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The acclaimed NSA tapes that were released proving all yet not a single tape DURING THE ATTACK was released or even mentioned

Why aren’t tapes DURING THE ATTACK released? These are AFTER THE ATTACK Tapes! Where are they? Require the participants still alive to testify whether they remember the tapes.  And we’ll see who are the real “conspiracy theorists are. These selective tapes have been touted  as “proof” from ‘Top Gun” Cristol,  every Liberty apologist and pro-Israel “official version” dupe yet not a single tape DURING the attack. What happened to them? -jd

CNN:  USS Liberty attack tapes released

From David Ensor
CNN Washington Bureau  Thursday, July 10, 2003

WASHINGTON (CNN) –Tapes released by the National Security Agency shed new light on the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty that killed 34 Americans and is one of the most controversial mysteries in U.S. Navy history.

The attack, which took placein international waters off the Sinai Peninsula on June 8, 1967, during the Six Day War, also left 171 Americans injured.

The Israelis have always said the attack on the Liberty, which was monitoring communications in the war, was a tragic accident.

But some survivors and senior U.S. officials at the time have said they believe the attack was a deliberate effort to stop American surveillance of Israeli activities during the conflict.

The NSA on Tuesday released audiotapes of Israeli pilots and ground control speaking in Hebrew, along with English transcripts.

The recordings were made by a nearby American surveillance aircraft in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

“For your info, it is apparently an Arab ship,” says ground control.

“Roger,” says the pilot.

“It is an Egyptian supply ship,” says ground control.

“Roger,” comes the response.

The NSA released the tapes and transcripts under the Freedom of Information Act in response to a request from Miami Judge Jay Cristol.

An author of a book on the attack, Cristol said the tapes show it was a tragic accident in a time of war — that the Israelis mistook the ship for an Egyptian one.

“I don’t think there’s any question that anyone who reads these tapes would be absolutely convinced there was the fog of war out there,” Cristol said.

Later on the tape, the Israelis sound confused and concerned. Ground control orders the helicopter pilots to look for survivors and to check their nationality.

“If they speak Arabic — Egyptians — you’re taking them to Al-Arish. If they speak English — non-Egyptians — you’re taking them to Lod. Is that clear?” says ground control.

“Roger,” says the pilot.

James Bamford, the author of a history of the NSA, believes the tapes suggest the Israelis may have deliberately attacked the U.S. spy ship, perhaps fearing — for some reason not known — that it was spying on them.

“Here the transcripts are saying, ‘Well, you know, there may be people speaking English on this ship,’” Bamford said. “Why would you say that if it’s an Egyptian ship, carrying horses?”

On the tape, after the rescue helicopter pilot tells ground control he sees an American flag on the ship, he receives an order in return.

“They request that you make another pass and check once again whether it is really an American flag,” ground control says.

The order suggests the Israelis were surprised at word of a U.S. flag, but it also runs counter to what Israeli fighter pilots and torpedo boat crews have always insisted: That they could not see an American flag.

“Clearly the flag was there,” Bamford said, “because the intercepts show that the helicopter pilots saw it immediately, before they ever even got up to the ship.”

The ship’s flag now hangs in the National Cryptologic Museum in Fort Meade, Maryland, adjacent to NSA headquarters.

“I think this is probably the most important link in the evidence that ought to bring closure to this matter,” Cristol said.

Surviving members of the Liberty crew argue that — far from putting the matter to rest — the tapes only underline the continuing need for a full, public U.S. investigation.

“A simple investigation — that’s all they have to do,” said Joe Meadors, a Liberty survivor. “Find out what happened. If anybody did anything wrong, punish them.”

In a letter to Cristol, the NSA said that contrary to rumors there was no U.S. submarine in the area watching, and the Liberty itself made no relevant recordings.

Israeli Embassy spokesman Mark Regev said the tapes are “further evidence that the Liberty incident was a terrible and tragic case of mistaken identity.”

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Naval Institute Proceedings “Friendless Fire”

Naval Institute Proceedings “Friendless Fire”

By David Walsh LINK

On 8 June 1967 the electronic intelligence ship USS Liberty (AGTR-5) was on station in international waters 13 miles off the Sinai Peninsula in the eastern Mediterranean. The Arab-Israeli War had wound down, the air was clear, and the seas were light. What happened early that Thursday afternoon is well known. Without warning, a furious attack on the ship commenced from Israeli Mirage and Mystere jets, followed by Ayah-class motor torpedo boats (MTBs). Employed were rockets, napalm, quick-firing 30-mm and 40-mm cannon, .50-caliber machine guns, and torpedoes. Four unshielded .50-caliber machine guns were the Liberty’s only defense. The one Israeli torpedo hit of five launched left a yawning 40-foot hole in the hull, devastating the cryptological spaces below decks and killing 25 U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) technicians instantly.

Later, 821 shell holes were counted in the ship’s superstructure and hull. A total of 34 men died, with another 172 wounded, many disfigured for life, among the highest peacetime tolls for any noncombatant U.S. Navy vessel and by far the worst single loss to the U.S. intelligence community. It seems a miracle the ship did not go down.[1]

Did Israel know the ship it was firing on 36 years ago-here, after the attack, listing from a deadly torpedo hit-was the USS Liberty? Today, top former U.S. intelligence officials are saying “Yes.”

Revisiting the Incident
In December 2002, the Naval Historical Center hosted a presentation on the still deeply controversial attack by Federal Judge and retired U.S. Naval Reserve Captain A. Jay Cristol, on a promotional tour for his recent book, The Liberty Incident: The 1967 Attack on the U.S. Navy Spy Ship. Based on Judge Cristol’s doctoral thesis, the book relies heavily on newly declassified (or newly interpreted) documents and more than 500 interviews with U.S. and Israeli political and military leaders involved in the incident, including former Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, Admiral Isaac Kidd, and Yitzhak Rabin, who was the Israeli Defense Force Chief of Staff at the time. Only seven of the interviewees, however, were on board the Liberty during the attack. [2]

At the Washington Navy Yard’s Education Center, Judge Cristol addressed a full house that included active-duty U.S. Navy personnel and surviving Liberty crew members. He argued that the evidence “in totality” validated Israel’s long-standing position: namely, the catastrophe was the bitter fruit of mistaken identity and communications gaffes by both sides. [3] The U.S. government quickly accepted Israel’s apology 36 years ago, if not its explanation. [4] Israel also settled death and injury claims, albeit reluctantly. And in 1980, the United States received $6 million in compensation for the $40-million intelligence ship.

The Liberty Incident contains considerable, largely Israeli-sourced detail. It also includes a chapter called “Television’s Perspective,” in which the author surmises that most survivors-some of whom openly criticize Israel’s domestic policies and its formidable Washington lobby-have a political ax to grind.

