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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Jack on MSNBC to Debate the Vikings Scandal

Tonight, Jack will join Joe Scarborough on Scarborough Country to update the country on the Vikings scandal. Jack will debate whether the charges are overblown or whether Vikings Daunte, Mo, Fred and Bryant are getting a free pass.

Look are realize that there are far more important things going on in the world. More than 2100 Amiercan service people are dead in Iraq, not to mention more than 30,000 Iraqis. I know that worldwide more than 40 million people have AIDS and some 3million alone died in the last year. Heck, 48 people were murdered this year in the city of Minneapolis alone. All of this is far more imporant. However, to say that character means nothing? I can't go along with that.

I think that a lot of the problems in this world are do to lack of character. I think that for some, winning isn't everything, it is the only thing. That's as true in sports as it is in anything else.

Iraqis Vote

In the United States, very few of us vote. Very few of us bother to dig through the mountains of leaflets, pamphlets or other literature to figure out who the best people running for office and make our voives heard.

If it rains? If it snows? If we're tired? If we're sick. Forget about it!

You can believe that President Bush believed in WMD, was motivated by a belief in helping the Iraqi people and should win the Nobel Peace Prize. Or you can believe that it was all about oil, money, lies and the President avenging his father.

Either way, when people threaten to kill you and your children, and you still vote, that is inspiring.

Today, the Iraqi people are voting for the first time for a parliament since the United States removed Saddam Hussein from power. 15 million are eligible to vote. How many actually appear is something everybody is watching very closely.

Abu Ghraib Commanding General Joins the Program

General Janis Karpinski holds the distinction of being both the highest ranking officer in charge of the Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq and the highest ranking officer to be disciplined as a result of the scandal.

The resulting damage from the torture is still being felt in Iraq and across the Muslim world. When this story broke, I described the pictures and stories and the most effective recruiting tools for Al Qaeda and the Iraqi insurgency that they could have hoped for.

When the story broke, the American people were told it was just a couple of rogue soldiers. Was that the case? What really happened?

General Karpinski was on the ground a total of four months once the story broke. To make matters worse, she did not have complete control of Abu Ghraib prison. If her superior ordered her to relinquish control of the cell block in which the torture took place to another, then why was she disciplined? Was she the proverbial "fall guy" or is it "fall gal", or is that the point? Why didn't the discipline go further up the chain of command? Why didn't it extend to the civilian leadership? Should it have?

She joins the program on December 14th to discuss her career, her responsibilities upon arriving in Iraq, what she knew, what she didn't, and who was truly, ultimately responsible.

Join the conversation on The Jack Rice Show, 651-989-9226 or 1-800-327-8255 or leave comments below.


Tookie Williams is Dead

Convicted killer Stanley Tookie Williams, co-founder of the Crips gang, was put to death at 12:35 a.m. on December 13th at San Quentin State Prison.

Williams was condemned to death in 1981 for murdering Albert Owens, 26, a 7-11 convenience store clerk in Whittier and Yen-I-Yang, 76, Tsai-Shair-Chen Yang, 63 and Yu-Chin Yang Lin, 43, at the Los Angeles motel they owned.

His execution, the highest profile in recent decades, has spurred the debate as to whether capital punishment is appropriate. Both sides have weighed in on this issue. One focusing on the barbarism of the crime. The other, the barbarism of the punishment.

I have walked the streets of central L.A. I have walked the streets of North Long Beach. I have seen the devastation that has resulted from gang violence, from the Crips. I have looked into the eyes of poor people who live in these places but don't have the resources to live anywhere else.

This is the fallout of gang violence.

Whether the death penalty will solve anything depends upon who you ask. Studies have shown that it doesn't stop people from killing other people. But maybe, it makes the families of those left to pick up the pieces feel a little better. Maybe it provides a little closure. But is more death the answer? I don't know . . .

I guess it is easy to say ban it when I've never had to bury somebody who has been murdered. I just remember looking into the scared eyes of an old African American woman in central L.A. near dusk when she said, "Honey, you better get out of here. Its not safe when the gangs come out, especially for a white boy like you."

Sadly, it is not safe there or in other major cities across this country, whether your white or not.


Iraq: The Birthplace of Democracy or the Vietnam of the Middle East?

Patients, prisoners and soldiers began voting in Parliamentary elections in Iraq, several days before the general populace has the right to begin voting. Violence has increased in the wake of the voting, killing twelve at the time of this writing.

In order to control the violence, the government with the support of American troops has closed the borders and extended curfews. They have also limited travel across the country starting tomorrow.

American officials hope that a new Parliament can stop the violence and slow the Sunni dominated insurgency that killed hundreds of Coalition personnel and thousands of Iraqis in recent months. The difficulty is that the fragile balance between the multiple ethnic groups could break the country into pieces, specifically amongst the Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis.

The 275 member assembly will be the first full-term parliament since American troops removed Saddam Hussein from power.

In a new ABC News poll, a majority of Iraqis themselves want US forces to leave Iraq but are still optmistic about their poersonal lives and future. More than 2/3 of those surveyed opposed the presence of coalition troops and less than half, 44% feel there country is better now than before the invasion.

