94 testimony of victor hedgeman 21 august 1975 p78

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94 Testimony of Victor Hedgeman, 21 August 1975, p.78 and 25 August 1975, p.25. 95 Baron interview, 30 April 2009. Baron recalled making an effort to get Devlin to return to the 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 phone or ‘interrogatories’, he does not recall any responses. None are found in either the Committee’s Report or its currently declassified files even though other affidavits by former officials regarding the Lumumba investigation are available, as in Box 52, 7-M-51, CCR-NA. 218 Intelligence and National Security Downloaded 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 of the Lumumba report did not fully exonerate the US Government from responsibility for his death. Throughout the draft’s text there was a persistent reservation about exonerating the CIA from all responsibility, for example: ‘There is, however, no direct evidence of CIA involvement in bringing about Lumumba’s death in Katanga’; and ‘During this period the Leopoldville Station continued to maintain close operational relationships with, and offer aid to, Congolese contacts who expressed a desire to assassinate Lumumba although there is no direct evidence that aid was provided for the specific purpose of assassination.’ 96 Commenting on this draft, Baron observed: There are very clear indications that Fritz [Schwarz] and I felt you have facts that point in one direction with foreknowledge [yet] with no evidence he said or recommended something, but facts that raise serious questions against the entire context of a high level preparation and desire to kill, eliminate. It couldn’t be proven with what was available at the moment. 97 But in the final, Committee-edited report all the qualifications were eliminated. Based on his general experience with the Committee’s work rather than any specific memory of the editing of the Lumumba study, Baron offered an informed speculation about why ‘these facts were . . . watered down’: One layer is some Senate Democrats were cautious. The last layer would be the back and forth with Republicans over them being skeptical, it being too inflammatory, prejudicial to administration. Did CIA influence the substance of the report [beyond its formal focus on avoiding security problems from the disclosure of the identities of those involved in operations]? I don’t think directly with me, but it could be they would say something to the Republicans. 98 The Lumumba Case and the Covert War against Terrorism For understandable political reasons, President Barack Obama has said he is not interested in ‘looking backward’ at the previous Republican adminis- tration’s abuses as he recalibrates America’s anti-terrorist operations. Yet the Lumumba affair offers a powerful illustration that by failing to analyze – and therefore confront – what actually happened in the relevant past, the 96 See Draft Assassinations Report , Tab G, pp.79, 13, and 14; Baron interview, 5 May 2009.

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