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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Entries in somalia (6)


[Russian TV] November 30th: Jack Talks Ohio State Attack and Racial Backlash

I appear on Russian TV every so often to talk the recent attack that killed 11 and injured more allegedly committed by a young Somali refugee who may have been inspired by IS.  Being based in the Twin Cities here in Minnesota, this is the largest groups of Somali Americans outside of Somalia.  Also, IS and Al Shabaab have both been extremely successful at targeting young men in this community to work on their behalf.  There have been multiple young men who were recently convicted of trying to go to Syria to fight on behalf of IS.  This is quite troubling.

The blowback to these attacks in the Somali community here is equally troubling.  Because of simplistic and sometimes racist views, the entire community is being targeted. Sadly, this actually exacerbates the problem and makes it even easier for IS to recruit. As a result, Americans, Western Europeans and Russians need to make the distinction between those recruited and those in the community.  They are simply not one in the same.  This is critical to fighting ISIS and supporting these communities.  

This promises to be an interesting conversation.


[Kare 11 Appearance] September 25th: Jack Talks International Law and Terrorism


[Jack Rice Show Appearance] July 8th: Jack Talks with MN Daily's Jade Lomeli about MN Somalis Sending Money Home


[RT Appearance] Friday, March 30th: Jack Talks International Law and U.S. Drone Attacks

I appear on RT TV on March 30th at 6 p.m. e.t.  Since President Obama took office, U.S. drone attacks have increased dramatically.  We have seen far more in Afghanistan and Pakistan but we also have seen dramatic increases in Yemen and even Somalia.  There are even reports of civilian usage within the United States. What is the impact of such usage and is there a downside?

Hope you can catch it.


[RT Appearance] Thursday, June 30th: Jack Talks International Law and Targeting Killing Program

I will appear on RT TV on Thursday, June 30th at 6 p.m. e.t.   Now that the U.S. is using Predator drones in Somalia and has expanded its shadow war in Somalia, that means we are fighting in at least 6 countries including, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Somalia.  While the White House claims that this has destroyed Al Qaida, is it legal?  Further, with the U.S. targeting particular individuals, does it actually make us safer?

As a criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor and CIA Officer, I will appear and look deeper at the issues.  Hope you can watch.


Somali Pirates Take Another Ship.

According to the Kenyan Searfarers prrogram, Somali pirates have now taken another ship, this one a tug boat with 16 crew. It took place in the Gulf of Aden.  Original reports described the ship as an American ship.  Either way, while there will be a lot of hand wringing on this for the Navy, I fear that the American people are going to demand action, any action.  And there in lies the problem.

This is all being driven by the failed state that is Somalia.  For about 20 years, there has been no real centralized authority.  When people called Iraq and Afghanistan failed states, they should have been talking about this part of the world.  As a result, the idea of some how convincing "the Somalians" to do something about it is laughable. They can't control what is happening in their own country from street to street and from neighborhood to neighborhood.  But again, I fear that won't stop the demand for action by some Americans.

And the logistical problems are substantial.  The coast of Somalia is about as long as the eastern seaboard of the United states.  And the area where the pirates operate works out to about 1.1 million miles.  Only 12-16 ships are "protecting" this area now.  Not nearly enough to do the job.  And frankly, there is no way we are prepared to commit the resources to do the job.  So then what?

Bomb the bastards.  I can already hear the drumbeats.  Of course, if we do that and kill 10, 20, 100, 1000 people it will probably be a few responsible and many who aren't.  It happened in 2007 in the same region.  It has happened in Afghanistan.  It has happened elsewhere.  But that is what happens when you perform surgery with a sledgehammer.  U.S. intelligence' efforts with the Ethiopians designed to fight Al Qaida were used as a justification for intervention at that time but that intervention was limited.  And ultimately ineffective.   

One simple example is that fact that we call them Somali pirates.  And, of course, they are both Somalis and pirates so in a sense it is correct.  However, by calling them Somali pirates it sounds as if we can't hit the pirates, we hit Somalia.  And, as we have discussed, that is a very bog part of the problem.

In the end, we have few options.  But flexing our muscle just because we can flex it makes no sense.


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