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About Jack

Jack is really a storyteller, 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 as much as he himself is captivated. 

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Wednesday
Nov252009

Happy Eid al-Adha ( عيد الأضحى‎) to My Muslim Friends.

With Thanksgiving dominating the headlines, I would also like to wish Eid al-Adha ( عيد الأضحى‎) to my Muslim friends.

The strength of our country is that, at our best, we reflect the world and provide all people the opportunity to celebrate their lives and their beliefs.  This certainly applies to Eid al-Adha.  And to those who are too narrow and petrified of that possibility, it is time to grow up and realize we are all part of the same community.

Wednesday
Nov252009

One of My Favorite Photos of Bush- Happy Thanksgiving!

The name of the bird is Liberty.  And President Bush was granting him "a pardon."  I leave the rest to your imagination.  

Nice Reuters photograph. 

Wednesday
Nov252009

One of my Favorite Bush Photos - Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday
Nov242009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Four years ago, I walked down the stairs on Thanksgiving and saw something I will never forget.  One of the children did this, although nobody ever admitted to it.  I think the girls were all messing we me.  Anyway, every Thanksgiving, I think of this one small event in my past and it makes me truly appreciate all that I have. I took the photo below and wrote this with tears in my eyes shortly afterward. 

They are light brown, suede. As I look closely, I can see the matching stitching along the seams and a piece of braided rope across the middle to make them look good. Turn them over to find what we used to call when I was a kid waffle stomper treads. On the inside, white fleece feels soft to the touch. I'm not sure if it is real or not but I lie to myself and say that it is. I look at the inside label and am sad to see, though not shocked, that they are made in China.

Oh well, not sure if we make anything here anymore. I guess we better get used to that. A matching zipper alongside makes them a little more functional to put on too. Especially if you forget and put your gloves on first. But these boots work for us - or at least for my four children.

Our oldest, the 14 year old, hates the fact that her three younger sisters have the same winter boots that she herself wears. Of course, our 14 year old, like most, hates just about everything everybody does, regardless. But that's still not true. I've seen her smiling when they all put them on at that same time - when no one is looking, of course.
For my part, in some small way, because of her vocal outrage at matching her sisters, and her inner smile, I love the boots even more.
Strange at the things that make you thankful. I must admit that I never would have expected to look in my front room and see four matching pairs of small boots. But here they are.

Far more than I expected. Far more than I deserve.

For this, I am truly thankful.

Tuesday
Nov242009

I Appear on MSNBC Wednesday Night at 6!

I appear on MSNBC tomorrow night with Ed Schultz at 6 p.m. e.t.  As President Obama's team has stated that the President will announce his Afghanistan policy next week, I suspect that will be one of the big issues of the day.  In addition, I expect that we will be talking about jobs and the economy.

Hope you can catch it!

Sunday
Nov222009

When They Kill, Its Terrorism. When We Do It, Collateral Damage.

As we debate the future of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the rest and why we prosecute or not, it makes me think about what we do as a country.  In response to 9/11, the U.S. invaded both Afghanistan and Iraq as well as attacked an unknown number of countries around the world.  And how many thousands of truly innocent civilians have we killed?  Tens of thousands?  Hundreds of thousands?

I only ask this question because I keep hearing about vengeance and justice.  As we demand it of others, why are willing to give ourselves a pass?  And please don't make the argument that these people deserved it.  Men, women and children in some of these countries had absolutely nothing to do with any of these!  They were complete innocents.  Does this not make us murderers?    Seriously!  Explain the difference.  And maybe, explain the difference as if you were talking to the families of those killed.  The parents.  The children.

So, in an effort for intellectual honesty, is it time to hold ourselves accountable?  Is it time to say that our killing of the innocent is no better than those we despise?  I say - no more!

Sunday
Nov222009

Lawyers: 9/11 Defendants Will Use Trial As Platform.  Good!

According to the lawyers for the 9/11 defendants who will be prosecuted in Manhattan, they intend to plead not-guilty.  They will do this with the intent to use the trials as platforms to state their views regarding the U.S., Islam, Osama bin Laden, and everything else.  

My perspective?  Good!

I realize that Khalid Sheik Mohammed and the rest may stand up in open-court and shout "Death to America!" Fine!  That is how our system works.  In fact, the more responsibility they wish to claim, the easier it will be to prosecute them.  That is the nature of how our legal system has worked for hundreds of years and will work in this trial.  

I see this as an opportunity to celebrate our system of justice and the principles upon which we stand. And for that, we should all be proud!

Saturday
Nov212009

I Embed with the the 82nd Airborne in Afghanistan in Dec.

Ninety percent of the world's opium comes out of Afganistan.  And eighty percent of Afghanistan's opium comes out of the place where I'm going, Kandahar.  This is where the 82nd Airborne is located and this is where I am going.

President Obama is preparing to make a decision on whether or not to send more troops to Afghanistan. However, without a legitimate partner in President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, sending more troops will certainly not provide success.  Even Gen. McChrystal has stated that a legitimate partner is absolutely necessary. So the real questions are whether the Americans can find a legitimate partner and then whether it makes any difference?

The President is supposed to make his decision after Thanksgiving.  I leave for Afghanistan on December 3rd.  I will be on the ground to report regarding the reaction from both the Afghanis as well as the Americans.  

Saturday
Nov212009

I Appear on MSNBC This Morning at 7:30 a.m. e.t.

We're talking Khalid Sheikh Mohammed on MSNBC this morning at 7:30 a.m. e.t. I suspect I will be talking about why I think this is a great idea and how President Obama and AG Holder were right in making this decision.  Actually, this should be easy as it really was and is the right thing to do.

Hope you can watch.

Friday
Nov202009

I Appear on MSNBC Tomorrow Morning.

With the upcoming Khalid Sheikh Mohammed trial in Manhattan, what are the challenges?  What are the benefits.  I will appear on MSNBC tomorrow morning in Washington DC to talk about the case.

Hope you can catch it!