Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Who Profits From `Non-Profit' Columbia University?




Located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, tax-exempt Columbia University claims to be a “non-profit” institution. Yet according to the Trustees of Columbia University’s Form 990 Financial Filing for 2014, between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015, Columbia’s total revenues of $4,910,706,402 exceeded its total expenses of $4,139,274,346 by over $771 million; and the value of “non-profit” Columbia’s net assets increased from $13 billion to $13.5 billion during the same period.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are accumulated by “non-profit” Columbia University as a result of its investment of endowment funds in things like corporate stocks and hedge funds, from which it obtains dividends or additional income from selling some of its corporate stocks at stock market prices higher than the prices it paid at the time the corporate stocks were purchased. Between July 2014 and June 2015, for example, Columbia University’s annual income from its investments exceeded $856 million. In addition, during the same period, Columbia University’s annual rental income from its real estate property exceeded $23 million and its annual income from “royalties” exceeded $89 million.

Some of the $4.9 billion in annual revenues that the administration of Columbia University pocketed between July 2014 and June 2015 was then passed on to “sub-recipients” of Columbia’s tax-exempt government and foundation grant money like Harvard, University of Michigan, M.I.T., Yale, Stanford, Boston University, Jnpiego Corporation, Brandeis and the Rand Corporation for “research,” in the form of “sub-recipient” grants. The Columbia administration, for example, gave:

$1,919,754 in sub-recipient grant money to Harvard University;

$1,918,002 in sub-recipient grant money to University of Michigan;

$885,408 in sub-recipient grant money to M.I.T.;

$876,859 in sub-recipient grant money to Yale University;

$763,294 in sub-recipient grant money to Stanford University;

$712,489 in sub-recipient grant money to Boston University;

$486,287 in sub-recipient grant money to Jnpiego Corporation;

$466,657 in sub-recipient grant money to Brandeis University;
 and
$346,750 in sub-recipient grant money to the Rand Corporation.

And much of Columbia University’s $4.9 billion in annual revenuesbetween July 2014 and June 2015 was used to provide total annual compensation payments to some Columbia University administrators and professors that exceeded by a lot the annual average salaries paid to most people who live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Total annual compensation payments that exceeded $400,000, for example, were made by Columbia University to the following university administrators or professors:
Columbia University President of Investment Management Nirmal Narvekar received a total annual compensation of $7,221,568;

Columbia University Executive VP of Investment Management Peter Holland received a total annual compensation of $6,509,884;
Columbia University Clinical Professor David Silvers received a total annual compensation of $4,633,927;
Columbia University Professor of Medicine Jeffrey Moses received a total annual compensation of $2,672,693;
Columbia University Lee Bollinger received a total annual compensation of $2,473,682;
Columbia University Professor of Surgery Craig Smith received a total annual compensation of $2,074,569;
Columbia University Professor of Surgery Gregg Stone received a total annual compensation of $1,945,027;
Columbia University Professor of Surgery Martin Leon received a total annual compensation of $1,923,004;
Columbia University Executive VP for Health Sciences Lee Goldman received a total annual compensation of $1,728,577;
Columbia University Senior Executive VP Robert Kasdin received a total annual compensation of $879,557;
Columbia University Incoming Executive VP of University Development and Alumni Amelia Alverson received a total annual compensation of $795,003;
Columbia University Trustee Kenneth Forde received a total annual compensation of $791,592;
Columbia University Provost John Coatsworth received a total annual compensation of $756,218;
Columbia University General Counsel Jane Booth received a total annual compensation of $645,004;
Columbia University Executive VP for Finance Anne Sullivan received a total annual compensation of $639,898;
Columbia University Executive VP of Facilities Joseph Ienuso received a total annual compensation of $619,022;
Columbia University Executive VP of Arts and Sciences David Madigan received a total annual compensation of $522,143;
Columbia University former Executive VP for Development and Alumni Susan Feagin received a total annual compensation of $505,520;
Columbia University former Provost Allan Brinkley received a total annual compensation of $503,938; and
Columbia University Trustees’ Secretary Jerome Davis received a total annual compensation of $411,487.

In addition, 4,880 other administrators or faculty members of “non-profit” and corporate tax-exempted “Columbia University Inc.” each individually received--between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015--total annual compensations that exceeded $100,000.


Perhaps it’s now time for the Upper West Side’s “non-profit” Columbia University to finally begin to start paying a fair share of municipal, state and federal taxes during the 2017 fiscal year? 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Harlem Residents Protested Against Columbia President Bollinger's Speech Supporting Campus Expansion In 2007



Students on Columbia University's campus may still not be allowed to exercise their full free speech and first amendment right to protest and dissent inside Columbia University administration buildings--or to heckle or jeer when counter-protesting against a speech by either a Columbia University administrator or a speech by a guest speaker on Columbia's campus--without apparently being subject to the risk of disciplinary action by the Columbia Administration.

Yet, ironically, non-student protesters off-campus in Manhattan have, historically, exercised their first amendment and free speech right to heckle and jeer local politicians and Columbia University administration officials, like Columbia President Lee Bollinger, who have supported expansion of Columbia's campus, despite local community resident opposition, at off-campus neighborhood community meetings.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Columbia University Students Make 12 Demands Of Columbia University Administration In 2017


On October 21, 2017, students at Columbia University who are involved with the Liberation Coalition issued the following statement in which 12 demands were made of the Columbia University Administration:

"Our Demands

"Columbia has a history of abusing its institutional power as a University by intimidating students, workers as well as the nearby Harlem community. We refuse to let this be another opportunity for them to do so behind closed doors. Furthermore, Columbia should hold CUCR accountable for fueling the fire of intolerance under the guise of free speech. At the same time, we recognize that Columbia's complicity in white supremacy goes much further than giving white supremacists a platform to speak on our campus. Consequently, we have compiled the following list of demands inspired by discourses centered on black radical feminism, decolonization, and social justice:

"1. We demand that the university drop its investigation into allegations of interrupting the CUCR event on October 10, 2017. We affirm the rights of students and community members to protest.

"2.  We demand that the university revise and replace its oppressive university rules. While we affirm the principle of free speech, we recognize that the invocation of free speech by the university obfuscates deeper underlying concerns about power, dominance, and violence. If we acknowledge that the principle of free speech has its roots in colonialism and violence and that the current political climate in the U.S. is complicit in perpetuating these acts of violence, then we must begin to problematize the university's fundamentalist support for the principle of free speech in its rules.

"3. "We demand that the university actively protect and provide sanctuary to all intersections of identities that suffer at the hands of white supremacist ideologies including but not limited to students and community members of the Queer and Trans' communities, people living with disabilities, human beings labeled undocumented immigrants, community members and students of the Muslim community, and indigent students and community members of all colors.

"4. We demand that the university recognize the formation and establishment of a Graduate Workers Union. Columbia's continuous obstruction of the unionization of student workers is an injustice that can no longer be allowed.

"5. We demand that the university provide free tuition for indigenous and Black people as compensation for its historic role in perpetuating violence against these communities. Restore balance and justice amongst the people who built and died for Columbia University to exist. Columbia recently made available historical documents of the role of wealthy slave merchants in the founding of the university. President Bollinger, in a New York Times article this year, said that addressing Columbia's `complicity' in the slave trade was a necessary step toward addressing current injustices.

"6. We demand that Columbia University stop over-policing the Harlem community but instead provide services that would mitigate systems of oppression that manifest in historic and contemporary forms of trauma.

