12. Memorandum for the Record1
- Minutes of Special Group Meeting, 25 August 1960
- Messrs. Merchant, Gray, Irwin, Dulles
Mr. Parrott outlined broadly three (or as Mr. Dulles later described them “2½”) operational lines that we are following in mounting an anti-Lumumba campaign in the Congo. These included: operations through the [less than 1 line not declassified] Christian Trade Unions; the planned attempt of a [less than 1 line not declassified] Senator to arrange a vote of no confidence in Lumumba; and a brand new contact with [less than 1 line not declassified] of certain independent labor groups. He emphasized that the latter had just come up and that we are now in the process of assessing the bona fides and capabilities of the individual.
The Group agreed that the action contemplated is very much in order. Mr. Gray commented, however, that his associates had expressed extremely strong feelings on the necessity for very straightforward action in this situation, and he wondered whether the plans as outlined were sufficient to accomplish this. Mr. Dulles replied that he had taken the comments referred to seriously and had every intention of proceeding as vigorously as the situation permits or requires, but added that he must necessarily put himself in a position of interpreting instructions of this kind within the bounds of necessity and capability. It was finally agreed that planning for the Congo would not necessarily [Page 21] rule out “consideration” of any particular kind of activity which might contribute to getting rid of Lumumba.
Mr. Irwin commented that certain individuals in Defense have given thought to the possibility of using high officials [less than 1 line not declassified] to promote the general objectives of the West. In this connection, he cited a preliminary assessment which had been made of [less than 1 line not declassified]—the assessment being that the individual in question is a man of not outstanding intelligence, ability or drive, but that he is obviously well motivated. Mr. Irwin asked whether there might be other individuals of similar, although naturally lesser, stature [less than 1 line not declassified] who could be useful.
Mr. Merchant commented that [less than 1 line not declassified] in Black Africa is not a very substantial force. Mr. Dulles concurred in this, but added that this would be something to keep in mind as appropriate.
[Omitted here is discussion of unrelated subjects.]
- Source: National Security Council, Intelligence Files, NSC 5412/2 Special Group, Minutes and Agendas, 1960. Secret; Eyes Only.↩