94Testimony of Victor Hedgeman, 21 August 1975, p.78 and 25 August 1975, p.25.95Baron interview, 30 April 2009. Baron recalled making an effort to get Devlin to return tothe US for further questioning. But it foundered on the latter’s inability to travel due to a‘heart problem.’ While Baron has a vague memory of trying to pose some questions by phoneor ‘interrogatories’,he doesnot recallany responses.None are found in either theCommittee’s Report or its currently declassified files even though other affidavits by formerofficials regarding the Lumumba investigation are available, as in Box 52, 7-M-51, CCR-NA.218Intelligence and National SecurityDownloaded by [American Public University System] at 20:04 19 June 2012
about the ‘intimate relationship’ that was central to assigning responsi-bility for Lumumba’s murder.Notwithstanding these weaknesses in the investigation, the first draft ofthe Lumumba report did not fully exonerate the US Government fromresponsibility forhisdeath.Throughoutthedraft’stexttherewasapersistent reservation about exonerating the CIA from all responsibility, forexample: ‘There is, however, nodirectevidence of CIA involvement inbringing about Lumumba’s death in Katanga’; and ‘During this period theLeopoldville Station continued to maintain close operational relationshipswith, and offer aid to, Congolese contacts who expressed a desire toassassinate Lumumba although there is nodirectevidence that aid wasprovided for the specific purpose of assassination.’96Commenting on this draft, Baron observed:There are very clear indications that Fritz [Schwarz] and I felt you havefacts that point in one direction with foreknowledge [yet] with noevidence he said or recommended something, but facts that raiseserious questions against the entire context of a high level preparationand desire to kill, eliminate. It couldn’t be proven with what wasavailable at the moment.97But in the final, Committee-edited report all the qualifications were eliminated.Based on his general experience with the Committee’s work rather than anyspecific memory of the editing of the Lumumba study, Baron offered aninformed speculation about why ‘these facts were . . . watered down’:One layer is some Senate Democrats were cautious. The last layerwould be the back and forth with Republicans over them beingskeptical, it being too inflammatory, prejudicial to administration. DidCIA influence the substance of the report [beyond its formal focus onavoiding security problems from the disclosure of the identities of thoseinvolved in operations]? I don’t think directly with me, but it could bethey would say something to the Republicans.98The Lumumba Case and the Covert War against TerrorismFor understandable political reasons, President Barack Obama has said he isnot interested in ‘looking backward’ at the previous Republican adminis-tration’s abuses as he recalibrates America’s anti-terrorist operations. Yetthe Lumumba affair offers a powerful illustration that by failing to analyze –and therefore confront – what actually happened in the relevant past, the96SeeDraft Assassinations Report, Tab G, pp.79, 13, and 14; Baron interview, 5 May 2009.