"7. We demand that Columbia University utilize scholarships for residents of Harlem from disenfranchised communities. On May 18, 2009, Lee Bollinger signed the West Harlem Community Benefits Agreement. Some of the recitals and agreements of this contract include constructing about 6.8 million square feet of space over the next 25 and scholarships to 40 admitted students into Columbia College and FU School of Engineering per year (page 31 of contract).

"8. "We demand that the university decolonize curricula throughout Columbia University. Uplift the voices of marginalized people by utilizing literature, exercises, experiences, and professors from those communities.

"9. "We demand that the university decolonize this campus. We demand that the university rename buildings and replace statues of Thomas Jefferson, Nicholas Murray Butler, and Alexander Hamilton who were all enthusiasts of indigenous and Black genocide in addition to the capturing, raping, and enslaving of African people. Instead, we believe in a restorative justice approach to how history is depicted on our campus. We demand that the true American liberators such as Harriet Tubman, Langston Hughes, and representatives from the Nanticoke-Lenni Lenape Nation, have statues and portraits, have a presence and are celebrated on this campus.

"10. We demand that the university stop forcibly removing people with Black and Brown bodies from the Harlem community via the process of gentrification.

"11. We demand that Columbia divests from all prison labor. In 2015, Columbia University was the first university to divest from prisons, however, this is not inclusive of all companies that profit from us. 

"12. We demand that the voices of marginalized bodies be centered on this campus. We demand equity. We demand our right to protest be protected. We maintain our right to shut down White Supremacy on this campus and in this greater community. We demand liberation."

Friday, October 6, 2017

Who Ruled Columbia University In Early 20th Century?--Part 3



U.S. muckraking writer Upton Sinclair indicated which special corporate interests have historically controlled the tax-exempt and "non-profit"Columbia University campus, when he wrote the following in a chapter, titled "The University of the House of Morgan," that appeared in his 1923 book, The Goose-Step: A Study of American Education:

"How rich in their own right are the particular Money Trust lords who run this great University it is not possible to determine, because these gentlemen, for the most part, keep their affairs secret. But in the list of those who have died during twenty-two years we have means for an estimate, for the property of many of these was listed in the probate courts of New York and appraised by the transfer tax appraisers. A study of these records has been made by Henry R. Linville, president of the Teachers' Union, and he has courteously placed the manuscript at my disposal. There are twenty-one trustees who have died and been appraised, and the list of their stocks and bonds fills a total of twenty-three typewritten pages, and shows that the total wealth on which they paid an inheritance tax amounted to one hundred and seventy-three million dollars [equivalent to over $2 billion in 2017 dollars], an average of over eight million [equivalent to over around $114 million in 2017 dollars]. I note among the list five members of the clergy of Jesus Christ, and I am sure that if He had visited their parishes He would have been delighted at their state of affluence--He could hardly have told it from His heavenly courts with their streets of gold. The poorest of these clergy was Bishop Burch, who left $37,840 [equivalent to over $500,000 in 2017 dollars]; second came the Reverend Coe, who left $80,683 [equivalent to over $1.1 million in 2017 dollars]; next came the Reverend Greer, who left $172,619 [equivalent to over $2.2 million in 2017 dollars]; next came the Reverend Dix, rector of Trinity, who left $269,637 [equivalent to over $3.8 million in 2017 dollars]; and finally, Bishop Potter, my own bishop, whose train I carried when I was a little boy, in the solemn ceremonials of the church. I was duly awe-stricken, but not so much as I would have been if I had realized that I was carrying the train of $380,568 [equivalent to over $5.4 million in 2017 dollars]. Such sums loom big in the imagination of a little boy; but they don't amount to so much on the board of a university where you associate with the elder Morgan, who left seventy-eight millions [equivalent to over $1 billion in 2017 dollars], and with John S. Kennedy, banker of the Gould interests, who left sixty-five millions. [equivalent to over $900 million in 2017 dollars].

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Who Ruled Columbia University in Early 20th Century?--Part 2

U.S. muckraking writer Upton Sinclair indicated which special corporate interests have historically controlled the tax-exempt and "non-profit"Columbia University campus, when he wrote the following in a chapter, titled "The University of the House of Morgan," that appeared in his 1923 book, The Goose-Step: A Study of American Education:

"...This University of the House of Morgan is run by a board of trustees. Under the law these trustees are the absolute sovereign, the administrators of the property, responsible to no one. They cannot be removed, no matter what they do, and they are self-perpetuating, they appoint their own successors. Their charter, be it noted, is a contract with the state, and can never be altered or revised. Such was the decision of the United States Supreme Court in the Dartmouth case, way back in 1819.


"Who are the members of this board? The first thing to be noted about them is that there is only one educator, and that is the president of the university, an ex-officio member. Not one of them is a scholar, nor familiar with the life of the intellect. There is one engineer, one physician, and one bishop; there are ten corporation lawyers, and eight classified as bankers, railroad owners, real estate owners, merchants and manufacturers....The chairman of the board is William Barclay Parsons, engineer of the subway, and director in numerous corporations. The youngest member of the board is Marcellus Hartley Dodge, who was elected when he was 26 years old, and was a director of the Equitable Life while still an undergraduate at Columbia; he is a son-in-law of William Rockefeller, and is chairman of the Remington Arms Company and Union Metallic Cartridge Company. He is said to have cleaned up twenty-four million [equivalent to over $538 million in 2017 dollars] in one deal in Midvale Steel, and in October 1916, he is credited with making two million [equivalent to over $44 million in 2017 dollars] by cornering the market in munitions machinery. Frederick R. Coudert is one of the most prominent attorneys of the plutocracy, a director in the National Surety and Equitable Trust, Herbert L. Satterlee is a Morgan attorney and a Morgan son-in-law. Robert S. Lovett is chairman of the Union Pacific Railroad, and director of a dozen other roads. Newcomb Carlton, president of the Western Union Telegraph Company, guides the affairs of a great university in spite of the fact that he is not a college man. Reverened William T. Manning is an ex-officio member, one might say, being the bishop of the church of J.P. Morgan and Company. You must understand that Columbia is descended from Kings College, an Episcopal institution, and the bishop, and three vestrymen of Old Trinity are on its board. Perpont Morgan, the elder, was on all his life, and Stephen Baker, president of the Bank of Manhattan and the Bank of the Metropolis, is still on. A study of those who have held office on the board of Columbia, from 1900 to 1922, shows fifty-nine persons classified as follows: bankers, railroad owners, real estate owners, merchants and manufacturers, 20; lawyers, 21; ministers, 8; physicians, 6; educators, 1; engineers, 3. The six physicians were on because of their connection with the College of Physicians and Surgeons, a branch of Columbia..."

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Who Ruled Columbia University In Early 20th Century?--Part 1

U.S. muckraking writer Upton Sinclair indicated which special corporate interests have historically controlled the tax-exempt and "non-profit" Columbia University campus, when he wrote the following in a chapter, titled "The University of the House of Morgan," that appeared in his 1923 book, The Goose-Step: A Study of American Education:

"The headquarters of the American plutocracy is, of course, New York City...It is inevitable that this headquarters of our plutocratic empire should be also the headquarters of our plutocratic education. The interlocking directors could not discommode themselves by taking long journeys; therefore they selected themselves a spacious site on Morningside Heights, and there stands the palatial University of the House of Morgan, which sets the standard for the higher education of America. Other universities, we shall find, vary from the ideal; there are some which have old traditions, there are others which permit modern eccentricities; but in Columbia you have plutocracy, perfect, complete and final, and as I shall presently show, the rest of America's educational system comes more and more to be modeled upon it. Columbia's educational experts take charge of the school and college systems of the country, and the production of plutocratic ideas becomes an industry as thoroughly established, as completely systematized and standardized as the production of automobiles or sausages.