Judge Cristol, with 38 years’ naval service, mourns the mens’ deaths and injuries, and his book honors their courage. But like the Israeli government, the judge is dubious of the nay sayers. They rely on “conjecture, hearsay and plain wishful thinking,” flawed or traumatized memories, and “various conspiracy theories,” he says. [5]

No Bigots
Such characterizations, along with the linking of Liberty veterans with Arab extremists and racist groups, sit poorly with the ship’s crew. Indeed, the Internet Web site of the Liberty Veterans’ Association (LVA) makes clear that all bigots’ support is unwelcome. [6] The suggestion of prejudice especially upsets Jewish survivors, such as the senior engineering officer, George Golden, who received the Silver Star for directing heroic efforts to keep the ship afloat. And James Ennes Jr., the LVA historian and spokesman accused in Judge Cristol’s book of taking “an irrationally harsh line against Israel,” refers to such assertions as “just silly.” [7]

Ennes, a retired Navy lieutenant commander, was officer of the deck before being badly wounded early in the attack. He devoted 13 years’ research toward his own book, Assault on the Liberty. Some half-dozen major-and many minor-disagreements mark the dispute’s two main schools: Judge Cristol’s “mistaken identity” and Ennes’s, the crew’s, and several U.S. intelligence professionals’ “deliberate attack.”

More Inquiries
Since 1967, survivors have pleaded for a more far-reaching government inquiry into the incident. But Judge Cristol argues that another would be a waste of time. Some 13 already have been conducted (five by Congress, one by the U.S. Navy, and several by Israel). And according to Cristol, while typically citing recklessness or inefficiency, all exonerate the Israeli attackers of deliberate intent.

“False!” retorts Ennes. Of the 13 investigations cited by Judge Cristol, Ennes observes, “Most were not investigations. . . . They were merely reports to the boss from advisors . . . (and) mostly summaries and excerpts of the Naval Court of Inquiry report.” [8]

Clark Clifford, Chairman of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, drafted one such inquiry. Judge Cristol characterizes Clifford as angry, but finding Israel innocent of murder. Ennes infers darker meanings from the same document.

“Something had gone terribly wrong,” Clifford wrote the President, “and then it had been covered up. I never felt the Israelis had made adequate restitution or explanation for their . . . unprovoked actions.” Clifford also termed “unbelievable” the explanation that the attack was accidental. The Liberty’s spotters, for example, had picked out the MTBs’ small hull marks, yet the Israeli attackers claimed never to have seen the U.S. ship’s much larger ones. Clifford, an intimate of Johnson’s and champion of Israel, urged the attackers be “punished,” as did U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk, noting there was “every reason to believe that the USS Liberty was identified, or at least her nationality determined . . . one hour before the attack.” [9]

But instead of punishing the attackers, Israel honors them in a museum. Told of the display, retired Air Force Major General John Morrison, NSA deputy director for operations at the time, commented, “I am offended by that.” And retired Army Lieutenant General William Odom, NSA director from 1985 to 1988, and also unaware of the display, remarked, “I am astonished that Israel should put glory on the people who killed my SigInt-ers [signals intelligence personnel].” [10] The Liberty’s blood-stained flag is exhibited at the National Cryptologic Museum in Fort Meade, Maryland.

Disputed Timelines and Communications
Although Liberty crew members insist the attack lasted about an hour and a quarter, Judge Cristol’s book asserts that the Israeli jets and MTBs finished their grisly business in only 22 to 25 minutes. [11]

Ennes recalls being unsettled by the numerous flights over the Liberty by Israeli reconnaissance planes, starting the previous night and continuing for a six-hour period preceding the assault. Trained U.S. Navy observers counted a dozen overflights. Some were made by a lumbering, Star-of-David-marked Nord Noratlas “flying boxcar,” which pulled several times to within mast-clipping range-low enough for any Israeli pilot to see a vessel incapable of harming his country.

Melvin Smith, senior enlisted intercept chief, reassured Ennes when he overheard the pilots several times identify the flag as U.S. and the ship for what she was. [12] At that time, of course, Israel was a friend. Later, despite jamming of the ship’s distress frequencies, and before all her transmitters were shot away, the Liberty’s radio operators managed again to hear the attackers make a positive identification in the clear. [13] Judge Cristol, conceding his newly released Israeli transcripts reveal one correct identification, states that they are confusing and mutually contradictory-typical of the “fog of war.” [14] Further, citing Ennes, he states that no Hebrew linguists were on board the spy ship, and that Israeli pilots would not have made unencrypted transmissions. [15]

Ennes acknowledges that no “official” Hebrew linguists were on board, but he points out that at least one of the doomed NSA men, Russian/Arabic linguist Allen Blue, understood Hebrew. [16] As for the jamming, Ennes, quoting Chief Radioman Wayne Smith and an article in Proceedings, also notes that the ship could not have been misidentified, because the frequencies jammed were peculiar to the U.S. Navy. Liberty Radioman Richard “Rocky” Sturman also recalls that he and other technicians heard the radio jamming. [17] Judge Cristol rejects such accounts as “myth.” [18]

The Flag Issue
Again echoing Israel and citing its reports, Judge Cristol declares that no U.S. flag was visible. He points to film footage of the intact Liberty, taken at an unknown time from a slow-flying helicopter, which reveals no flag. He refers also to gun-camera stills from one of the attacking Israeli jets. These grainy images show billowing smoke “going straight up,” indicating the flag was limp. [19] To Judge Cristol, it is therefore unrealistic to think young, inexperienced pilots could have seen any flag, especially at 600 miles per hour. [20]

An Israeli motor torpedo boat passes close alongside the Liberty during the attack.

Ennes, who maintained logs about such details, disagrees. He says that even at the Liberty’s slowest steaming speed of 5 knots, the wind put 12 knots across Old Glory and kept it waving. [21] Since the ship was near a combat zone, the crew also was ordered to keep “head’s-up” by then-Commander William McGonagle, the ship’s captain. Ensuring unfurled colors was a given. And after the normal flag was shot down early on, McGonagle ordered signalmen to hoist the bright new holiday ensign, measuring 7-by-13 feet.

In a January 2003 radio interview, Signalman Joe Meadors described the flag as fluttering each of several times he observed it during the attack. [22] No survivor who glanced toward either flag at this time remembers it otherwise. Regardless, Judge Cristol-whose book offers “pilots’ eye view” drawings-insists that even this gaudy parade standard would have appeared “tiny” to high-speed jet pilots.

