THE #C.I.A. AND #LUMUMBA - The New York Times
Article de 1981
Madeleine G. Kalb is author of the forthcoming book ’’The Congo Cables: From Eisenhower to Kennedy,’’ from which this article is adapted. By Madeleine G. Kalb On Sept. 19, 1960, the Central Intelligence Agency’s station chief in Leopoldville, capital of the newly independent Congo, received a message through a top-secret channel from his superiors in Washington. Someone from headquarters calling himself ’’Joe from Paris’’ would be arriving with instructions for an urgent mission. No further details were provided. The station chief was cautioned not to discuss the message with anyone.
’’Joe’’ arrived a week later. He proved to be the C.I.A.’s top scientist, and he came equipped with a kit containing an exotic poison designed to produce a fatal disease indigenous to the area. This lethal substance, he informed the station chief, was meant for Patrice Lumumba, the recently ousted pro-Soviet Prime Minister of the #Congo, who had a good chance of returning to power.
The poison, the scientist said, was somehow to be slipped into Lumumba’s food, or perhaps into his toothpaste. Poison was not the only acceptable method; any form of assassination would do, so long as it could not be traced back to the United States Government. Pointing out that assassination was not exactly a common C.I.A. tactic, the station chief asked who had authorized the assignment. The scientist indicated that the order had come from the ’’highest authority’’ - from Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States.