Mike Gravel’s Political Odyssey

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

From his release of the Pentagon Papers in 1971, to his recent shoestring campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel has devoted much of his long career in politics to fighting the rise of American militarism. His new memoir, co-written with Joe Lauria, is A Political Odyssey: The Rise of American Militarism and One Man’s Fight to Stop It.


Mike Gravel and Joe Lauria

Comments [28]

e from NYC

Thank you for the wonderful interview!

Great work, Sen. Gravel, Mr. Lauria and Mr. Lopate.

Jul. 28 2008 10:28 PM
Tonya from Texas

To Jack

fun video

and a nice pie chart

Jul. 23 2008 07:20 PM
hjs from 11211

by the way we get the democracy that we want.

Jul. 23 2008 03:15 PM
hjs from 11211

Eisenhower caved to the pressure but warned others not to, example of weak leadership.

USA spends money for war to protect trade, at the expense of infrastructure and education, example of a (soon to be) former superpower and 2nd world member.

Jul. 23 2008 01:00 PM
World's Toughest Milkman from the_C_train

I caught part of this segment and I understand and agree partially with what I heard but aren't they benefiting from 20/20 hindsight? I'm ok with a strong military but for defensive purposes, the world isn't a giant commune unfortunately. I think Iraq was a huge mistake.

Jul. 23 2008 12:55 PM
Alvin from Manhattan

JT, please re-read my post. I noted that there was a draft under Eisenhower, and that was in peacetime, no less. My point is that many people focus on his "military-industrial complex" statement, but they don't look at what he did in office.

Jul. 23 2008 12:54 PM
hjs from 11211

meant no ideas (in comment 20)

Jul. 23 2008 12:50 PM
Holly from Englewood Cliffs, NJ

Please bring Mike Gravel back--soon! This is the most responsible political/ military reporting I have heard in too long. It is also indicative of the job (if you can call it that) that the mainstream media has been doing the last 15 years.

Jul. 23 2008 12:48 PM
hjs from 11211

legislators? the ones who have left the nation a the brink of collapse. or the ones with now ideas?

Jul. 23 2008 12:45 PM
JT from NYC


There used to be a draft. There no longer is one.

Jul. 23 2008 12:42 PM
hjs from 11211

libertarians showed their true gop colors, picking barr, a right winger, instead of gravel, a free thinker.

Jul. 23 2008 12:42 PM

Empower the people? Are these the racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, anti-semitic, people? Let's leave law-making to the legislators.

Jul. 23 2008 12:40 PM
Ryan from Brooklyn

You're wrong Leonard. People don't jump on Gravel for what he's saying. They find it refreshing. The only people that jump on what he's saying are people in power, those interested in preserving the status quo.

Jul. 23 2008 12:37 PM
Scott D. Strader from Atlanta, GA

This link shows us at ~49% of the world's spending in 2005:

I've seen similar numbers from previous years.

Jul. 23 2008 12:33 PM
Alvin from Manhattan

Eisenhower wasn't quite the anti-militarist he's portrayed as these days. Never mind his farewell speech warning of the "military-industrial complex". Why did the U.S. have nearly twice as many people in uniform in fiscal year 1955 than it does today (nearly 3 million, vs. 1.5 million)? In 1955, the U.S. was not at war, and we were in the process of withdrawing from our occupation of the losers of WW II. By the way, we had a peacetime draft under Eisenhower.

Jul. 23 2008 12:30 PM
exlege from brooklyn

Unfortunately a period of self-reflection for the legislative branch does not appear imminent. They could not even vote to examine the details of the telecom companies transgressions before releiving them of liability. The legislative branch is looking to sweep things under the rug and they are hoping it will go away.

Jul. 23 2008 12:30 PM
John from Astoria

Great discussion. Please keep up the good work. Keep spreading this message. We need to take our country back from these people who have hijacked it and used it against our interests. You are the true American Patriots. Our Founding Fathers would be proud.

Jul. 23 2008 12:29 PM
Scott from Brooklyn

Gravel is enormously refreshing. It's a shame that most people wrote him off during the campaign.

Jul. 23 2008 12:29 PM
hjs from 11211

"idiocy of European policy over the last 100 years." clearly before ww2 and before the end of the colonial era. can you reference anything post 1980 that you would call idiocy

Jul. 23 2008 12:28 PM
Steve (the other one) from Manhattan

The owners of those country makr too much money from war. Nothing will change.

Jul. 23 2008 12:27 PM
em from nj

Great guest delivering a tough truth. I love the passion in his voice. Should have given Mike a double segment.

Jul. 23 2008 12:27 PM
Chicago Listener

pls spend a few seconds on his "crush on obama" response video. it was very funny (and possibly the first introduction to the senator many people had). do politicians have a sense of humor anymore or is it all calculated?

Jul. 23 2008 12:26 PM
Marco from Manhattan

Americans - both within and outside of government - are dangerously naive about the rest of the world. While American foreign policy is often misguided it cannot compare with the idiocy of European policy over the last 100 years. Recently the Russians began to cut off oil from the ca change..

Jul. 23 2008 12:24 PM
Mike in Manhattan from Inwood, NYC

This is the most rational discussion of the militarization of the US society I have heard on mass media at least since 9/11.

Bush's concept of militarizing the response to 9/11 was not only using that tragedy to further an agenda that preexisted 9/11, it turned criminal mass murderers into warriors...and made them heroes too an extent that they could not have achieved themselves.

Jul. 23 2008 12:23 PM
hjs from 11211

corporate authoritarism rising

Jul. 23 2008 12:20 PM
Hugh from Crown Heights

Outside of the rightwing circles of people like Dick Cheney or Niall Ferguson, there is near universal agreement that the Soviets never had _any_ interest in attacking the US. And this is clear from what they did do (attack immediate neighbors).

Russians of the time said emphatically that they did not want another WW2 (in which they lost 25 MILLION people).

It is the US that has worked to manufacture most of the "evil empires" of the past 50 years.

Messrs. Gravel and Lauria are absolutely right. The US is a Nation of Fear. More so than any nation since Nazi Germany.

Jul. 23 2008 12:19 PM
antonio from park slope

Can you ask Senator Gravel about his work in opening a new investigation to 911 and why?

Jul. 23 2008 12:16 PM

Is that true? We spend more on defense than the rest of the world combined? Where's the data?

Jul. 23 2008 12:15 PM

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