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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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Friday
Aug172018

Manafort Judges Faces Threats and Tries to Protect Jurors

Paul Manafort's case is the first trial brought by the Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team involving the Russia collusion investigation.  While the trial itself has nothing to do with the collusion question, Mueller clearly has the right to bring such charges.  This issue has been addressed now by multiple courts.

That being said, this first trial is almost done. Both the government and the defense have put on their cases and made closing arguments. Further, the jury has had the case for two days and counting. Today, Judge Ellis made it clear that not only is there a lot of attention on this case, threats have apparently been made on the Judge's life and he has brought in Federal Marshals to protect him. Even more, he said that he was concerned about the potential safety of the jurors if their identities was known.  As a result, he decided not to release their names.

This is going to be an interesting week coming up and the jury continues to deliberate.  I appear on Press TV Iran to discuss.  

Friday
Aug172018

If you help blow a country to pieces and then walk away, what happens?

The war in Syria has raged for years and years now.  The estimates include almost half a million dead and some twelve million displaced both internally and externally.  The Europeans have certainly seen a lot of these refugees but consider what the Jordanians and others have had to deal with. 

The Americans and the Russians continue to grapple with what is happening. They are both now claiming that they want the Iranians out and the media has bit on this.  Frankly, it is ridiculous.  The Iranians are deeply entrenched in the country economically and militarily and have been for decades and decades.  

Further, the Americans are starting to cut funding for the rebuiding. Its extraordinary when we continue to make the same mistakes over and over again.  We have don't this same thing everywhere.  We come in and blow a country to pieces and then walk away leaving it to its own devices with the guarantee that what is left is the perfect cauldron but continued unrest within the country and a staging group for future attacks worldwide.

I appear on I24 International News to discuss.

Wednesday
Aug152018

If You Don't Support Me, I'll Take Your Security Clearance Away

We've never really seen anything like this before.  A sitting President who is notoriously thin skinned in the first place take a security clearance away from a former head of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, because the President didn't like what he said.  Now, think about this for a second: A man with forty years of experience who served countless Republican and Democrat Administrations who is giving his honest assessment is muzzled because the President doesn't like what he said and because he doesn't like to be criticized.

If you look a how dictatorships work, this is the kind of thing one sees.  Of course, this is not limited to this man. In fact, there are a dozen more, all former heads of the Intelligence community and of all political strips, who are also in the cross hairs. 

This President is going places that we have never ever seen. While in the political realm, going after adversaries is nothing new.  Undercutting bedrock organizations like the Intelligence Community, State Department, Justice and more takes this to an entirely new level. If the purpose is to burn the country down, this certainly creates the kindling necessary.

I appear on Voice of American International Edition to discuss.

Tuesday
Aug072018

The Trump Tower Meeting Story Continues to Shift. 

The truth is the truth and truth doesn't change. These are words I have used countless times in jury trials and in teaching other lawyers how to do it. The reason I use it is simple: lies are hard to remember.  Its pretty simple acrtually. You tell a lie, you then have to remember the version of the story you told and try to tell it the same way over and over again. Or worse, what happens when your lie morphs from one lie to another to another to another? By the way, the term lie is certainly harsh but in this particuar case, I believe that it is apt.

First, the Trump team said they never met with the Russians. Then they said they weren't sure but its possible. Then they said they met with the Russians but only to talk about Russian orphans. Then they said Trump knew nothing about it. Then they said it was also about getting help on dirt on Hillary. Then they said, Trump didn't know. Then they said Trump didn't write the denial. Then they admitted that Trump hiself wrote it Then they said it was about Hillary and that Trump knew.

I'll say it again.  Lies are hard to remember.

I appear on Voice of America International Edition to discuss. 

 

Thursday
Aug022018

The U.S. Intelligence Community Stands United but Where is the President

It was a shockingly united group.  The Heads of National Intelligence, NSA, Homeland Security, and others all lined up to talk about the Russians and one fundamental point was clear,  the Russians did it.  They tried to hijack the 2016 U.S. elections. Worse, they are continuing to try and hijack the 2018 elections too.  Of course there is one problem, where is the President.

The President, on the other hand, has also been equally clear.  As the Mueller investigation chugs on trying to determine who may have been involved, the President calls it a "hoax" and a "witch hunt." Now, do my a huge favor and reconcile that same united front of intelligence officials and the President himself.  