Retired Navy Commander Tom Schaaf is a combat-tested jet aviator. He attended the Navy Yard lecture, and afterward queried Judge Cristol. Schaaf disbelieves the claimed 600 mile-per-hour speed for the attacking aircraft, adding in a written critique that pilots would have viewed a lot more detail than disclosed in film clips. Post-lecture answers suggest Judge Cristol flew the Navy’s slowest propeller aircraft and has not seen combat. “He has no competence to analyze or discuss jet attack tactics,” Schaaf concluded. [23]

The El Quseir
Since 1967, Israeli spoksmen have insisted the Israeli pilots had confused the Liberty with the El Quseir, a 1920s-vintage Egyptian horse cavalry transport said to have been in the area. [24] Judge Cristol accepts this. Those same inexperienced airmen unable to notice the ship’s flag and unique hull markings, he maintains, easily could have mistaken the Liberty for the Egyptian transport. Indeed, before the attack, Israeli headquarters had wrongly reported that some “enemy vessel” was shelling the coast from near the Liberty’s position. [25] To illustrate a resemblance, Cristol pairs the ships in silhouette drawings. He shows them, however, as the same size. (In fact, the El Quesir’s length was 275 feet to the Liberty’s 455.) [26] Judge Cristol’s text notes the actual difference, but opines that in the heat of battle such mistakes are plausible.

The Liberty’s crewmen deem insulting the notion that arguably the world’s most electronically advanced ship could be confused with one of its most pedestrian vessels. In this, they join Dean Rusk, Clark Clifford, and other senior U.S. officials, as well as author and historian James Bamford, whose NSA history, Body of Secrets, devotes a chapter to the Liberty. [27]

The skipperof the ship, Commander William McGonagle, who received the Medal of Honor, surveys the damage.

Principally, the El Quseir lacked the U.S. ship’s unique add-ons, which included, both topside, an 18-foot-wide satellite dish nearly as tall as the smokestack and a wading pool-sized microwave dish. The ship bristled, as well, with video capture antennae and other exotica found on no other vessel in the world, much less decrepit Arab transport ships. [28] Ancillary reasons the “deliberate school” rejects Judge Cristol’s El Quseir defense are as follows:

  • The Egyptian craft
  • Flew colors markedly dissimilar to the U.S. flag
  • Was one-quarter of the Liberty’s tonnage and just nearly half her length
  • Had been out of service for many months
  • Was waiting to be scrapped in Alexandria
  • Was illustrated-along with the Liberty-in Jane’s Fighting Ships, to which Israel had access. [29]

In addition, the Egyptian Naval Attache’s office in Washington says El Quseir was painted silver, not the Liberty’s battleship grey. [30] It is highly unlikely, NSA officials on board and off explain, that Israel’s hypervigilant spy agencies would be unacquainted with these facts. [31] This suggests a question: why assault so concertedly an unthreatening old Egyptian transport (not to say an unarmed U.S. Navy ship) when she could be escorted to Haifa as a war prize (and the U.S. ship signaled to quit the area)?

Attack on the Life Rafts
After the attack, Commander McGonagle, his leg shredded and bleeding, yet still at the conn, gave the “prepare to abandon ship” order. (For his actions that day, he received the Medal of Honor. The award certificate does not mention Israel.) Concurrently, the MTBs circled to within 40 or 50 feet. Then, over a 40-minute span, according to U.S. Navy eyewitnesses, the boats’ gunners loosed heavy automatic weapons at stretcher bearers, fire-control teams, and other men still upright on the decks.

The Liberty’s motor whale boat had been destroyed, and few life rafts survived. But Lieutenant Lloyd Painter (Ennes’s relief as officer of the deck) organized three undamaged ones and kicked them over the gunwales. Two were shot to pieces immediately in the water, the third hauled aboard one of the torpedo boats. [32] At this distance, Ennes emphasizes, the large bow and stern marks on the freshly painted ship were unmistakable. The designator number “5″ was 6 1/2 feet high and “GTR,” four feet. Her name was in 18-inch lettering, in English. [33]

Judge Cristol quotes Lieutenant Painter’s testimony to the naval hearing only on the rafts’ casting away. [34] He ignores what came next. This act alone, the U.S. sailors charge, proves deliberate intent to destroy a U.S. ship and leave no witnesses. [35] (In 1986, Navy legal expert Lieutenant Commander Walter Jacobsen agreed, arguing in The Naval Law Review that it was also a war crime. [36]) Notwithstanding the gravity of these accusations, Judge Cristol leaves aside both the life raft matter and the attack’s international legal ramifications. Israel insists that all shooting ceased immediately after the torpedo attack. [37]

Explaining how either ship could have lobbed naval artillery shells 13-plus miles onto the war-wracked Sinai coast, Judge Cristol and the Israeli government again cite “fog of war.” They declare that Israeli commanders had confused an exploding ammunition dump near Sharm el Sheikh with a coastal bombardment. [38]

Judge Cristol points out other areas of confusion. For example, the Liberty was identified correctly early in the morning, but then the error cycle kicked in anew when the marker was moved from a plotting table in Tel Aviv. Liberty spokesmen bristle at such “excuses.” Moved markers or no, Israeli intelligence would have charted every ship then in the eastern Mediterranean: Arab, Russian, and U.S. The Liberty was the region’s only blue-water U.S. Navy vessel.

Weeks after the attack, this “mistaken identity” feature-along with a half-dozen other disparities between the crewmens’ and Israel’s positions-was outlined for the Legal Advisor’s Office by State Department lawyer Carl Salans. [39] As Judge Cristol points out, the Top Secret report (released in 1983) drew no conclusions per se. [40] But Liberty survivors see its stark comparisons as a refutation of Israel’s position. Ennes terms the report “devastating.” [41]

Perhaps the widest chasm separating the “mistakens” from the “deliberates” is the Naval Court of Inquiry. Ordered convened a week after the event by Commander-in-Chief Naval Forces Europe, Admiral John McCain, and headed by Rear Admiral Kidd, the hearing is dubbed “remarkably competent (and) thorough” by Judge Cristol, “a doctored sham” by the veterans. [42] The judge stresses that 14 seamen spoke at the hearing. But ship’s officers Ennes, Painter, Golden, and others charge that in dozens of cases, sworn testimony damaging to Israel’s case was not allowed or, if allowed, not entered into evidence or made part of the transcript. Thus, Ennes and the LVA charge, the court’s Findings of Fact often were unsupported by the evidence, contravening Navy rules of procedure. [43]

Charles Rowley, electronic intelligence specialist and ship’s photographer, states that a photo he had made during the attack was seized by the naval court without explanation and marked “Top Secret.” It showed the U.S. flag extended. [44] Ennes avers not only that his testimony went unentered but also that deck and weather log entries in his hand were altered. Written observations had correctly mirrored others’ to the time he was shot, he recounts, namely: multiple, close preattack overflights by Israeli reconnaissance planes, the attack by unmarked jets, and the U.S. flag standing out continually. [45] Rather than adduce and document facts, former cryptologic technician Joe Lentini stated recently, the naval hearing helped Israel “get away with murder.” [46]

