By Aldo Giannuli

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Carver used the unusual phrase because of his familiarity with the life and works of Thomas Hobbes, on whom he had written a thesis at Cambridge University. Hobbes, the seventeenth century philosopher and geometrician who wrote Leviathan, had spent an inordinately long time trying to solve the geometrical problem of squaring a circle. Hobbes tried and tried, but finally concluded it couldn’t be done. ” In the fall of 1980 who should pop up in my life again but George Crile, no longer an editor for Harper’s but now a producer of documentaries for CBS News.

Realizing that such a suit would involve the subpoena of documents and the sworn testimony of all the parties concerned, I felt that at last I could get to the bottom of what happened. Here, paradoxically, was my long sought board of inquiry. Since the suit was too big for inhouse CBS lawyers to handle, the network hired the famous Wall Street law firm of Cravath, Swaine and Moore. The discovery process of the lawsuit exceeded my most sanguine expectations. It was a researcher’s dream. Subpoenas were issued to every conceivable government agency, dozens of archivists combed the files for relevant documents, and a number of intelligence officials were put under oath.

Looked at through their eyes, the Congo’s troubles became much clearer. For example, some rebels were really people who had had run-ins with a local chief. Others were tribesmen kept out of the provincial courthouse by rival tribes from up river. And although the Congolese politicians sometimes described themselves by Western terms (such as “radical syndicalist”), their disputes were local. The one opinion most people agreed on was that the Leopoldville government—bumbling, corrupt, but armed with Belgian-made automatic rifles—ought to stay out of tribal business.

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