If you've been following Invisible Children's Kony 2012 campaign (and you probably have — it's not like we've had much choice in the matter), you know that the movement's goal is to make warlord Joseph Kony the world's #1 most wanted man. But when Invisible Children's executive director Ben Keesey said he thought "people would respond" to the campaign's second video, we don't think he meant the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), Kony's militant rebel group. The army, which has been murdering, raping and kidnapping tens of thousands of people since the 1980s, isn't pleased with how it's described throughout the two videos — which is, basically, as a murdering, raping, kidnapping army.
"Behind 'Kony 2012' lurks the U.S.A., which is not a 'banana republic' state, but a world hegemonic power that runs a vast global network of war, intelligence and security institutions, and a myriad of their humanitarian front and service organizations," said the LRA via a spokesperson (um, the LRA has a spokesperson?) in an 18-page statement obtained by CNN which also called the campaign a "clear act of malevolent deception and manipulation of world mass consciousness" that aims to cover up the "vile acts of the U.S.-supported military regime of Uganda in its dirty war activities."
The statement even singles out Jason Russell, who just can't get a break:
"In effect, 'Kony 2012,' whose falsehoods have now boomeranged on one of its authors and purveyors, a Mr. Jason Russell, constitute(s) the biggest ruse and the most sordid 'open air' 'sleight of the hand' act that has ever been used to deceive the gullible and the uninformed in the world."
Even though the LRA has been on the run since a 2008 U.S.-backed attack, they've reportedly managed to kill 2,400 people, displace 465,000, and abduct another 3,400 since then. We're (clearly) all for pointing out the inconsistencies and inaccuracies in the Kony 2012 campaign — and many critics have pointed out how the movement fails to mention the human rights abuses by the Ugandan military — but it's a another thing for the LRA to get all high-and-mighty about the millions of Kony 2012 supporters who have "had their intellect and minds 'pocket picked' and subjected to the most banal trickery, deception and manipulation." Needless to say, a Kony 2012 t-shirt is a less-worse fate than abduction and death. And a self-righteous statement from the LRA is almost — almost — enough to make us want to participate in Cover the Night.