Joe Meadors, Liberty signalman, observed at the Navy Yard gathering: “The Navy cannot investigate itself.” Meanwhile, survivors contest Judge Cristol’s statement that “some” had changed their minds after the inquiry, noting that he fails to identify them or crew members he claims agree the attack was an accident. Others also have changed their minds, including Captain Ward Boston, the senior Navy lawyer under pressure to give a peremptory evaluation of the Navy Board of Inquiry. In 2002, Boston dropped a bombshell on Judge Cristol’s thesis. He informed Navy Times that Israel had knowingly assaulted the Liberty and has worked ever since to “try to get out of it.” As surprising, he said, was that the court’s president, Rear Admiral Kidd, shared this view, but owing to political pressure from Washington announced the opposite conclusion to the media. “Officers,” Boston remarked, “obey orders.” Boston explained in the interview that he was speaking now in part because “everyone else is shooting his mouth off.” [47]

Judge Cristol could not explain what might have inspired such candor, although he writes that the late Admiral Kidd had told him that the attack was in error. That is the opposite of what Ennes maintains concerning his “many talks” with Admiral Kidd. Ennes also says that Admiral Kidd urged him and his group to keep pressing for an open congressional probe. Meanwhile, Judge Cristol has Boston recanting his Navy Times statements. In reality, Boston stands firmly behind them. [48]

Presidential Recall
When the Liberty’s technicians finally found an unjammed frequency, they sent a last desperate message to the Sixth Fleet: “Flash Flash Flash. I pass in the blind.” Jet fighters launched from the carriers USS America (CVA-66) and Saratoga (CVA-60). It was too late. Here, a dispute hinges on several related, much-argued elements: how many launches, from which aircraft carrier, and when? But most important, why did the President issue an order recalling the aircraft? Whether some planes had nuclear bombs is hotly debated, too.

Survivors speak of the turn-around orders being radio-telephoned direct from the White House and Defense Secretary McNamara to the carrier group in the Mediterranean Sea. Judge Cristol answers that such “secure” communications were impossible in 1967. This is misleading, the head of the Liberty’s 94-man NSA contingent says. Clear -not secure-voice transmissions were used in the recall order, patched through the Naval Security Group relay station in Morocco. [49]

Otherwise, speculation is rife in this area. Some say President Johnson recalled the planes out of fear the attackers were Russian and a military response could trigger World War III. Others say the President, who at one stage believed Egypt had attacked the Liberty, was prepared to “nuke” Cairo. Still others believe LBJ, on learning the culprits were Israeli, would not retaliate for political reasons.

A final aspect of the Judge Cristol treatise, although not part of the point/counterpoint, has engendered the survivors’ special disdain. The judge all but ignores them. Of 500-plus interviews conducted over more than a decade, only seven were with crewmen. [50] “If he spoke to us,” says Ennes, “it would blow his thesis out of the water-as the Israelis tried to do with our ship.” He adds, “Not a single one of us agrees with Cristol.” [51] Judge Cristol replies that survivor/witnesses are not objective. And, unlike Ennes, he “writes history, not memoirs.”

None of this may matter, because official support for the crew remains nonexistent. But growing numbers of former senior government and military officials have begun speaking out. Among those in support of the ship’s 200-plus survivors, in addition to those mentioned previously and in the accompanying sidebar, are: former Chief of Naval Operations and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Thomas Moorer, then CIA Director Richard Helms, then-NSA Director Marshall Carter, Carter’s Deputy Louis Tordella (who wrote on the Israeli Navy’s report, “A nice whitewash!”), NSA “Liberty incident” analyst Walter Deeley, and Hayden Peake, professor of intelligence history at the Joint Military Intelligence College and retired CIA officer. [52]

Why, Judge Cristol was asked at the Navy Yard, did his conclusions run so afoul of such seniors? He answered that although they were respectable men, their contradictions baffled him. In general, he suggests that because theirs are not firsthand knowledge, contrarian officials’ statements may, like the survivors’, be dismissed. [53]

Judge Cristol is not without his admirers. He counts (besides numerous Israeli officials, Israeli Defense Force officers, and other partisans) former CIA Director Admiral Stansfied Turner and the carrier America’s captain, late Vice Admiral Donald Engen. [54] But the supernova in this galaxy is Secretary McNamara. Quoted by Judge Cristol as seeing only “tragic error,” McNamara’s stock answer when queried by other Liberty researchers is, “I remember nothing about the incident.”

Will the Liberty remain a sort of “Flying Dutchman,” sailing forever around her poor men’s souls? Until survivors get what they call “justice”-that elusive open forum-it seems her restless ghost will do just that.

