Former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-AK) served two terms in the Senate through the 1970s, a period marked by the U.S.’s struggle to end the Vietnam War. In 1971, when military analyst Daniel Ellsberg famously leaked the Pentagon Papers — which documented the “policymaking process that led to our deepening involvement in Vietnam” — Gravel, a war critic, audaciously read the documents into the Congressional Record to ensure that the public would have access to them.
Also in 1971, Gravel, “against the advice of Democratic leaders in the Senate, launched a one-man filibuster to end the peacetime military draft, forcing the administration to cut a deal that allowed the draft to expire in 1973.”
Now, he’s running for President. He told us last weekend that he thought the Iraq redeployment provision attached to the House and Senate supplemental bills is “ridiculous legislation.” “We need to get out now,” Gravel said, adding that he had his “suspicions” that whoever is elected president in 2008 is “not going to get out of Iraq.”
“We are fighting over the ownership of the Titanic. That’s really what’s going on,” he said. “Keep in mind when Nixon got elected — he said I got a plan to end the war. Yeah, it took him four years. And we doubled the number of casualties under his tenure.” Gravel warned, “I suspect we’re going in the same direction.” Watch it:
Gravel also advocated a carbon tax. He said Americans should “keep in mind” that every time they fill up their gas tank, “you’re spending another $4.00 per gallon indirectly by maintaining American troops in 140 countries to stabilize the price of oil.”
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