"Needless to say, the University of the House of Morgan is completely provided with funds; its resources are estimated at over seventy-five million dollars [equivalent to over $1 billion in 2017 dollars] and its annual income is over seven million [equivalent to over $100 million in 2017 dollars]. A considerable part of its endowment is invested in stocks and bonds, under the supervision of the interlocking directors. I have a typewritten list of these holdings, which occupies more than twenty pages, and includes practically all the important railroads and industrial corporations in the United States. Whoever you are, and wherever you live in America, you cannot spend a day, you can hardly spend an hour of your life, without paying tribute to Columbia University. In order to collect the material for this book I took a journey of seven thousand miles, and traveled on fourteen railroads. I observe that every one of these railroads is included in the lists, so on every mile of my journey I was helping to build up the Columbia machine. I helped to build it up when I lit the gas in my lodging-house room in New York; for Columbia University owns $58,000 [equivalent to over $830,000 in 2017 dollars] worth of New York Gas and Electric Light, Heat and Power Company's 4 per cent bonds; I helped to build it up when I telephoned my friends to make engagements, for Columbia University owns $50,000 [equivalent to over $715,000] worth of the New York Telephone Company's 4 1/2 per cent bonds; I helped to build it up when I took a spoonful of sugar with my breakfast, for Columbia University owns some shares in the American Sugar Refining Company, and also in the Cuba Cane Sugar Corporation.

"The great university stops at nothing, however small: `five and ten cent stores,' and the Park and Tilford Grocery Company, and the Liggett and Myers Tobacco Company. I have on my desk a letter from a woman telling me how the Standard Oil Company has been dispossessing homesteaders from the oil lands of California; Columbia University is profiting by these robberies, because it owns $25,000 [equivalent to over $357,000 in 2017 dollars] worth of the gold debenture bonds of the Standard Oil Company of California. Recently I met a pitiful human wreck who had given all but his life to the Bethlehem Steel Company; Columbia University took a part of this man's health and happiness. Crossing the desert on my way home, in the baking heat of summer I saw far out in the barren mountains a huge copper smelter, vomiting clouds of yellow smoke into the air. We in the Pullman sat in our shirt-sleeves, with electric fans playing and white-clad waiters bringing us cool drinks, but even so, we suffered from the heat; yet out there in those lonely wastes men toil in front of furnace fires, and when they drop they are turned to mummies in the baking sand and their names are not recorded. Not a thought of them came into the minds of the passengers in the transcontinental train; and, needless to say, no thought of them troubles the minds of the thirty thousand seekers of the higher learning who flock to Columbia University every year. With serene consciences these young people cultivate the graces of life, upon the income of $49,000 [equivalent to over $701,000 in 2017 dollars] worth of stock in the American Smelters Securities Company..." 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

`Remember Lumumba' folk song lyrics




An historical protest folk song from 2017 about role of Belgian and U.S. governments, UN and former Columbia University administration officials in eliminating democratically elected Congolese PM Patrice Lumumba, between July 1960 and January 1961.

lyrics

(chorus)
Lumumba
Remember Lumumba
Lumumba, Lumumba
Spoke for freedom. 


(verses)
The Belgians pulled out
The U.S. moved in
They wanted a puppet
Who wouldn't stand firm
. (chorus)

Katanga they took
Belgium returned
UN troops came
Then changed their whole mission.
(chorus)

Columbia Trustee Burden
Named Lumumba as his foe
And helped by the UN's Cordier
Lumumba was overthrown.
(chorus)

He would not submit
They carried out a coup
They threw him in jail
And Patrice Lumumba they slew.
(chorus)

They still want their empire
They still want their mines
And they still try to kill
Those who expose their crimes.
(chorus)

Lumumba lives!
Lumumba lives!
Lumumba lives!
Lumumba lives!

Lumumba lives!
Lumumba lives!
Lumumba lives!
Lumumba lives!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Columbia University Prez Bollinger Criticized For Columbia's Undemocratic Anti-Union Policies

"August 2, 2017

To the Committee Members of The Future of Voting: Accessible, Reliable, Verifiable Technology:

We write to express concern over the appointment of Columbia University President Lee Bollinger as a co-chair of your committee. We see a potential conflict between Bollinger’s efforts to dismiss a recent democratic vote by graduate employees in favor of unionization and his leading a committee focused on ensuring the integrity of free and fair elections.

As Bollinger himself stated in the University press release announcing his appointment as a cochair of your committee: "Nothing is more essential to a functioning democracy than the trust citizens have in casting their ballots.” Yet, right on his own campus, Bollinger has undermined that trust by refusing to respect the validity of an overwhelmingly clear National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)-supervised unionization vote, in which 72 percent of research and teaching assistants voted in favor of unionization with a margin of nearly 1,000 votes.

After President Bollinger’s administration filed objections attempting to nullify the results of the election, an even stronger majority of RAs and TAs signed a public letter urging him to drop the objections and start bargaining, dispelling any possible doubts as to the will of the majority. Since then, a growing chorus has added support for the democratic legitimacy of the overwhelming vote in December.

 • 168 Columbia faculty sent an open letter urging Bollinger to start bargaining, saying the objections “are not simply frivolous; they are insulting to the Teaching and Research Assistants who voted...”

 • More than 30,000 community allies added their names to the petition from student assistants urging Bollinger to drop the objections and start bargaining.

 • The regional NLRB recommended rejecting the University’s objections “in their entirety,” as Columbia “has failed to demonstrate that any alleged objectionable conduct occurred which could have affected the results of this election, in which the Petitioner [GWC-UAW] prevailed by more than 900 votes.”

 • The Columbia Daily Spectator Editorial Board asserted that, regardless of one’s position on unionization, honoring the vote "has become a matter of democratic principle.”

But Bollinger has continued to ignore these increasing calls to respect the democratic process at Columbia, and refuses to bargain with graduate workers through their union.

We understand you received a similar message recently from Columbia research and teaching assistants. As fellow policy stakeholders, representing organizations and members who are dedicated to the strengthening and protection of our democracy’s voting rights, we applaud the great work of the National Academies, as well as your committee’s timely and crucially important attention to the mechanisms of democratic choice. As you move forward on this project, we respectfully ask that you join us and encourage President Bollinger to stop ignoring the clear democratic mandate for the union at Columbia, to respect the election results, and to start negotiations for a contract.

Sincerely,

Wendy Fields, Executive Director, Democracy Initiative

Heather McGhee, President, Demos

Karen Scharff, Executive Director, Citizen Action of New York

Annie Leonard, Executive Director, Green Peace

Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club

Tefere Gebre, Executive Vice President, AFL-CIO

Dan Cantor, National Director, Working Families Party

Anna Galland, Executive Director, MoveOn.org

Breana Ross, President, US Student Association

Aija Nemer-Aanerud, Director, Student Action

LeeAnn Hall, Co-Director, People's Action

Emma Greenman, Director of Voting Rights and Democracy at the Center for Popular Democracy"  

Monday, August 7, 2017

Columbia University and the Elimination of Patrice Lumumba Revisited--Part 2



“…I would like to refer specifically to the painful case of the Congo, unique in the history of the modern world, which shows how, with absolute impunity, with the most insolent cynicism, the rights of peoples can be flouted. The direct reason for all this is the enormous wealth of the Congo, which the imperialist countries want to keep under their control…How can we forget the betrayal of the hope that Patrice Lumumba placed in the United Nations? How can we forget the machinations and maneuvers that followed in the wake of the occupation of that country by UN troops, under whose auspices the assassins of this great African patriot acted with impunity?...”