Background on the attack is largely from James Ennes Jr., Assault on the Liberty: The True Story of the Israeli Attack on an American Intelligence Ship (New York: Random House, 1979, updated version, Gathersburg, MD: Reintree Press Ed., Signature Books, 2002).
A. Jay Cristol, The Liberty Incident: The 1967 Israeli Attack on the U.S. Navy Spy Ship (Dulles, VA: Brassey’s, 2002).
Cristol lecture, Education Center, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, DC, 17 February 2002.
Ennes, Assault, Appendix S.
Cristol, Incident, pp. 199, 201.
Web site: Since the Liberty Veterans’ Association’s founding in 1982, survivors have petitioned Congress and successive administrations to probe the attack, invite them to testify openly on what they witnessed, then publicly release the full text. The government refuses.
Cristol, Incident, p. 97, and radio interview, Cristol, Ennes, Joe Meadors, Pacifica Radio KPFK, Los Angeles, 29 January 2003.
Ennes e-mail to author, 14 February 2003.
Clifford Report to the White House, July 1967, and Dean Rusk demarche to Israeli Ambassador Avraham Harmon, 10 June 1967, in Ennes, Assault, Appendix S. Clifford Report, cited in Cristol, Incident, notes, p. 263.
Cristol, “The Liberty Incident,” Ph.D. diss., University of Miami, 1997, p. 331, photo and caption. The wheel and bell of MTB-203, which launched the fatal torpedo, are displayed in Haifa’s Clandestine Immigration and Naval Museum. Interview, MGen. John Morrison, USAF (Ret.), 3 March 2003. Interview, former NSA Director LGen. William Odom, USA (Ret.), 26 March 2003.
Cristol, Incident, pp. 55, 58.
Ennes, e-mail 9 March 2003. CPO Melvin Smith was killed shortly thereafter.
Ennes, e-mail, 3 March 2003.
Cristol, Incident, p. 88. Judge Cristol also writes (p. 181) that the Israelis had “little knowledge” of warships they were not encountering in battle. He says if anything, the U.S. ship more likely would have been (and at one stage was) confused with a Russian electronic intelligence “trawler” (see pp. 49-50). The implications of an Israeli attack on a Soviet vessel in peacetime require no elucidation.
Cristol, Incident, pp. 25, 109, 118. Ennes, e-mail, 13 March 2003: “Israeli and American pilots routinely broadcast in the clear. I don’t believe there was (any) airborne encryption capability in 1967.”
Ennes, e-mail, 3 March and 9 March 2003. Cristol, Incident, p. 137, citing a letter to him from an unnamed NSA Hebrew linguist on board an EC-121, which James Bamford’s NSA history-Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 2001)-first revealed was circling overhead.
Richard Sturman, e-mail, 8 March 2003. See also Ennes, Assault, Addendum, p. 10, and Richard Smith, “The Violation of the Liberty,” U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, June 1978, note 10. Ennes e-mail, 13 March 2003 also notes that the Naval Court of Inquiry documented the radio frequencies’ jamming.
Cristol, Incident, p. 43.
Cristol, Incident, pp. 73-84.
Cristol, Incident, p. 180.
Cristol, Incident, p. 75.
Interview, Joe Meadors, Pacifica Radio KPFK, Los Angeles, 29 January 2003.
Schaaf critique, quoted in Ennes e-mail, 3 February 2003.
Cristol, Incident, pp. 54-55, 81.
Cristol, Incident, pp. 34-35, 38.
Cristol, Incident, p. 154. Two detailed diagrams (pp. 49, 56) show the sun, azimuth references, MTB positions and other indicia, but the Liberty’s bow marks are backward, and her stern’s are absent altogether.
Bamford, Secrets, pp. 185-239.
Bamford, Secrets, pp. 176, 207.
Ennes, e-mail, 4 March 2003.
Unnamed Egyptian officer, 18 February 2003.
NSA Deputy Director Oliver Kirby, interview, 18 February 2003. On Israeli intelligence: “They’re really good.”
Ennes, Assault, Addendum (2002), p. 18. Five witnesses “are willing to testify under oath” to this.
Ennes, e-mail 3 February 2003.
Cristol, Incident, pp. 57, 180. The book notes only that a “damaged” raft was “recovered” by an MTB.
Lentini, Painter, et, al., interviews, “Dead in the Water,” BBC-4 television documentary, 2001.
LCdr. Walter Jacobsen, USN, “A Juridical Examination of the Israeli Attack on the USS Liberty,” Naval Law Review, Winter 1986, p. 51. Cristol lecture, 17 Dec. 2002. Answering a question about life raft witness Lt. Lloyd Painter: “It’s a new story from 10 years after the attack.” He added, “I believe what Painter said in the (naval court) record.”
Ennes, Assault, p. 158, note 10, quoting Israeli Commission of Inquiry of 16 June 1967, the so-called Ram Ron Report.
Cristol, Incident, p. 33.
Ennes, Assault, Addendum, p. 14. The report was released in 1983 after a long, expensive court case filed by a Liberty supporter.
Cristol, Incident, p. 94.
Ennes, Assault, Addendum, p. 14.
Cristol, Incident, p. 151, Ennes, e-mail, 3 February 2003.
Ennes, Assault, Addendum, p. 8.
Ennes, Assault, Addendum, p. 19.
Ennes, e-mail, 12 March 2003.
Television documentary, “Dead in the Water.” No shipmate is known to contest Lentini’s view.
Navy Times, 26 June 2002. The same article quotes then-CIA Director Richard Helms on 29 May telling the reporter the attack “was no mistake.” This directly contradicts Judge Cristol and an agency report from 13 June 1967, backing Israel’s mistaken-identity claim.
Ennes, e-mail, 21 March 2003. No evidence exists that Boston went public until he talked to Navy Times and no sign of a reversal.
Cristol, Incident, p. 98. Interview with LCdr. David Lewis, USN (Ret.), head of the Liberty’s 195-man NSA contingent, 28 February 2003. Despite Lewis’s senior rank and position, “No one asked me to testify” at the naval hearing. Lewis was among the wounded.
Ennes, e-mail, 3 February 2003. Most of these were perfunctory exchanges at a 1992 veterans’ happy hour and not interviews, Ennes points out.
Ennes, e-mail, 3 February 2003.
Bamford, Secrets, and Ennes, Assault. The skipper had always held his tongue. But besides the “deliberate” remark in 1998 in an oral history (see Bamford, p. 233) a few months before dying in 2001 he asked President George W. Bush to look into the attack. Retired Captain William McGonagle was ignored. Peake quoted in The Intelligencer, Summer 2001, that “common sense” ruled out an accident.
Ennes, e-mail, 21 March 2003.
Cristol, Incident, book jacket endorsements.

Mr. Walsh is a freelance writer and photographer headquartered in the Washington, D.C., area. He has worked as a consultant on segments concerning the USS Liberty for CBS News’s “60 Minutes” and Britain’s Thames Television.

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The Navy League of the United States for Israel?

Join the Navy League and get thrown under the bus.


USS Liberty Survivor and President of the Liberty Veterans Association: Ernie Gallo

On April 23rd, 2010 Ernie Gallo wrote that he was suspended from the Navy League of the United States in Florida  LINK  (story) for pursuing and seeking answers and justice for the deliberate USS Liberty attack by Israel on June 8th 1967.

If one goes to the The Navy League of the US website one reads their “new” undeclared mission statement and purpose.

“The Navy League of the United States was founded in 1902 with the encouragement of President Theodore Roosevelt. It is unique among military-oriented associations in that it is a civilian organization dedicated to the education of our citizens, including our elected officials, and the support of the men and women of the sea services and their families in indirect service to Israel. USS Liberty veterans need not apply!

The objective and purpose of the Navy League is threefold: educational and motivational and service to a foreign  nation and the  attackers of the USS Liberty on June 8th, 1967. We must acquire and display before the citizens of our country information regarding the condition of our naval and maritime forces. We must awaken interest and support in all matters which aid our maritime capabilities and perpetuate the myth that the actions of June 8th, 1967 must always be regarded as an ‘accident’ because A. Jay Cristol, a liar, a Israel First propagandist  said so..

FIXED They could at least honestly say as much. Political expedience has no place in the Navy League of the United States. Their silence on the matter is deafening.

Here is the latest response from  Ernest Gallo, President of the USS Liberty Veterans association in this sad sordid tale.

“Follow Up to my Navy League Suspension

On Friday, April 30, 2010, I visited Navy League Headquarters in
Arlington, Virginia. I now understand why I was handled so heavy  handedly. I did not understand why the senior Florida management switched from four years of support to my suspension. At some  point, the St. Augustine Navy League Council must have called Navy  League Headquarters and were told that the LVA was a problem  organization and has caused them heart ache over the years.

