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. 

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The Jack Rice Show, Friday, July 21, 2006.

Jack speaks with President Bush's Senior Political Advisor Karl Rove about the midterm elections, the war, stem cell research and just about anything else that comes to mind. Karl is one of the most influential advisors in history. Some love the man.
Others, not so much. However, nobody can deny that his success speaks for itself. The 2000 Presidential elections. The 2002 midterms. The reelection of the President in 2004. While his success continue for the Republicans in 2006? Jack will ask the questions.

Jack will also have a chance to sit down with Congressman Tom Tancredo and talk about immigration. Congressman Tancredo is a Republican and the most vocal critic of the President's plan to provide amnesty to undocumented immigrants as seen in a recent Washington Post article.

Finally, former UN Inspector Scott Ritter joins the program. Scott worked in Iraq from 1991 and 1998 dealing with the build up of weapons of mass destruction. He also told anybody who would listen back in 2002 and 2003 that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. People scoffed at him them. Who is laughing now? Or maybe that should be crying now!

Maj. Gen. Robert Durdin Joins the Program

Below see a transcipt of an interview Jack had with Maj. Gen. Robert Durbin live from Afghanistan on July 13, 2006.

RICE: Right now we're going to go live to Afghanistan with Major General Robert Durbin, commander, Combined Security Transition Command in Afghanistan.

General, thank you for joining me.

GEN. DURBIN: Well, it's a pleasure to be here.

RICE: I appreciate what's happening, sir. There is so much going on around the world right now. Sometimes people forget about what's going on in Afghanistan, and yet this is vitally important to the overall effort, isn't it?

GEN. DURBIN: Completely vital -- vital to our national interests in every respect.

RICE: Can you explain what's happening right now? The stories that we're reading are that there are other forces moving into place to take over for the Americans, and yet we're also hearing that there's an increasing operational capacity by Taliban forces in the country.

GEN. DURBIN: Well, I think what you're seeing is the transition of NATO ISAF to take over part of the country in RC -- what was called Regional Command South -- in the southern part of Afghanistan.

The up-tick in violence that's being reported is actually a sign of progress. We have more capacity based on the development of Afghan national security forces, both their army and their police, which my command is responsible for developing. You combine that with an increase in the amount of international forces that have arrived over the last two to three months, and we are able to provide presence of the government of Afghanistan security forces, supported by the coalition, into locations that heretofore we've never been able to go, and take away the sanctuary that Taliban, common criminals, drug lords, warlords of the past now are resisting.

RICE: General, how difficult is it to make that distinction between somebody who is obviously Taliban -- somebody is the, quote/unquote, "enemy" on one side -- who can then just turn into a civilian on the other at any moment? How do you make that distinction?

GEN. DURBIN: Well, I think the distinction is very difficult to make. The important aspect is that as we gather intelligence and we understand who is or is not an anti-government element or supporter -- that's the distinction that needs to be made. There are enemies of Afghanistan. They are enemies that threaten the legitimacy of the government of Afghanistan. Some are Taliban, some are drug lords. Those who would want to retain the status quo -- the influence that they have over the people and the coercion that they have over the people -- needs to be replaced by legitimate government of Afghanistan security forces, and that's the resistance you're seeing.

RICE: We're talking with Major General Robert Durbin, Commander, Combined Security transition Command in Afghanistan.

General, you mentioned drug lords, and I know that Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld has talked about this as well. We've talked to others, too, about this, that one of the biggest problems -- one of the biggest challenges -- is dealing with the poppy production. More than ever it's being produced, and it seems more and more difficult to stop it. What's happening now?

GEN. DURBIN: Well, right now the growing season is coming to an end, but ending March, April and May time frame, also through June and early this month. There has been an increased and concerted effort by the government of Afghanistan to conduct enhanced eradication, but eradication in and of itself will not solve the problem. This is a multi-year -- maybe -decade -- challenge to be able to reduce the narco-trafficking in Afghanistan, but it's something that has to be addressed, and is being addressed mainly by the security forces of Afghanistan.

