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WikiSpooks – USS Liberty Incident……OUTSTANDING!

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USS Liberty Incident

USS Liberty 24 hours after the attack

The USS Liberty Incident of 1967, was an attempt by the Israeli military to sink a United States spy ship. The ship had no significant armaments and instead bristled with radio antennas.

For reasons never admitted, President Johnson’s administration refused to interfere while the attack was in progress and both Israel and the U.S. government have treated the incident as an accident ever since.

Account of the attack

The day is June 8, 1967. The Arab-Israel war (later known as the Six-Day War) is in progress. The place is 14 miles off the Egyptian Sinai coast in international waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The U.S. government, ever unwilling to mind its own business, has the USS Liberty deployed there, passively monitoring the progress of the war over radio communication channels, with emphasis on finding out if Egypt is colluding with the Soviets.

The day is bright and clear, “visibility infinite.” Hoisted above the Liberty is a new American flag in a 12 knot breeze. “USS LIBERTY” is painted on the stern; the English letters “GTR-5″ on the bow. The ship is several times the size of any Egyptian horse freighter, and has a profile – one feature of which is a huge satellite dish – that easily distinguishes it from such a ship even were size discounted. And it has no cannon, distinguishing it from a war ship.

One glance and the ship is not Egyptian, another glance – hardly necessary – and it is American, and also incapable of shelling anyone.

Israeli reconnaissance planes fly over the ship. In daylight over a period of several hours they fly over at least eight times. One plane is propeller driven. They come so close that the crewmen of the ship and the pilots of the planes wave to each other. A Liberty radio operator hears the pilots repeatedly radio Israeli headquarters that the ship is American. The last of the planes departs not long after noon.

Suddenly at 1:58 pm three Mirage fighter jets, unmarked, zoom in and immediately begin firing rockets at the ship. The rockets punch eight inch holes through the hull, deck, and any men in their path. Mystere fighter jets (like the Mirages, French made) zoom in and drop napalm (jellied gasoline) bombs that splatter goop that sticks and burns where it lands. The crewmen, many of whom are on deck, are totally unprepared, scores are killed and injured. This goes on for twenty minutes.

The Liberty tries to radio the Sixth Fleet for help, but the attacking aircraft had fired rockets into the base of every antenna. They manage to repair one antenna.[1] The radio operator then discovers that their radio frequencies are being jammed. Eventually he finds a clear frequency and makes contact. The U.S. aircraft carrier Saratoga responds by launching several fighter aircraft and notifying the White House. The Liberty receives the message that help is on the way.

When the U.S. fighter planes are within minutes of the Liberty, Rear Admiral Lawrence Geis – commanding the Six Fleet carriers – receives an order from Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara to recall the planes. Admiral Geis calls the White House personally to confirm the insane order. McNamara comes on the line, then President Lyndon Johnson. Johnson confirms that the aircraft are to return, saying that he will not have Israel embarrassed. Admiral Geis – and it is hard to judge him considering the ingrained obedience to a chain of command that makes the military – recalls the aircraft.

Meanwhile the Israeli aircraft fly off as three Israeli torpedo boats make toward the Liberty. Several miles distant they begin firing torpedoes at the ship, five in all. One torpedo hits amidships, drowning about two dozen crewmen. The captain gives the order to abandon ship. The torpedo boats then approach within 100 feet and circle about the ship. With “USS Liberty” on the hull of the ship in full view, not to mention the American flag on the mast, they fire machine guns at anything on deck that moves. They strafe the life rafts on deck and those being lowered into the water by crewmen. The torpedo boat phase of the attack lasts about an hour

Then the Israelis abruptly stop. 34 crewmen of the Liberty are dead or dying and about 170 others are injured, victims of rocket fire, gunshot, fire, and drowning – 70 percent of the crew.

One can only conjecture why the Israelis halted their attack. Probably they think, along with the Liberty’s crewmen, that U.S. fighter planes will arrive shortly.

The torpedo boats do not leave the area. For about an hour they just sit there and watch the ship, again with “USS Liberty” and the American flag in full view. Then in an apparent about-face they signal to the Liberty: “Do you need help?” According to bridge Lieutenant James Ennes, Captain William McGonagle’s reply is “a rude one.” The boats eventually depart.