The basis for their lack of empathy comes from their belief that the  attack was accidental. That is, they acquired their position

A fraud, a 'Israel First' American and USS Liberty apologist and liar.

from Judge Jay Crystal and his book. They believe he is a much respected  Federal Judge.  With that I knew I was in trouble. I countered and  indicated that his book is full of lies, half truths, and incorrect  statements and I gave them examples. I also indicated that they  should read “The Attack on the USS Liberty” for a better  understanding. I was also told that Admiral Thomas Moorer did not help by convening an investigative panel indicating that the attack  was deliberate. He was very critical of Admiral Moorer.

I don’t know if I was successful or not as the person I talked with was determined to lecture me instead of really listening to my counter points and the details of my suspension. It is my opinion
that this group, the Navy League of the United States, is partly
another congressional lobby for the Military Industrialists.

I was told to take my suspension up with the St. Augustine Navy
League board of directors which has not happened. I will keep you  all informed.

Ernie Gallo”

From USS Newsletter #229 by John  Gidusko,  May 3, 2010

John Gidusko’s website

USS Liberty Veterans Organization The real Navy League of the US

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Dec. 3, 2008  Phillip F. Tourney

As I lay here in my hospital bed, cheating the grim reaper once more and as bad as I feel, I must write this article. I think back to June 8, 1967 aboard the USS LIBERTY when the terribly wounded men had not a comfortable bed to lie on, only the comfort of a steel deck on a hard mess table to give them comfort. The heroic Doctor Keipher could only do so much for so many. We as a crew are eternally grateful for his life saving skills.

As you may or may not know, our ship was savagely attacked by air and sea in a sneak, murderous, venomous, and brutal attack by the government of Israel, our only “ally” in the Middle East. We were in international waters on the high seas with our colors flowing in the wind for all to see. The government of Israel had positively identified our clearly marked ship as the USS LIBERTY, an American intelligence gathering ship, the most sophisticated listening platform in the world at that time.

In this two hour attack, Israel attacked us with French mirage jets with the Star of David painted over to mask the identity of our attackers. The air assault lasted 30 – 40 minutes, dropping napalm on us, shooting us with rockets, canons, machine guns, whatever ordinance they had on those planes they used on their American friends, slaughtering and maiming as many of Americas’ sons as possible. We got out a S.O.S. to the Sixth Fleet within 15 minutes into the attack that we were being attacked by unknown jet aircraft, may-day, may-day!

Captain Tully scrambled conventionally armed aircraft from the USS SARATOGA to come to our aid. Even before the lifesaving planes hit the horizon they were recalled. Captain Tully was dumb-founded that his rescue aircraft had been recalled. He then launched a second strike force to come to our aid – same results- return to base.

We were left out there to fend for ourselves when the United States Government knew we were under attack. This came from the chain of command from Admiral John McCain, Jr. up to LBJ. The bastards left us out there alone to die.

The torpedo boats then showed up to finish us off, firing 5 torpedoes at us from three motor torpedo boats. One torpedo hit the starboard side, murdering 25 of America’s greatest stars in the intelligence field.

The torpedo gunmen would shoot at our fire fighters, stretcher bearers, and anything else that moved. The Israelis were having the time of their lives, causing this murder and mayhem.

Two Israeli helicopters hovered over our ship for awhile with commandos at the doors, ready to board our ship and finish us off. But they suddenly left. We didn’t find out until later the reason they left was they had picked up a false message that help would be there soon. But, just like before, help never did come to our aid. Over 800 canon and rocket holes were in our ship, thousands of rounds of 50 caliber armor piercing bullets riddled the ship and a hole left in her side was so big we thought our ship was going to roll over on us and there we would be at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, 34 Americans murdered and 174 wounded.

I think about when the PUEBLO crew had met the same fate, only to be captured and tortured by the North Koreans for a year before their release. I can’t imagine what those heroes went through serving their country then being thrown away as the LIBERTY crew had been. I wonder how I would have handled name, rank, and serial number only with torture awaiting me at any moment. When we were interrogated by our government about the attack, we all expected a hardy well-done, sailors! You saved your ship! I’ll tell you what our ungrateful government did to us without torture but with intimidation from LBJ to Admiral John McCain, Jr. on down. Our ship had just come through one of the most miraculous arts of seamanship in the history of naval battle and our government ordered us to cover it up for the Israelis, never to breath a word about the attack or we would go to jail or die. Admiral McCain’s son, Senator John McCain signed off on a book called “The Liberty Incident”, which was a bunch of lies, as true facts. Like father like son.

Our government left us out there to die and when we all didn’t die they ordered us to lie! We gave our information freely and willingly. Our government broke our hearts, they broke our trust. They broke us like match sticks and threw us all to the wind. The United States Government is just as guilty of murdering Americans as the Zionist murderers are. All of them from LBJ to the new president should be brought up on charges of aiding and abetting murderers.

They did that to us and they will do it to you! The crew of the LIBERTY should have stuck to name, rank, and serial number, only, when we were being interrogated by Israel’s Zionist thugs calling themselves Americans.

If the LIBERTY murders are so easily explained away, then haul the survivors in front of the senate panel and let’s get history straight once and for all. Then we will see who the real patriots of this government are. They are definitely not the Zionist flunkies in congress who do Israel’s bidding and have been doing so since June 8, 1967. That’s for sure.

Phillip F. Tourney is a three time president of the USS LIBERTY VETS ASSOC.

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Statement of Ambassador Edward Peck

It’s incredible that a former US government official even has to make such a statement. -jd

our government has steadfastly refused to permit the survivors of the heaviest attack on a Navy ship since WWII to tell properly constituted official investigators what happened on that fateful day. This is obsequious, unctuous subservience to the peripheral interests of a foreign nation at the cost of the lives and morale of our own service members and their families. It should no longer be condoned.

Statement of Ambassador Edward Peck

Former Chief of Mission in Iraq and Deputy Director of
Ronald Reagan’s White House Task Force on Terrorism

US Navy Memorial
June 8, 2007

Amb. Edward Peck, a 32-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service, also senior and Chief of Mission in Iraq (1977 - served as U.S. Ambassador 1980).

The Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest decoration for bravery that our nation can bestow, was awarded to the Commanding Officer of the USS Liberty, Captain William McGonagle.

Three significant aspects of the fully deserved recognition of his heroic actions are worthy of note. Each of them constitutes additional evidence and compelling indictments of the nature and extent of the cover-up, the shameful efforts to protect relations with a foreign country at the expense of American military personnel.

First, the Congressional Medal of Honor is always presented at the White House by the President. Captain McGonagle received his at the Washington Navy Yard, presented by the Secretary of the Navy. The Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Moorer, referred to the hastily arranged ceremony as a ‘back-handed slap’. It is similar in effect to handing it to him in a paper bag in some back alley.