RICE: Are you seeing sufficient support to do this? Because it is a national effort; you mentioned the government of Afghanistan. Are there enough troops on the ground? Is there enough money to not only stop the cultivation of poppies, but also to give some sort of alternative to these farmers so, well, they don't starve?

GEN. DURBIN: Well, the program is multi -- has multi-pillars. The one that I'm focused on has to do with an effective police force that can be supported by the Afghan National Army to be able to conduct eradication and interdiction, and also provide the correct security for any of the farmers who would like to self-eradicate. Then you have the alternative livelihood program that's run by different agencies, that's part of it.

So it's a pretty complex problem, therefore it will take a complex solution, and part of that solution is time.

RICE: General, how do you deal with the Afghan forces themselves on one side, then obviously the Taliban on the other, and then you have these warlords -- these other sort of nongovernmental groups that really run their own almost small fiefdoms. How do you sort of walk that tightrope between all three?

GEN. DURBIN: Well, I think it's -- both the warlords -- if they are not willing to follow the disarmament of the illegally armed group mandate that's out there, then they are a threat to Afghanistan and they need to be dealt with. They could be dealt with kinetically or they can be dealt with non-kinetically to be able to --

RICE: What does that mean, General?

GEN. DURBIN: Well, that means that if they resist, then we will do what's necessary to capture or kill them. And if they wish to cooperate, then we are able to properly disarm those warlords and provide them the alternative livelihood that's appropriate for them. And they will swear their allegiance to the new government of Afghanistan.

RICE: Can you describe the security issue between the Afghan border and the Pakistan border? Some have said it's impossible to really seal this off. Obviously we're still dealing with Osama bin Laden and that issue on where he is or isn't. Has there been a successful effort to actually close that border?

GEN. DURBIN: I think it's a very porous border. It's a very rugged border, very difficult to close. I don't think anyone would tell you militarily it would be viable you could say to seal the border.

And so as a result, one of the most effective activities that has been ongoing and is maturing over the last two years is a concept called tripartite, and it's a mil-to-mil relationship -- military to military -- between Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States, soon to be joined by NATO ISAF. What that does is provide cooperation and coordination between military forces on both sides of the border so that you in fact do not have the built-in sanctuary from an activity that's conducted in Pakistan and then moved back into Afghanistan or vice versa. That's the effective way.

RICE: Well, General, I understand you're very busy. If I could ask just one last question, though. Are you optimistic about the success of this mission? And maybe you can articulate what success means.

GEN. DURBIN: First of all, I'm very optimistic for this situation we have in Afghanistan. And I would end by telling you that success is going to be defined by the perception of the people of Afghanistan, not from those of us in the international community. And right now, there's a tremendous amount of hope and there's a tremendous amount of desire by the people of Afghanistan to have a free and prosperous Afghanistan, so there's no doubt in my mind that it will succeed.

RICE: Certainly vitally important. I think that the American people need to continue to focus upon it.

I do want to thank you so much for joining me today, sir.

GEN. DURBIN: Well, thank you very much. It's been my pleasure.

RICE: Thank you.

Karl Rove Joins the Program on Friday, July 21, 2006.

Karl Rove, Senior Domestic Policy Advisor to the President joins the program on Friday to discuss the upcoming 2006 elections, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon and Gaza, as well as the future for President Bush.

The Jack Rice Show, Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The House and Senate have now both passed bills to allow U.S. government funding of embryo stem call research. It is on its way to the President's desk. However, in his six years as President, he has never vetoed a bill. He has promised to veto this one.

Yuval Levin, Senior Policy Advisor on Medical Issues for the White House joins the program to discuss the President's position. If more than 70% of Americans favor research, then why is the President opposed?

Turning from the moral question to the the political one, Ann Coulter joins the program to discuss the ramifications for the Republican party in the upcoming elections. Will the rev up the base or will it alienate voters?

