29. Editorial Note

In telegram 0057 to the Central Intelligence Agency, October 2, 1960, the Station in Leopoldville reported on a meeting with Colonel Joseph Mobutu the previous day during which he stated that he was under tremendous pressure from numerous “diplomats” to support President Kasavubu, but maintained that, in view of his announced policy of neutralism, he could not show favoritism. He added that he was so fed up that he was ready to throw in the sponge, reopen parliament, and let the politicians fight it out themselves. The Station expressed its great concern at the possibility that Mobutu might carry out his threat and withdraw the army from the conflict, since the field would then be wide open for Lumumba’s return to power. In a second meeting later the same day, reported in telegram 0058, October 2, Mobutu appeared more calm and promised to do nothing more against [Page 41] Kasavubu; at the same time he asked for additional financial aid with the comment that “Lumumba got everything he needed from Communists, whereas I get practically no help at all.” (Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 78–00435R, DDO/ISS Files, Box 1, Folder 4, [cryptonym not declassified] Ops)

The Central Intelligence Agency informed the Station in telegram 04697, October 6, that in view of the uncertain outcome of current developments it was conducting contingency planning for the Congo at the request of “policy echelons.” The planning was designed to prepare for a situation in which the United States would provide clandestine support for elements in the armed opposition to Lumumba. Although implementation of such a plan posed special problems, it was felt that the “stakes [were] great enough [to] leave nothing untried to maintain acceptable Congo situation.” (Ibid., Job 79–00149A, DDO/IMS Files, Box 23, Folder 1, African Division, Senate Select Committee, Volume II)