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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 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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Entries in russia (28)

Tuesday
Jul232019

Would Trump Have Been Indicted If He Were Not a Sitting President?

Robert Mueller is preparing to testify before U.S. House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees. This is easily the most anticipated hearing the American people have had in some time. President Trump seems to be ramping up about it, claiming witch hunt and no collusion and talking about Mueller’s conflicts of interest.

In addition, Attorney General Barr has already gone on the record, as has the Justice Department, trying desperately to box Mueller into talking about nothing but his more than 400 page report. They want nothing outside of the report including process, evidence, his thoughts and feelings. Specifically, what the President and DOJ are clearly most concerned about is Mueller’s thoughts on Obstruction of Justice and whether Trump would have been charged if he were not a sitting President. They are equally concerned about whether it was the AttorneyGeneral’s or Congress’s call as to whether Obstruction should be charged.

House Democrats, on the other hand, have much different mission. They are looking at the issue of Obstruction but essentially arguing that there is plenty of evidence that Trump obstructed justice and therefore could face Impeachment. What they are hoping for is a John Dean ala Richard Nixon moment when the American people get to hear about a laundry list of things that Trump did and why he did them.

Robert Mueller himself is now a private citizen and can do just about anything he wants. Of course, this seems to go against everything that he has stood for for decades. Many Trump loyalists have continued to attack Mueller but this former Marine, war hero, patriot who has worked for both Republicans and Democrats has always stayed above political infighting so we will see.

I appear on Voice of America International Edition to discuss. I have been covering this issue with Voice of America for more than a year and in many ways this is the culmination of this story.

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.

Thursday
Jul122018

With the Putin/Trump Summit Fast Approaching, I Sit Down with Russia's Channel 1.

After an extraordinarily contentious NATO Summit in which President Trump claimed that the Germany was a captive of Russia and apparently considered the idea to "go it alone", Trump will sit down with Russia's President Putin for a Summit on Monday. As a result, I received a call from Russian Television Station Channel 1 to talk about the summit. Channel 1 is the largest station in Russia and has somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 million viewers worldwide.  As a result, they are willing to throw their resources at stories.

This has been a really strange shoot. First of all, the interview felt far more like a 60 Minutes documentary. They filmed me walking into the office, up the stairs, at my desk, reading, shots of diplomas and CIA paraphernalia, and of course, a sit down interview.  In the end, it was really straight forward but at the same time, it was still pretty wild. I shold also be clear, I tore into the Russian government.  Of course, that did what they did.  This is what intelligence organizations do. 

There is common question I have to address when it comes to being interviewed by the Russians and it is this: Why? Simply, it depends on the topic. I'm happy to provide analysis when it comes to certain issues and the major topics and maybe even American concerns. However, the propaganda piece is always important to consider  On the other hand, American media itself has its problems and limitations.

Should be interesting.

Thursday
May032018

[Press TV Iran] May 2nd: Trump Team in Turmoil

Thursday
Feb152018

[AM950 Minneapolis] February 15th: What Happens When the U.S. Kills Russian Mercenaries.

I appear on AM 950 Minneapolis with my buddy Mattt cNeil on February 14th.  On February 7th and 8th, there was a serious firefight that took place in an oil rich region on Syria. This fact in itself may not generally be terribly significant except for one fact, apparently the combatants were American on one side and the other side were primarily Russian mercenaries. According to reports, the U.S. was using B-52s, AC-130 Gunships and F15s.  As a result of airstrikes and close combat, somewhere between 100 and 300 Russian, Ukrainian and other Southern Republic fighters were killed.  What are the implications.

This is a fascinating story because it highlights the shadowy world of the merc and how and why countries use them.  We will talk that and a lot more.  

Friday
Dec012017

[I24 International News] November 30th: Russians Expanding Influence

I appear on I24 International News on November 30th. Okay, I have to tell you the truth. This was one of the most enjoyable segments I have done in a really long time. Essentially, the Russians through Russian FM Medvedev and the Egyptians have agreed to share airspace. While this may not seem like a huge deal, it is. It essentially give the Russians enormous latitude to operate in the region.  There have been credible reports that Russian Special Ops troops were operating on the western border of Egypt as recently as March of this year.  Combine these two and it shows just how closely the countries are beginning to cooperate. Understand, Egypt was one of the closest allies the Americans had in the region.  Now?  Who knows.

Combine the relationship with the Russian agreements with the Turks, the Iranians, the Iraqis and what you start to see is like nothing the West has ever seen before. I'm not even talking about the Russians support of Asaad and Syria.  That piece is beyond extraordinary.  Frankly, with the vacuum created by the current U.S. Administration in the region, the Russians are moving in and filling the gap in a big way.  

I was able to talk about history, borders, interests, cold war politics, hot war politics and Putin and Trump. Bring it on.  So so cool.

Thursday
Nov302017

[AM 950 Minneapolis] November 30th: Latest on Trump/Russia Investigation

I appear on AM 950 Minneapolis with Mike McIntee on November 30th. Things are absolutely ramping up with Special Counsel Bob Mueller's investigation of the Trump campaign and the Russians. The President claims that the investigation will be over by the end of the year. That is an unequivocal pipe dream.  It will never happen.  Mike Flynn is in the wings right now and I expect indictments or pleas to come down the pike at any moment.

This is going to be an interesting conversation as we look back and where we have come but really where we are going in the future.  This promises to be fun. Hope you can listen.

Thursday
Oct262017

[Russian TV Moscow] October 25th: Jack Talks Syrian Revolution, Civil War and Proxies

I appear on Russian TV Moscow on October 25th. When Syria started to blow apart back in 2011, it was complicated. It has only become progressively so. It really start as a revolution of sorts with Syrian civilian and military rebels acquiring weapons for former Syrian military personnel who supported the cause. It was only then that the various interests around the globe truly took notice and took sides. The Free Syrian Army was one such group but there are and were many many alternatives.  The probke is that massive weaponry poured into the country from all directions from those seeking a voice and control in the region, from Truket, to Iran, to Saudi Arabia to Russia to the United States and beyond.  This includes the proxies of the proxies.  As a result, the infighting within the country driven from the inside and the outside multipled.

I will appear to talk its history, the players, the complications, and more.  

Sunday
Oct082017

[Press TV Iran] October 8th: Jack Talks U.S. Relations with Turkey Deteriorating

I appear on Press TV Iran on October 8th. The U.S. and Turkey have been allies for a long time but those relations continue to buckle on many fronts. Further, Erdogan's willingness to look to other partners including Iran and Russia are making things even worse for the Americans. This to is particularly thrilling for both the Iranians and the Russians.

Most recently, there were more cuts today in various Visa programs between the countries. And to this the continues abuse of the media and the arrest of more than 100,000 after the coups and the detention of American citizens and the unwillingness of the Americans to deport the one the Erdogan believes is responsible, you have recipe for disaster.

This is fgoing to be an interesting conversation indeed.