Mike Gravel

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Mike Gravel


Maurice Robert "Mike" Gravel was born May 13, 1930) is a former Democratic United States Senator from Alaska, who served two terms from 1969 to 1981, and a former candidate in the 2008 presidential election.

Background

Born and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts to French-Canadian immigrant parents, Gravel served in the United States Army in West Germany and graduated from Columbia University. He moved to Alaska in the late 1950s, becoming a real estate developer and entering politics. He served in the Alaska House of Representatives from 1963 to 1966 and became its Speaker of the House. Gravel was elected to the United States Senate in 1968.

Supported by Council for a Livable World

The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Mike Gravel in his successful Senate run as candidate for Alaska.[1]

Pentagon Papers involvement

While defending himself against government charges over the leaked Pentagon papers, Daniel Ellsberg followed the recommendation of the Institute for Policy Studies and others, and hired communist lawyer Leonard Boudin as his legal counsel. Boudin's advice was that Ellsberg's best defense would be through the legislative immunity of a congressman disclosing the papers. IPS felt that Mike Gravel of Alaska was a likely candidate, for he was a co-sponsor of the McGovern - Hatfield "end the war" amendment.

Ellsberg contacted then Senator Gravel and offered him the papers for the anti-draft filibuster he planned for June 30, 1971.[2]

On the night of June 29, 1971, Senator Gravel, as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Buildings and Grounds of the Senate Public Works Committee, convened a meeting of the subcommittee and there read extensively from a copy of the Pentagon Papers. He then placed the entire 47 volumes of the study in the public record. IPS fellow Leonard Rodberg had been added to the Senator's staff earlier in the day and assisted Gravel in preparing for and conducting the hearing.3 Some weeks later there were press reports that Gravel had arranged for the papers to be published by Beacon.[3].

Gravel had contacted Roberg through journalist and IPS associate Paul Jacobs.[4].

Cuba recognition drive

In 1972, a coalition of congressmen, radical activists and some communists spearheaded a drive to relax relations with Fidel Castro's Cuba.

Under, the auspices of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D.- Mass.) and Sen. Harold Hughes (D.-Iowa), a two day conference of liberal scholars assembled in April, in the New Senate Office Building to thrash out a fresh U.S. policy on Cùba.

Among congressional sponsors of the seminar were Sen. J. William Fulbright (D.-Ark.) and Sen. Jacob K. Javits (R.-N.Y.), both influential members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Sen. George McGovern (D.-S.D.), Rep. Bella Abzug (D~-N.Y.) and Rep. Ron Dellums (D.-Calif.).

Other sponsors included Senators Alan Cranston (D-CA), Mike Gravel (D - Alaska), Fred Harris (D - OK), Philip Hart (D - MI), George McGovern (D - SD) and Frank Moss (D - UT)

Congressmen Joseph Addabo (D - NY), Herman Badillo ( D - NY), Alphonzo Bell (R -CA), Jonathan Bingham (D - NY), John Brademas (D -Indiana), Donald Fraser (D - Minn.), Seymour Halpern (R - NY), Lee Hamilton (D - Ind.), Michael J. Harrington (D - MA), Patsy Mink (D -HI), Parren Mitchell (D - MD), Charles Rangel (D - NY), Thomas Rees (D - CA), William Fitts Ryan (D - NY), Ogden Reid (D - NY), Benjamin Rosenthal ( D - NY), Morris Udall ( D - AZ).

Secretary of the New York State Communist Party USA, Michael Myerson was among the observers.

One panelist, John M. Cates, Jr., director of the , Center for Inter-American Relations, matter of factly remarked during the discussions: "So why are we here'? We're here so Sen. Kennedy can have a rationale to get our country to recognize Cuba."

The conference was financed by a New York-based organization called the Fund for the New Priorities in America, a coalition of groups clearly sympathetic to many pro-Communist causes.

The Fund was virtually the same group as the Committee for Peace and New Priorities, a pro-Hanoi group which bought an ad in November 1971 in the New York Times demanding Nixon set a Viet Nam withdrawal date. Both the Fund for the New Priorities and the Committee for Peace, were located at the same address in New York.[5]

Take Back America Conferences

Mike Gravel was on the list of 237 speakers at the 2007 Take Back America conference, which was organized by the Institute for Policy Studies, and Democratic Socialists of America dominated Campaign for America's Future.[6]

UFPJ rally

On October 27th 2007, United for Peace and Justice held an Anti-war National Mobilization, near Orlando, Florida at Lake Eola.[7]

Speakers Included:

Bradley Manning Support Network Advisory Board

As of December 2011, the Bradley Manning Support Network, Advisory Board consisted of;[8]

References