Liberty puts out the fires and though riddled with holes and without motive power, remains afloat. At 3 p.m. the sixth fleet launches a U.S. rescue mission a second time, only to be recalled a second time. Still the Liberty does not sink.

Finally, dawn the next day, fifteen hours later, U.S. help arrives. The Liberty eventually makes rendezvous with a U.S. destroyer and heads to Malta, a group of islands south of Sicily.

Subsequent Cover-up

USS Liberty / El Quisar and US / Egyptian flag comparisons

At the behest of the Secretary of Defense and the White House almost everyone involved is ordered not to discuss the incident with anyone, and the Liberty crewmen are transferred to stations far apart from one another, no two at the same place.

Israel’s reaction follows the dictum: If you can’t be good, you can at least be stupid. They claim the attack was the result of a string of innocent errors. The testimony of the Liberty crewmen, and the ship’s log, can be discounted. Israel does not do such things, why would it, America is our ally, etc. The Israelis claim that they mistook the USS Liberty for an Egyptian horse carrier – the El Quisar – a ship which was barely a quarter the size of the Liberty and with a strikingly differtent outline/appearance.

Suppose, for a moment, in defiance of the facts we take the Israelis at their word. There is only one way such a mistake could have been made. Instead of their deliberately attacking an American ship we have them totally disregarding the possibility the ship they would attack might be an American ship. By their own admission they didn’t honestly care if it was American. They didn’t sincerely try to identify it.

But of course they did identify it.

As the years went by the former Liberty crew began to speak out publicly. The most articulate was Lt. James Ennes, in his book Assault on the Liberty. The big brass began to speak out as well. Former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Admiral Thomas Moorer summed up the Liberty incident concisely:

“It’s ridiculous to say this was an accident. There was good weather, she was flying the U.S. flag[,] and the planes and torpedo boats attacked over a long period of time.”[2]

As for the cover-up, one of the military lawyers in the Court of Inquiry, Captain Ward Boston, recently came forward. The following is from his sworn written declaration. He refers to the late Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, who was the president of the Court of Inquiry. When he says “attempts to rewrite history” he refers to Jay Cristol’s recent (2002) pro-Israeli book The Liberty Incident. I have combined some of the paragraphs:

“For more than 30 years, I have remained silent on the topic of USS Liberty. I am a military man and when orders come in from the Secretary of Defense and President of the United States, I follow them. However, recent attempts to rewrite history compel me to share the truth. “In June of 1967, while serving as a Captain in the Judge Advocate General Corps, Department of the Navy, I was assigned as senior legal counsel for the Navy’s Court of Inquiry into the … attack on USS Liberty, which had occurred on June 8th.” … “The evidence was clear. Both Admiral Kidd and I believed with certainty that this attack … was a deliberate effort to sink an American ship and murder its entire crew. … It was our shared belief, based on the documentary evidence and testimony we received first hand, that the Israeli attack was planned and deliberate, and could not possibly have been an accident. I am certain that the Israeli pilots that undertook the attack, as well as their superiors, who had ordered the attack, were well aware that the ship was American.” … “I am outraged at the efforts of the apologists for Israel in this country to claim that this attack was a case of ‘mistaken identity.’ In particular, the recent publication of Jay Cristol’s book, The Liberty Incident, twists the facts and misrepresents the views of those of us who investigated the attack. It is Cristol’s … attempt to whitewash the facts that has pushed me to speak out. “I know from personal conversations I had with Admiral Kidd that President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara ordered him to conclude that the attack was a case of ‘mistaken identity’ despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. “Admiral Kidd told me, after returning from Washington, D.C. that he had been ordered to sit down with two civilians from either the White House or the Defense Department, and rewrite portions of the court’s findings. Admiral Kidd also told me that he had been ordered to ‘put the lid’ on everything having to do with the attack on USS Liberty. We were never to speak of it and we were to caution everyone else involved that they could never speak of it again. “I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of that statement as I know that the Court of Inquiry transcript that has been released to the public is not the same one that I certified and sent off to Washington.”

He describes a phone call from Jay Cristol in 1990 requesting an interview. He refers him to Admiral Kidd (ret.), still alive at the time.

