George Clooney is spending a recent handsome paycheck on an endeavor that might surprise those who know more about Clooney's love life than his espionage activities.
The "Gravity" actor told the Guardian that he's spending "most" of the cash he earns from appearing in commercials for Nespresso on a spy satellite aimed at Sudan. Allow Clooney to explain:
Most of the money I make on the [Nespresso] commercials I spend keeping a satellite over the border of North and South Sudan to keep an eye on Omar al-Bashir [the Sudanese dictator charged with war crimes at The Hague]. Then he puts out a statement saying that I'm spying on him and how would I like it if a camera was following me everywhere I went and I go 'well welcome to my life Mr War Criminal'. I want the war criminal to have the same amount of attention that I get. I think that's fair.
al-Bashir was recently reported to have fled Nigeria in an attempt to avoid being arrested on war crimes and human rights violations. Human rights leaders accuse the Sudanese president of committing gruesome atrocities in the Darfur region of the country.
Clooney's humorous take on the situation shouldn't be mistaken for glibness on the actor's part. The Satellite Sentinel Project, Clooney's spy program, tracks the movements of Sudan's brutal army and attempts to warn civilians in advance of attacks. The 52-year-old was also arrested last March in a protest at the Sudanese embassy in Washington D.C. At the time, Clooney told The Huffington Post that the goal "is the same goal it's been all along and will continue to be and not be accomplished today or anytime in the near future, but it's a job that we have to continually do which is raise attention."
Lending his celebrity to protest "the idea of a government attacking and killing its own innocent men, women and children" was Clooney's primary motivation, who said "the most important thing" is "allowing aid to get in now because in the next few months it could be the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world."
Nespresso is working to source its coffee beans from South Sudan, a region the Guardian reports was a big coffee exporter 40 years ago. More on Clooney and coffee is available over at the Guardian.