He people have argued that what he means is that his collusion and conspiratorial support is the hoax, and the witch hunt.  However, the President has had many many many opportunities to clarify that and yet he doubles down again and again. 

I'll appear on I24 International News to discuss.

Tuesday
Jul242018

There is Fear that Trump's Trade War May Catch Fire. 

Free trade and let the market take its course. These are a baseline Republican arguments. Its bedrock in many ways. You stray from this and you stray from the foundation of the party. And yet, this is exactly what Donald Trump is doing. He has placed tariffs on $50B from the China, who have responded in kind, on the Mexicans, the Canadians, the European Union and more.  And these other countries and preparing to bight back. If they link arms and bite in a collective way, the world could have an impact.  Republicans are concerned but have sat pretty quietly despite that whole bedrock thing I was talking about. And of course, U.S. farmers, specifically pork and soybean farmers to name a few, are getting completely decimated.

Now, the President is arguiing to give aid to those decimated farmers. The problem, of course, is that this flies directly in the face of that whole freemarket thing that is quintescentially Republican. You aren't supposed to choose winners and losers and manipulate the market. However, this is exactly what Trump is doing.  

Everyday, Republicans are becoming more and more nervous.  Everyday, we are a little closer to midterm elections and GOP leaders and hearing from the party, and gulping and hoping.

I will appear on WKBK in New Hampshire with my buddy Dan Mitchell to discuss.

Tuesday
Jul242018

As Manafort Prepares for Trial, Trump Watches from Afar

Former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort is schedule for trial in the coming days. He is the first and the highest profile of the slew of those charged or pled guilty and expanding investigation involving Trump, impropriety, the Russians and influence. Whether Trump himself will be pulled into the morass is anybody's guess at this point but the undertow is substantial and the incessant hum of the Russian investigation is never far from the President's ears.

For Manafort, he should be nervous, he has several underlings who have already pled guilty and are prepared to testify against their boss. That is the kind of evidence that can frequenrtly be hard to refute.  The question is whether Manafort has some tricks up his sleeve or whether Trump will pardon him which could create a blowback that in itself could knock Trump off of his feet.

I appear on Voice of America Internartional Edition to talk about the process and what to expect.

Thursday
Jul192018

Trump Walks Back The Walk Back

All hell has been breakinng loose in the United States and across Western Europe after President Trump's Press Conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In it, the President chose the Russian leader over his own intelligence community when discussing Russian efforts to undermine American elections.

That story is horrific but it didn't stop there. Upon his return to the States, his advisors clearly convinced him to walk it backward and his response was to say he mispoke and mean't "wouldn't" when he said "would." I don't buy that he believes that based upon his body language and past behavior.  It was a ridiculous response and frankly it didn't change anything regarding everything he was quoted as saying. Then . . . the walk back from the walk back came.

He now claims that he believes U.S. Intelligence but he still trusts Putin and stated from a direct question from a reporter about whether the Russian are currently a threat.  On the tape, he says "No. No. No. This is despite his own people, the entire Intelligence Community just this week saying that the Russians absolutely are. Next in this tragedy, Trump's people come out and said "Oh, he was talking about something else" despite the fact that he was looking directly at the reporter when he answered her question.

This situation is extraordinary and I've never seen anything like it. Honestly, Trump is incompetent. Not because he is a Republican or a Democrat but because of his decision making. Its not a question of policy opinions or approaches.  American Presidents have agreed and disagreed with each other based upon party, history, timing and many other factors.  This, this President is doing something fundamantally different.  And it needs to stop.   

I appear on the Nicole Sandler Show in Florida to discuss.

Tuesday
Jul172018

Trump Should Recognize He's In Trouble When Even Fox News Criticizes Him

First, it was his old adversaries, the Democrats.  But then, several Trump Republicans joined the chorus.  Then it started with his own supporters in ones and twos but then those numbers increased. This included former heads of the GOPs and the likes of Newt Gingrich.  Finally, it was the President's PR team over at Fox News. join the You know when they join the chorus, it is particularly startling.  Of chorus of which I am referring to involves those that are criticizing or out and out condemning Trump regarding the single worst thing that he has done since his Presidency and that was this summit and press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

I appear on WCCO Radio in Minneapolis with Dave Lee on July 17th to discuss not just this but President Trump's unusual response to it upon his return home.  Here's a hint, he's not backing down but instead in blaming . . . . wait for it . . .  Hillary Clinton.  

Anyway, this should be interesting.