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 international human rights and criminal lawyer and trial skills teacher around 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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Media, Legal, Intel & Terrorism Analysis

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A Recent MSNBC Appearance

I recently appeared on Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC.

Live from the Minnesota State Capitol

On June 30, 2005, we broadcast the Jack Rice Show from the State Capitol on the last day of the Special Session. Rarely in recent memory have the people of this state shown such frustration and anger at all sides involved. While everybody was present, from Governor Tim Pawlenty to Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson and House Speaker Steve Sviggum, very little seemed to be accomplished.
The tension between all parties and within parties was obvious and the bad blood was apparent to all who were in the building.
Our purpose was to provide all sides a chance to articulate their positions to our listeners and to allow those same listeners to air their frustrations and to call their political leaders on issues. I hope that we succeeded.
The weather was not cooperating but I'm not sure where it was gloomier, outside or inside the Minnesota State Capitol Building in St. Paul, MN.

Sometimes, broadcasting from locations provides special challenges including technical difficulties but having a chance to get out of the studio and meet our listeners always makes it more fun. And you never know what will happen.

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty tries to explain his efforts to bring the House and Senate together.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson was also talking a lot of heat for the failure to come to some sort of resolution on the stalemate. Nevertheless, he too tried to explain his views to the listeners.

The CIA Director Has An "Excellent Idea" Where Osama is, Does He?

So CIA Director Porter Goss has “an excellent idea” where Osama bin Laden is, does he? He said that very thing to Time magazine. Well that is just great! Glad to hear that after more than three years, billions of dollars, thousands of American lives, countless sleepless nights, and the turning of our country upside down, that the head of the CIA knows where the perpetrator of 9/11 is. We can now all breathe a sigh of relief!

According to Porter, but for the US’s respect for sovereign nations, we would apparently have our nemesis in a concrete cell. That’s right. Because we respect other nations so much, we won’t go conduct operations in them without permission. And yet, multiple countries including Italy, Sweden, and others have claimed that the US has kidnapped people from within their own borders and taken them who knows where. And yet, out of respect, we won’t . . .

Pardon me if I don’t stand up and cheer. As a former CIA Officer, I question Porter’s accuracy as well as his honesty. Apparently, it is vital that we respect countries that protect the one terrorist that we want while at the same time, we are willing to ignore international law and the domestic laws of our European allies in order to get to other people that we want. What is wrong with this picture? Is it just me?

But back to the point. So, we have an excellent idea where he is, do we? Unfortunately, what is a little disconcerting is that we have heard this before. Oh yes, “we have Osama bin Laden in our sites in Tora Bora.” Oh yes, “we will have him in a matter of days of not hours.” Oh yes, “it should be any time now.” Remember all of these statements from other US government officials. I remember going on MSNBC as a former CIA Officer to give my response. I said it then and I will say it again. Talk is cheap!

Look, it is easy to claim all sorts of things. Heck, I have the numbers to the next lottery, but I’m just not in the mood to buy a ticket. I also have the secret formula for turning lead into gold but I don’t like the color. Anybody else?

Yeah, Porter, I’m sure you have an excellent idea where Osama is. Unfortunately, I would be much happier if you would spend less time telling the media and spend more time going to that place where he supposedly is and blowing him to kingdom come. Would that be a novel concept? Just for fun and to maybe break up the monotony!

Maybe if you would have done this two years ago, President Bush would have stayed focused on Al Qaeda rather than diverting our resources into the Iraqi quagmire. And sadly, we now have 1700 dead and counting and more than 13,000 maimed for our troubles.

So, where is Osama is the question on everybody’s lips, right? I’ll tell you what. I’m beginning to believe that he is working in a deli in Flint, Michigan with Elvis and Ritchie Valens.
So, Porter, do me a favor, when you get him, bring me a Pastrami on Rye with some hot mustard. That is, if it is not too much trouble!

What Ever Happened to What is Wrong is Wrong?

I am blown away. The news that Mark Felt, the number two man at the FBI was in fact Deep Throat was amazing. But what was more amazing to me was President Bush's response to hearing the story. What response, you ask? Well, the President saying its hard for him to judge if Felt was right to leak Watergate details to the Washington Post.

Let me get this right. President Nixon was a criminal. That is certain. He was an unindicted co-conspirator in the break in at the Watergate Hotel and should have gone to prison like many others involved in the break in and subsequent cover up. And it is hard for President Bush to judge if Felt was right to leak it?

What the hell is wrong with this picture when we have such moral relativism that we can explain away the moral and legal rot that took place in the White House some 30 plus years ago.
What ever happened to wrong is wrong, is wrong, is wrong?

What President Nixon did was nothing short of criminal. As a former prosecutor, if I were in the Justice Department at the time, I would have prosecuted him. You know what, if it had been a Democrat who was the criminal, I would have prosecuted him. Why? Because it is an affront to all of us when our political leaders treat us like dupes and take refuge behind their political hacks or misinformed public who are just trying to be "good Republicans" or "good Democrats." How about "good Americans" for once?

One of the biggest problems in this country is that we have decided that it is better to be on the winning side, better to protect our own, better to play the game, than it is to do what is right!
When I go home at night, I try to teach my kids about right and wrong. I try to talk to them about character, about standing up for those who can't stand up for themselves and about telling the truth. After watching the news and reading the papers, I'm not sure what to tell my girls now.

