573. Memorandum for the Record1


  • Briefing of Mr. John McKesson, Director of the Office of Central African and Malagasy Affairs, on CIA Covert Funding of Political Figures in the Congo

1. On 2 April 1968, Mr. John McKesson, Director of the Office of Central African and Malagasy Affairs, Bureau of African Affairs, Department of State, asked me for a briefing on CIA covert funding of Congolese political figures.

2. I told him that such funding was now limited to [Identity 1], [Identity 2], [Identity 3] and [cryptonym not declassified]. He asked whether [Mobutu] was still receiving such funds. I said that he had received [Page 831] no funds since September 1966. I explained that the arrangement as it had existed prior to that date as approved by the 303 Committee (in February 1966) was that each month he asked for funds ([less than 1 line not declassified]) and that once the Embassy and the Department had given its approval, the Station made the payment. Mr. McKesson expressed surprise at the size of the payment and asked what [Mobutu] did with the money. I said that the funding had been proposed by the Station and the Ambassador to assist [Mobutu] in making the gifts and payments to leading supporters (Army officers, politicians, provincial leaders) expected of an African political leader, at a time when [Mobutu] had seemed the best hope for the preservation of a stable, Western-oriented government in the Congo. [Mobutu] had never asked for a payment after September 1966, probably because he suspected that after his having virtually compelled the Department’s withdrawal of the Ambassador, his request would not have been acceded to.

[Omitted here is further discussion of payments.]

[Name not declassified]
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 89–00195R, Box 1, [cryptonym not declassified]/Operations, 7–6–58/3. Secret. Drafted by [name not declassified].