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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[AM 950 Minneapolis] July 7th: Jack Talks G20 Summit

I appear on the Mike McIntee Show today on AM 950. President Trump is in Hamburg as we speak and while everybody is talking about his big meeting with Russian President Putin, there are a lot of other really important issues that need to be discussed. The group should be talking about Syria, North Korea, Climate Change and Trade.  In fact, The E.U. and Japan just signed a freetrade agreement. While this isn't getting much play, it should be. It establishese the largest freetrade agreement in the world. It is larger than U.S. trade and the Americans were essentially excluded.  This is really due to President Trump's continuing "go it alone, we will dictate all terms" approach.  It is going to be an interesting summit and may help educate the Americans that just because you are the United States, that doesn't mean that we can't collectively work around you and, to some degree, ignore you.  

Getting interesting.


[AM 950 Minneapolis] July 6th: Will the U.S. Attack North Korea?

I appear on AM 950 on July 6th  at 3:00 p.m. discuss a really complicated issue, North Korea. During the election, Donald Trump said the issue was easy. It is a lot of things but the one thing it isn't is easy. The reason it is so difficult is because there are no simple answers and the ramifications of making mistakes couldbe millions of dead people. The North Koreans have nucs, probably anywhere from 10 two 20 of them and they have the capability to deliver those nucs to South Korea and Japan.  Further, they have large numbers of conventional weapons and that capability could kill millions.  Of course, the U.S. could turn North Korea into a parking lot with millions of dead people.  However, the North Koreans could respond before they go down in flames.  Talking tough is all well and good but pointless.

This is a question of security for Kim Jong-Un.  Very simply, he is afraid of external forces and internal ones.  Both of which would be more than happy to kill him.  As a result, the question needs to be, what is he trying to accomplish.  We are going to flesh this out today on AM 950.  I'll be on for an hour so this is certainly going to be interesting.  Hope you can catch it.



[KOA Denver] July 5th:N. Korea's Kim Jong-Un Fears He's Gaddafi

I appear on KOA Denver this morning at 8:10 a.m. e.s.t to talk North Korea. Frankly, there are no easy answers.  However, and this aint easy to say, and this is coming from a former CIA officer, if I were the leader of North Korea, I wouldn't give up my nuclear weapons and ambitions either.  As a dictator, I have to deal with two enemies, those from within and those from without.  Nuclear weapons always make those from without pause and it also gives me more leverage and capability at home.  

When Libya's Muammar Gaddafi negotiated away his nuclear weapons, what happened?  The West applauded, but he was weakened. When there was a coup de etat, what happened?  Western forces actually helped those who rose up, supported them, and ultimately, helped kill Gaddafi.  If he still had that weapons program, what they have been willing to help? Or, more likely, would they have said, nope, the risk is too high.  

In Kim Jong-Un's world, he doesn't have lots of options. He has Nucs. He could hit South Korea and he could hit Japan.  And its unlikely the U.S. could do anything to stop him.  He also has an extraordinary conventional capability that could likely kill millions in the South.  Of course, his country would be a parking lot and he would be dead.  However, if he loses his nucs, and this is the point, he could be Gaddafi.

In the end, he simpoy knows he doesn't want to be Gaddafi.



[Voice of America Intl] June 27th: Jack Talks U.S. Image Tanking

I appear on Voice of America International on June 27th. The Pew Center conducted a study across 37 countries around the world looking at President Trump and many of his policies.  The numbers are pretty startling. What is significant st that the perception from both adversaries and allies and the numbers are pretty damning for the U.S. and its position around the world.  

Pew looked at the views of people regarding President Trump including his competency to be president, his leadership capability and even whether or not he is simply too dangerous to the planet.  As for the his policies, Pew looked at everything from immigration to climate change to war to trade agreements.

One of the real takeaways of this piece is how the impacts the ability of the U.S. to use its power around the world.  

This is going to be an interesting conversation.   


[I24 International News] June 23rd: Jack Talks Putin's Russian Op.

I appear on I24 International News on June 23rd. Back in 2016, it became clear to my former employer, the Central Intelligence Agency, that the Russian government with the understanding and active support of President Vladimir Putin tried to run political operations against the United States to impact U.S. elections.  This was the most aggressive operation by the Russians against the U.S. in decades, maybe longer.  This conclusion was based upon extensive and intensive intelligence.  The Obama Administration took this to senior members of Congress who were briefed on the issues and became aware of what the Russians were doing. Frankly, at some point, the upcoming Trump Administration was completely briefed on the issue. 

While there are many frustrating parts, one part is how the Republicans have hid behind President Trump's narrative that the Russian op was fake news.  It wasn't.  There is no excuse for this and the GOP is doing a disservice to the United States to minimize what the Russians were trying to accomplish.    