“Shortly after my conversation with Cristol, I received a telephone call from Admiral Kidd, inquiring about Cristol and what he was up to. … “At no time did I ever hear Admiral Kidd speak of Cristol other than in highly disparaging terms. I find Cristol’s claims of a ‘close friendship’ with Admiral Kidd to be utterly incredible. I also find it impossible to believe the statements he attributes to Admiral Kidd, concerning the attack on USS Liberty.”[3][4][5]

Israel’s defenders reply to this literature with a snowstorm of details, making much of tiny flaws while ignoring the essential points. And by lying, as above.[6]

Why did the Israelis do it? Obviously the intent of their sneak attack was to silence the Liberty and sink it leaving no survivors, but why? Here we enter the realm of conjecture. Admiral Moorer describes one possible reason – and while reading keep in mind this is the same Israel capable of the Lavon terrorist attack:

“I am confident that Israel knew the Liberty could intercept radio messages from all parties … to the ongoing [Arab-Israel, or Six-day] war, then in its fourth day, and that Israel was preparing to seize the Golan Heights from Syria [while pretending, as they later did, that Syria had attacked them] … “And I believe Moshe Dayan [commander of Israeli forces] concluded that he could prevent Washington from becoming aware of what Israel was up to by destroying the primary source [means] of acquiring that information[,] the USS Liberty.”[7]

And as in the false flag Lavon Affair (in which Israel concealed its attacks on the US for 51 years in order that Egypt be blamed) if this two-hour attack had succeeded in killing all Americans on board, Israel might even have dragged the US into the war on their side.

Much has been made of the possible motive for an attack intended to sink a US vessel with all hands but it need not concern investigators trying to decide if actions carried out were accidental or deliberate.

Wikispooks Documents

Wikipedia bias

The “Friendly Fire” article at the Wikipedia makes no mention of the USS Liberty Incident.

Does it matter? Well, it’s a large and very detailed article that has an entry for the Six Day War. But the entry consists only of one strange and entirely unreferenced claim: “Israeli aircraft bombed an Israeli armored column in the Sinai after it was mistaken for an enemy column[citation needed]. (The main article here does mention this “incident” but in an entirely different location, the West Bank).

Buried in the TalkPage of the USS Liberty Incident article, a well-regarded editor of the Wikipedia claims there is no evidence for there having been any such attack on an armored column.

The earliest and only [emphasis in original - ed] mention I can find of this outside of wikipedia is a 1991 article by Hirsh Goodman in “The Jerusalem Report” which says:
“Mistakes are not uncommon in war. The day before the Liberty was attacked, Israeli warplanes bombed and strafed an Israeli armored column near Jenin in the West Bank. During the Lebanese war, in June 1982, over 20 Israeli servicemen were killed when a Phantom jet pilot mistakenly identified Israeli tanks as Syrian. In May 1987, in the Gulf, the USS Stark was accidentally hit by Iraqi warplanes, killing 37 servicemen. An Iranian civilian airliner was shot down by an over-anxious American battleship crew in May 1988, killing all 290 passengers on board. So it was with the Liberty”.
While the other friendly fire claims are documented, there is nothing anywhere that supports that first claim. Wayne 06:05, 14 November 2008.

So the Wikipedia isn’t recording history to the “Reliable Sources”, as it claims, but is near enough creating it. Both of these Wikipedia articles have been deliberately biased by the insertion of what might as well be fiction, while the hugely significant USS Liberty incident has simply been written out of their history of “Friendly Fire”.

Naturally, the Wikipedia is only the latest in a long string of Zionist fabrications on the internet concerning this incident and many others. The survivors reference an early (1997) example and plead to be heard: “The survivors ask: LET US TESTIFY UNDER OATH! If Mr. Roth has knowledge of the attack, we would be pleased to hear his sworn testimony.” More fiction appears in the Wikipedia with completely baseless smears levelled against the character of Captain Ward Boston. His crime? The man who was senior counsel to the original US Court of Inquiry, infuriated by fresh attempts (“case-closed”) to white-wash Israel over the USS Liberty, swore a quite startling declaration. 35 years after the case he was turning whistle-blower and renouncing what he’d been forced to do but the Wikipedia hates him for it.

