The Sudan Vote: Clooney’s Satellite Project

In an interview shown this morning on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” George Clooney and human rights activist John Prendergast spoke about their Satellite Sentinel Project, designed to monitor troop movements as a check against outbreaks of violence as Southern Sudan votes on whether to split from the north.

Clooney, speaking from Juba, the capital of Southern Sudan, told Zakaria that the satellite may not prevent violence, but may be able to prevent “plausible deniability” to those who are accountable.

What’s interesting is that the satellite project, being funded by Clooney and other industry figures, could not be undertaken by the United Nations or even the United States.

He said “The U.N. isn’t allowed to, you know, they’re not — they can’t do what we’re doing.  They have laws about — against it.  The United States can’t do these kind of things.
 
“We’re individuals, so we can hire satellites and take pictures, like people could hire satellites and do and take pictures of me. So it seemed like it made sense to us.”

He added, “Remember, that part of this is also about the deniability factor.  In general, they say they didn’t do it.  They can pawn it off on saying these are rebel attacks.
 
“Well, if we have photographs of tanks and helicopters lined up on a border and thousands and thousands of troops lined up on a border, it’s going to be very hard for you to say that that’s rebel attacks, if — if, afterwards, there’s a – a – a big fight.”

 

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