--Che Guevara in his Dec. 11, 1964 speech to the UN General Assembly

“…Cordier was part of the Congo Club, a group of senior UN officials intent on making sure that the international organization safeguarded Western interests in the Congo…. “

--Ludo De Witte in his 2001 book, The Assassination of Lumumba

“Lumumba’s fall and assassination were the result of a vast conspiracy involving U.S., Belgian and UN officials…My own research in the United Nations Archives in New York has yielded data on…the anti-Lumumba activities of Andrew Cordier…”

--Howard University Professor Emeritus of African Studies Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja in his 2003 book, The Congo From Leopold to Kabula: A People’s History

“Students for a Democratic Society will hold a rally today to protest the University's expansion policies and the alleged involvement of Acting [Columbia University] President Andrew W. Cordier in the assassination of former Congolese Premier Patrice Lumumba….The radical student organization has…accused President Cordier, who was formerly dean of the School of International Affairs…of helping to plot…the downfall of his government…A leader of the Brooklyn Black Panther Party, known as Captain Ford, is scheduled to speak at this evening's rally…”

--from a Sept. 26, 1968 Columbia Daily Spectator article

“…Mr. Lumumba, the Prime Minister….is completely irresponsible—if not a mad man…He is wildly ambitious, lusting for power and strikes fear into anyone who crosses his path. There is really no such thing as a Congolese Government…There is a cabinet, but Lumumba uses it as his tool. Some members of the Cabinet share his vision and lust for power…The only real solution of the problem is a change of leadership. It will not be easy, however, to remove Lumumba from his position…"

--Former Columbia University President and School of International Affairs [SIPA] Dean and United Nations Under-Secretary General Andrew Cordier in an Aug. 18, 1960 letter to Manchester College in Indiana Emeritus Professor V.F. Schwalm

Columbia University and the Elimination of Patrice Lumumba Revisited—Part 2

In his 2009 book Harlem vs. Columbia University: Black Student Power in the late 1960s, Professor of History and African American Studies Stefan Bradley noted that on Aug. 23, 1968--three months after they had requested on May 22, 1968 that New York City police be used to clear Columbia University’s campus of protesting students for a second time--“Grayson Kirk and David Truman stepped down as the president and vice president” of Columbia University; and “Andrew Cordier, from the School of International Affairs [SIPA]” of Columbia University “took over the reins of the university as acting president.” Cordier then spent two years as Columbia University’s fifteenth president until September 1970, before spending an additional two years as Dean of Columbia’s School of International Affairs [SIPA] prior to his 1975 death--from cirrhosis of the liver--at the age of 74.

Before being appointed as Columbia’s School of International Affairs Dean in 1962 (by a Columbia University board of trustees that included the former U.S. Ambassador to Belgium between 1959 and 1961, Columbia Life Trustee William A.M. Burden), Cordier had worked since 1946 at the United Nations as advisor to the President of the General Assembly and executive assistant to the Secretary General. And, as UN Under-Secretary General, Cordier, coincidentally, “had a large role in the Congo” in the summer of 1960, 57 years ago, according to Professor Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Professor of History Emmanuel Gerard and University of Pennsylvania Professor of History Bruce Kuklick’s 2015 book, Death in the Congo: Murdering Patrice Lumumba.

As Carole Collins observed in an article, titled “The Cold War Comes to Africa: Cordier and the 1960 Congo Crisis,” that appeared in the June 22, 1993 issue of the Journal of International Affairs:

“…In early September 1960, while filling in as the Secretary-General's interim special representative to the Congo... Cordier's decisions effectively…reinforced U.S. and Belgian efforts to oust Lumumba… Some scholars argue that Cordier's actions ultimately served to help abort the Congo's transition to democracy, set in motion a series of events culminating in the murder of Lumumba -- the Congo's first democratically elected prime minister -- and facilitated the rise to power of a young Congolese army officer, Joseph Desire Mobutu...The Zairian [Congolese] people are still grappling to this day with the tragic legacy of these decisions…

“…Several sources, including Madeleine Kalb's study based on declassified diplomatic cable traffic, document the extent to which Cordier continually briefed and was briefed by U.S. diplomats and collaborated with them on Congo policy….

“…Cordier's 15 September [1960] letter to [Manchester College in Indiana Emeritus Professor V.F.] Schwalm reveals that he had advance notice of Kasavubu's intent to dismiss Lumumba, and that he welcomed the move…Cordier notes he met four times with Kasavubu…to discuss the firing of Lumumba… When Kasavubu announced his dismissal of Lumumba from office on the radio on Monday, 5 September, Cordier…made his `two most important decisions:’ to send U.N. troops to close the airport and to seize the radio station.

“These…actions…primarily hurt Lumumba because only Kasavubu enjoyed access to radio facilities in the neighboring state of Congo Brazzaville. Similarly, Kasavubu's allies were allowed to use the ostensibly closed airport to travel into the Congolese interior to mobilize support for the president while Lumumba's supporters were grounded….Near the end of his three-week stay in early September, Cordier …authorized the United Nations to offer food and pay to the Congolese Army… This action…allowed Mobutu -- a one-time Lumumba aide who had been appointed chief-of-staff of the army by Kasavubu just days earlier -- to win credit for paying the soldiers their past-due salaries…and to pave the way for his coup attempt a few days later…. The combination of U.N. and U.S. support was pivotal for Mobutu's subsequent seizure of power.

“…On 14 September
[1960], Mobutu seized power… In the end, Cordier's actions served to fuel the Congolese civil war…. After his dismissal by Kasavubu, Lumumba was placed under virtual house arrest, but even this failed to dampen his popular or legislative support….In January 1961, he was killed through the coordinated efforts of Mobutu, Kasavubu, Tshombe and the CIA…[Connor Cruise] O'Brien – the…Irish diplomat…who had represented the United Nations in Katanga in 1961…believes that Cordier deliberately helped Washington plot Lumumba's ouster…”

Howard University Professor Emeritus of African Studies Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja’s 2003 book, The Congo From Leopold to Kabula: A People’s History, also contains a reference to the role that former Columbia University President Cordier played in Congolese history:

“…The dismissal [of Lumumba] was…clearly a civilian coup and therefore illegal. Both houses of [the Congolese] parliament, where Lumumba still had a working majority, gave him a vote of confidence and rejected Kasa-Vubu’s decisions as null and void…Cordier and U.S. Ambassador [to the Congo] Timberlake worked hand in hand to implement U.S. policy objectives. Acting as a viceroy, Cordier helped engineer and execute the illegal overthrow of Lumumba from power, beginning with his active support of the Kasa-Vubu coup of 5 September [1960]…”

Conor Cruise O’Brien’s 1962 book To Katanga and Back: A UN Case History, also indicated how former Columbia University President Cordier contributed to the illegal overthrow of Patrice Lumumba’s democratically-elected Congolese government in September 1960:

“…Andrew Cordier…had taken a decision which, politically, had broken the back of Lumumba—the Prime Minister who had called in the United Nations [to end Belgian military intervention in support of the illegal Belgium-backed secessionist Tshombe regime in the Congo’s Katanga province]…Had it not been for Mr. Cordier’s…action, there is little doubt that the support Lumumba could have rallied at this crucial moment would have been most formidable…Mr. Cordier’s actions…had played a decisive part in this crucial series of events, as a result of which the Congo no longer possessed a universally recognized Government…”

