Nothing embodies the law of unintended consequences more than weapons systems. When drones were first introduced as possible battlefield tools, contractors said that there was nothing to worry about in terms of them being converted into weapons systems. They would only be used for surveillance. Now we’re using them to kill top government officials.
After US special forces assassinated the head of the Islamic State, the reaction among American political officials, especially the president, and also journalists, was shocking. No one questioned illegality of the killing despite executive order 12,333, which specifically prohibits political assassinations by employees of the United States government. Journalist stupidly and openly asked the question of whether the group would now come to an end as a result. Overall, the reaction was shockingly callous and lawless.
Congressional Republicans say it’s too dangerous to transfer Gitmo detainees to the United States. But what are they worried about? No one has ever escaped from one of the federal Supermax prisons where they’d be sent…not that any has ever attempted to escape in the past.
A federal court has ordered the Obama Administration to release secret videos showing force-feedings of Guantanamo hunger strikers. Could one of the highlights of these images include IVs being jammed into a detainee’s penis?
I attended the Drone and Aerial Robotics Conference at New York University. I was terrified of drones…then I got to fly one myself. This is a long-form cartoon I drew for The Los Angeles Times op/ed page.
Abu Hamza Masri is being held in a supermax facility in Manhattan while he awaits trial on terrorism charges. Meanwhile, the metal hooks he uses for hands have been taken away as a security risk. Hamza lost his hands when a Soviet mine exploded n Afghanistan in the 80’s. Since then he has used metal hooks in place of his hands. While in British jail, he was allowed to keep his hooks and his cell was specially fitted to permit their use. However, in the US, prison officials quickly deemed them a risk and took them away. Without hooks or hands, Abu Hamza is being forced to eat through a straw. Prison officials are not going to feed him, so he has no choice but to consume his food, blended.
I draw a weekly editorial cartoon for The Los Angeles Times. With a little luck—and a bigger budget for hiring—this might turn into a staff cartooning job where I’d be doing work about Los Angeles and California throughout the week. If you’re an LA Times reader and you’d like to see me do more work for them, please let them know!
Here is this week’s offering: California Fish and Game President Daniel W. Richards shot and ate a mountain lion in Idaho, where it’s legal. Where will he go next?
The Clinton campaign rolled out, and the Obama campaign immediately issued a retort to, what looks likely to become one of the iconic television ads of the 2008 race: an image of a red hotline phone ringing at three in the morning in the White House. Many people have parodied this ad, but my take emphasizes the hilarious implication that troublemakers are so inconsiderate as to spark crises while civilized Americans are trying to catch some shut-eye.
Ted Rall is the political cartoonist at ANewDomain.net, editor-in-chief of SkewedNews.net, a graphic novelist and author of many books of art and prose, and an occasional war correspondent. He is the author of the biography "Trump," to be published in July 2016.