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 trump (137)


Justice Sotomayor Made Me Proud to be an American This Week

It was the summer of 2009 and she sat at a small table in Washington DC before a large group of Senators, all towering above her quite purposely.  As I watched, they all seemed to be there for the same reason, to mug for the cameras and to make themselves look good, smart, capable, competent, angry, whatever.

Some supported her confirmation, others absolutely didn't and it was clear that no matter what she said, no matter what she did, it really wouldn't make much difference.  The woman in a red blazer was Judge Sonia Sotomayor and she had been nominated in May of that year by President Obama to be the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice.  And one point was clear, she was the smartest person in the room that day and really made most, if not all, of the Senators seem like lightweights  

As a reporter, I sat in that room and wrote my stories and shot video and took still shots. But most importantly, I was stunned by her intellectual acumen and also her empathy and understanding. Above is a photo I shot that day that I never published. Its not particularly well framed or interesting, some of the people are sleeping including her aged mother sitting behind her.  However, Sotomayor was on fire and it caught a moment for me.

Fast forward nine years, and I continue to be stunned by this Supreme Court Justice.  This week, the Supremes upheld the President's travel ban. Lets be clear. This was a purposeful ban on Muslims. How did I know? Because I believe the President's words. He said it. I am confident he meant it and his supporters loved it. Of course, the President's people subsequently layered over those words with pretexts like "national security." Its a phrase that camouflages all sorts of sins. As a former CIA officer, I can say that with confidence.

In the end, I guess i wasn't surprised at the Court's decision based upon the makeup of the Court itself. However, what did surprise me was Sotomayor's blistering, yes I said blistering, dissent. She compared the majority's decision and logic to Korematsu v U.S.  This is the Japanese Internment camp case that was justified based upon fear of a group and then wrapped inside the banner of national security.  This was exactly Sotomayor's point.

She put it far better than I could. "As here, the exclusion order was rooted in dangerous stereotypes about a particular group's supposed inability to assimilate and desire to harm the United States." So, the racist fear of seventy years ago is the same racist fear applied today and the same arguments of national security aren't any better now than they were then.  Damn . . . 

This blistering attack even drove Chief Justice Roberts, the author of the majority opinion, to finally denounce Korematsu and call it bad history and bad law.  Let's say simply, he can denounce it from here to the end of time but he absolutely affirmed the logic with his decision.  Regardless, Sotomayor along with Justice Ginsberg were having none of it.

The final line of her opinion says it all, "I dissent," not "I respectfully dissent" which is the common practice. Your Honor, Justice Sotomayor, I was stunned 9 years ago.  I am even more stunned now. As a former CIA officer, as a former journalist and as a lawyer who has been in and out of courtrooms for decades, I say this simply but definitively, you made me proud to be an American this week.  

Thank you.  


[Voice of America Intl. Edition] June 3rd: Trump Thinks He Can Pardon Himself

I appear on Voice of America International Edition on June 3rd.  So exactly how much power does the President have? According to Rudy Guiliani, the President believes that he has the right to pardon himself of obstruction, even if he obstructed Robert Mueller's investigation into possible Trump wrong doing involving the Russians.  You heard me, he thinks he can pardon himself.  So, this idea of checks and balances and three legs of a stool is nothing but trite garbage according to the President. His ability to obstruct any wrongdoing, any wrongdoing, is apparently unlimited.

Yeah, ok, this should be interesting considering that there has never been a U.S. courtroom that has agreed with the President on this issue. Further, it strikes me as important to consider any President he actually makes this argument without busting out laughing. 

This should be fun.


[MSNBC] June 2nd: Trump Argues He Can't Be Prosecuted

I appear on MSNBC on June 2nd. An internal memo was just leaked regarding the White House response to the Russian Investigation regarding Trump. There are many issues vexing the President but the two primary ones that are catching his attention is Mueller's efforts to seek an interview with the President whether he can force it through a subpoena. The other is whether the President can even be prosecuted for obstruction. 

In an extraordinary argument, the President through his lawyers claims that the President is immune from prosecution for obstruction. In other words, he is simply above the law. President Nixon made the same argument but its been almost 50 years since that failed argument was rolled out.  It didn't work then.  Its seem unlikely to work now. 

This is going to be fun.


[I24 International News] May 24th: Trump's "Witch Hunt" Has 17 Indictments and 5 Convictions.  


[Voice of America Intl. Edition] May 20th: Trump Goes on the Offensive

I appear on Voice of America International Edition with Lori Lundin on May 20th.  The New York Times broke another story about an additional meeting that Donald Trump Jr. conducted with representatives from United Arab Emerites and Saudi Arabia as well as a private Israeli citizen and also Eric Prince, the founder of Blackwater and the brother of Secretary DeVos. The problem is the story continues to shift back and forth and is getting more and more complicated. At the same time, another story broke that the FBI may have had an informant inside the Trump campaign. As a result, Trump apparently lost it in the White House and is demanding action from the FBI claiming the FBI is corrupt and out to get him.  While he has the right to demand some action, there are limits although what those limits are.  

Had enough yet?  Well, I will appear just to try and keep people up to date. 



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


[KNUS Denver] April 27th: Peace on the Korean Peninsula?

I appear on on KNUS Denver with my old buddy Steffan Tubbs.  Is there finally going to be peace between the North and South Koreans.  Kim and Moon met today, only the third time leaders of the two nations have ever met. Further, North Korea's Kim is scheduled to meet with President Trump sometime in June. Trump and Kim are expected to talk nucs. It is difficult to conceive of Kim willingly giving up nuclear weapons or truly anything the U.S. is willing to provide in exchange that would motivate Kim to do so. Of course, Trump is likely to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal which may actually make coming to agreement with the North Korean leader even harder.

I will discuss this and more on the program. I'm excited.  


[I24 International] April 18th: Trump to Meet with Kim.


[AM950 Minneapolis] April 14th: Trump Talks Tough on Syria.

I appear on AM950 in Minneapolis with Mike McIntee. The Syrians have apparently used chemical weapons against their own people again.  This is nowhere near the first time the Syrian have committed atrocities against their own people.  It is truly despicable and unacceptable. In fact this kind of behavior has been going on consistently now for several years.  And yet, this President all of a sudden has decided that it is over the line now when just two weeks ago he said he was going to pull out of Syria. The real problem is that he is all over the board and does not seem to have a coherent strategy.

This will be interesting.

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