John Dean, former White House legal counsel for President Nixon, joins to program to discuss conservatism, the White House, and the upcoming elections. He will also discuss his latest book, Conservatives Without Conscience.

The Jack Rice Show, Tuesday, July 18, 2006.

Jack talks the law and baseball today. Barry Bonds may be indicted this week. His own attorney says that it is likely. At the same time, Bud Selig, the Commissioner of Baseball says that he has the right to suspend Bonds if he is indicted. However, an indictment is not a conviction. If there is such thing as a presumption of innocence, should baseball have the right to suspend somebody who hasn't been convicted of doing anything wrong? Your thoughts . . .

It has been about a year since the London bombings. India was just hit last week. Spain before that. Experts say that it is only a matter of time before the U.S. is hit again. However, taking a closer look at this assessment, there are some clear expectations. We'll talk with Mike Boyer, Senio editor of Foreign Policy Magazine about the future.

The U.S. Supreme Court just came down with a decision about the Geneva Conventions and the rights of detainees. Today, rather than look at this issue from on high, we will look at it from the perspective of a trainer. Patrick Bryant and former Army trainer of Geneva conventions joins the program to talk about how it works in the closeroom and then, more importantly, in the real world.

The Jack Rice Show, Monday, July 17, 2006.

Jack speaks with Tom Goutiere, Dean of Intl' Studies program at U of Nebraska, Omaha about Hezbollah. Who they are? Where do they come from? Who funds them? Why should we care?

British PM Tony Blair and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan are calling for international peacekeepers to move into Southern Lebanon. Jack asks if you are comfortable sending U.S. troops to Lebanon if it were part of a U.N. peacekeeeping mission.

The U.S. Senate is currently debating stem cell research and whether or not it should be funded. It has already passed the House of Representatives. Will it pass the Senate? The President has already promised a veto. Jeffrey Kahn, Bioethicist at the Center for Bioethics at the U of M gives us both sides of the embryonic stem cell research argument.

CIA NOC Officer Files Suit Against VP Cheney, Libby and Rove

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Valerie Plame said she was suing US Vice President Dick Cheney and top presidential advisers with a "heavy heart", preferring to have kept her job as a secret CIA agent.

One day after filing suit against Cheney, President George W. Bush's former top adviser Karl Rove as well as a third official for allegedly revealing her identity to damage her diplomat husband's reputation, Plame said she was simply holding her government to account.

"I'd rather continue my career as a CIA agent than as a plaintiff in a lawsuit," she told reporters.

"I exercised my civic duty to hold my government to account for what it had said and done in the name of the American people," she said.

"These officials abused power for personal revenge, broke faith with their obligations as public servants to uphold and defend the Constitution. This remains a nation of laws and no administration official, however powerful, is above the law."

Plame and her husband, US former diplomat Joseph Wilson, charged in the lawsuit filed in Washington that Cheney and others conspired to leak her work at the CIA to strike back at Wilson for clashing with Bush's administration over the Iraq war.

The case grew out of Wilson's allegations following the March 2003 invasion of Iraq that Bush and others had falsely claimed that Iraq had sought uranium in Niger for weapons programs.

The 23-page lawsuit alleges that Plame and Wilson "suffered a violation of rights guaranteed them under the United States Constitution and the laws of the District of Columbia."

It accuses the administration officials, and 10 other unnamed persons, of embarking "on an anonymous 'whispering campaign'."

"The audacity and malevolence of that campaign is compounded by the fact that at the same time the Wilsons were being attacked, the administration in fact was acknowledging the validity of Mr. Wilson's public statements."

It demands compensatory damages for violation of Constitutional law, punitive damages, attorney's fee and costs, and "all other relief as may be just and proper."

In July 2003, conservative writer Robert Novak cited unnamed senior administration sources when he revealed in a column criticizing Wilson that his wife was a CIA operative.

On Wednesday, Novak revealed in a column that two of his sources on Plame were Rove and CIA public information officer Bill Harlow. He said a third source had not authorized him to reveal the source's name.

