499. Editorial Note

In telegram 2002, June 1, 1967, the Station in Kinshasa informed the Central Intelligence Agency that it had been shown a Department of State telegram stating that the Station was no longer to have contact with either President Mobutu or [name not declassified]. The change in policy, the Station indicated in telegram 2002, would make it more difficult to operate successfully across the board.

CIA replied in telegram 06540, June 1, that during a briefing in Washington on CIA personnel and programs in the Congo, newly-appointed Ambassador Robert McBride had stated that the Department of State and he personally felt that contact with officials in the positions held by Mobutu [text not declassified] should be restricted to the Chief of Mission. McBride recognized, however, that the situation in [Page 729] the Congo might not fit his preconceptions and would not make a decision on this point until after he had a chance to assess the situation on the ground. He said that if he decided that there should be no CIA contact, he personally would explain the decision to Mobutu. (Central Intelligence Agency Files, [text not declassified], Vol. V, Mobutu) In telegram 2205 to CIA, June 26, the Station in Kinshaha reported that McBride, who had arrived in Kinshasa but had yet to present his credentials, still planned to inform Mobutu that further contacts with the U.S. Embassy were to be exclusively with McBride. McBride had indicated, however, that he might modify his position with respect to [name not declassified]. (Ibid.)