We all know Angelina Jolie has long been a humanitarian activist, especially for refugees and in war-torn African countries. But now we know she was also nearly part of a covert operation to lure a notorious warlord out of hiding so he could be arrested. It sounds like the plot of a movie she’d be in, but no — this is real life.
The U.K.’s Sunday Times reported on a series of emails that were leaked by the International Criminal Court that showed conversations between Jolie and Luis Moreno Ocampo, the former chief prosecutor for the ICC. They discussed using her to capture Joseph Kony, the leader of Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army, a guerilla group known for abducting children and forcing them to become soldiers. Kony was indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity in 2005, but has never been captured.
Jolie has spoken out against Kony before. In 2012, she told The Telegraph, “He’s an extraordinarily horrible human being.” In a 2010 interview with Nightline, she admitted that she would be tempted to “take down” Kony if she were ever face-to-face with him.
The emails between Jolie and Ocampo reveal that there were actually plans to send Jolie to the Central African Republic with a unit of U.S. Special Forces near the encampment where Kony was known to be hiding. Jolie would invite Kony to join her for a private dinner, apparently using her celebrity status to lure him out of hiding, and he would be arrested.
“Forget other celebrities, she is the one,” Ocampa wrote in an email. “She loves to arrest Kony. She is ready. Probably Brad will go also.”
In an email to Ocampo, Jolie reportedly wrote, “Brad is being supportive. Let’s discuss logistics. Much love Xxx.”
The plan never went forward, which is honestly probably for the best. Kony is no joke. That would have been a ridiculously dangerous situation for Jolie. While Kony undoubtedly belongs behind bars for his crimes, there has to be a better way to get him there.