In case readers are still not convinced that the bias at Wikipedia is deliberate, then have a look at the extreme bias and impossible conditions under which editing of Wikipedia articles is carried out eg here. The first of the Israeli-Firsters speaking in that case is an obvious banned user (later banned again), his supporter is the Number one top administrator at Wikipedia, a very, very determined Zionist who is not going to let his project publish even what’s reached the western Main Stream Media.


  1. “Sailor Awarded Silver Star for ’67 Actions” by Bryant Jordan, May 29, 2009
  2. There was good weather, she was flying the U.S. flag Quoted in “USS Liberty: Eyewitness Account” by James M. Ennes, Jr., Aug. 13, 2001.
  3. Declaration of Ward Boston, Jr., Captain, JAGC, USN (Ret.), Counsel to the U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry’s investigation into the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, January 9, 2004.
  4. Ward Boston first gives sworn testimony a few months earlier. “New Charges vs. Israel in ’67 Ship Attack” UPI, Oct. 24, 2003.
  5. “Findings of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Israeli Attack on the USS Liberty” October 22, 2003
  6. Review of “Assault on the Liberty” by James M. Ennes, Jr. (Random House 1980, Reintree Press 2002), see Israel’s defenders in action. For example, though the ship sustained 800 hits, as evidenced by as many holes, there was no “‘extended’ attack.”
  7. “Memorandum: Attack on the USS Liberty June 8, 1967″ by Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, June 8, 1997.
  8. 2008 Wikipedia editors discussion. “The earliest and only mention I can find of this outside of wikipedia is a 1991 article by Hirsh Goodman in “The Jerusalem Report”. A Wikipedia editor politely points out that they are publishing the very most unreliable evidence – while elsewhere in the same TalkPages there are numerous complaints that much information in “Reliable Sources” has been omitted or distorted.

Further Reading

  • Attack on the USS Liberty “Dissenting History VS Official History” By John Borne, Ph.D., doctoral dissertation published June 1995.
  • “The Zionist Connection” 2nd Edition by Alfred Lilienthal Chapter 17. “The Attack on Liberty”
  • They Dare to Speak Out, a chapter in Paul Findley’s book describes the Zionist reaction to Mr. Ennes’ book: “The Assault On Assault”
  • “Body of Secrets” by James Bamford Chapter 6: “Blood” comments that the Israeli rescue helicopter transmissions (in the NSA transcripts) reported seeing a flag. This confirms the testimony of the surviving Liberty crewmen and tends to dispute the official Israeli position.

