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2. Editorial Note

In telegram 20521 to Leopoldville, March 21, 1960, the Central Intelligence Agency requested the Chief of Station’s views on supporting selected Congolese figures during the pre-independence period. It was important, the Agency believed, to “get as many lines as possible into present and prospective leaders so that we not left on outside looking in while BLOC, ACOA, and others operate at will” without any CIA attempt to “establish covert counter influences.” The Chief of Station responded in telegram 518, March 25, that he agreed that the United States should keep the door open but he considered support of the Lumumba wing of the Mouvement National Congolais (MNC) a poor risk in terms of eventual benefits to the United States or the West in general. (Central Intelligence Agency Files, [text not declassified], Volume 1)