Today, President Bush gave a speech in Philadelphia in which he compared the Iraqis and their circumstances to that of our founding fathers. Of course, this provides great symbolism and motivates many to continue supporting the Administration's policies. However, is it a fair comparison?

Some have seen it this way.

We beat the British. The British fled. We established our own government. In contrast, the Iraqis lost their war. The invading army, us, did not flee. We stayed and have continued to occupy their country. And did we not set up the ground rules as to how they would vote?

Do you believe Iraq will be the birthplace of democracy in the Middle East? Do the circumstances on the ground change the likelyhood for success?

We take your call on The Jack Rice Show, 651-989-9226 or 1-800-327-8255 or leave comments below.


DWI Convict Charged Again - What Next!

Erwin Cook, 41, just released from prison for driving drunk and killing a young woman back in 2000, was just arrested again. This time, for felony DWI and felony fleeing. However, luckily, at least, nobody was killed.

According to the police reports, the man was driving a stolen car and was chased for miles before he was stopped and was allegedly drunk. He was allegedly driving the wrong way down highway 35W and refused to stop even after the cops rammed his car three different times. He also failed to turn on his headlights at 2:45 in the morning. When officers tried to stop him, he reached speeds of 95 miles per hour.

Cook had previous DWI convictions from 1987, 1990, 1996 and 1997.

At this point, the most Cook can receive is 7 years for this DWI plus two years left on this parole.

We talk about putting rapists and child molestors in prison or in mental facilities for life because we are afraid that they will re-offend. Well, isn't this more true for drunks behind the wheel of cars? Even more true, don't drunks cause more harm to society and don't we need to do even more to protect ourselves than we do agasint the rapists and child molestors? Or are we more afriad of the rapist? Is it reasonable?

We take your calls and comments on The Jack Rice Show. 651-989-9226 or 1-800-327-8255 or leave comments below.

Air Marshals Shoot to Kill. Is This Appropriate?

On Tuesday, December 7th, Federal Air Marshals shot and killed a passenger at the Miami International Airport. According to passengers, the man jumped from his seat and ran down the aisle and "uttered threatening words that included a sentence to the effect that he had a bomb." The man was followed by his screaming wife .
The man was ordered to the ground on the jetway. Again, according to witnesses, the man refused and reached into his backpack. He was shot multiple times by at least one air marshal.
The man has been identified as Rigoberto Alpizar, an American citizen. According to his wife, he was mentally ill and was apparently off of his medication.
According to the White House, U.S. air marshals who shot and killed an American Airlines passenger acted "consistent with their training" and an investigation will determine if any changes are needed in operating procedures.
The exact number of air marshals is classified but estimates put the number at between 3 and 4,000. While they are often deployed in pairs, it is not required. Their location is always kept secret but they are positioned based upon the threat. Hence, more are located in New York and London than other places. While marshals have been involved in other incidents since 9/11, this is the first in which an air marshal fired his weapon.
Did the air marshals act approriately? What responsibility did the wife have to notify the airline about he husband's condition before boarding the aircraft?
We take your call on The Jack Rice Show. 651-989-9226 or 1-800-327-8255 or leave comments below.

Will Israel Attack Iran?

The entire world is watching as the Iranians move toward developing nuclear power, or nuclear weapons, depending upon how one sees it. One of the countries most concerned, and rightfully so, is Israel. However, while some countries take a wait and see approach, the Israelis may consider something more drastic.

In 1981, the Israelis watched as Iraq developed nuclear weapons with the help of the French. Rather than accept this reality, they conducted an air strike on Iraq's Osirak reactor, which was on the verge of producing plutonium for a nuclear weapon. Of course, this may not have been the Israelis only operation to stop the Iraqis.

In 1979, a warehouse in France that housed some of the equipment destined for Iraq mysteriously exploded. Soon thereafter, an Iraqi scientist went to Paris and was found dead in his room. The only person who saw him was a prostitute who herself ended up dead several weeks later. Within months, other Iraqi scientists died. Coincidence? The Israelis have denied any involvement.

Terrence Henry, of The Atlantic, will join the program to discuss possible Isreali covert actions regarding this latest threat from Iran.


Ramsey Clark: American Patriot or American Traitor

Saddam Hussein took center stage in his trial in Baghdad today. Defiant as ever, he demanded to be heard. At one point, his attorneys left the courtroom because the Judge refused to allow them to speak.

Saddam and his seven co-defendants could be hanged if convicted on charges stemming from the deaths of more than 140 Shiites in the town of Dujail after an assassination attempt in 1982.

One of Saddam's lawyers is no stranger to high profile cases. Ramsey Clark, the former U.S. Attorney General under President Lyndon Johnson has represented the likes of Yugoslavias's Slobodan Milosevik, Libya's Muammar Qaddafi, Liberia's Charles Taylor and even David Koresh.

As Ramsey Clark himself put it, "Suppose Hitler had survived," he said. "It seems to me that it would have been absolutely critical to give him a fair trial, to let him call witnesses and cross-examine the hell out of them." He added, "If you don't do that, historical truth will be distorted."

Well, some have called Clark an American patriot. Other have called him a traitor. Which is he? You decide on The Jack Rice Show. 651-989-9226 or 1-800-327-8255 or leave comments blow.