Reliable Sources all say that Israel knew what it was doing

Editor Book with publisher, date In descending order, number of citations by Scholar. Green for accident, Red Not an Accident. Orange for sources that are prominent but are not cited and/or may not be RS (also for potential conflict of interest by author).
Bamford “Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the ultra-secret National Security Agency”, 2001 Anchor, Doubleday x 2, Arrow, Century. (+ “The puzzle palace”, 1983 various publishers inc Penguin). Various publishings cited 149 times + 202 to “The Puzzle Palace” includes similar claim) “Despite the overwhelming evidence that Israel attacked the ship and killed American servicemen deliberately, the Johnson Administration and Congress covered up the entire incident.” Find Articles.
John Ranelagh “The Agency: The Rise and Decline of the CIA” 1986 Weidenfeld & Nicolson Cited by 113 Details unknown, but Michael Oren says of this book “describes the attack as intentional and malicious” and/or “argues that the truth has been obscured by a massive cover-up conducted by Israel and its advocates abroad.”
Michael Oren “Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East”, 2002 by “OR ZARUA BOOK DISCUSSION GROUP”, also Random House. OR ZARUA cited 92 times + Random cited 8 From his JVL article Case Closed “there were breakdowns in communications between the Israeli navy and air force … none of these amount to the kind of gross negligence of which the Israelis have been accused.” (Possible COI: Oren was media relations to IDF and is the Israel ambassador to the US. The book acknowledges the Shalem Center where he is a senior fellow, in a program described as “promoting the research and writing of agenda-shaping work.” Shalem’s journal “champions … a strong, free and Jewish State of Israel”)
Green, Stephen “Taking Sides: America’s Secret Relations with a Militant Israel”, 1984 Morrow, Faber, Amana Cited by 34 “Sometime in the late afternoon or early evening of June 7 … the NSA learned, from an intelligence report emanating from the Office of the US Defense Attache in Tel Aviv, that Israel was planning to attack the Liberty if her course was not changed.” p.215, cited by Ennes at
Richard Helms, CIA director in 1967 (with William Hood) “A look over my shoulder: a life in the Central Intelligence Agency”, 2004, editions by Presidio, Random House and ?another Cited by 29 “one of the most disturbing incidents in the six days [war] … Israeli authorities subsequently apologized for the accident, but few in Washington could believe that the ship had not been identified as an American naval vessel.” WRMEA.
Andrew and Leslie Cockburn “Dangerous liaison: the inside story of the US-Israeli covert relationship” 1991 HarperCollins Cited by 21 Michael Oren says of this book “describes the attack as intentional and malicious” and/or “argues that the truth has been obscured by a massive cover-up conducted by Israel and its advocates abroad.”
A Bregman “Israel’s Wars, A history since 1947″ 2002, Routledge (+ others, eg “A History of Israel” 2003, Palgrave Macmillan, “The Fifty Years War: Israel and the Arabs”, 1998, Penguin) Cited by 17 “Since 1947″ (+ 13 cites to “History” + 13 cites to “50 years”) “A short but significant recording of a conversation over the radio link between Israeli pilots and the Air Force headquarters during the attack on Liberty, published here for the first time, shows beyond doubt, that the Israelis did know, even in the initial stages of their strike on Liberty, that this was an American vessel.”Preface to 2002 edition, p.xiii of “Israel’s Wars A history since 1947″
EM Hammel “Six days in June: how Israel won the 1967 Arab-Israeli war” 1992 Scribner Cited by 19 Details unknown, but probably accepts the attack as an accident.
Richard Deason “The Israeli Secret Service” 1977 Hamish Hamilton Cited by 18 Michael Oren says of this book “describes the attack as intentional and malicious” and/or “argues that the truth has been obscured by a massive cover-up conducted by Israel and its advocates abroad.”
JM Ennes “Assault on the Liberty: The True Story of the Israeli Attack on an American Intelligence Ship”, 1979 – Random House Cited by 16 “US Air Force intercept operators heard Israeli jet being vectored to “the American ship” which they were ordered to sink quickly. Those who have seen these transcripts insist that they leave no doubt that the Israelis knew they were attacking an American ship.”
Donald Neff “Warriors for Jerusalem: The Six Days that Changed the Middle East” 1984 Simon & Schuster Cited by 14 Michael Oren says of this book “the charge of Israeli premeditation” features prominently.
John Loftus “The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed The Jewish People” St. Martin’s Griffin, 1997 No cites to hardback of 1995, 10 cites to 1997 paperback. A relatively well-cited book from a pro-Israel perspective (perhaps with mixed reviews?): “Israel’s attack was justified because ‘the Liberty was gathering electronic information … relayed to the Arabs.’”, a claim for which they fail “to present incontrovertible evidence” according to one admirer and “This is why the Israelis knocked out the American surveillance ship the USS Liberty Synopsis/review by Deane Rink.