But as Kwame Nkrumah [the democratically-elected Ghanaian president who was overthrown in a CIA-backed military coup in 1966] argued in his 1967 book Challenge Of The Congo, “how could such action of the United Nations be justified when Lumumba was the lawful Prime Minister?” Nkrumah also noted in the same book that “the executive assistant to the Secretary-General, Andrew Cordier, knew in advance of Kasavubu’s plan to dismiss Lumumba;” and during the period in early September 1960 when former “acting” Columbia University President Cordier was the “acting” head of the UN Congo Mission in Kinshasa[Leopoldville], “press correspondents in Leopoldville at the time were convinced that the UN were helping to oust Lumumba…”

Coincidentally, a now de-classified “Telegram From the Station in the Congo to the Central Intelligence Agency” that was sent from Leopoldville[Kinshasa] on Sept. 5, 1960 also stated:

“…An unimpeachable source…advised [Embassy] that Kasavubu plans to oust Lumumba…As soon as this step taken, he plans to broadcast a message to Congolese people from Radio Congo requesting them to remain calm and accept the new government….Kasavubu plan includes following steps: A. For the UN Operation Congo (UNOC) to guarantee his personal safety with UN troops. B. Request UNOC to guard the radio station, thus guaranteeing his personal safety when he speaks and insuring that Lumumba forces will not be able take control of the radio and mount a propaganda campaign in support of Lumumba. C. Airports Congo would be closed to all departures. 4. Kasavubu’s plan has been coordinated with UNOC at highest levels here. He already has taken the first step, to demand protection by UN troops. The rest of the plan was to be implemented 5 September but timing may well be changed.”

According to Ludo De Witte’s 2001 book The Assassination of Lumumba, as Acting Head of the UN Operation Congo [UNOC] in Kinshasa/Leopoldville during early September 1960, Cordier “did exactly what was expected of him.”

In discussing, at a September 2004 Woodrow Wilson International Center for Cold War Studies conference at Princeton University, what happened in the Congo between July 1960 and the Jan. 17, 1961 murder of the democratically elected, but illegally ousted, Congolese Premier Lumumba and two of Lumumba’s colleagues, CUNY Emeritus Professor of Political Science Herbert Weiss characterized former Columbia President Cordier’s historical role in the following way:

“There is a very important event…that is the closing of the airport and the closing of the radio, without which the dismissal of Lumumba would have had a very different end…The key person there is Andrew CordierCordier was, at the very minimum, a profoundly non-neutral person whose writings suggest that he was a racist…It’s Cordier’s actions that cut the feet from under Lumumba…”

And at the same September 2004 conference, another conference participant, Thomas Kanza, the Congo’s first permanent representative to the UN, said: 

“If I may, I would like to support what Herbert said….Your…points are really correct. When Cordier came to Kinshasa…and Cordier stepped in, as special representative of the Secretary General. Number one, the dismissal of Lumumba…Cordier stepped in and said that he must be dismissed… Cordier was really acting as the number one UN [man] in the Congo...Cordier, as far as I’m concerned, was responsible for many things, including what would happen later….”

According to the Death in the Congo book, in the month before the former Columbia president used his UN power in the Congo to coordinate with Kasa-Vubu’s plan to illegally dismiss Lumumba in early September 1960, Cordier had personally interviewed Lumumba in New York City on Aug. 1, 1960, when “Lumumba made a last visit to the UN;” and the following personal interaction happened during this interview:

Cordier began his interview with Lumumba with a lengthy and condescending exposition…Ignoring the white man’s speech, Lumumba made his own long reply. He admonished Cordier and expressed disappointment…that the UN had not evicted the Belgians…”
 
During the same month that Cordier was coordinating with Kasa-Vubu to illegally remove Lumumba from power in a “civilian coup,” the CIA’s Chief of Station in the Congo, Larry Devlin (using illegally the diplomatic cover of “consul” at the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa/Leopoldville), was also covertly working to overthrow the democratically-elected government of Patrice Lumumba. In his 2007 book Chief of Station, Congo: A Memoir of 1960-67, Devlin (who died in 2008) describes what happened when he visited the Congolese presidential palace shortly after the “civilian coup” of Kasavubu that Cordier backed:

“…[Congolese National Army/ANC] Colonel Mobutu stood in the doorway flanked by two soldiers…`Wait for me outside,’ he said softly to the soldiers. He closed the door and shook hands with me…Finally, he said, `Here is the situation: the army is prepared to overthrow Lumumba. But only on the condition that the United States will recognize the government that would replace Lumumba’s…’

[CIA Director] Allen Dulles had made it absolutely clear to me that the United States wanted Lumumba removed from power, but I had always thought in terms of a legal or parliamentary change, not an army coup…Yet the more I considered Mobutu’s plan, the better it sounded…

“`I’ve got to get back to my commanders,’ Mobutu said, turning to leave. `I have to give them a `go’ or a `no go’ order. Lumumba doesn’t know they’re here, so they must get back to their bases before he finds out.’…

“…I held out my hand to Mobutu and said with as much conviction as I could muster: `I can assure you the United States government will recognize a temporary government composed of civilian technocrats.’

“…`The coup will take place within a week,’ he said. `But I will need five thousand dollars [equivalent to around $41,000 in 2017 U.S. dollars] to provide for my senior officers…’

“…I assured Mobutu that the money would be available and arranged to meet him in his office…I left the presidential palace without further incident…I arrived at army headquarters at the early hour agreed upon with Mobutu…Mobutu said he had met his area commanders and told them that the coup was on. `I’ll be setting a date and time shortly but it will be within the next week,’ he said. `I’ll take control of the radio station, announce the formation of new government.’…On the evening of Sept. 14 [1960]…at a party…at the home of Alison `Tally’ Palmer, the American vice-consul…I…had a call with the news that Mobutu was on the radio announcing that the army was installing a government of technocrats…Our efforts to remove Lumumba…were at last bearing fruit…”

In a statement at a Dec. 10, 1960 UN Security Council meeting, the Moroccan representative to the UN, Mhamet Boucetta, indicated how the CIA-supported Mobutu used some of the Congolese National Army [ANC] troops (that Cordier had paid with U.S. government-provided UN money)  to “install a government of technocrats” between Sept. 13 (when a joint meeting of the Congolese Chamber of Representatives and Senate restored full power to the illegally “dismissed” Lumumba by 88 votes to 5 with 3 abstentions) and Sept. 14, 1960:

“I should like to tell you something I saw with my own eyes. I was present at the last two meetings held by this [Congolese] Parliament…By an overwhelming majority, the Parliament gave the legitimate Government a vote of confidence and renewed its mandate…

“The next morning, a hundred soldiers with helmets and submachine guns at the ready and an old tank with a rusty gun were stationed in front of the Parliament building. The elected representatives of the people were not allowed to enter…The members of Parliament were rounded up and hustled away, payment of their allowances was stopped…That is what…we saw…”

And less than five months after Mobutu’s first CIA-backed coup in September 1960, the 35- year-old Lumumba was murdered in the Katanga region of the Congo. As The Congo From Leopold To Kabila: A People’s History book observed:

As it turned out, Mobutu played a critical role in every step leading to Lumumba’s assassination…He did so by the coup of 14 September [1960], Lumumba’s arrest on 1 December [1960], and his incarceration at the elite military garrison of Mbano-Ngungu[Thysville]. And Mobutu was among the…Congolese involved in the…plan of sending Lumumba to his death in Katanga…”

