9. Telegram From the Central Intelligence Agency to the Station in the Congo1

Dir 44972 (Out 57496). Ref: Leop 0731 (In 36351).2

1. Discussed ref with heads State African bureau 12 Aug. Prelim discussion naturally largely centered around whether ODYOKE policy should be removal Lumumba from power. State reps, while fully concurring in assessment Lumumba as continuing threat to Western and UN purposes and increasingly susceptible Commie line and tactics, felt his removal might breed more problems than would solve and specifically referred to estimate para three ref re confederation which would run counter to ODYOKE hope of UN-assisted Congo and particularly be opposed by other African states. Your own estimate disadvantages also noted. We also agreed constitutional overthrow Lumumba and preservation unified Congo likely very difficult view lack politicians in opposition Lumumba who can match him in force and appeal. State reps also recognized full rejection your tentative recommendations could result in do-nothing policy which equally unacceptable. State will cable Amb asking additional questions and meanwhile following conclusions reached for your temporary guidance:

A. Concur KUBARK Embassy should not advocate illegal overthrow Lumumba.

B. Concur your continuing efforts along lines para 4 A, B, D, F ref, but main emphasis should be countering Commie line and request anti-Lumumba aspects be underplayed and more implied than specific.

C. Continue give counsel, when asked, re constitutional means available to Lumumba opponents but in such way does not appear this main ODYOKE objective in life.

D. Continually assess and report on likelihood constitutional overthrow coming off and this connection request your best statistical estimate Lumumba and opposition strength in assembly. In addition would like what facts you possess re strength of Lumumba’s control of force publique, police or similar paramilitary force. What are these numbers?

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2. Realize above is not clear-cut reply but HQ concurs with State final decision still not easy to reach and believes above still leaves you considerable op latitude.

[Omitted here is further discussion of the proposal.]

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 78–00435R, DDO/ISS Files, Box 1, Folder 3, [cryptonym not declassified] Ops. Secret; Rybat; Priority. Drafted by Bronson Tweedy (C/AF); authenticated by [name not declassified] (for Chief/AF); and released by Richard Helms (COP).
  2. The Embassy and the Station believed that Lumumba was moving to the left and that Communist influence was increasing. The Station and the Embassy were of the opinion that the fall of Lumumba would assist Western objectives. [Footnote in the original.] This telegram is printed as Document 8.