Second, this was the first time in history the Congressional Medal was awarded for action in the face of an enemy with which the United States was not at war. In fact, Israel, the nation that launched and sustained a two-hour air and sea attack on a US Navy ship was considered a friend.

Third, the US has just gone through a long, painful, costly and embarrassing effort to unravel the cover-up of the death by friendly fire of Pat Tillman in Afghanistan. American servicemen will be punished for attempting to conceal the circumstances of the accidental killing of a single American soldier by his own comrades. It is totally unacceptable that even though Israeli servicemen would not receive punishment for carrying out their orders, orders that resulted in the killing and wounding of more than 200 of the Liberty’s crew, our government has steadfastly refused to permit the survivors of the heaviest attack on a Navy ship since WWII to tell properly constituted official investigators what happened on that fateful day.

This is obsequious, unctuous subservience to the peripheral interests of a foreign nation at the cost of the lives and morale of our own service members and their families. It should no longer be condoned.

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Statement of Rear Admiral Merlin H. Staring, JAGC, USN (Ret.)

Remember Adm. Staring was Adm. McCain’s senior lawyer in Europe who questioned and criticized the initial Liberty Court of Inquiry findings on many levels in June 1967.   McCain removed him and the Liberty COI report does not have the CiC  US Naval Forces Euopre senior lawyer’s endorsement on it.  He was also a member of the Moorer Commission that independently found the June 8th 1967 attack deliberate. -jd

Statement of Rear Admiral Merlin H. Staring, JAGC, USN (Ret.)

Former Judge Advocate General of the Navy

US Navy Memorial
June 8, 2007








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Mens Newcomers Club of Nassau County: USS Liberty Presentation

Lunch with, learn something important from some one who was there at a historic time of national  infamy and meet a hero, not a bad deal.

Mr. Gallo was recently suspended from the Naval League of the United States at high level without explanation or due process to stop him from continuing to speak out after 43 years on the USS Liberty attack.  And he gets the “conspiracy theorist”  label?

Mens Newcomers Club of Nassau County: USS Liberty Presentation

Thursday, May 20 11:30a to 1:30p
at Fernandina Beach Golf Club, Fernandina Beach, Fla.

USS Liberty Survivor and President of the Liberty Veterans Association: Ernie Gallo

Earnest A. Gallo, a survivor of the USS Liberty attack and a 29 year federal government employee will present a complete overview of the attack on the USS Liberty during the Arab/Israeli war, which started in June of 1967. The USS Liberty is now the most decorated ship in the US Navy, since World War ll.

Price: $15 before 5/15; $17 at door
Age Suitability: 21 and up

Earnest A. Gallo, a survivor of the USS Liberty attack and a 29 year federal government employee will present a complete overview of the attack on the USS Liberty during the Arab/Israeli war, which started in June of 1967. The USS Liberty is now the most decorated ship in the US Navy, since World War ll. Ernie is currently President of the USS Liberty Veterans Association and Founder of the Liberty Foundation. For further information visit

Information by John Gidusko 04/29/10 Newsletter#226

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Cristol Claim of 13 Investigations Into Israel’s Attack on USS Liberty a Travesty

Terence O’Keefe
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
December 2003

When A. Jay Cristol’s The Liberty Incident was released a year ago, it was uncritically hailed as the last word in the 36-year controversy surrounding Israel’s 1967 attack on the USS Liberty that took 34 American lives and wounded 172. The book was packed with tedious minutiae arguing the case. Indeed, if its author is to be believed, Liberty survivors have engaged in a 36-year slander against the state of Israel—which was guilty, at worst, of a grievous mistake in the heat of war.

“Thirteen investigations have all exonerated Israel,” is Cristol’s mantra.

Like many others, I found the author’s case initially persuasive. Here, after all, is a federal judge, a Navy captain, author, scholar, former Navy lawyer and apparently a combat fighter pilot who claims to have studied this matter for 15 years, with an open mind, and who finally was forced to conclude that it was a tragic accident. Those who say otherwise, I agreed, must be either mistaken or malicious.

But the survivors are persuasive, too—and Cristol dismisses their eyewitness accounts out-of-hand. Eyewitnesses, he claims, are not reliable, as they are too close to the event to be believed. Better to rely upon dispassionate historians such as himself who examine the evidence later, with a cooler and more objective vision.

It was with that view that I decided to examine both the Cristol and the Liberty positions in an effort to find where the truth lies. For more than a year I queried survivors and Mr. Cristol himself, seeking facts, evidence and the truth.

To most questions, Cristol points to his account of 13 exonerating investigations, so I focused closely on those. Here is the result:

Cristol’s 13 Investigations

1. The U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry: The senior legal adviser to the Court of Inquiry reflected that, in his entire career, he has never seen court of inquiry appointing letters with such limited authority, or an investigation made in such haste. The court’s hearings began before the Liberty even arrived in Malta, and the report was completed just 10 days after the attack. The court commented on this haste in the official record: “The Court of Inquiry experienced no unusual difficulties incident to conducting the subject proceedings except for the necessity of investigating such a major naval disaster of international significance in an extremely abbreviated time frame.”

Due in part to the required haste and the limitations imposed on the scope of the court’s inquiries (“It was not the responsibility of the court to rule on the culpability of the attackers, and no evidence was heard from the attacking nation”), the court concluded that “available evidence combines to indicate…[that the attack was] a case of mistaken identity.”

How, one might ask, could one inquire into all of the circumstances without hearing from the attacking nation? In fact, the court did neither. According to Captain Ward Boston, chief legal counsel to the Court of Inquiry, the court found that the attack was deliberate, but reported falsely that it was not because they were directed by the president of the United States and the secretary of defense to report falsely. So the findings are fraudulent. Yet these fraudulent findings were the basis for several other reports that followed.

2. Israeli government investigations: The Ram Ron and Yerushalmi reports of 1967 were not investigations. Both were elements of an Israeli process to determine whether anyone in Israel should be tried for a crime. That the attack itself was an accident was a given. Both hearings officers determined that no one in Israel did anything wrong, and that the USS Liberty was partly responsible, for a number of contrived reasons, such as “failure to fly a flag” and “trying to hide”—which the Navy Court of Inquiry found to be untrue.

3. The Joint Chiefs of Staff Report of June 1967: This was an inquiry into the mishandling of several messages intended for the ship. It was not an investigation into the attack. It did not exonerate Israel, because it did not in any way consider the question of culpability.

4. CIA report of June 13, 1967: This interim report, completed five days after the attack, reported “our best judgment [is] that the attack…was a mistake.” No investigation was conducted, and no first-hand evidence was collected. Then-CIA Director Richard Helms concluded and later reported in his autobiography that the attack was planned and deliberate—a fact ignored by Mr. Cristol.