And, according to Death in the Congo:

CIA turncoats, among others, have testified that in the immediate aftermath of the assassination Devlin boasted to people in the Agency about his role in the murder…In 1960 he persisted in trying to finish off Lumumba and immediately took credit when the African was killed; he later persisted in denying that he tried…Justin O’Donnell, a senior officer from CIA headquarters got to Leopoldville[Kinshasa] on November 3 [1960]. O’Donnell would oversee the murder and report to Devlin. In asking for O’Donnell after Washington’s encouragement, Devlin let headquarters know that he still had…poisons, but also wanted a `high-powered foreign make rifle with telescopic and silencer.’…Devlin asked for the rifle in writing a week after an unusual appearance by Lumumba on the balcony of his residents where he spoke to a crowd below…Devlin and those around him in the Congo would not rest until someone finished the job…The Belgians and the American fixated on murder…”

 In a 2010 AllAfrica website column, a former Staff Director of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Africa, Stephen R. Weissman,  also asserted that “Devlin gave a green light to delivering Lumumba to men who had publicly vowed to kill him” and “shortly before” Lumumba’s “transfer” to where he was murdered, “Mobutu indicated to Devlin that Lumumba `might be executed,’ according to a Church Committee [of the U.S. Senate] interview,” but “Devlin did not suggest that he offered any objection or caution.”

In an Aug. 18, 1960 letter to Manchester College in Indiana Emeritus Professsor V.F. Schwalm, former Columbia University President Cordier wrote the following about the democratically-elected Congolese prime minister that he would help oust from power less than a month later:

“…Mr. Lumumba, the Prime Minister….is completely irresponsible—if not a mad man…He is wildly ambitious, lusting for power and strikes fear into anyone who crosses his path. There is really no such thing as a Congolese Government…There is a cabinet, but Lumumba uses it as his tool. Some members of the Cabinet share his vision and lust for power….The only real solution of the problem is a change of leadership. It will not be easy, however to remove Lumumba from his position…In various ways the Secretary-General has given encouragement to the moderates and they are also receiving encouragement from other powerful political sources…”

Patrice Lumumba, however, presented an alternative historical point of view in the last letter he wrote from the Camp Hardy military prison in Mbano-Ngungu[Thysville]--a letter to his wife--before being assassinated on January 17, 1961:

“My dear wife,

“I am writing these words not knowing whether they will reach you, when they will reach you, and whether I shall still be alive when you read them…What we wished for our country, its right to an honorable life, to unstained dignity, to independence without restrictions, was never desired by the Belgian imperialists and the Western allies, who found direct and indirect support, both deliberate and unintentional, amongst certain high officials of the United Nations, that organization in which we placed all our trust when we called on its assistance. Neither brutal assaults, nor cruel mistreatment, nor torture have ever led me to beg for mercy, for I prefer to die with my head held high, unshakable faith, and the greatest confidence in the destiny of my country rather than live in slavery and contempt for sacred principles. History will one day have its say, but it will not be the history that is taught in Brussels, Paris, Washington or in the United Nations, but the history which will be taught in the countries freed from imperialism and its puppets…   Love live the Congo! Long live Africa!

“Patrice”

(end of article)

Friday, July 21, 2017

Columbia University and the Elimination of Patrice Lumumba Revisited--Part 1



“…I have learned much about William A.M. Burden II from Peggy and I…I was best acquainted with his 20-year tenure…as Chairman of the Board of the Institute for Defense Analyses [IDA] and his contribution to the quality of the output of this `think tank’s serving the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff…His government service reached its apogee during his two years, 1959-61, as Ambassador to Belgium…He has been most responsive over these years also to the needs of Columbia University which he has served as a trustee…”

--General and former IDA President Maxwell Taylor in foreword to Columbia University Life Trustee William A.M. Burden’s 1982 book, Peggy and I: A Life Too Busy For A Dull Moment

“Before I accepted my ambassadorship in Belgium I had been given in 1957…appointment as `a public trustee’ of the Institute for Defense Analyses [IDA]. It became one of the top priorities of my life…I…was elected chairman in May, 1959…One of the unfortunate side-effects of the student protest movement against the Vietnam War was that IDA itself became a target for anti-war protests, and its member universities were subjected to faculty and student pressure to cancel their ties…”

--Columbia University Life Trustee William A.M. Burden in his 1982 book, Peggy and I

“Only prudent, therefore to plan on basis that Lumumba Government threatens our vital interests in Congo and Africa generally. A principal objective of our political and diplomatic action must therefore be to destroy Lumumba government as now constituted…”

--Columbia University Life Trustee and U.S. Ambassador to Belgium William A.M. Burden in a July 19, 1960 cable to the U.S. State Department

“The Belgians were sort of toying with the idea of seeing to it that Lumumba was assassinated. I went beyond my instructions and said, well, I didn’t think it would be a bad idea either, but I naturally never reported this to Washington—but Lumumba was assassinated. I think it was all to the good…”

--Columbia University Life Trustee William A. M. Burden in a 1968 Oral History Interview with Columbia University School of Journalism’s Advanced International Reporting Program Director John Luter

Columbia University and the Elimination of Patrice Lumumba Revisited—Part 1

When Columbia and Barnard students first occupied Hamilton Hall on Columbia University’s campus on Apr. 23, 1968, one of their six demands was “that the university sever all ties with the Institute for Defense Analyses [IDA] and that [then-Columbia] President Kirk and Trustee Burden resign their positions on the Executive Committee of that institution immediately.”

Coincidentally, besides representing Columbia University—with the (now-deceased) Grayson Kirk—on the Executive Committee of the Pentagon’s IDA weapons research think-tank in 1968, Columbia Life Trustee William A.M. Burden was also the U.S. Ambassador to Belgium who recommended fifty-seven years ago, in July 1960, that “a principal objective” of the Republican administration in Washington, D.C. of former Columbia University President Eisenhower “must therefore be to destroy” the democratically-elected “Lumumba government as now constituted” in Belgium’s former Congo[Zaire] colony. As David Talbot recalled in his 2015 book, The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government:

“Dulles, Doug Dillon (then serving as a State Department undersecretary), and William Burden, the U.S. ambassador to Belgium, led the charge within the Eisenhower administration to first demonize and then dispose of [Patrice] Lumumba. All three men had financial interests in the Congo. The Dillon family’s investment bank handled the Congo’s bond issues. Dulles’s old law firm represented the American Metal Climax (later AMAX), a mining giant with holdings in the Congo…Ambassador Burden was a company director…Ambassador Burden was a Vanderbilt heir…

Burden, who had acquired his ambassadorship by contributing heavily to the 1956 Eisenhower campaign, spent his days in Brussels attending diplomatic receptions…It was the ambassador who first raised alarms about the rising Patrice Lumumba…Burden began sending agitated cables to Dulles in Washington well before Lumumba’s election…By the…summer [of 1960], Burden was cabling Washington `to destroy Lumumba government’ as a threat to `our vital interest in Congo.’…”

“…At an NSC [National Security Council] meeting in August 1960, Eisenhower gave [CIA Director Allen] Dulles direct approval to `eliminate’ Lumumba. Robert Johnson, the minutes taker at the NSC meeting…said there was nothing ambiguous about Eisenhower’s lethal order. `I was surprised that I would ever hear a president say anything like this in my presence or the presence of a group of people’…

“…Lumumba `would remain a grave danger,’ Dulles told an NSC meeting on Sept. 21, 1960, `as long as he was not yet disposed of.’…”

A Life Trustee of Columbia University since 1956, Burden (who died in 1984) was among the “people in the Eisenhower administration” who “hunted for ways to reduce Lumumba’s influence” and, along with CIA Director Allen Dulles “and the CIA’s man in Leopoldville[Kinshasa],” Larry Devlin, “devised actions,” according to Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Professor of History Emmanuel Gerard and University of Pennsylvania Professor of History Bruce Kuklick’s 2015 book, Death in the Congo: Murdering Patrice Lumumba.