The Jack Rice Show, Friday, July 14, 2006.

Jack speaks with Jamal Dajani a producer for Mosaic:World News from the Middle East about coverage of the Middle East. How do you know that it is balanced? Does it provide info to the American audience or to the Muslim world?

Jack takes your calls on the Italian magazine that has released pictures of Princess Di slumped over in the car wreak that killed her. Is this capitalism at its finest or are we morally bankrupt?

How do you talk to your children about poor choices you made in your youth?

Entertainment Weekly came out with the list of Greatest Sidekicks of all Time. Who are the best sidekicks and what makes a good sidekick?

The Middle East is On Fire

By SAM F. GHATTAS, Associated Press Writer
33 minutes ago

BEIRUT, Lebanon - Israel tightened its seal on Lebanon, blasting its air and road links to the outside world and bringing its offensive to the capital for the first time Friday to punish Hezbollah — and with it, the country — for the capture of two Israeli soldiers.

Warplanes again smashed runways at Beirut's airport with hours of airstrikes, trying to render it unusable, and destroyed mountain bridges on the main highway to Syria. Warships blockaded Lebanon's ports for a second day.

Smoke drifted over the capital after strikes exploded fuel tanks at one of Beirut's two main power stations, gradually escalating the damage to Lebanon's key infrastructure.

Lebanese guerrillas responded by firing a barrage of at least 50 Katyusha rockets throughout the day into northern Israeli towns.

The death toll in three days of fighting rose to 61 people in Lebanon and 10 in Israel. The violence sent shock waves through a region already traumatized by the ongoing battles in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas.

Israel's offensive pressed ahead with several goals. Its strikes on the airport and roads and naval blockade all but cut off Lebanon from the world, while hits on infrastructure aimed to exact a price from its government for allowing Hezbollah to operate freely in the south.

At the same time, strikes on Hezbollah — including ones targeting its leadership in south Beirut — aimed to pressure the Shiite Muslim guerrillas to release the Israeli soldiers captured Wednesday and push the militants away from Israel's northern border.

But there were fears — acknowledged by President Bush — that the Israeli assault could bring down the Western-backed, anti-Syrian government of Lebanon.

Bush, in Russia for the G-8 summit, spoke by phone with Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora and promised to pressure Israel "to limit damage to Lebanon ... and to spare civilians and innocent people from harm," according to a statement from Saniora's office.

But the promise fell short of the Lebanese leader's request for pressure for a cease-fire. The White House confirmed the call but would provide no details of the discussions.

French President Jacques Chirac said Israel's actions were "totally disproportionate" but also condemned Hezbollah's attacks. He implicitly suggested that Syria and Iran might be playing a role in the expanding crisis.

The U.N.'s top humanitarian official, Jan Egeland, said Israel's attacks against transportation infrastructure violated international law and held grave consequences for civilians.

Some 5,000 Iraqis demonstrated in Baghdad after Friday prayers, praising the leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah group and denouncing Israel and the United States for attacks against Lebanon. Some protesters said they were ready to fight the Israelis.

Israeli officials said the campaign by the air force was the biggest since the Israeli invasion in 1982. The only comparable military action since then was the "Grapes of Wrath" offensive in 1996, also sparked by Hezbollah attacks.

But the casualties were mounting faster than in 1996, when at least 165 people were killed in 17 days of fighting, including more than 100 civilians who died in Israeli shelling of a U.N. base.

By contrast, 61 people in Lebanon have been killed in only three days of Israel's bombardment, mostly Lebanese civilians — including three who died in bombing of south Beirut early Friday, police said.

On the Israeli side, eight soldiers have died and two civilians were killed by Hezbollah rockets on northern towns. At least 11 were wounded in Friday's rocket attacks.

Israel says it holds the government responsible for Hezbollah's actions, but Saniora's Cabinet has insisted it had no prior knowledge of the raid that seized the soldiers and that it did not condone it.

