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About Jack

Jack is really a storyteller, international explorer, and humanitarian and everything else rolls out from there. As a writer, its what he does.  As a trial lawyer and trial skills teacher aroud the world, its his most important tool. As a former CIA officer, the only way to truly motivate people is to connect and to tell them a story that they can feel viscerally.  As a media analyst, what better way to make a point.  In the end, he tries to captivate his audience about the world and its people as much as he himself is captivated.

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Tuesday
Jan012019

Rule of Law: Its Not that Much Different in the U.S. or the Republic of Georgia

Thursday
Jul192018

Trump Walks Back The Walk Back

All hell has been breakinng loose in the United States and across Western Europe after President Trump's Press Conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In it, the President chose the Russian leader over his own intelligence community when discussing Russian efforts to undermine American elections.

That story is horrific but it didn't stop there. Upon his return to the States, his advisors clearly convinced him to walk it backward and his response was to say he mispoke and mean't "wouldn't" when he said "would." I don't buy that he believes that based upon his body language and past behavior.  It was a ridiculous response and frankly it didn't change anything regarding everything he was quoted as saying. Then . . . the walk back from the walk back came.

He now claims that he believes U.S. Intelligence but he still trusts Putin and stated from a direct question from a reporter about whether the Russian are currently a threat.  On the tape, he says "No. No. No. This is despite his own people, the entire Intelligence Community just this week saying that the Russians absolutely are. Next in this tragedy, Trump's people come out and said "Oh, he was talking about something else" despite the fact that he was looking directly at the reporter when he answered her question.

This situation is extraordinary and I've never seen anything like it. Honestly, Trump is incompetent. Not because he is a Republican or a Democrat but because of his decision making. Its not a question of policy opinions or approaches.  American Presidents have agreed and disagreed with each other based upon party, history, timing and many other factors.  This, this President is doing something fundamantally different.  And it needs to stop.   

I appear on the Nicole Sandler Show in Florida to discuss.

Tuesday
Jul172018

Trump Should Recognize He's In Trouble When Even Fox News Criticizes Him

First, it was his old adversaries, the Democrats.  But then, several Trump Republicans joined the chorus.  Then it started with his own supporters in ones and twos but then those numbers increased. This included former heads of the GOPs and the likes of Newt Gingrich.  Finally, it was the President's PR team over at Fox News. join the You know when they join the chorus, it is particularly startling.  Of chorus of which I am referring to involves those that are criticizing or out and out condemning Trump regarding the single worst thing that he has done since his Presidency and that was this summit and press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

I appear on WCCO Radio in Minneapolis with Dave Lee on July 17th to discuss not just this but President Trump's unusual response to it upon his return home.  Here's a hint, he's not backing down but instead in blaming . . . . wait for it . . .  Hillary Clinton.  

Anyway, this should be interesting.

Monday
Jul162018

Trump Makes The United States Weaker

 

 

Monday
Jul162018

Trump Gives Putin a Pass

Invading Ukraine.  Annexing the Crimea. Attempting to manipulate U.S. elections. German elections. British elections.  Poisoning Russian expatriates in Britain. President Trump could have talked about all of these things and held Russian President Putin to task.  Did he?  Nope. Not about any of them.  He gave Putin a pass. Worse, he ignored his own intelligence community while doing it. What this did and continues to do to the Commuinty has rarely been talked about.

I will appear on Voice of America International Edition to discuss the Summit, Trump's behavior and whether or not that behavior has finally cross a line.

Monday
Jul162018

Trump Believes Putin Over U.S. Intelligence

It was an extraordinary news conference like none I have ever seen. President Trump, meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki and rejecting the entire U.S. intelligence community, decided he believed Putin over the entire U.S. Intelligence community and and countless experts in the know. The real problem is that his rejection undercuts the entire U.S. Intelligence community and will certainly impact their ability to do their jobs.

I have never ever been more disgusted watching a sitting President. The problem is that the U.S. has approached international policy the same way since World War 2 and that includes Reagan, Ike, Nixon, Bush, Bush 2, Clinton, Obama, etc etc. And yet, now, Trump is jettisoning all of it and ignoring objective facts and U.S. policy.  Why?  It is nothing short of breathtaking.

I will appear on I24 International News on July 16th to discuss.  

Thursday
Jul122018

With the Putin/Trump Summit Fast Approaching, I Sit Down with Russia's Channel 1.

After an extraordinarily contentious NATO Summit in which President Trump claimed that the Germany was a captive of Russia and apparently considered the idea to "go it alone", Trump will sit down with Russia's President Putin for a Summit on Monday. As a result, I received a call from Russian Television Station Channel 1 to talk about the summit. Channel 1 is the largest station in Russia and has somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 million viewers worldwide.  As a result, they are willing to throw their resources at stories.

This has been a really strange shoot. First of all, the interview felt far more like a 60 Minutes documentary. They filmed me walking into the office, up the stairs, at my desk, reading, shots of diplomas and CIA paraphernalia, and of course, a sit down interview.  In the end, it was really straight forward but at the same time, it was still pretty wild. I shold also be clear, I tore into the Russian government.  Of course, that did what they did.  This is what intelligence organizations do. 

There is common question I have to address when it comes to being interviewed by the Russians and it is this: Why? Simply, it depends on the topic. I'm happy to provide analysis when it comes to certain issues and the major topics and maybe even American concerns. However, the propaganda piece is always important to consider  On the other hand, American media itself has its problems and limitations.

Should be interesting.

Thursday
Jul122018

Could President Trump Really "Go It Alone" Regarding NATO?

I've never seen anything like it.  For almost 70 years now, the U.S. and its NATO allies have been the closest  when it comes to . . . almost everything.  This was true when there were only 12 members up until now when there are 29. This has also been true regardless of whether we were talking about a Republican or a Democrat President.  All of that has changed under Donald Trump.

Trump seems to see NATO through the lens of a balance sheet, a ledger.  The problem is that is about far more than so called dues (which they aren't) or trade (which it also isn't).  This is a defense commitment that has been in place since 1949 and stands as one of the fundamental principles of collective security.  For instance, after 9/11 when the U.S. was attacked, they went to NATO and NATO stood firmly with the U.S. and went into Afghanistan.  This was critical because the U.S. was arguing that this was not a U.S. invasion but the entire world standing up to tyranny.  This would have been impossible without the support of NATO.  Trump does not seem to understand this in anyway.

I appear on Iran's Press TV to discuss the NATO summit, President Trump's reponse, the history of NATO and its relevancy.  This is going to be interesting.

Tuesday
Jul102018

The White House Sells Their Supreme Court Nominee to a Split Audience

Last night President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice replacing Justice Kennedy who retired after 40 years on the bench. Kavanaugh has received the Federalist Society's stamp of approval.  This says something as this is one of the most conservative legal organizations in the United States. However, the Administration is absolutely not stopping there.  They have enlisted more than a thousand interest groups to provide a broad support for Kavanaugh, arguing that he is mainstream.  

The problem, of course, is that Kavanaugh is anything but mainstream.  He is conservative and has a conservative bent to the Constitution and the law. This is significant in that it likely could provide the tipping point for the Court for the next 30 plus years. Some are cheering this while others are wringing their hands.  

Many have argued that there was no difference between Clinton and Trump during the last election cycle. Well, I think I can say this with some confidence, none of those people are speaking out right now and its pretty clear that they were and are fundamentally wrong.  This nomination is exactly what Trump said he was going to do.  And boy is he doing it with a gusto.

I appear on AM 950 in Minneapolis with Matt McNeill on July 10th to talk about what it means.