60 Years Ago — Patrice Lumumba is assassinated (January 17 1961)

“Classified U.S. government documents, including a chronology of covert actions approved by a National Security Council (NSC) subgroup, reveal U.S. involvement in — and significant responsibility for — the death of Lumumba.”

Stephen R. WeissmanStaff director of the U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on Africa from 1986 to 1991

Patrice Lumumba (July 2 1925 – January 17 1961) and Dag Hammarskjöld (July 29 1905 – September 18 1961)

January 17 2021 — The election of John F. Kennedy caused fear among Mobutu’s faction, and within the CIA, that his administration would favor Lumumba. Three days before Kennedy’s inauguration on January 20 1961, Lumumba was assassinated. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

RELATED POST: On This Day — Who Killed Dag Hammarskjöld and Why? (July 29 1905 – September 18 1961) [2020]

RELATED POST: On This Day — Did The CIA Murder US Army Scientist Frank Olson? And Why? (November 28 1953) [2020]

The conventional explanation of Lumumba’s death has been that he was murdered by Congolese rivals after earlier U.S. attempts to kill him, including a plot to inject toxins into his food or toothpaste, failed.

In 1975, the U.S. Senate’s “Church Committee” probed CIA assassination plots and concluded there was “no evidence of CIA involvement in bringing about the death of Lumumba.”

Stephen R. Weissman — Staff director of the U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on Africa from 1986 to 1991 — has concluded otherwise…

Not so. I have obtained classified U.S. government documents, including a chronology of covert actions approved by a National Security Council (NSC) subgroup, that reveal U.S. involvement in — and significant responsibility for — the death of Lumumba, who was mistakenly seen by the Eisenhower administration as an African Fidel Castro.

The documents show that the key Congolese leaders who brought about Lumumba’s downfall were players in “Project Wizard,” a CIA covert action program.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars and military equipment were channeled to these officials, who informed their CIA paymasters three days in advance of their plan to send Lumumba into the clutches of his worst enemies.

Other new details: The U.S. authorized payments to then-President Joseph Kasavubu four days before he ousted Lumumba, furnished Army strongman Mobutu with money and arms to fight pro-Lumumba forces, helped select and finance an anti-Lumumba government, and barely three weeks after his death authorized new funds for the people who arranged Lumumba’s murder.

Moreover, these documents show that the plans and payments were approved by the highest levels of the Eisenhower administration, either the NSC or its “Special Group,” consisting of the national security adviser, CIA director, undersecretary of state for political affairs, and deputy defense secretary.

In February 2002, Belgium — the former colonial power in Congo — issued a thousand-page report that acknowledged “an irrefutable portion of responsibility in the events that led to the death of Lumumba.”

The CIA joined Belgium in a plan, detailed in the Belgian report, for Ileo and Adoula to engineer a no-confidence vote in Lumumba’s government, which would be followed by union-led demonstrations, the resignations of cabinet ministers (organized by Ndele) and Kasavubu’s dismissal of Lumumba.

Lumumba’s execution was carried out by a firing squad led by Belgian mercenary Julien Gat. Katangan Police Commissioner Verscheure, also a Belgian, had overall command of the execution site. The separatist Katangan regime was a surrogate of Belgian mining conglomerate Union Minière du Haut-Katanga.

I have long believed that the same company — Union Minière du Haut-Katanga — and some of the same people are responsible for the assassination of Dag Hammarskjöld.

The 2001 report by the Belgian Commission describes previous U.S. and Belgian plots to kill Lumumba. Among them was a Central Intelligence Agency-sponsored attempt to poison him, which was ordered by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

CIA chemist Sidney Gottlieb, a key person in the plan, devised a poison resembling toothpaste. In September 1960, Gottlieb brought a vial of the poison to the Congo with plans to place it on Lumumba’s toothbrush.

If the name of Sidney Gottlieb rings a bell, it may be because I have mentioned him before in connection with the assassination of American biological warfare scientist Frank Olson.

REFERENCES

Opening the Secret Files on Lumumba’s Murder by Stephen R. Weissman — WP (July 21 2002)

Patrice Lumumba — Wikipedia

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60 Years Ago — Patrice Lumumba is assassinated (January 17 1961)

This entry was posted in CIA, Dag Hammarskjöld, Frank Olson and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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