted that his constituents had a right to know the truth behind the war and proceeded to read 4,100 pages of the 7,000 page document into the senate record. The Supreme Court ultimately ruled that Senator Gravel did not have the right and responsibility to share official documents with his constituents.

He then published The Senator Gravel Edition, The Pentagon Papers, Beacon Press (1971). This publication resulted in litigation, Gravel v. U.S., resulting in a landmark Supreme Court decision (No. 71-1017-1026) relative to the Speech and Debate Clause (Article 1, Section 6) of the United States Constitution.

He has worked as a cab driver in New York City, a clerk on Wall Street and as a brakeman on the Alaska Railroad. He founded and served as president of The Democracy Foundation, Philadelphia II, and Direct Democracy, nonprofit corporations dedicated to the establishment of direct democracy in the United States through the enactment of the National Initiative for Democracy by American voters.

Books authored by Senator Gravel are Jobs and More Jobs, and Citizen Power. He lectures and writes about governance, foreign affairs, economics, Social Security, tax reform, energy, environmental issues and democracy.

Senator Gravel is married to Whitney Stewart Gravel and has two grown children: Martin Gravel living in Colorado and Lynne Gravel Mosier, living in California. The Gravels have four grandchildren: Renee, Alex, Madison and Mackenzie.

Blog Entries by Sen. Mike Gravel

The McClellan Flip

Posted September 26, 2010 | 19:45:39 (EST)

The popular Union General George McClellan, who as the Democratic candidate promised to end the Civil War by negotiating with the Confederacy, lost to Abraham Lincoln in 1864 because of the Union's military successes in the field. Lincoln wanted to persist in fighting to total victory. The presidential election of...

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Leaking for Democracy

Posted August 26, 2010 | 13:20:07 (EST)

As a twenty-three year old Second Lieutenant, my first assignment in the Army was as a top-secret control officer for the Communications Intelligence Service in Germany, capable of classifying and declassifying government documents.

When I was a forty-one year old U.S. senator, the Nixon White House provided a copy of...

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Dennis Kucinich's Brave Voice

Posted January 28, 2008 | 12:36:18 (EST)

Dennis Kucinich deserves the praise and gratitude of all Americans who want our government to promote peace and justice at home and abroad. On all the issues, Dennis took brave, honest positions that reflect his great courage and decency.

While Clinton and Obama continued to support funding the Iraq...

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Russert's UFO and other Debate Mysteries

Posted October 31, 2007 | 19:20:00 (EST)

A few thoughts on last night's debate:

* "Where's Mike?" Isn't it amazing that GE and NBC could suddenly drop me from the debates and none of my opponents would even comment on it? It's like Stalin's Russia when someone would just stop showing up for work but...

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Why NBC and the DNC Want Me Out of the Debates

Posted October 22, 2007 | 14:21:59 (EST)

In the past year, I have attended 11 national Democratic debates of which two were sponsored by corporate media giant NBC. However, last week, the network suddenly conjured up arbitrary polling and fundraising requirements specifically designed to exclude me. None of the previous debates I attended held such requirements.

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Note to Obama and Edwards: Step-Up on Iran

Posted October 16, 2007 | 11:38:37 (EST)

I'm glad to see John Edwards and Barack Obama have finally begun to upbraid Hillary Clinton for going along with Bush's impending attack on Iran. We presidential candidates must keep raising this story because the mainstream media is not doing its job, once again. Two weeks ago, Seymour Hersh exposed...

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Hillary, War with Iran is No Laughing Matter

Posted September 30, 2007 | 19:28:52 (EST)

Hillary, I'm glad to see you got a good laugh when I confronted you during last week's debate over your vote calling the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRG) a terrorist organization. The American public finally got to see your cavalier attitude toward our march to war. Your vote however is...

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Let Ahmadinejad Go to Ground Zero

Posted September 24, 2007 | 11:28:00 (EST)

First, a few words about Ahmadinejad: His claims that the Holocaust was a myth are wrong and disgusting. His rhetorical threats to Israel are irresponsible and detestable. I wish he lost his 2005 election campaign against his reformist opponent and I cheered his party's losses in last year's elections.

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The Real Lessons of 9/11

Posted September 10, 2007 | 11:14:57 (EST)

As we mark the six anniversary of the 9/11 attack, it is time for Americans to face the real lessons of that horrible morning. Until we dispel the myths which the Bush administration and a compliant media have been feeding us, we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes and...

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Hillary Sandbags the Anti-war Movement

Posted August 21, 2007 | 23:24:59 (EST)

In an attempt to please an audience of veterans Monday, Hillary Clinton said the surge was "working" and gave a helping-hand to the Bush spin machine, Pentagon dead-enders and right-wing pundits who have already begun to quote her.

"Of course the surge is working," they'll say, "even Hillary...

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Hillary Chooses States Rights Over Gay Rights

Posted August 14, 2007 | 10:58:31 (EST)

During last week's historic gay debate, Hillary Clinton dredged up the old states rights argument when justifying her opposition to gay marriage. Apparently she thinks that the second class citizenship of gays and lesbians is a matter for the states to decide.

By drawing upon the language of...

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Dying in Vain in Vietnam and Iraq

Posted July 27, 2007 | 11:21:52 (EST)

During Monday night's debate, I was asked if I would stand by my statement that our soldiers in Vietnam died in vain. Here's why our country needs to own up to this fact, especially now that our soldiers are once again dying in vain in Iraq.

Throughout our three...

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Open Letter to Harry Reid and Senate Dems: Stop Showboating

Posted July 20, 2007 | 11:56:39 (EST)

Dear Harry,

I am glad to see that you have finally used the powers of the Senate to try to stop the war, but frankly I agree with the Republicans: this week's Senate sleepover was more theater than substance.

First off, the Reed--Levin bill will not stop the...

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Why I Wasn't Invited to the Debate on Gay Issues

Posted July 12, 2007 | 12:57:00 (EST)

Yesterday the Human Rights Campaign announced that it will not invite me to the first-ever presidential debate on gay issues because I didn't raise enough money. To say that I'm shocked is an understatement. I can confidently say, of all presidential candidates, I've been the most outspoken advocate for gay...

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Why Hillary Scares Me

Posted June 25, 2007 | 11:14:00 (EST)

During one of the debates I mentioned that my fellow Democratic candidates scare me. Hillary's speech last week to the Take Back America conference gives me yet another reason to be afraid.

In an indignant voice she decried the Bush administration's ''stunning record of secrecy and corruption, of cronyism...

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Don't Ask Hillary: She Still Doesn't Get It

Posted June 6, 2007 | 00:53:45 (EST)

Once again Hillary refuses to admit an obvious mistake. During the Democratic presidential debate on Sunday, she said her husband's 'Don't Ask' policy was not a mistake and then she tried to rewrite history by spinning 'Don't Ask' as a "first step" toward gays and lesbians openly serving in the...

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