William B. Quandt “Lyndon Johnson and the June 1967 War: What Color Was the Light?” 1992, The Middle East Journal Cited by 8 Note 80 on page 225 says: “80. Clark Clifford was asked to determine who was responsible for the Liberty attack. According to the notes of the NSC Special Committee meeting on June 9, 1967 (declassified August 12, 1985), Clifford reported that it was “inconceivable that it was an accident.” A marginal note says, “President agreed 100%.”
Lewis “Operation Cyanide: How the Bombing of the USS Liberty Nearly Caused World War Three”, 2003 Vision # Hardcover: 288 pages ISBN-13: 978-1904132196. cited by 3 “Peter Hounam reveals that the attack was part of a clandestine plan between the US and Israel known as “Operation Cyanide,” designed to ensure victory for Israel in the Middle East. By blaming the attack on the Arab world, retaliation on a grand scale would be justified.”
John E Borne “The USS Liberty: dissenting history vs. official history” 1993. Reconsideration Press (as Ph.D 1995 excerpts). Cited by 3 Borne examines the “making” of history and says that the arguments of survivors and the USG have been consistent, while “The Israelis and their American supporters have been far less consistent”. In “Realpolitik gone Haywire” 1995 by Richard D. Lee, Jr., LCDR, USN p.25 cites Borne as having said “The USDAO in Tel Aviv apparently sent a message warning that USS LIBERTY would be attacked if the ship patrolled off the Gaza.”
H Goodman, Z Schiff “The Attack on the Liberty” Atlantic Monthly, September 1984. Cited by 3 Post-Ennes article by two Israelis defends “accident” theory. Few other articles on this topic are cited, this one perhaps because it is the only source for “the day before the Liberty was attacked, Israeli pilots accidentally bombed one of their own armored columns.”
Fishel, Reverdy S “The attack on the Liberty: an ‘accident’?” International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 8, no. 3 (Fall 1995): 345-352. Cited by 2 in Scholar, despite only being an article(!). Fishel calls Loftus and Aarons’ book, “a collection of preposterous and demonstrably false theories and allegations. With regard to the Liberty attack, the only significant detail they get right is that it was deliberate.”[1] Fishel also quoted by JVL with 1995 “… trend towards acceptance of Israeli guilt …”
AJ Cristol “The Liberty Incident: The 1967 Israeli Attack on the US Navy Spy Ship” google-book 2002 version on web. 1 cite is to web-version at Google books. (Book is “The Liberty Incident” published by Brassey, never cited). “Ten official U.S. investigations and three official Israeli investigations have all concluded that the attack was a tragic mistake or that there is no evidence to establish that it was not a tragic mistake. Seven U. S. Presidents, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Regan, Bush, and Clinton have all accepted the conclusion that the attack was a tragic mistake.”
Moorer Report, independent investigation of 2003. Admiral Thomas H. Moorer former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. General Raymond G. Davis, former Assistant Commandant of The Marine Corps. Rear Admiral Merlin Staring, former Judge Advocate General of US Navy. Ambassador James Akins former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Not recognised by Scholar. “… after eight hours of aerial surveillance, Israel launched a two-hour air and naval attack against USS Liberty … there is compelling evidence that Israel’s attack was a deliberate attempt to destroy an American ship and kill her entire crew … there has been an official cover-up … to the present day and is a national disgrace”.Moorer Report.
James Scott “The Attack on the Liberty” 2009 – Simon & Schuster. James is a South Carolina investigative reporter, son of survivor John Scott Released in June 2009, 0 cites in Aug 09 but James Ennes says: “my book must yield first place to James Scott in that hierarchy of USS Liberty investigative literature.” “Even President Lyndon Johnson believed it was a deliberate attack … Israel’s inquiry showed that a positive identification of the ship was made hours before the attack. This information, allegedly because of a miscommunication, was not relayed to the Israeli fighter jets and torpedo boat.” Seattle Times and “pilot reports from the attack scene made clear to key individuals at command HQ that the ship was likely American and probably USS Liberty. Nonetheless, the attack continued.”
Alan Hart Zionism The Real Enemy of the Jews v.2. WorldFocus, 2007. ITN reporter on 1967 war. Not in Scholar, though the author is cited 36 times for “Arafat: terrorist or peacemaker?” p.138 “At about 2200 hours … Israeli jets were homing their rockets … The Office of the U.S. Defence Attache in Tel Aviv …. telegramme in code the message was that the IDF was planning to attack the ‘Liberty’ if the ship continued to move closer to the Israeli coast!”
Joseph Daichman “History of the Mossad” (Russian) Not in Scholar and perhaps never will be. Russian book alleged by Russian submariner Captain Nikolay Charkashin to state “Israel was justified in attacking the Liberty.” UnitedStatesGovernment.Net

