I appear on the Nicole Sandler Show on January 27th at 3;30 p.m. e.s.t. with my old friend Nicole Sandler. She have known each other since the Air America days and beyond. President Trump has declared war on the media and his watch dog Steve Bannon has upped the charge. He says the the Media should just shut up and listen. That's fascinating considering when what Mr. Trump continues to say is verifiable lie after verifiable lie. By the way, I am not using the term lie here loosely. What he is saying regarding a whole series of things has been verified false by source after source after source. When POTUS continues to repeat the lie and claim that it is true, regardless of how many times it has been pointed out, I believe that the term lie is appropriate. We will talk about the role of the media and why now, more than maybe ever, the media needs to stand up to politicians.
On a separate issue, we will also discuss torture and the CIA. Apparently, POTUS believes in waterboarding and may be arguing for its continuation. This is quite extraordinary and should result is an amazing conversation. I have some very specific ideas about it and contemplate what it might be like to prosecute this President in the Hague for crimes against humanity.
This promises to be interesting.
I have them all over my body, inside and out. Many are not of my own choosing while others are both inadvertently and purposely self-inflicted. The scalpel marks on my back, the thin almost invisible cuts on my forearms from the Agency days, the Baghdad map tattoo on my right shoulder (thanks Poohki, Matt Ward), the Sak Yant on my back (among many), the emotional scars from war in Iraq and Afghanistan, that little boy in Darfur, the memories of . . . well, too much. Even the losses in courtrooms and just plain life in general . . .
For a while, I carried them likes stones in a rucksack. Each weighed me down a little bit more, slowing my forward progress and limiting my agility and even ability. They were a burden but they were my burden. I seemed incapable of unpacking them. Hell, I didn't seem to want to but had no particular idea what to do with them. The bastards were mine, I’d earned them and I'd be damned if I'd let anybody tell me how to handle them.
I'm not quite sure when it happened; when I all of a sudden realized that each of these scars wasn't just a burden but rather a gift, a small kernel of wisdom wrapped in pain that just needed to be ripped open like a Christmas present by an eight year old boy hoping for that Daisy BB gun he saw in the Sears catalog. But, without question, they were more than just dead weight.
What eventually occurred to me was that each was critical. Each expanded my myopic view and allowed me to see, experience and contribute that much more. They created empathy and understanding and believe it or not, a strange fearlessness. Those were the gifts.
So what are they, these scars, these gifts? For me at least, they are the physical and mental representations that I did something, went somewhere, survived something despite the odds that I shouldn't, couldn't. For me, they are the very physical manifestation of every step I have taken, of every jungle, desert, battlefield, courtroom, hope, joy, nightmare, poppy field, in which I have tread.
Most of all, I have come to realize that the scars have all laced together into, well, me. Each may still be a stone of sorts but they weave together in such a way that any one of them would be missed when I inadvertently see myself in the mirror. Each is mine. Each is precious. Each is . . . me.
But isn't this true for all of us? After all, who are we? What do we do? What do we stand for? What do we believe in? What do we fight for? Further, I'd argue that if you haven't been knocked down, stepped on and kicked in the crotch because of what you have done or even what you believe, you may not have ever done much or thought much. So, if you are a fighter, you have em. Its who you are. Its what you do. Its what you stand up for. Its what you believe. It is you! And those scars are yours too! And that's okay. In fact, its pretty fucking incredible.
So, I want em. I need em. I even like em, like how they have formed me, reformed me, changed me, made me and continue to do so. In fact, there is room for more. And I know I'm not alone. Its not whether we have em. Its what we do with em.
I appear on AM 950 in Minneapolis on January 16th at 4 p.m. c.s.t. to discuss the Secretary of State designate and President elect Trump's possible foreign policy. From lifting sanctions on Russia to disrupting the One China policy to moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the ramifications of what this soon to be President could do is, frankly, astounding. We will dig into this issue and talk about what may happen in the first 100 days.
Hope you can listen.
I appear on AM 950 in Minneapolis with my buddy Matt McNeil to discuss the latest on 17 U.S. Intelligence organizations all coming together to determine that the Russians not only attmepted to hack U.S. websites but attempted to impact the elections and that Putin himself was orchestrating the operation. It is an extraordinary story and one we will continue to follow.
Hope you can catch it.
[CNBC Singapore] December 20th: Jack Talks the Latest on the Berlin Attack and What it Means for Europe
I appear on CNBC Singapore tonight at 6 p.m. est to discuss the recent terrorism attack in Berlin and what it means. Chancellor Merkel is seeking a fourth term and the ramification of an attack in Berlin could cause her additional problems. More than 1 million refugees have come to Germany as a result of the war in Iraq and Syria and many are very unhappy. What are the ramifications?
In addition, I will be discussing the recent assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey and what this means. The ramifications could be huge and may, strangely, result in the closer relationship between the Turks and the Russians. The West should be watching this closely and it is unclear whether they are.
This is going to be an interesting conversation.