The same book also noted that Devlin, was “a CIA agent from the late 1940s” who “began spying for the CIA in Brussels, where he had a cover position as an attaché’” in 1958 and where he “made contacts with the Congo’s politicians, who came to Belgium for various deliberations.” After his appointment as the CIA’s chief of station in the Congo in “the second part of 1959,” Devlin “went there with Burden” in March 1960, when the Columbia Life Trustee and his wife traveled through the still not-yet independent Belgian Congo. Coincidentally, besides being a Columbia trustee in 1960, Burden was also a trustee of the Farfield Foundation that was utilized by the CIA, during the Cold War Era of the 1950s and 1960s, as a conduit for covertly financing projects and journals, like the American Congress of Cultural Freedom [CCF] and Encounter magazine, which promoted U.S. power elite foreign policy objectives. 

Following his March 1960 trip to the Congo with CIA Station Chief Devlin, “Burden told the Department of State that America could not permit the Congo to go left after independence,” according to Death in the Congo. And after the Congo[Zaire] was granted its formal independence on June 30, 1960, the Columbia Life Trustee--who also “maintained during his ambassadorship, a directorship in American Metal Climax, whose Rhodesian copper interests were to make it the leading corporate defender of a conservative order…in Katanga (where Belgian troops began supporting an illegally-established secessionist regime on July 11, 1960), according to Roger Housen’s 2002 paper “Why Did The US Want To Kill Prime Minister Lumumba Of The Congo?”--began pushing for the removal of the democratically-elected anti-imperialist Lumumba as Congolese Prime Minister in July 1960. As Madeline Kalb observed in her 1982 book, The Congo Cables: The Cold War in Africa:

“The U.S. Embassy in Brussels, replying to the U.S. State Department’s query on July 19…took a very strong line regarding Lumumba, recommending openly for the first time that the United States try to remove him from office. The U.S. ambassador, William Burden, said he believed the situation called for `urgent measures on various levels.’…Burden concluded by noting that while the U.S. Embassy in Leopoldville[Kinshasa] had the primary responsibility for dealing with the internal political situation in the Congo, the CIA in Brussels would be `reporting separately some specific suggestions.’”

The Death in the Congo book also noted:

“…Burden barraged Washington with memos asking greater sympathy for the [Belgian] imperialists…He understood, he told [then-U.S.] Secretary [of State Christian] Herter, why the United States would look at issues from the point of view of the Congo. Nevertheless, America should instead pressure the UN to support Belgium. At the end of July Burden briefed Dulles when returned to Washington for discussions. From Europe, Burden would continue as a mouthpiece for the more rabid anticommunism guiding Dulles’s report to the NSC [National Security Council]…”

Columbia Trustee Burden also apparently pressured Time magazine’s then-owner, Henry Luce, to not do a Lumumba cover story, with Lumumba’s picture on the front of the magazine, during July 1960 discussions in Paris about the Congolese political situation between Burden and U.S. Ambassador to France Amory Houghton, U.S. Ambassador to the Congo  Clair “Tim” Timberlake and CIA Chief of Station in the Congo Larry Devlin. As Devlin recalled in his 2007 book Chief of Station, Congo: A Memoir of 1960-67:

“We [Devlin and “Tim” Timberlake] moved to Ambassador Houghton’s office where we were joined by Ambassador Burden for more detailed talks concerning the Congo and its problems. We were provided lodging at Ambassador Houghton’s residence and dined there with the two ambassadors. During our discussions, Tim brought up a delicate matter: `Time magazine plans to do a cover story on Lumumba with his picture on the front of the magazine.’ He continued, `Celebrity coverage at home will make him even more difficult to deal with. He’s a first-class headache as it is.’

“`Then why don’t you get the story killed?’ Burden asked. `Or at least modified?’

“`I tried to persuade the Time man in Leopoldville[Kinshasa] until I was blue in the face,’ Tim replied. `But he said there was nothing he could do about it because the story had already been sent to New York.’

“`You can’t expect much from a journalist at that level,’ Burden said pulling out his address book and flipping through the pages. He picked up the phone and put a call through to the personal assistant of Henry Luce, Time’s owner.

“Luce soon returned the call. After a brief, friendly exchange that made clear his personal relationship with Luce, Burden bluntly told him that he would have to change the Lumumba cover story. Luce apparently said that the magazine was about to go to press. `Oh, come on, Henry,’ Burden said, `you must have other cover stories in the can.’ They chatted for a few more minutes before Burden hung up.

“A few days later in the United States we picked up a copy of the magazine with a new and different cover story. Lumumba had been relegated to the international section…”

The Death in the Congo book indicated one reason that Columbia Life Trustee Burden was influential enough in U.S. Establishment circles to be able to stop Time magazine from putting Patrice Lumumba’s picture on the magazine’s front cover in the summer of 1960:

Burden was born into the colossally rich Vanderbilt family. He had a background in aviation and finance…Burden used his great wealth and the contacts that came from it to secure upper-level governmental experience, socializing with moneyed internationally oriented Republicans…”

In 1973, for example, besides still being both a Columbia trustee and the honorary chairman of the board of the Pentagon’s Institute for Defense Analyses [IDA] weapons research think tank, Burden--a former Assistant for Research and Development to the Secretary of the Air Force--also sat on the board of directors of Lockheed, CBS, Manufacturers Hanover Trust and Allied Chemical and was still a director of American Metal Climax [AMAX], according to a Feb.6, 1973 Columbia Daily Spectator article. In addition, the former U.S. ambassador to Belgium also sat on the board of trustees of the Museum of Modern Art in 1973.

By August of 1960, former Columbia University President Eisenhower’s administration in Washington, D.C. “feared that Lumumba’s oratorical talent would make him a thorn in their side even if he were maneuvered out of power” and “decided it made more sense to kill him,” according to Mark Zepezauer’s 1994 book, The CIA’s Greatest Hits. After CIA Chief of Station in the Congo Devlin met with CIA Director Dulles at CIA headquarters and then returned to the Congo in August 1960, Eisenhower called for the elimination of Lumumba at an Aug. 18, 1960 meeting of the National Security Council, and the following happened, according to Death in the Congo:

“Project Wizard had come into being. It grew out of Devlin’s ideas but also out of proposals of the Brussels CIA…The next day the CIA cabled Devlin to move forward with various ramped-up dirty tricks…Ultimate formal approval of the government’s most unpleasant jobs came through a standing four-person subcommittee of the National Security Council, the `Special Group.’ In addition to a note-taker, it consisted of a top man of the Department of State and of Defense; Dulles; and [White House National Security Adviser] Gordon Gray, who spoke for the president. On August 25 [1960],  Dulles had his regular meeting with the Special Group. He outlined the mounting anti-Lumumba exercises of Project Wizard…After some discussion, the Special Group agreed not to `rule out’ consideration…of `any particular kind of activity which might contribute to getting rid of Lumumba.’

