April 9: Stephen R. Weissman on the Lumumba Assassination and CIA accountability

For 50 years, controversy has swirled over alleged U.S. Government responsibility for the assassination of the former Belgian Congo’s democratically elected Prime Minister. New analysis of documents, memoirs and interviews shows that the CIA Congo Station Chief was an influential participant in the Congo Government’s decision to “render” Lumumba to his bitter enemies in secessionist Katanga. Significantly, as Stephen R. Weissman argued in this presentation to the Washington History Seminar, the Lumumba case illuminates some of the reasons behind the continuing lack of adequate accountability in contemporary covert action.

Stephen R. Weissman is the author of American Foreign Policy in the Congo 1960–1964 (1974) and A Culture of Deference: Congress’s Failure of Leadership in Foreign Policy (1995). He has been a political science professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, Fordham University, and the Université Libre du Congo. He served on the staff of the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Africa from 1979 to 1991 (the last four years as staff director).

A webcast and podcast of this session are available at The Lumumba Assassination and CIA Accountability.