Actually, there is a lot of misinformation on both sides of the argument. I actually compiled a bunch of commonly misstated facts just for the purpose of clarifying:
- Kony and the LRA are no longer Uganda, but have moved into the Congo, Sudan and the Central African Republic (1)
- LRA has been active throughout 2011. They are //not// inactive, though the scale of their attacks has significantly decreased (2)
- Kony does not currently have 30,000 troops in his army. The LRA is assumed to number anywhere from 500 to 3,000 strong. Roughly half are thought to be women and children. (3)
- Of the 5 highest ranking LRA members, 2 (Vincent Otti and Raska Lukwiya) have been killed (4) (5)
- Kony himself is not confirmed dead or alive.
- The number of children the LRA has abducted or killed over the group's lifetime is estimated to be 66,000. The war between the LRA and local governments has displaced 2,000,000 Ugandans overall. (6)
- The International Criminal Court indicted Kony in 2005, charging him with 33 counts of international crime--22 war crimes and 12 crimes against humanity. (7)
- According to agencies, Kony is 9th most wanted man on the planet and listed as a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist". (8)(9)
- Invisible Children, in 2011, received over $13 mil in donations. $8 mil was used for expenses. 37% of that $8 mil went directly to Uganda. That is approximately $3.3 mil. (10) Their tax return (tax year ending Jun 30, 2011) states that $2.8 mil went directly to Uganda -- remember this only accounts for expenses before the end of the tax year. It is currently March 2012. (11)
- The executive salary for IC members is roughly $88,000 dollars. Including rent and salaries, administrative costs are 16% of their expenses ($8 mil) The leaders' salaries are only about 3-4% of expenses. (12)
- "Non-profit" does not mean no pay. Many non-profit organizations pay their high level executives, sometimes upwards of $1 mil annually. (13)
- Much of the footage in KONY 2012 is not recent, but taken during a trip to Uganda in 2003. No citation because it's stated in the film.
- Invisible Children has existed since 2003. (14)
- There are no apparent objectives to send more troops to Uganda (not mentioned in any of IC's mission statements or in the film), merely to support the 100 troops already deployed in Oct. 2011 by Pres. Obama. (8)
- AFRICOM (United States Africa Command) was deemed operational in Oct. 2008, creating a military network throughout all African nations except Egypt. There are currently 2,000 AFRICOM personnel, 1,500 of whom are stationed in the headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. The remaining 500 are stationed in Florida, England, or active in Africa. (15)
- There are no physical AFRICOM bases in Africa. (15)
- Uganda struck oil, projected to create revenue of $2 billion annually, in 2005-'06. (16)
As far as financials go, IC is not particularly great but not an outright "scam", either. Their executives make far less than most charity executives do but, because they are a significantly smaller charity that get less revenue, the administrative costs seemingly take up a larger percentage of the revenue by relation. Cuz obviously the amount of money you make varies, but expenses are relatively static without expansion or shrinkage of the actual organization. If you go on Charity Navigator and browse the highest rated charities, many of their executives make over 150k yearly. The CEO for American Red Cross makes almost a million. The idea that IC is full of turds that overcompensate themselves is not necessarily true. It just seems that way because people are comparing a million dollar charity to billion dollar charities.
Criticism should be directed away from finances and more toward the IMPLICATIONS of what hunting down Kony will do, since he is the kind of guy to enact retribution against civilians.