ENG: Carl Milton Levin (born June 28, 1934) is a United States Senator from Michigan, serving since 1979. He is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services. He is a member of the Democratic Party. He has been Michigan's senior senator since 1995. He has served as a U.S. Senator longer than any Senator in Michigan history. He was elected to a sixth term in 2008, which will end in January 2015. He is the younger brother of U.S. Representative Sander M. Levin.
Levin was born in Detroit to Jewish parents Bess Levinson and Saul R. Levin. He attended Detroit public schools and graduated from Swarthmore College in 1956 and from Harvard Law School in 1959. Soon after earning his law degree, he was admitted to the Michigan bar and opened a practice in Detroit, where he still lives. He received honorary degrees from Michigan State University in 2004, Wayne State University in 2005, and Michigan Technological University in 2008.He was state assistant police officer and general counsel for the Michigan civil rights commission from 1964 to 1967. He was special assistant attorney general for the state of Michigan and chief appellate defender for the city of Detroit from 1968 to 1969 He was a member of the Detroit City Council from 1969 to 1977, serving two four-year terms, the last four years as council president.
Carl Levin married Barbara Halpern in 1961 and they have three daughters: Kate, Laura, and Erica.
Levin's family has long been active in Michigan politics. His older brother, Sander M. AFL-CIO and later ran unsuccessfully for the Michigan Senate. Carl's uncle Theodore Levin, was a chief judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Carl's first cousin Charles Levin was a Michigan Supreme Court judge; another, first cousin, Joseph Levin, was a candidate for the House.
Levin, has represented Michigan's 12th congressional district in the House of Representatives since 1983. Sandy's son (Carl's nephew) Andy Levin was a policy analyst for the
Levin is currently the chairman of the Armed Services Committee. He has served as the Democrats' ranking member on the committee since January 7, 1997. Levin previously chaired the committee when the Democrats were the majority party in the Senate, January 3–20, 2001 and June 6, 2001 – January 6, 2003. Levin joined the Armed Services Committee upon joining the Senate. Recalling when he was assigned the committee seat, he said that he wanted to learn more about the armed services. "I had never served, and I thought there was a big gap in terms of my background and, frankly, felt it was a way of providing service."He is a strong advocate for cost controls regarding military procurements. He has also pushed for less secrecy in government, working to declassify many documents, particularly where claims of ties between Iraq and al-Qaeda are concerned. Levin voted against sending troops to Iraq and repeatedly called on the Bush administration to provide a timetable for the withdrawal of troops. Levin has argued strongly that the war in Iraq is a diversion from the War on Terror. On CNN on November 14, 2005, Levin said that "before the war, the President was saying that you cannot distinguish between Saddam Hussein and Iraq. As a matter of fact, he said that so often that he tried to connect Saddam Hussein with the attackers on us, on 9/11, so often, so frequently and so successfully, even though it was wrong, that the American people overwhelmingly thought, because of the President's misstatements that as a matter of fact, Saddam Hussein had participated in the attack on us on 9/11. That was a deception. That was clearly misinformation. It had a huge effect on the American people." Conservative pundits have argued that this contradicts statements Levin made before the March 2003 beginning of major combat in Iraq. On CNN's Late Edition on December 16, 2001, he said that "The war against terrorism will not be finished as long as [Saddam Hussein] is in power." And as the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, he said during a hearing on September 19, 2002, "We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region." Levin believes that in order to improve the military the United States needs to shut down more installations and get rid of excess infrastructure. Under his leadership, the Committee of Armed Forces passed the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Act, which closed some military bases. The Prime Minister of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki, has hit back at senior U.S. politicians who have called for al-Maliki to be removed from office. He singled out Levin and Hillary Clinton, saying the Democratic senators were acting as if Iraq was "their property" and that they should "come to their senses" and "respect democracy".During the 2009 MDA/AIAA Annual Missile Defense Conference, Levin spoke in favor of the U.S.-Russian cooperation on missile defense:
Leaders in both the U.S. and Russia have recently expressed interest in exploring missile defense cooperation. Did you ever believe that some of our missile defense engineers and experts might be working together with their Russian counterparts? It could happen and if it does, it could help address a major threat. The bottom line is simple: We have a new opportunity to seek a cooperative approach with Russia on missile defense, and we should seize it. The upside potential of such an effort is huge — a geopolitical game changer. The downside is minimal.
June 17th, 2011