Executive Intelligence Review


Sen. Mike Gravel Says Republicans Should Release the FISA Memo

Jan. 30, 2018 (EIRNS)—Former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel, a Democrat representing Alaska from 1969-1981, has said that Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee are cowards if they let the Executive Branch block release of Committee Republicans’ memo on illegal Federal surveillance of the Trump administration carried out in connection with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and its related Court, reported the Washington Examiner yesterday.

Senator Gravel told the Examiner’s Steven Nelson that the congressmen should be willing to unilaterally release the classified documents if they believe that it is in the public interest, as he did in 1971 when he released the classified Vietnam War study known as “the Pentagon Papers.”

“The criteria for releasing anything is this: Is this something the people should know? If the Republicans feel this should be made public for the benefit of their constituents, fine, release it. The Democrats should do the same,”

Gravel told the Examiner after the vote. He continued, “But, there is no argument to be made that this stuff is secret and it’s too important for the people to know,” provided it is done by people elected and sworn to protect the Constitution.

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee yesterday voted to release the four-page memo. That started a five-day waiting period during which President Trump can object to the memo’s release.

Senator Gravel further said,

“For the Congress to be a bunch of wimps and cowards, and defer to the Executive Branch because they don’t want to take any responsibility is the height of cowardice.”

Senator Gravel released thousands of pages of Pentagon documents exposing the failure of the Vietnam War policy in June 1971, by reading the documents that became known as the “Pentagon Papers” to his subcommittee on Buildings and Grounds. The Nixon administration challenged the release, but the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Senator Gravel’s action in 1972, in the case, Gravel v. U.S. This, Gravel told the Examiner, shows “There is no legal risk on their part for releasing information they feel the public should know.”