Hezbollah operates with near autonomy in south Lebanon, and the government has resisted international pressure to disarm it — a step that could break the country apart. Saniora's government is dominated by anti-Syrian politicians, some sharply critical of Hezbollah, but the guerrilla group also has two ministers in the Cabinet.

The fighting in Lebanon is Israel's second front after it launched an offensive in the Gaza Strip two weeks ago in response to the June 25 capture by Hamas militants of an Israeli soldier, Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

Throughout the morning, Israeli fighter-bombers pounded runways at Beirut's airport for a second day, apparently trying to ensure its closure after the Lebanese national carrier, Middle East Airlines, managed to evacuate its last five planes to Amman. One bomb hit close to the terminal building.

Another barrage hit fuel tanks at one of Beirut's two main power stations at Jiye. Some parts of the capital were already seeing electricity outages before the strike, which was likely to worsen power shortages.

For the first time in the assault, strikes targeted residential neighborhoods in south Beirut, a stronghold of the Shiite Muslim Hezbollah's leadership. Warplanes rained missiles on roads in the suburbs, knocking down an overpass and damaging another.

In Jerusalem, the Israeli military said the Hezbollah security headquarters in the neighborhood was targeted by the airstrikes — but an AP photographer at the scene saw no sign of damage to the building, and Hezbollah media chief Hussein Rahal said it had not been hit.

Instead, the facades of nearby apartment buildings were shorn away, balconies toppled onto cars and the street littered by glass from shattered windows. Firefighters struggled to put out several blazes.

A young man with blood pouring down his face was shown on Lebanese TV walking out of a damaged apartment building.

"I have huge debts and now my store is damaged," said Fadi Haidar, 36, cleaning away broken glass at his appliances shop, which had an estimated $15,000 in damage.

Still, he supported Hezbollah and its leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, in their decision to seize the soldiers.

"Israel is our enemy and every Muslim must make a sacrifice," he said. "As time goes by, they will all realize that Sayyed Nasrallah is right and is working in the interest of Muslims."

Israeli planes also hit transmission antennas for local TV stations in the eastern Bekaa Valley, a Hezbollah stronghold. Anwar Raja of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command said the planes attacked the towers, but did not hit the guerrillas' base at Qousaya.

Warplanes also bombed the highway between Beirut and Damascus — Lebanon's main land link to the outside world — forcing motorists onto mountainside roads to the Syrian capital. Warships shelled the coastal highway north of Sidon, slowing traffic considerably but not actually cutting the road, witnesses said.

In northern Israel, 220,000 people hunkered down in bomb shelters amid Hezbollah's rocket barrage.

At least 50 rockets hit seven towns and communities in Israel, including Safad and Nahariya — where two people were killed a day earlier. Since Wednesday, 61 Israelis have been hurt in the rocket fire.

Many Israelis were shocked Thursday when two rockets hit Haifa, the country's third-largest city, 30 miles south of Lebanon. No guerrilla rocket had ever reached that far into Israel. Hezbollah denied targeting the port city.

The Israeli offensive was causing political waves in Lebanon, with some anti-Syrian politicians accusing Hezbollah of dragging the country into a costly confrontation with Israel.

"Hezbollah is playing a dangerous game that exceeds the border of Lebanon," Druse leader Walid Jumblatt said in comments published Friday.

Jumblatt, a leading anti-Syrian figure, also denounced the Israeli attacks on Lebanon, calling them completely unjustified.

The Jack Rice Show, July 13, 2006.

Jack discusses Ken Lay's memorial service and the comparison the presiding reverend made of Ken Lay to Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesus Christ.

Major General Robert Durbin, Commander of combined security trasition command in Afghanistan discussed the progress in training and equipping the Afghan National Army in Afghanistan and the future of American troops in Afghanistan.

A 16-year old cancer patient is fighting a judge over the decision whether he needs to continue with Chemo. If he doesn't, the Government may take him away from his parents and force him to continue the treatment. Should the government have this power? The answers may be more complicated than you think!