“The next day Dulles himself wired Devlin about the `removal’ of Lumumba as `an urgent and prime objective.’ With a State Department nod, Dulles allowed Devlin some freedom of operation and stipulated `more aggressive action if it can remain covert.’ The CIA also awarded …an additional $100,000 [equivalent to over $821,000 in 2017 US dollars] to accomplish these goals should a `target of opportunity’ present itself and should Devlin not have time to sound out either the embassy in the Congo or the CIA at home…”

As the now-deceased Devlin recalled in his 2007 book Chief of Station, Congo:

“…To the best of my knowledge, no other station chief had ever been given such latitude…If further evidence was required that Washington supported our own conclusion about replacing Lumumba, that was it…We were already monitoring parliament and encouraging and guiding the actions of various parliamentary opposition groups that we had penetrated…We were also using [a Belgian citizen and CIA agent named] Jacque to insert anti-Lumumba articles in the country’s leading newspaper…

“With the full backing of Headquarters, the station began to work on a plan to remove Lumumba from power. One of our early operations, organized by Jacque who provided…financial support, was an anti-Lumumba demonstration when the latter spoke at meeting of African foreign ministers held in Leopldville[Kinshasa] on Aug. 25 [1960]. On his arrival, hostile demonstrators shouted `a bas Lumumba’ (`down with Lumumba’), and when he began to speak to the delegates, the mob drowned him out shouting anti-Lumumba slogans.”

Then, according to Death in the Congo, “on the evening of Sept. 3 [1960], Congolese President Joseph Kasa-Vubu summoned” the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative in Leopoldville[Kinshasha] during the first two weeks of September1960, Andrew Cordier, for a meeting. Coincidentally, the Columbia University board of trustees (that included by-then former U.S. ambassador to the Congo Burden), would later appoint Cordier to be the Dean of its School of International Affairs [School of International and Public Affairs] between 1962 and 1968, to be the Columbia President who succeeded Grayson Kirk between August 1968 and September 1970 and to again be School of International Affairs Dean between September 1970 and 1972. The same book also observed:

Cordier and Kasa-Vubu had more meetings over the next two days, Sept. 4 and 5 [1960]…A few minutes before 8 p.m. on Sept. 5, Kasa-Vubu sent his Belgian adviser Jef Van Bilsen to Cordier with a formal written exhortation. Cordier should close the airports and monitor the Leopoldville radio station. Then, at 8:12, Kasa-Vubu appeared at the station…He nervously asserted that he was sacking Lumumba…Cordier immediately implemented Kasa-Vubu’s written solicitations…The firing was invalid…Lumumba made the illegality of Kasavubu’s ploy clear in a letter…delivered to Cordier at 4 a.m. on Sept. 6 [1960]…On Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 7 [1960], in the Congo’s house of representatives Lumumba yet again explained the illegality of Kasa-Vubu’s acts…For 5 days Cordier took instructions from politicians who had no justifiable authority. He had closed the radio station and shut the airports because Kasa-Vubu asked him…When Kasa-Vubu pitched Lumumba out [as Congolese prime minister], the Congo’s [ceremonial] president had the help of Belgian and UN authorities...and also the goodwill of the CIA. At this time the Americans put Joseph Ileo, Kasa-Vubu’s choice for prime minister, on the payroll, although he had already been funded to secure his election as president of the Congo’s senate…”

According to Professor of Political Science George Nzongola-Ntalaja’s 2003 book, The Congo from Leopold to Kabila: A People’s History, however, “both houses of” the Congo’s “parliament, where Lumumba still had a working majority gave him a vote of confidence and rejected Kasa-Vubu’s decision as null and void.” But on Sept. 14, 1960, future Congolese/Zairean dictator Mobutu “pulled off his first military coup with the help of the CIA.” Prior to Mobutu’s Sept. 14, 1960 military coup, CIA Director Dulles had flown to Brussels to brief Burden “on the recent decisions of the National Security Council” and told Burden that “he believed the leader we could depend on in a showdown with Lumumba was young Colonel Joseph Mobutu, second in command of the Congolese army,” according to Burden’s Peggy and I book.

Back in the United States on Sept. 19, 1960, “Dulles and his immediate subordinates launched a top-secret communication channel to Devlin called PROP, which would only discuss assassination” of Lumumba, according to Death in the Congo;” while “in a document signed in October 1960, the then-Belgian minister for African Affairs, Count Harold d’Aspremot Lyden, stated explicitly that Belgian interests “required `the final elimination of Lumumba,’ according to The Congo from Leopold to Kabila. And by the end of January 1961, the democratically-elected and illegally ousted Congolese prime minister had been physically “eliminated.”

Coincidentally, in a 1968 oral history interview with former Newsweek editor and Columbia University Journalism School faculty member Joel Luter, less than 8 years later, Columbia Life Trustee and then-IDA Executive Committee member and chairman of the IDA board of trustees Burden made the following comment about the murder of Lumumba and two colleagues, Congolese Senate Vice-President Joseph Okito and Congolese Youth and Sports Minister Maurice Mpolo, on Jan. 17, 1961 in the Katanga area of the Congo[Zaire]:

“The Belgians were sort of toying with the idea of seeing to it that Lumumba was assassinated. I went beyond my instructions and said, well, I didn’t think it would be a bad idea either, but I naturally never reported this to Washington—but Lumumba was assassinated. I think it was all to the good…”

Bur in his 1967 book, Challenge of the Congo, Kwame Nkrumah (the democratically-elected Ghanaian head of state who was forced out of office in a 1966 CIA-orchestrated military coup) wrote the following about what happened in the Congo during Columbia Life Trustee Burden’s term as U.S. Ambassador to Belgium and during the period when former Columbia University President Cordier was the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative in the Congo:

“Somewhere in Katanga in the Congo…three of our brother freedom fighters have been done to death…They have been killed because the United Nations…denied to the lawful Government of the Congo…means of self-protection…The murder of Patrice Lumumba and of his two colleagues…is unique in that it is the first time in history that the legal ruler of a country has been done to death with the open connivance of a world organization in whom that ruler put his trust...Kasa-Vubu illegally tried to remove Patrice Lumumba from office and to substitute another Government. When Lumumba wished to broadcast to the people, explaining what had happened, the United Nations…prevented him by force from speaking…

“…The United Nations, which could exert its authority to prevent Patrice Lumumba from broadcasting, was, so it pleaded, quite unable to prevent his arrest by mutineers or his transfer, through the use of airfields under United Nations control…The United Nations would not effectively intervene to save the life of the Prime Minister or his colleagues…Our dear brothers Patrice Lumumba, Maurice Mpolo and Joseph Okito are dead…”.

And as Ludo De Witte recalled in his 2001 preface to the English edition of his book The Assassination of Lumumba:

“…Without the steps taken by Washington and the United Nations during the preceding months, the assassination could never have been carried out. In July 1960, after Belgium intervened in the Congo and after the rich copper state of Katanga seceded, the United States went into action…U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower had instructed his aides to liquidate Lumumba and a top secret CIA unit was given the task of eliminating him…Lumumba’s transfer to Katanga, delivering him into the hands of his worst enemies, was done with the full knowledge of Lawrence Devlin, the CIA station chief…UN complicity is demonstrated by the help given to Mobutu’s soldiers in capturing Lumumba…The assassination of Lumumba and tens of thousands of other Congolese nationalists, from 1960 to 1965, was the West’s ultimate attempt to destroy the continent’s authentic independent development…”


(end of part 1)