Genuine massacres, straw-man motive for attack

In 1995 the mass graves of up to 1,000 unarmed Egyptian civilians and prisoners of war were discovered outside El-Arish and the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Jewish Telegraph Agency, and many other respected press organs both in the U.S. and Israel reported that IDF veterans had admitted that there had been mass-murders during the 1967 War.[1] Deputy Foreign Minister, Eli Dayan even offered compensation to the victims families in 1995, but explained that Israel was unable to pursue those responsible due to the statute of limitations.[2] (A further mass grave of 30 Egyptian soldiers is reported to have been found in the Sinai peninsula in 2008, though they could have been regular casualties.[3])

In 2001, James Bamford published a book on the National Security Agency called “Body of Secrets” and in one chapter discusses the USS Liberty Incident (which this famous and highly regarded author treats as a deliberate attack, see above). In an excerpt of the book available at History News Network he says “This and other war crimes were just some of the secrets Israel had sought to conceal since the start of the conflict. An essential element … to hide much of the war behind a carefully constructed curtain of lies … Into this sea of deception and slaughter sailed the USS Liberty”.[4]

Bamford’s book resulted in a new storm of denial – but much of it ignored the detailed specifics and criticism of Israel for the attack on the USS Liberty. Instead, Israeli-firsters turned the words above into an easily demolished “straw-man” argument that Bamford had explained the attack on the Liberty as a means to cover up these massacres. The claim there had been massacres was then refuted, often in unconvincing ways. Michael Oren argued that one of the witnesses (Israeli reporter Gabriel Bron, a former IDF soldier) had subsequently told him “The one hundred and fifty POWs were not shot, and there were no mass murders” but that they were helped by the Israeli soldiers who “gave them water, and in most cases just sent them in the direction of the Suez Canal.” Oren had more to say about the character and integrity of Bamford including “there are a lot of reasons to question Bamford’s credibility, starting with his rather curious reading of Middle Eastern history. For example, Bamford says Israel initiated hostilities against Syria and Jordan, when it happened the other way around.”[5]

Another author, survivor James M. Ennes, Jr. (author of the 1979 The True Story of the Israeli Attack on an American Intelligence Ship[2]) mysteriously appeared to give this argument more credence in 1996, the year after the discovery of the mass graves. In reference to war-crimes and with particular attention to those he believes were committed against him and his ship he asked: “Recent reports in the Israeli and Egyptian press suggest another powerful possibility. … How would [senior Israeli officers] have reacted to the knowledge that USS Liberty was nearby and might have heard incriminating radio traffic?”.[6] His words have been used as support for the argument that Israel would kill over 200 of the most highly qualified American sailors and intelligence operatives and deprive the US of its spy ship in order to conceal the unpunished (and likely unpunishable) killing of 1000 or so Egyptian POWs.

  1. Memo: James Bamford refutes criticism and notes that The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Jewish Telegraph Agency, and many other respected press organs both in the U.S. and Israel had reported a massacre of Egyptians carried out in 1967, Bamford provides excerpts from some of them. 1995.
  2. Ibrahim, Youssef Egypt Says Israelis Killed P.O.W.’s in ’67 War, New York Times 21 September 1995.
  3. Egypt soldiers found in mass grave near Israel uniformed “bodies of 30 Egyptian soldiers believed killed in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War were found in a mass grave” between El-Arish and Rafah by a Bedouin. 09 Jan 2008
  4. Excerpt “This and other war crimes were just some of the secrets Israel had sought to conceal since the start of the conflict. An essential element in the Israeli battle plan seemed to have been to hide much of the war behind a carefully constructed curtain of lies: lies about the Egyptian threat, lies about who started the war, lies to the US president, lies to the UN Security Council, lies to the press, lies to the public. Thus, as the American naval historian Dr Richard K Smith noted, “any instrument which sought to penetrate this smoke screen so carefully thrown around the normal ‘fog of war’ would have to be frustrated”. Into this sea of deception and slaughter sailed the USS Liberty, an enormous spy factory loaded with the latest eavesdropping gear”. Excerpt from Body of Secrets by James Bamford at History News Network. 2001.
  5. Unfriendly Fire review of Bamford’s “Body of Secrets” by Michael Oren. “There are a lot of reasons to question Bamford’s credibility, starting with his rather curious reading of Middle Eastern history. For example, Bamford says Israel initiated hostilities against Syria and Jordan, when it happened the other way around.” December 26th, 2002.
  6. “USS Liberty: Did Israel Commit One War Crime to Hide Another?” “Recent reports in the Israeli and Egyptian press suggest another powerful possibility. … Could our operators have heard voice radio messages revealing these killings? Did senior Israeli officers sanction the murders, or did they learn of them? How would they have reacted to the knowledge that USS Liberty was nearby and might have heard incriminating radio traffic? Would they have been desperate enough to attack an American ship? ” Survivor James Ennes, Washington Post Report on Middle East Affairs, May/June 1996.


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Posted in General Discussion, The dishonesty and comedy of A. Jay Cristol, US 'Israel First' Media.

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