'Kony 2012,' the Senate Sequel
The day before the Kony 2012 movement’s global day of action, a group of senators released their own YouTube video on the wanted chief of the Lord’s Resistance Army and efforts in the upper chamber to stop him.
Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) released the video, which also features former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.).
Pushing the video out on their own social media channels, the senators hope to grab the attention of the millions of young Americans that watched the 30-minute Invisible Children documentary that stirred international awareness and outrage about the Central African warlord.
"We had two goals in mind for this video: reiterating the Senate’s deep bipartisan support for stopping Joseph Kony, and embracing and encouraging this once-in-a-generation interest in a humanitarian cause abroad," said Coons, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs.
"Joseph Kony represents the worst of mankind, and he and his commanders must be held accountable for their crimes against humanity," Coons added. "This is an issue that has strong bipartisan support in the Senate — and has had such support for years — and we want to be sure Americans know that."
Isakson, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs, said "we are committed to see to it that this evil man, who has killed, raped and maimed innocent people, is stopped for good."
“It is time for Joseph Kony to be brought to justice, and the United States is making every effort to assist in that process, which I witnessed firsthand when I traveled to Uganda two weeks ago," he said.
"No one in the Senate is thinking harder about how to bring Kony to justice more than Chris Coons,” Kerry said. Indeed, the Delaware senator has a special section on his website dedicated to the Kony case.
Forty-three senators have cosponsored a resolution in the Senate introduced last month condemning Kony and declaring support for U.S. efforts to advise regional forces on Kony’s capture. At the press conference to unveil the video, the senators invited Americans to become “citizen co-sponsors” of the resolution and get their names added to the congressional record by signing at Coons' site.
The Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs will hold a hearing on Kony and the LRA on Tuesday.