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, 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. 

Media, Legal, Intel & Terrorism Analysis

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Lost & Self Mutilated in Chiang Mai


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Lost and Confused: Guangzhou still brings the noodles

Guangzhou, the third largest city in China after Beijing and Shanghai, is gigantic. Legend has it that 5 gods descended from heaven astride lambs, bringing corn to feed the starving people. It’s still known as Lambs City in some quarters.

People have lived here for at least five thousand years. And for the Chinese, it has always been a city the reaches out, accepts foreigners. First, the Portuguese, then the Brits, Dutch and on and on. And now me. 

Trade started in tea, silk and porcelain but the Brits didn’t like the trade imbalance so they found a cheap product to import into this place, Indian opium. Cheap, highly addictive, even more destructive. The Chinese pushed back. The Opium wars began with an earnest. That was in the early 18th Century but the Chinese have a long memory. 

Sitting over a bowl or noodles, I think about how everything that’s old is new again. It is, you know. The trade wars, the opioid addiction, the reaching out to the world. The push back. All of it. But for me, at this moment, it’s the noodles that grab my attention. 

Thick, hardy, in a steaming broth that gives me a facial while it nourishes. I bet these aren’t new either. I bet farmers, explorers, soldiers, journalists have been eating a bowl like mine for hundreds of years. 

So, with everything repeating itself, I guess to some degree, that’s my role too. To sit here, before a steaming bowl, sipping, slurping. 

Life may not be new but my God is it good.


Lost and Confused: Over North Korea?

Flying over North Korea, and yes this is North Korea, any plume of smoke makes me scratch my head and wonder if a short jaunt to Cabo would have been a better idea. Oh well ...


Lost and Confused: Stepping Into the World Again

As I double check my ruk and make sure I haven't forgotten anything that I can 't like without, I can't help but think about the the line, which I will certainly destroy, that goes something like:

If you want to know the quality of a man, tell me where he has been.  

Hell, maybe nobody said this and this came to me in a drunken haze. However, I have to say that I like it.  I like the idea that we are a combination of all of those that we have touched, touched us, come into contact with, learned from.  And that those people come from everywhere.  Yes, I certainly aspire to this. 

I leave within the hour for China, Thailand and Cambodia. I can't wait to stand in Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand again.  It will be somewhat like home to me. I remember getting really lost there once, and then finding myself along the way.  

This promises to be . . . well . . . I don't know. I have no clue. Don't really have a clear notion of the agenda, where I'm staying or what I will do when I'm there.  But I don't undoubtedly know this, I think of those whom I have the privilege to meet along the way.  

I will do my best to document my travels, my experiences, the people, the food, the booze. However, I make no promises. Hope you can join me over the coming weeks.



[RT America ] December 7th: Trump Destroys any Chance of Peace in One Fell Swoop


Lost and Confused in Southeast Asia - My Doctor Means Well.

There is a long standing and proud tradition.  Oh yeah, I know all about it.  The doctor patient relationship. The wise sage doctor guides the patient.  Gives them years of advice and experience.  And the patient, doe eyed, dutifuly and seriously listens, takes in the gospel, embraces it and makes it their own.  The patient then goes forth into the world, safe in the knowledge that they are now protected, in some John Travolta-esque plastic bubble.  Makes total sense.  Yup, totally logical. But, there's a problem . . .   

Ok, this may be a shock but i'm not always the deepest of thinkers nor am I necessarily the best at tradition or sadly taking the best and most earnestly delivered advice.  I'll start by saying that my doc Laurie is much smarter than I am. Amazing, right? Yeah, I know. Not a surprise to me either. I can tell by the big words she uses, the logic in which she delivers them and the general competence which she seems to possess. I'm not even talking about her education and experience.

Of course, the problem is that if I listen to her entirely, I'd have to completely change my general approach to life and the world and I'm not generally competent enough to change my singular approach. Genius is not exactly my forte so better to accept my inaqequacies and drive on.  As I walk into the clinic, I do my best to ignore her only slightlyhidden looks of pity or disdain or both as she laughs at me.  They's not helpful.

"Back again Jack?" She says with a grin.

"Uh huh" ( I say with a sheepish grin).

As I prepare for this next Lost and Confused journey, it starts so simply.  Time for shots, again. Now I should tell you and admit, that I'm not particularly a fan. I know, right?  I have tattoos all over me including sak yat ones which are essentially somebody jabbing at me 10,000 times with a sharp stick. Must be some ridiculous childhood trauma that clings to me like the time I heard the story about the boogeyman when I was six. Nevertheless, I know she's right and this needs to be done. Typical tetanus and more Hep A and B and some other voodoo concoction. Now, I accept these grudgingly but once we figure out what I need, this is where we start to part company.

While waiting for Nurse Ratched to come in with her modern day torture devices, only joking, Doc Laurie hands me a small pamphlet called the Travel Health Companion. I have a bad feeling because I know its likely to include a whole bunch of things that I would be insane to do but have a tendency of doing anyway. I look at her dubiously and try to drown out her suggestions by singing the Girl from Ipanema in my head.  And trust me, the list of do not to do's is longer than I expect. "Tall and tan and lovely . . ."

Apparently, I'm not supposed to eat food on the streets when I travel around the world.  I think about being in the mountain towns of Haiti after the Earthquake and this is about my only option.  I'll take two helpings please.  What about the mystery meat I find in the streets of Northern Thailand?  How about Nan and God knows what in Afghanistan? They all make sense to me.  This ain't going to end. In fact, its usually the best stuff. Just brush the gunk off of it first. Safety first!

How about swimming?  Apparently according to the pamphlet, swimming in dirty disgusting waterways is a bad idea.  Huh?  Really?  Never occurred to me?  She strangely disagrees with my swimming naked in the Nile in South Sudan.  So, the worms and microscopic creatures that will crawl up your johnson or the raw sewage and radioactive material or the 4 meter Crocs aren't good either. She just doesn't understand. This has to happen. Its not my choice. I do it for the children.

And what about the tattoos in strange places administered by highly dubious individuals of questionable repute? I guess this is a bad idea. Who'd a thunk it?  After all, what's not to love about odd strangers stabbing you over and over on a dirty floor?  I don't see a problem. 

Now, this is the final one.  Gun shots and bombs.  Yeah I know. I'm shocked too.  Apparently Doctor Laurie thinks that roadside bombs and people shooting at me is not a good idea and should be avoided.  Weird right? I agree. Makes absolutely no sense to me either.  Why the hell do you think I ended up in war zones in the first place. Damned if I know . . .  

So, as I prepare for this next trip, this time, a little China, Thailand and Cambodia, I have no clue what other of Doctor Laurie's rules that I'm going to break.  Nevertheless, this is how I work. This is how I play. So as I start to ramp up in preparation for this trip, I hope you can join me.  

It promises to be  . . . well, I have no clue what it promises to be. But we will find out together. 



[Voice of America Intl Edition] December 3rd: Flynn was No Rogue Elephant

I appear on Voice of America on December 3rd. With Mike Flynn pleading guilty in Federal Court to a crime and also to willingly cooperate with the investigation, things are beginning to heat up even more. According to some of the evidence that is apparently in the hands of the Mueller prosecution team, Flynn was in close contact with many of the inner circle of the campaign regarding Russia.

The fact the Flynn lied about it is interesting and got him indicted. It will be curious to see is the rest of the inner circle also lied. If so, we could see a whole series of indictments in short order. I should add that the Trump team continued to lie to the public about no contacts with the Russians. There is unequivocal proof of such contacts now. The question is whether there was more. 

Trump claims that the investigation will be over before the end of the year. Frankly, thats laughable. Under these circumstances, he should be concerned. If they prove collusion, they may be able to establish obstruction. 

And the world turns.


[MSNBC] December 2nd: And the Noose Tightens

I appear on MSNBC with Richard Lui on December 2nd. With Mike Flynn entering a guilty plea, the Mueller investigation continues to heat up. The Trump campaign and Administration tried to argue the Flynn went rogue and that he was the only one that was in contact with the Russians. However, it is clear that those statements were flat out lies, and I use the terms specifically.  At least six members of the Trump team knew about the contact according to emails in the hands of Mueller.  Then, Trump rolls out Pence to lie to the American people on January 15, 2017, to claim there were no contacts at all. 

Maybe the biggest bombshell of all involves a tweet by Trump today. He claims that he fired Flynn at the end of January for lying to Pence and "for lying to the FBI."  This is critical because four months later, Trump went to Attorney General James Comey and asked him to drop the investigation.  If you know that somebody has committed a crime, and lying to the FBI is absolutely a crime, then trying to get the investigation dropped is by definition obstruction.

This is going to be a spicy interview.


[I24 International News] November 30th: Russians Expanding Influence

I appear on I24 International News on November 30th. Okay, I have to tell you the truth. This was one of the most enjoyable segments I have done in a really long time. Essentially, the Russians through Russian FM Medvedev and the Egyptians have agreed to share airspace. While this may not seem like a huge deal, it is. It essentially give the Russians enormous latitude to operate in the region.  There have been credible reports that Russian Special Ops troops were operating on the western border of Egypt as recently as March of this year.  Combine these two and it shows just how closely the countries are beginning to cooperate. Understand, Egypt was one of the closest allies the Americans had in the region.  Now?  Who knows.

Combine the relationship with the Russian agreements with the Turks, the Iranians, the Iraqis and what you start to see is like nothing the West has ever seen before. I'm not even talking about the Russians support of Asaad and Syria.  That piece is beyond extraordinary.  Frankly, with the vacuum created by the current U.S. Administration in the region, the Russians are moving in and filling the gap in a big way.  

I was able to talk about history, borders, interests, cold war politics, hot war politics and Putin and Trump. Bring it on.  So so cool.


[RTTV Washington DC] November 30th: House Intel Committee Considering Contempt


[AM 950 Minneapolis] November 30th: Latest on Trump/Russia Investigation

I appear on AM 950 Minneapolis with Mike McIntee on November 30th. Things are absolutely ramping up with Special Counsel Bob Mueller's investigation of the Trump campaign and the Russians. The President claims that the investigation will be over by the end of the year. That is an unequivocal pipe dream.  It will never happen.  Mike Flynn is in the wings right now and I expect indictments or pleas to come down the pike at any moment.

This is going to be an interesting conversation as we look back and where we have come but really where we are going in the future.  This promises to be fun. Hope you can listen.