President Trump's subsequent efforts, or lack thereof, are certainly of concern.  Bob Mueller's investigation continues and hopefully we will find the answers to his complicity as well as those of his compatriots.  

Hope you can watch.


[I24 International News] June 22nd: Jack Talks China's Muscular Foreign Policy

What happens when the United States starts to pull back from its traditional role on the world stage. Simply put, you create a vacuum. And frankly, President Trump has created a vacuum in terms of how he has treated traditional allies like Germany, France, Mexico and Australia as well as the UN as a whole as well as NATO.

As importantly, nature hates vacuums and always attempts to fill them.  It is equally true in the political world. As a result, note the shifts from the likes of the Chinese and the Russians to fill those gaps.  Geopolitics is changing dramatically as we speak and the ramificaitons are likely to be huge.  If you don't have a seat at the table, you likely will be left out in the cold. 




[I24 International News] June 22nd: Jack Talks China's Muscular Foreign Policy

I appear on I24 International News on June 22nd. Just travel to Southeast Asia and Chinese influece is obvious. In fact, it is truly ubiquitous.  Travel to Africa and the Chinese are flexing their international muscles almost everywhere.  I recall some years ago being in Juba, South Sudan and the largest hotel in the country was the Beijing Hotel.  One of the reasons was because of the incredible number of Chinese workers working on international projects in the region.  This is true in countries across the continent. Most recently, look at what the Chinese have been doing in Europe.  As President Trump seems to be pulling back from engagement on the world stage, the Chinese have absolutely been filling the vacuum.  Consider, if you aren't at the table, you don't get to dictate terms and negotiate the new world order. China is absolutely at the table when the U.S. seems to be abscent.

I will appear on I24 International News to talk about the ramifications of what this means for the Chinese, for the Americans, and for the world.  Hope you can watch.  


[Russian TV Moscow] June 20th: Jack Talks Green on Blue Attacks in Afghanistan

I appear on Russian TV Moscow on June 20th.  This isn't the first time that this has happened.  In fact it has happened many times and it will sadly happen again.  In fact, this is absolutely one of the things American soldiers need to be conscious of: attacks from allied Afghan soldiers with whom they are conducting joint operations.  The Russians wants me to come on and talk about a recent attack where three U.S. soldiers were killed by an Afghanistan soldier.  What does this say?

I remember being in Iraq and out on joint patrol with the Americans and poorly trained Iraq soldiers in the streets of Baghdad.  First of all, the Iraqis at the time weren't very good.  That's certainly a problem but its not the only problem.  Another big problem is whether they have been vetted very well.  The fear is that at any point, one of those allied soldiers could turn around and take down a half a dozen of their American counterparts.  It is a petrifying possibility and, again, has happened again and agin.

In my case, we were storming  a building and I was running up a flight of stairs with the American and Iraqi solders and at some point through all of the confusion, I was in the middle of a very dangerous environment and something occurred to me: there were no American or other Western soldiers around me at all.  I was surrounded by a very poorly trained and marginally vetted Iraqi unit.  I can tell you, I have rarely felt more exposed.  Sometimes being completely alone would be more preferred.  Thankfully, things played out just fine but it could have just as easily gone a different direction.  

We will talk history, experience and the political situation in Afghanistan.  This will be interesting.


[WCCO Radio Minneapolis] June 20th: Jack Talks Youtube's Efforts to Fight Terrorism

I appear on WCCO Radio in Minneapolis on June 20th.  Social media has been under pressure to change their policies to help fight extremism and terrorism.  ISIS has been successful at using various platforms to spread their message of hate and violence and terrorism.  We have seen efforts from Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Twitter back in 2016 but various western countries have been unimpressed.  

In the last few days, British Prime Minister May, the Germans and the European Union have all been looking at expanding requirements and oversight over social media.  And social has been trying desperately to get ahead of the stories.

I will appear on WCCO to discuss Youtube's latest efforts to address exactly this.  They are going to throw money, people and technology at this.  It is a multi pronged effort and should be interesting to see whether it is successful.  

Hope you can listen.


[MSNBC's AMJoy] June 17th: Jack Talks Philando Castile Jury Verdict

I appear on MSNBC's AM Joy on June 17th at 11 a.m. e.s.t. Another African American has been buried after being shot and killed by a police officer.  But this time, this police officer is going to be held responsible, right? That's what people were saying in St.Paul where I spend a lot of my time practicing law.

I was in the Law Enforcement Center the day Jeronimo Yanez was originally arraigned.  I remember looking into the gallery and seeing lots of faces holding their breath and wondering if this was finally that day?  Today, they learned that today was not that day.  

This is going to be one hell of an appearance. 

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