The Viral Video About Joseph Kony and the Whole Megillah — Today’s Q’s for O’s WH – 3/8/2012

Mar 8, 2012 2:09pm

TAPPER: A few months ago, with very little fanfare, the administration announced that it was sending some special forces to Central Africa to help African troops target Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army. There’s this remarkable viral video that you may have seen about who Joseph Kony is. And I was wondering if the administration was planning on talking about this video at all, responding — given that obviously we have troops in harm’s way in, I think, four different countries in Africa going after Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army. I guess the first question is, have you or the president or has anybody in the White House seen this video? And second question is, what’s the status of our troops there and the fight there?

CARNEY: I have not seen it. I’m aware of it and have been briefed on it. I don’t know whether the president has, but certainly members of the broader National Security Staff are aware of it, and I’m sure some of them have seen it. I know they have.

You know, as President Obama said upon signing the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act last October, we, quote, “congratulate the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have mobilized to respond to this unique crisis of conscience.” And I think that this viral video that you mention is part of that response, raising awareness about the horrific activities of the LRA. And consistent with the bipartisan legislation passed by our Congress in 2010, the United States continues to pursue a comprehensive, multifaceted strategy to help the governments and people of Central Africa in their efforts to end the threat posed by the LRA and reduce the human consequences of the LRA’s atrocities.

I would point out when you mentioned the U.S. military personnel who are in the region, it’s approximately 100 U.S. military personnel.

TAPPER: And then a question about the Netanyahu visit.

CARNEY: Mmm hmm.

TAPPER: Apparently, he gave the president a gift of “The Book of Esther.” And some aides to Netanyahu told the Jewish Daily Forward that it was background reading for the president given the crisis with Iran, and “The Book of Esther” is — I guess it was called Persia at the time. What was the president’s response to getting that book? And did the president have a gift for the prime minister that we don’t know about?

CARNEY: You know, I have not discussed with the president that subject or the subject of gifts. I would — the office of protocol might have an answer for you in terms of gifts. I just don’t know about it, and I haven’t had a discussion about it. But I’m sure the president welcomes any gift he might receive from the prime minister of Israel.

-Jake Tapper

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