As he awaited news of the hostage rescue operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, President Johnson discussed the possible consequences of the operation. Johnson was concerned about the potential reactions of other African nations and Black Americans. National Security Adviser McGeorge “Mac” Bundy assured him that since the airdrop could be justified as a humanitarian action, the backlash would be minimal. Nonetheless, the exchange demonstrated Johnson’s awareness that U.S. support of Belgium risked tying Washington to colonialism in Africa.
November 23, 1964