Mike Gravel was the most entertaining and straight forward candidate in the first Democrat presidential debate. People should be aware of his accomplishments in the Senate.
In 1971, Gravel played a key role in the release of the Pentagon Papers — a large collection of secret government documents pertaining to the Vietnam War — which were made public by former Defense Department analyst Daniel Ellsberg. Gravel inserted 4,100 pages of the Papers into the Congressional Record of his Senate Subcommittee on Buildings and Grounds. These pages were later issued by the Beacon Press as the "Senator Gravel Edition" — the most complete edition of the Pentagon Papers to be published. The "Gravel Edition" was edited and annotated by Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn, and included an additional volume of analytical articles on the origins and progress of the war, also edited by Chomsky and Zinn.
Also in 1971, Gravel embarked on a one-man filibuster against legislation renewing the military draft. Using various parliamentary maneuvers, Gravel was able to block the bill for five months before President Richard Nixon and Senate Republicans agreed to allow the draft to expire in 1973.
Six months before US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's secret mission to the People's Republic of China in July 1971, Gravel introduced legislation to recognize and normalize relations with the PRC.
I still hate his support for a national sales tax.
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