Skip to main content

Gold, tantalum, tungsten, tin -- gold and the three Ts, the essential guts of electronic devices, amps. receivers, circuitry, chips, amalgamated into mobile electronic devices like cellphones, I-Pads, I-Pods, cutting edge trade name devices that everyone is prompted to lust after by tantalizing trade shows and lead ons of the up and coming next device that knocks the device you just purchased seconds ago into obsolescence.

Where do these component guts, the gold, the three Ts, come from?

Africa: The Congo, for one.

“Kony 2012″ is sweeping the country, compelling Americans to confront an international criminal known as Joseph Kony, a Ugandan warlord who abducted children into his militia and is believed to be hiding in the jungles of central Africa. We hope this successful campaign will also help shine a light on a new effort by K Street lobbyists to avoid accountability for another human rights scandal — abuses in the brutal mines of eastern Congo.
Native militias armed to the teeth earn hundreds of millions of dollars every year by trading conflict minerals.   Government troops and militias fight to control the mines, murdering and raping civilians to fracture the structure of society.

Enslaved locals in mining communities are forced to take part in the illicit mining economy to earn huge amounts of money for the personal profit of conflict mineral warlords and to fund further violent conflict to keep civilians under control.

Your mobile phone, your computer, your portable music player, and your gaming system all fuel fighting in eastern Congo.

Add to the warlords a group of powerful CEOs from major American firms like Procter & Gamble and JPMorgan Chase & Co.,  joined in with lobbyists, to present President Obama and leaders in Congress with a list of demands. Not only do they want massive corporate tax cuts, the CEOs and lobbyists are asking for a rollback of recently-enacted regulations concerning “conflict minerals” in Africa. These minerals continue to fuel human rights abuses and violence.

The Business Roundtable, one of the most influential lobbying federations with around a $24 million dollar advocacy budget, is led by former Governor John Engler. Composed of CEOs from corporations like Apple, 3M Co, Motorola Inc, Intel Corp, Verizon, Lockheed Martin, Best Buy, Rio Tinto, Qualcomm, Hewlett-Packard, and Bose Corp., among the many corporations that have lobbied on the conflicts mineral rule in the past.

As the public discusses the Kony 2012 campaign, newly energized human rights activists should be aware that the Business Roundtable is using its considerable political weight to water down the conflict minerals rule.

These powerful corporations argue that the SEC rules enormously underestimate the costs of conducting the required due diligence, that achieving compliance is extremely difficult, if not impossible. They demand rules that are "cost-effective and workable."

The disputed rules as of October 16, 2011:

The Securities and Exchange Commission is six months behind schedule in finalizing the rule that is required by last year's Dodd-Frank financial oversight law.

The rule, which was tucked into the legislation at the last minute, will require companies to disclose whether they use tantalum, tin, gold or tungsten from the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Originally posted to Karen Hedwig Backman on Sat Mar 10, 2012 at 02:05 PM PST.

Also republished by Black Kos community and Community Spotlight.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site