"Forty years after the murder of the Congolese independence leader Patrice Lumumba, evidence has emerged in Washington that President Dwight Eisenhower directly ordered the CIA to "eliminate" him." [quoting from The Guardian, UK, 8/10/2000]
"The evidence comes in a previously unpublished 1975 interview with the minute-taker at an August 1960 White House meeting of Eisenhower and his national security advisers on the Congo crisis.
The minute-taker, Robert Johnson, said in the interview that he vividly recalled the president turning to Allen Dulles, director of the CIA, "in the full hearing of all those in attendance, and saying something to the effect that Lumumba should be eliminated.
Mr. Johnson recalled: "There was stunned silence for about 15 seconds and the meeting continued."...
Mr. Johnson only revealed the exchanges in 1975, when he was privately interviewed by staff of the Senate intelligence committee's post-Watergate inquiry into US covert action. ...
The committee concluded that the US was not involved in the murder, though it confirmed that the CIA had conspired to kill Lumumba ..."
On September14, 1960, Mobutu took control in a CIA-sponsored coup and placed Lumumba under house arrest. [Larry Devlin, Chief of Station, Congo: Fighting the Cold War in a Hot Zone, p. 87]
Lumumba was brutally beaten and assassinated January 17, 1961, a victim of American and Belgian conspiracies vying for control of the Congo's natural wealth in minerals.
[See Opening the Secret Files on Lumumba's Murder by Stephen R. Weissman, Washington Post, July 21, 2002
This beautiful idealist, a martyr of the African struggle for freedom from colonialism, is a hero for his people, who are well aware of America's role in his tragic death, which began a thirty-six year long terrible U.S. supported Mobutu dictatorship which set the stage for a decade of chaos and bloody civil wars and foreign interventions with Europe involved exploiting Congo's rich mineral deposits at the cost of five million lives only in the last decade.
In Angola, the U.S. had sent millions of dollars of covert aid to Jonas Savimbi for his long and bloody war of enormous civilian casualties against the very government Clinton this week advised on how to invest its oil revenues.
America's interest in the well being of Africans, as expressed by Secretary Clinton, comes a half century late.
We all feel sad for the tens of thousands of rape victims in Congo as Hillary firmly encourages them to seek justice, and donates $17 million to their cause, but as the conglomerate-owned media profiles her figure on tour for Americans back home, it is galling for those of us who are ashamed of America's dirty history in Africa that there is no speck of contrition.
President Obama did not wish to apologize for the murder and overthrow of President Salvador Allende to Chile's visiting current president Michelle Bachelet, who herself suffered torture in prison during the U.S. supported dictatorship of General Pinochet, brought to power by Nixon and Kissinger and supported by Reagan. Just so, one would imagine, is Secretary Clinton not wishing to apologize to a tortured Africa.
Obama said that he wanted to look forward and not back, and that America overall has been a force for good in the world. However, one would think that the world, especially Africa, could better know from its bitter experience, whether America has overall been a force for good.
But do allow us Americans to "look back'. Since its creation under Truman the CIA has been used unabashedly by every succeeding president as a force creating suffering for third-world citizens, without regard to that suffering.
Apologies can bring fresh starts and make changes in policy easier and more believable.
For example, what if Jimmy Carter expressed regret for sparking the thirty-year destruction of Afghanistan and its people when, in 1979, he had the CIA fund, arm and train the fundamentalist hill tribes to terrorize and overthrow the women liberating new socialist Kabul government, merely to frighten the USSR and sucker the Soviet military into defending that Kabul government six months later? What effect might such an apology have on present deathly animosities?