Heros: Clooney and Prendergast, Monitoring the Sudan

A recent article in Time magazine titled “Eyes in the Skies. Satellites—and some star power—will put Sudan’s crisis in the spotlight” reports on actor George Clooney and human-rights activist John Prendergast’s efforts to hire private satellites in orbit to monitor troop movements in Sudan. These watchdog efforts would deter further abuses and atrocities that may result this coming year, similar to those already endured by the Sudanese people. With questions about the boundaries of transparency and openness making recent headlines due to the Wikileaks controversy, this story is an example of creative transparency leading to new solutions to protect human rights.

This project offers excellent possibilities for ensuring the safety of millions by inviting those in power to consider what the rest of the world would think of their actions before acting. The cover of privacy has always been the dictator’s most powerful weapon against his own people. By turning the monitoring systems of modern satellites Earthward, Clooney and Prendergast are taking secrecy from those who would harm the Sudanese. It’s inspiring to see this movie star and this activist using their resources and fame to gather support for this beneficial project. This non-violent intervention is unassailable: no innocent people are harmed by monitoring troop movements. One can only hope that the open viewing will cease the behavior of those who seek to harm others.

You can read more about Prendergast’s group, the Enough Project, at their website, including other projects relating to protecting the Sudanese people.

George Clooney once again demonstrates his social activism when he could simply be enjoying his wealth behind the closed doors of celebrity. Obviously he too is choosing transparency for himself.


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