Mike Gravel RIP: Watch the Senator’s Stunning 2007 Speech on How He Made the Pentagon Papers Public

Mike Gravel, former presidential candidate and Democratic U.S. senator from Alaska, has died at the age of 91. We look at how, in the 1970s, Gravel was fiercely opposed to the Vietnam War and the draft and played a seminal role in the release of the Pentagon Papers, the 7,000 pages of top-secret documents outlining the secret history of the U.S. War in Vietnam. While the papers were leaked to The New York Times and The Washington Post, Gravel spearheaded a one-man push on June 29, 1971, to read some 4,100 pages of the document into the Congressional Record, so that it would become public record and then anyone could read it and publish it. We feature an extended speech by Gravel in 2007 describing in detail how he received the Pentagon Papers from journalist Ben Bagdikian, who in turn had gotten them from Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg. Gravel told the extended story during an event moderated by Amy Goodman at the 2007 Unitarian Universalist Association’s General Assembly.

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