582. Telegram From the Station in the Congo to the Central Intelligence Agency1

7090 (In 55279). Ref: Director 58792.2

1. Station has not and does not plan elicit comments from any Station assets concerning [McBride] effectiveness. On contrary, to date, we have refused discuss [McBride] other than to make positive statements in his support.

2. Wish point out in this connection, however, that [Identity 1], [Identity 2] and [Identity 3] would like [McBride], or for that matter any other [Embassy] chief, to exercise a strong advisory influence upon [Mobutu], whom all three claim badly in need good advice. [COS] has repeatedly stressed to all three that [McBride] most influential Mission Chief on [Mobutu] anyway. Possibly these three misinterpret [McBride’s] shyness. No doubt these three would like [COS] to play the role of [former COS] with [Mobutu]. [COS] has made it clear repeatedly that times and circumstances have changed radically since [former COS] days and that therefore [COS] cannot and will not play such a role.

3. In sum do not believe this matter constitutes any real problem. It is a fact, nonetheless, that the members of the [less than 1 line not declassified] and others are genuinely worried about [Mobutu’s] present increasing isolation and what should be done about it.

4. HQS can rest completely assured that no Station member will ever be indiscreet or disloyal in any way regarding [McBride].

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, [text not declassified], Vol. V, Mobutu. Secret; Rybat. No time of receipt appears on the message.
  2. CIA telegram 58792 to Kinshasa, December 13, cautioned the Station not to sound out contacts regarding their attitude toward Ambassador McBride and to refrain from commenting on any adverse statements that were volunteered, other than by commenting positively in McBride’s support. The Station should recall the past history of Mobutu’s attempts through his cohorts to denigrate McBride’s predecessors. (Ibid.)