My President can't seem to make the distinction between protecting a crook, but not just any crook, the President of the United States. And worse, I have the sinking feeling that if this were a Democrat, this President would have given Mark Felt a parade and bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom upon him. I sure hope I'm wrong but I don't know . . .

The President needs to come out and say it simply and clearly. What is wrong, is wrong, is wrong, is wrong. Regardless of whether or not it cuts in your favor, your party's favor, anybody's favor. Since 9/11, many people in this country having been wearing patriotism like a mantle and that is good. However, what is so disturbing is that some have tried to use patriotism like a club against others here who may not agree with their political beliefs. Well, you know what? Standing up for what is right is what patriotism is all about.
Jack Rice is a former CIA Officer, prosecutor and host of the Jack Rice Show on WCCO Radio in Minneapolis.

Middle East Broadcast in Israel and Palestine

A view of maybe the most fought over piece of real estate in the history of mankind. The Jews, Christians and Muslims have died by the thousands over the last thousand years to control only a few square feet of property.

Preparing to broadcast our first show from studios in Jerusalem back to WCCO in Minneapolis. While I was guaranteed that it would work, I had my doubts. Of course, everything went off without a hitch.

In the distance, on the hillside, you can see Bethleham. It is located in the West Bank, Palestine. Between the building in the foreground, and Bethleham, is the wall. The Israelis built it for stability and peace. Depending upon which side of the wall in which you live, the wall is viewed very differently.

At one point, down near the Egytian border, about 150 yards away, I came upon an interesting site. A view of Rafah in the Gaza Strip. I was warned about taking this photo because snipers frequently target those from their vantage point in the building in the distance. Of course, I should add, you don't see the children playing around me as a take this photo.

Standing in Yasser Arafat's compound. For years, I watched how Arafat, Nobel Prize winner to some, terrorist to others, was virtually imprisoned in this place. In this photo, see the destruction wrought by Israeli forces. If you look closely, you can see a bathtub, balanced precariously on a ledge.

John Kerry in Ramallah, Palestine on the historic date of the Palestinian elections, January 9, 2005. Sen. Kerry was one of the international officials present to verify the legitimacy of the election process.

Kosovo - 2004


Working in Kosovo for WCCO

In Kosovo with buddies in 2004

Life in Binac, Kosovo

Ethnic tensions have existed in this small town of Binac, Kosovo, for hundreds of years. However, today, at least for the today, these children can play under the watchful eye of a Minnesota National Guardsman.

A Perfect Recruitment Poster

I see the photos and I am disgusted. Naked men, arms shackled behind their backs, forced to pile on one another, like animals. Funny! Men with hoods tied around their heads arranged in sexual positions like some bad porno movie. Oh yeah, I see the joke! Hooded prisoners standing before walls threatened with death, dare I say it, wishing for death, from the hands of their Godless captors. Amen! Did our troops find the photos scattered across Iraq, one of the last vestiges of Saddam’s reign? A time when this monster committed unspeakable acts upon his own people? Sadly, apparently not. Because in these same photos are American servicemen and women giving the thumb’s up sign or just standing there smiling with cigarettes hanging from their mouths. Can’t you just hear the chants, “U.S.A. U.S.A.” As I sit here in my safe little office, far away from the fighting and dying, I think of the words of Osama bin Laden, a world away. How he describes American’s unrelenting quest for oil and domination. How America intends to take over the Middle East by seizing one oil rich nation after another and enslaving their people. Did he say this in the last couple of days? No! He has been saying this for more than a decade. Imagine how these most recent acts truly make Osama look like some sort of prophet. Do you think anybody is listening? That is what we now face! With these most recent photos of Iraqi POW’s being tortured and dehumanized by Americans in Saddam’s old jails, I cringe. I cringe at the loss of moral character on the part of our soldiers who took part. I cringe at the sheer audacity, no, stupidity, of those same soldiers for actually thinking that this was so funny that they must to memorialize it on film. And I cringe at the impression that these same photos are going to have on the rest of the world. Remember, from a foreign policy perspective, there are three groups of people around the world that we are dealing with here. Those that currently support us. Those that will probably hate is no matter what. And, the great majority, those that are on the fence, the moderates. Those that support us will probably continue to, because it is in their own interest. For those that hate us, there is no end in sight. These latest revelations only harden their positions. And frankly, there is not much we can do about them. Most significantly, there are those that are on the fence. These are the great majority of people in the region. The moderates. Some half a billion souls. These are the very people that we should have been courting from the beginning. These people are the ones who are going to look at these photos and then think of the words of Osama. These are now the people we must fear most! Now, make no mistake, I am amazed that some in the media have focused on the disclosure of the pictures of our torturing of these men as somehow wrong. Like the photos themselves represent a security breach that is unacceptable. On that point, I completely disagree. These pictures must come out. They must be made public to show that what these soldiers did is absolutely unacceptable. To show that the United States as a nation will under no circumstances accept this – no matter who is being guarded! No justification exists. None! However, my biggest fear, which I absolutely believe will come to pass, is that we have just handed Osama bin Laden and the other jihadists across the Middle East and the world with their best possible recruiting poster for the next generation of terrorists. Can’t you just see it? There is a picture of a man. He is in front of a grey cinder block wall. This same man stands on a foot tall wooden box with a black hood tied around his head, clutching metal electrodes in either hand. For hours . . . for days. The inscription below reads, “the infidel American soldier tells the 19 year old wool maker from Fallujah that when he collapses, he will be electrocuted.” The poster finishes up, “Uncle Osama Wants You.” Perfect.
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