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Vince Warren of CCR on the New WikiLeaks Gitmo Files; J Street Promotes Dialogue on Israel/Palestine, Gets Attacked by Knesset Leader

Vince Warren, Executive Director of Center for Constitutional Rights, talks about the new WikiLeaks Guantanamo files, and poor coverage by the N. Y. Times;  Hadar Susskind of J Street, the more moderate American lobby group for Israel, talks about a recent hearing in the Knesset where critics questioned the loyalty of J Street’s founders.Warren returns to our program, with well-deserved criticism for President Obama and the New York Times, among others.  We talk about Obama’s treatment of Bradley Manning and his outrageous comment (covered in preceding podcast #241) that Manning “broke the law”.  The WikiLeaks files belie Obama’s remark that we are “a nation of laws”, as he has failed to enfoce the laws that were so openly violated at Guantanamo and elsewhere.  While the NYT is covering this WikiLeaks dump, Warren warns that its coverage lacks context, and downplays the systemic disregard for the rule of law.  He notes that the Times is unwilling to use the word “torture” in even the most obvious cases, and that leaders of both parties are selectively using information that supports their pandering that blocks release of cleared prisoners and trials in the US.

At about 34:42, Suskind joins us.  He is VP for Strategy and Policy at J Street.  We talk about J Street’s mission, and how it is attacked by hardline Zionists in the US and Israel; one we refer to is Ted Belman’s blog.  We talk about the McCarthy-style hearing called by Knesset leader Danny Danon, where J Street’s leaders had to prove their loyalty to Israel in the wake of J Street’s criticism of policies of the Netanyahu government.  We talk about the Goldstone report, efforst by Israel and the US to suppress it, and the recent repudiation of one aspect of the report by Justice Goldstone.  We talk about the next Gaza flotilla and the prospect that Israel may not try to intercept it.  And we discuss J Street’s appeal to Obama to visit Jerusalem, along with the opportunity to reset policies in the face of the uprisings in the region.