362. Memorandum for the Record1


  • Telephone Discussion with Secretary Rusk

I called Secretary Rusk to discuss the air drops on Bunia and Watsa. Rusk told me that after careful deliberation the Department and the Belgian Government had decided they would not go forward with the drops. He said they did not feel the recommendations of the embassies in Leopoldville were valid because there was no meaningful inventory of the number of European refugees in either city. Furthermore, there were no Americans there. I dissented sharply from this decision. I said that I felt neither Leopoldville nor the State Department knew very much about how many refugees were in these two cities and that probably the statements of the people from Stanleyville and Paulis were most authoritative. Furthermore, there was evidence of atrocities that I did not think should go on. Finally, if we did not conduct the drops, it would become obvious that our actions against Stanleyville [Page 524] were in effect in support of the Congolese Army and humanitarian excuse could not be supported. Rusk responded that the Paulis operation might change this appraisal. I said it might, but, nevertheless, history would record it differently. I therefore said it was my unreserved and very strong recommendation that we go forward. I could see no excuse for not doing so. I thought the drops would be successful and felt it was incumbent upon us to do so. Rusk said, “thank you very much,” he would think the thing over and reappraise the situation prior to the withdrawal of the paratroopers from Kamina.

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, DCI/McCone Files, Job 80B01285A, Box 2, DCI (McCone) Memos for the Record, 01 Nov.–31 Dec. 64. Secret; Eyes Only. Dictated by McCone.