Entries in Kony 2012 (2)


Senators Trying to Keep up Pressure on Joseph Kony

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- On the eve of the Kony 2012 national “day of action,” senators wanted Americans to know they haven’t forgotten about the campaign to find Uganda’s Joseph Kony.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass., on Thursday introduced legislation to expand the existing Department of State Rewards Program for Kony.

“Information is a powerful tool and with these authorities, we can help bring brutal and dangerous fugitives to justice,” Kerry said in a statement.  “These kinds of programs promote tips and leads that lead to arrests and hobble the movement of international criminals.  It sends a message to brutal thugs like Kony that their days are numbered and they can only hide out for so long.”

The Kerry legislation would expand existing authority to allow the State Department to publicize and pay rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals engaged in transnational organized crime, or foreign nationals wanted by any international criminal tribunal for war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide.

At a press conference Thursday, Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., a cosponsor of the legislation, expressed confidence that the Department of Defense is having some luck in narrowing down where Kony is hiding.  He added that an expanded rewards program would offer an incentive to people to leave the Lord’s Resistance Army and “provide critical, recent intelligence about their movements, their practices and Kony’s whereabouts.”

A group of senators, hoping to whip up a little Internet frenzy like the original Kony 12 campaign video did, came out with their own video on Thursday.  The seven-minute video focuses on the Senate’s efforts to support the removal of Kony and his top lieutenants in the Lord’s Resistance Army from the battlefield in central Africa and is aimed at the young Americans who have become part of the Kony 2012 movement in the last month.

“The timing here is deliberate,” said Coons.  ”It’s an effort to communicate back to millions of people around the world to say that we, the United States Senate, hear you, we are listening, we are acting and we are hopeful that everyone that has been interested in and concerned about the issues raised by the Lord Resistance Army, Joseph Kony and the efforts to bring him to justice.”

“We’re going to do it,” Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) said.  “We’re going to bring it to a close.  And it’s now, everyone’s talking about it, assuming we can do, we’ve got kids from all over America joining in and saying you’ve got to get this guy Joseph Kony, and we’re going to do it.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Eliot Spitzer: KONY 2012 Video Spread Like the Gutenberg Press

Stuart Price/Getty Images (WASHINGTON) -- Former New York governor Eliot Spitzer compared the viral spread of the KONY 2012 video this week to the Gutenberg press, with social media driving information to more people as the first printing press did hundreds of years ago.

“It is an amazing new arena where information flows so much more quickly, rapidly to diverse audiences,” Spitzer said on “This Week” roundtable on Sunday. “This has got to be good for humanity. It’s like the Gutenberg press. Suddenly everyone can see and learn.”

“I think so many issues will be affected by this, from the Arab Spring to taking down a dictator, a terrorist, to political finance. I think it’s amazing,” Spitzer added.

The KONY 2012 viral film campaign by the group Invisible Children has ignited a firestorm online, drawing nearly 100 million views and counting to the 30-minute video critical of Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, and the rebel group Lord’s Resistance Army, which human rights organizations say has terrorized central Africa for years.

The video seeks to bring international attention to Kony, pushing for his arrest by the end of this year.

Republican strategist Mary Matalin said she was surprised when her 13-year-old daughter alerted her to the video this week.

“When my 13-year-old calls me, it’s an emergency on the road, I presume there’s a Jimmy Choo sale, okay? I never expect to hear this,” Matalin said.

Matalin, who recalled that her daughter said Republicans could “get ahead of this story” to draw the youth vote, said she was concerned the video captured young people’s attention “in a way that’s potentially dangerous” because it may over-simplify the issue.

“They don’t have the capacity to at this age to study and research the complexity, and this one is complex,” Matalin said.

Republican strategist Nicolle Wallace said that while “increasing awareness is a good thing,” the KONY 2012 video reminded her of the death of Iranian protester Neda Agha-Soltan in 2009, which was captured on video and seen by millions.

“[It] was an image that broke hearts all around the world, but no action followed. We didn’t press our government to get involved,” Wallace said.

And ABC News senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper raised concerns about inaccuracies in the video, as have many critics online this week.

“There are things in that video that are not factually accurate,” Tapper said. ”He’s not in Uganda, Joseph Kony… There are not 30,000 child soldiers. It’s probably between 150 and 300.”

But Tapper praised the group that produced the video for being able to draw any attention to the issue.

As somebody who tried and failed to get stories on air and to get the public interested when Obama sent 100 special forces to Central Africa… to take on Joseph Kony, as somebody who asked President Obama about this last October, and there was very little interest in getting that question and answer out there for the public, very little interest or awareness by the public, bravo to them,” Tapper said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio