14. Telegram From the Central Intelligence Agency to the Station in the Congo1

Dir 47587 (Out 62966).

1. In high quarters here it is the clear-cut conclusion that if [garble—Lumumba?] continues to hold high office, the inevitable result will at best be chaos and at worst pave the way to Communist takeover of the Congo with disastrous consequences for the prestige of UN and for the interests of the free world generally. Consequently we conclude that his removal must be an urgent and prime objective and that under existing conditions this should be a high priority of our covert action.2

2. Hence we wish to give you wider authority along lines Leop 07723 and Leop 07854 and Dir 461155 including even more aggressive action if it can remain covert. We realize that targets of opportunity may present themselves to you and in addition to sums heretofore authorized, we further authorize expenditure up to a total of [dollar amount not declassified] to carry out any crash programs on which you do not have the opportunity to consult HQS. Advise your cash needs.

3. To the extent that Ambassador may desire to be consulted you should seek his concurrence. If in any particular case he does not wish [Page 23] to be consulted you can act on your own authority where time does not permit referral here.

4. This message has been seen and approved at competent level ODACID.

End of message.

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 79–00149A, DDO/IMS Files, Box 23, Folder 1, African Division, Senate Select Committee, Volume II. Secret; Rybat; Priority. For COS from Ascham. Drafted by Director of Central Intelligence Allen W. Dulles. A typed notation on the telegram instructed the Cable Secretariat to “limit distribution to Mr. Helms.”
  2. This paragraph is printed in Interim Report, p. 15.
  3. See Document 10.
  4. Telegram 0785 from Leopoldville to CIA, August 22. (Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 78–00435R, DDO/ISS Files, Box 1, Folder 3, [cryptonym not declassified] Ops)
  5. See Document 10.