Thursday, March 8, 2007

Mike Gravel's Views on Climate Change

Climate Change and Global Warming promises to play a major role in the Presidential election next year. Although Al Gore is yet to announce if he will run for the nomination, his campaign to reduce global warming is gaining significant publicity. In addition, most of the major candidates have had something to say on energy, and trying to reduce the reliance on foreign oil.

This is Mike Gravel's announced position on Climate Change:

Global climate change must be made an issue of national security. We must act swiftly to reduce America's carbon footprint in the world by passing legislation that caps emissions. However, any legislation will have little impact on the global environment if we do not work together with other global polluters. Fighting global warming can only be effective if it is a collective global effort.

As President, Senator Gravel will see that the U.S. launches and leads a massive global scientific effort to end energy dependence on oil and integrate the world's scientific community to this task. A national public works program to rewire the country towards new energy technologies would create tens of thousands of new American jobs.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Mike Gravel on Veterans' Affairs

These are Mike Gravel's views of Veterans' Affairs, as listed on his website. This is an extremely topical issue, and one that has not yet gained much recognition in the national media. Given that over 20,000 troops have been injured in Iraq, this issue will play a major role in the lead up to the 2008 election.

Mike Gravel has a genuine commitment to the welfare on Veterans, so expect more from him on this topic as the campaign continues.

Senator Mike Gravel enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1951 and served for three years as an adjutant in the Communications Services and as a Special Agent in the Counter Intelligence Corps. Our war veterans are not, as some would have it, a “special interest” but are our primary interest.

As President, Sen. Gravel would ensure that veterans receive full and unambiguous funding for their most important needs, including health care that is indexed to the increasing cost of care and medicine. He would also make permanent the 100 percent disability ratings of those diagnosed as suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

He would also make sure that the VA system is fully financed and has sufficient well-trained personnel to provide the finest care that is available. As the senator says, “We can do no less and will do much more.”

Friday, March 2, 2007

Gravel Calls for an End to Torture

Mike Gravel's latest press statement calling on Congress to demand an end to torture. Gravel says that Congress must use it's Constitutional Authority to stop the torture of enemy combatants.

ARLINGTON, VA – Evoking Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution, former U.S. Senator and current Democratic Presidential candidate Mike Gravel today called on Congress to use its Constitutional authority to immediately demand an end to the Bush administration’s practice of torture on enemy combatants.

“Under the U.S. Constitution, all enemy combatants fall under the jurisdiction of the Congress. It is abhorrent that the United States government today continues to torture human beings in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and other secret C.I.A. prisons.”

Gravel made reference to, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11 of the U.S. Constitution which reads, 'The Congress shall have power to..declare war..and make rules concerning captures on land and water.'

Gravel said, “The Constitution is very clear that prisoners of war are the responsibility of the Congress. The Bush administration has unlawfully taken that power without Constitutional justification. The Congress has been derelict in its duty to see that enemy combatants are treated humanely within the guidelines of the Geneva Conventions, and has been equally neglectful in its response to the President’s unlawful use of torture.”

Article 3, Section 1 (a) of the Geneva Convention prohibits, 'Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture.'

“The practice of torture is immoral. It is un-American and it is ineffective. Information acquired as a result of torture techniques in unreliable. It endangers our soldiers in combat by encouraging reciprocity. It inflicts irreversible damage to our nation’s image and undermines our credibility among the international community.”

Senator Gravel also called upon the Bush administration to provide a full accounting of the names and locations of detainees who have been transferred from secret C.I.A. prisons whose whereabouts are unknown.

“The C.I.A. continues to hold an unknown number of prisoners in secret detention centers abroad and has refused to register those detainees with the International Red Cross or to allow visits by its inspectors. This is a blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions and contrary to international law.”

The senator also referenced former state department official and retired U.S. Army Col. Larry Wilkerson, who in November 2005 told CNN that Vice President Cheney provided ‘philosophical guidance’ that led to the use of torture. “It is unconscionable that the Vice President stood before the Congress and lobbied against a proposed ban on C.I.A. torture techniques.”

“George Bush lied when he told the American people in November 2005, ‘we do not torture.’ How many times will Congress allow the President to lie to the American people?”

Senator Gravel reaffirmed his pledge that if elected President, he will immediately move to vanquish the Military Commissions Act of 2006, signed into law by George Bush, which has made it legal for the C.I.A. to continue operating torture facilities in undisclosed, foreign countries, and for the writ of habeas corpus to be suspended for individuals who are designated "enemy combatants."