Saturday, April 22, 2006

Mike Gravel for President 2008

Alaska's Senator Mike Gravel Announces His Candidacy!
Mike Gravel, who represented Alaska as a maverick Democratic Senate from 1969 to 1981, has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination with a press conference at the National Press Club.

As it happens, I just heard Senator Gravel on CSPAN, announcing his candidacy. On the strength of his record of public service, most especially his standing alone and tall during the Vietnam war, I declare this site, Gravel Country.

I remember now, only vaguely all the way back to 1971,
...during the struggle over the Pentagon Papers, the secret official study that detailed how missteps and manipulations by successive U.S. administrations and their agents had created the quagmire that was the Vietnam War.

Daniel Ellsberg, a military analyst, provoked a national uproar when he put the report in the hands of the New York Times, which published portions of it in June of that year. The Justice Department moved to block further publication of information from the Pentagon Papers and to punish newspaper publishers who revealed the contents.

At that point, Gravel, a war critic, stepped in. The senator tried to read the contents of the study into the Senate record and to release them to the public, arguing that he had the authority to do so as a senator communicating with his constituents. He then sought to publish the papers in book form as The Senator Gravel Edition, The Pentagon Papers [Beacon Press].

When Justice Department went after the senator and his publisher, Gravel fought the case all the way to the Supreme Court. While lower courts expressed sympathy for the Gravel's stance, the high court rejected his claim that as a senator he had a right and a responsibility to share official documents with his constituents. Fortunately for Gravel, publicity surrounding the case was so damning to the administration's position that it finally backed off.
He's been on the right side of history all his life. Unlike 90% of other candidates, he's not going to change now that he's running.