This letter is in response to Mr. Nowak’s of May 13. Nowak asked, “Why honor Israel?” I for one admire their tenacious courage in standing up for themselves despite being surrounded by countries and wacko’s whose total purpose in life is to kill as many Israelis as possible.
I remember the tragic incident concerning the USS Liberty, June 8, 1967. The Liberty was a naval technical research vessel, that’s DoD speak for (spy ship). The ship was not where it was supposed to be and had not informed the Israelis. In short, it was a situation that falls into that bizarre military category of “friendly fire.” The ship was attacked by an Israeli jet and a torpedo boat. (Just make it up as you typical Israel First -Liberty apologist-jd)
But one really has to put this in the context of what was going on in the Middle East at that time to get the big picture. Granted the Israelis were a bit nervous with the trigger. I would wager most countries militaries would be. After all, Egypt had amassed 100,000 troops along the border plus 1,100 armored personnel carriers, not to mention 1,000 artillery pieces. They also had a considerable number of top-of-the-line fighters, MIG-21’s
Syria was in on the act as well with 75,000 soldiers. Not to be outdone, Jordan brought up 55,000 troops, 300 tanks, (250 were U.S. Patton tanks) plus 12 battalions of artillery. On June 2, 1967 (operation khaled) was reveled to the Jordanian subordinate commanders, and told they would be “in Tel Aviv in three days.”
In short, the Israeli air force and ground troops kicked butt and totally humiliated Egypt, Jordan, Syria and the United Arab Emirates militaries. That’s why it is known as the “Six Day War”
If one is going to use examples of “friendly fire” to gauge a country’s honor, then we as Americans have a lot of explaining to do. Let’s see now, how about the USS Vincennes? It shot down a civilian airliner July 3, 1988, (an Airbus A-300 with 290 souls on board). The Navy explained that they thought it was attacking an F-14 Tomcat fighter.
Or, how about the USS Greenville. Feb. 9, 2001? The submarine’s captain, Scott Waddle, decided to show off the boat’s emergency surfacing capabilities to “civilian visitors.” This is an abrupt surfacing event and this time the sub struck a Japanese fishing training ship the Ehime- Maru while vaulting to the surface killing nine crew members including four high school students.
Captain Waddle did not know he had hit anything, offered no assistance to the Ehime- Maru and merrily went about his business. He did not apologize. The Japanese boat promptly sank and was later raised, recovering the remaining bodies. The wreck was taken to Japan.
Now I’ll tell you another big reason I admire Israel. They have made it their personal mission to not let the world forget the industrial level murder system the Nazis euphemistically called “the final solution.” When murder is part of a country’s industry we have a human obligation to stop it and make sure everyone remembers that if it happened there, it could happen again and we cannot afford to let that happen.
We must never allow anti-Semitic history revisionists to spout their toxins to the souls of future generations unchallenged.
Dwight Hirschinger is a resident of Macon.
Dwight Hirschinger is full of crap. Perhaps he should study the delibertate attack instead repeating lies and nonsense he knows nothing about. -jd
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Findings of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Israeli Attack on USS Liberty, the Recall of Military Rescue Support Aircraft while the Ship was Under Attack, and the Subsequent Cover-up by the United States GovernmentCapitol Hill, Washington, D.C.October 22, 2003Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, United States Navy, (Ret.)Former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of StaffGeneral Raymond G. Davis, United States Marine Corps, (MOH)*Former Assistant Commandant of The Marine CorpsRear Admiral Merlin Staring, United States Navy, (Ret.)Former Judge Advocate General Of The NavyAmbassador James Akins, (Ret.)Former United States Ambassador to Saudi ArabiaWe, the undersigned, having undertaken an independent investigation of Israel’s attack on USS Liberty, including eyewitness testimony from surviving crewmembers, a review of naval and other official records, an examination of official statements by the Israeli and American governments, a study of the conclusions of all previous official inquiries, and a consideration of important new evidence and recent statements from individuals having direct knowledge of the attack or the cover up, hereby find the following: **1. That on June 8, 1967, after eight hours of aerial surveillance, Israel launched a two-hour air and naval attack against USS Liberty, the world’s most sophisticated intelligence ship, inflicting 34 dead and 173 wounded American servicemen (a casualty rate of seventy percent, in a crew of 294);2. That the Israeli air attack lasted approximately 25 minutes, during which time unmarked Israeli aircraft dropped napalm canisters on USS Liberty’s bridge, and fired 30mm cannons and rockets into our ship, causing 821 holes, more than 100 of which were rocket-size; survivors estimate 30 or more sorties were flown over the ship by a minimum of 12 attacking Israeli planes which were jamming all five American emergency radio channels;3. That the torpedo boat attack involved not only the firing of torpedoes, but the machine-gunning of Liberty’s firefighters and stretcher-bearers as they struggled to save their ship and crew; the Israeli torpedo boats later returned to machine-gun at close range three of the Liberty’s life rafts that had been lowered into the water by survivors to rescue the most seriously wounded;4. That there is compelling evidence that Israel’s attack was a deliberate attempt to destroy an American ship and kill her entire crew; evidence of such intent is supported by statements from Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Undersecretary of State George Ball, former CIA director Richard Helms, former NSA directors Lieutenant General William Odom, USA (Ret.), Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, USN (Ret.), and Marshal Carter; former NSA deputy directors Oliver Kirby and Major General John Morrison, USAF (Ret.); and former Ambassador Dwight Porter, U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon in 1967;5. That in attacking USS Liberty, Israel committed acts of murder against American servicemen and an act of war against the United States;6. That fearing conflict with Israel, the White House deliberately prevented the U.S. Navy from coming to the defense of USS Liberty by recalling Sixth Fleet military rescue support while the ship was under attack; evidence of the recall of rescue aircraft is supported by statements of Captain Joe Tully, Commanding Officer of the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga, and Rear Admiral Lawrence Geis, the Sixth Fleet carrier division commander, at the time of the attack; never before in American naval history has a rescue mission been cancelled when an American ship was under attack;7. That although Liberty was saved from almost certain destruction through the heroic efforts of the ship’s Captain, William L. McGonagle (MOH), and his brave crew, surviving crewmembers were later threatened with “court-martial, imprisonment or worse” if they exposed the truth; and were abandoned by their own government;8. That due to the influence of Israel’s powerful supporters in the United States, the White House deliberately covered up the facts of this attack from the American people;9. That due to continuing pressure by the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, this attack remains the only serious naval incident that has never been thoroughly investigated by Congress; to this day, no surviving crewmember has been permitted to officially and publicly testify about the attack;10. That there has been an official cover-up without precedent in American naval history; the existence of such a cover-up is now supported by statements of Rear Admiral Merlin Staring, USN (Ret.), former Judge Advocate General of the Navy; and Captain Ward Boston, USN, (Ret.), the chief counsel to the Navy’s 1967 Court of Inquiry of Liberty attack;11. That the truth about Israel’s attack and subsequent White House cover-up continues to be officially concealed from the American people to the present day and is a national disgrace;12. That a danger to our national security exists whenever our elected officials are willing to subordinate American interests to those of any foreign nation, and specifically are unwilling to challenge Israel’s interests when they conflict with American interests; this policy, evidenced by the failure to defend USS Liberty and the subsequent official cover-up of the Israeli attack, endangers the safety of Americans and the security of the United States.WHEREUPON, we, the undersigned, in order to fulfill our duty to the brave crew of USS Liberty and to all Americans who are asked to serve in our Armed Forces, hereby call upon the Department of the Navy, the Congress of the United States and the American people to immediately take the following actions:FIRST: That a new Court of Inquiry be convened by the Department of the Navy, operating with Congressional oversight, to take public testimony from surviving crewmembers; and to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the attack on the USS Liberty, with full cooperation from the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency and the military intelligence services, and to determine Israel’s possible motive in launching said attack on a U.S. naval vessel;SECOND: That every appropriate committee of the Congress of the United States investigate the actions of the White House and Defense Department that prevented the rescue of the USS Liberty, thereafter threatened her surviving officers and men if they exposed the truth, and covered up the true circumstances of the attack from the American people; andTHIRD: That the eighth day of June of every year be proclaimed to be hereafter known as USS LIBERTY REMEMBRANCE DAY, in order to commemorate USS Liberty’s heroic crew; and to educate the American people of the danger to our national security inherent in any passionate attachment of our elected officials for any foreign nation.We, the undersigned, hereby affix our hands and seals, this 22nd day of October, 2003.Thomas H. MoorerFormer Chairman, Joint Chiefs of StaffGeneral of Marines Raymond G. Davis, USMC, MOH*>Merlin StaringRear Admiral Merlin Staring, USN, Ret.,Former Judge Advocate General of the NavyJames AkinsAmbassador James Akins, Ret.,Former United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
The attack on the USS Liberty by the State of Israel was an air and naval attack to sink a US warship because it had been gathering intelligence on Israel’s pre-emptive actions in the 6-day war. The USS Liberty had US naval markings and flew naval ensigns. Israeli pilots made mention it was an American warship during message traffic to ground controllers. PT boats on the scene fired torpedoes after the air attack to sink her and leave no trace.
But you don’t have to believe Dwight Hirschinger, who actually is taking Israel’s side and version of events, even as he resides in the USA, in our lovely southern city of Macon.
You can read for yourself the accounts of what really happened, from the people who were on the ship, heard message traffic, and investigated the attack. It’s all here:
Even Capt Ward Boston’s (Navy Legal) statement here:
The intelligence analyst who kept track of Israeli air traffic here:
Statement of 4 Admirals here:
Mr Hirschinger neglects to mention the Israeli PT boats even attacked our sailors as they tried to evacuate the ship
“Survivors also report that the torpedo boat crews fired on the inflated life boats launched by the crew after the captain gave the order “prepare to abandon ship.” This order had to be rescinded because the crew was unable to stand on the main deck without being fired upon and the life rafts were destroyed as they were launched.“
It is further a SHAME to use incidents of US naval accidents as excuses for the attack on USS Liberty.