5. Clark Clifford report of July 18, 1967: Clark Clifford was directed by Lyndon Johnson to review the Court of Inquiry report and the interim CIA report and “not to make an independent inquiry.” His was merely a summary of other fallacious reports, not an “investigation” as alleged by Mr. Cristol. The report reached no conclusions and did not exonerate Israel, as Mr. Cristol also claimed. On the contrary, Clifford wrote later that he regarded the attack as deliberate—a fact ignored by Mr. Cristol.

6. and 7. Two Senate Investigations: The Committee on Foreign Relations meeting of 1967 and Senate Armed Services Committee meeting of 1968 were hearings on unrelated matters which clearly skeptical members used to castigate representatives of the administration under oath before them. Typical questions were, “Why can’t we get the truth about this?” They were not “investigations” at all, but budget hearings, and reported no conclusions concerning the attack. They did not exonerate Israel, as claimed by Mr. Cristol.

8. House Appropriations Committee meeting of April and May 1968: This was a budget committee meeting which explored the issue of lost messages intended for the ship. It was not an investigation and reported no conclusions concerning the attack, as alleged by Mr. Cristol.

9. House Armed Services Committee Review of Communications, May 1971: Liberty communications were discussed along with other communications failures. The committee reported no conclusions concerning the attack, as alleged by Mr. Cristol.

10. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 1979/1981: Mr. Cristol claims that the committee investigated the attack and exonerated Israel, yet he has been unable to provide minutes, a report or other evidence of such an investigation. Rules of the select committee require that any committee investigation be followed by a report. There is no report of such an investigation; ergo, there was no such investigation.

11. National Security Agency Report, 1981: Upon the publication in 1980 of Assault on the Liberty by James Ennes, the National Security Agency completed a detailed account of the attack. The report drew no conclusions, although its authors did note that the deputy director dismissed the Israeli excuse (the Yerushalmi report) as “a nice whitewash.” The report did not exonerate Israel, as claimed by Mr. Cristol.

12. State of Israel–Israel Defense Force History Department report of June 1982: This Israeli government report was a reaction to a published report by Sen. Adlai Stevenson III that he believed the attack to be deliberate and hoped to provide a forum for survivors to tell their story. It was primarily a summary of the Ram Ron and Yerushalmi reports. The Stevenson forum, which was the impetus for the report, was never held. The report supports the official Israeli position that the attack was a tragic accident.

13. House Armed Services Committee investigation of 1991/1992: Though cited by Mr. Cristol as an investigation which exonerates Israel, the U.S. government reports no record of such an investigation. Cristol claims that the investigation resulted from a letter to Rep. Nicholas Mavroules from Joe Meadors, then-president of the USS Liberty Veterans Association, seeking Mavroules’ support. Instead of responding to Liberty veterans, however, Congressman Mavroules referred the matter to Mr. Cristol for advice. Survivors heard nothing further. Meadors’ letter was never answered. The U.S. government reports that there has been no such investigation.

Time for a Real Investigation

Liberty survivors have said for 36 years that theirs is the only major maritime incident not investigated by Congress. Apologist Cristol’s response is to claim that no investigation is needed because the attack has been investigated repeatedly, and that each such investigation has exonerated Israel. That claim is pure fantasy. A recent request to the Congressional Research Service for evidence of any congressional inquiry into the attack on the USS Liberty brought a report that Congress has never investigated the attack. Israeli culpability for the attack on the USS Liberty has never been investigated by any agency of the United States government. It should be.

Terence O’Keefe is a CPA working on a master’s degree in strategic intelligence at the American Military University. He plans to write his thesis on the Liberty attack.

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Findings of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Israeli Attack on the USS Liberty, the Recall of Military Rescue Support Aircraft while the Ship was Under Attack, and the Subsequent Cover-up by the United States Government

USS Liberty

Findings of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Israeli Attack on the USS Liberty, the Recall of Military Rescue Support Aircraft while the Ship was Under Attack, and the Subsequent Cover-up by the United States Government

OCTOBER 22, 2003

Former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
Chairman, Liberty Alliance

Former Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps
Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient
Vice Chairman, Liberty Alliance

Former Judge Advocate General of the Navy
Director, Liberty Alliance

Former United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
Director, Liberty Alliance

We, the undersigned, having undertaken an independent investigation of Israel’s attack on the 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 the USS Liberty, the world’s most sophisticated intelligence ship, inflicting 34 dead and 172 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 the 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 the 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 the 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 the 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 the 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 the 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 the 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 the 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; and

THIRD: That the eighth day of June of every year be proclaimed to be hereafter known as
USS LIBERTY REMEMBRANCE DAY, in order to commemorate the 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. Moorer

Former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff,
Chairman, Liberty Alliance

General of Marines Raymond G. Davis, USMC, MOH*
Vice Chairman, Liberty Alliance

Merlin Staring
Rear Admiral Merlin Staring, USN, Ret.,
Former Judge Advocate General of the Navy,
Director, Liberty Alliance

James Akins
Ambassador James Akins, Ret.,
Former United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia,
Director, Liberty Alliance

*IN MEMORIAM: General of Marines Raymond G. Davis, one of America’s most decorated military heroes (including the Congressional Medal of Honor), Vice Chairman of the Liberty Alliance, and one of the principal members of this Independent Commission of Inquiry, passed away in Conyers, Georgia, on September 3, 2003.

** [1] Captain Ward Boston, USN, JAGC, Ret, the chief Navy attorney for the 1967 U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry into the Israeli attack, has recently come forward to repudiate the Court’s conclusion that the attack was “a case of mistaken identity”. Captain Boston has revealed that all available evidence, in fact, pointed in exactly the opposite direction — that it was a deliberate attack on a clearly identified American ship. In his affidavit dated October 9, 2003, Captain Boston states, “Admiral Kidd and I believed with certainty that this attack, which killed 34 American sailors and injured 172 others, was a deliberate effort to sink an American ship and murder its entire crew. I am certain that the Israeli pilots that undertook the attack, as well as their superiors who had ordered the attack, were aware that the ship was American.” [See Exhibit attached]. Captain Boston stated that he has personal knowledge that Admiral Kidd found the attack to be “a case of mistaken identity” in 1967 only because he was under direct orders to do so by Defense Secretary McNamara and President Johnson.

[2] Lieutenant Commander David E. Lewis, the Liberty’s chief intelligence officer (who was severely wounded in the attack) has reported a conversation with Admiral Lawrence R. Geis, the Sixth Fleet carrier division commander, who visited Lewis after he had been medically evacuated by helicopter to the aircraft carrier USS America. According to Lewis, “He (Admiral Geis) said that he wanted somebody to know that we weren’t forgotten…attempts HAD been made to come to our assistance. He said that he had launched a flight of aircraft to come to our assistance, and he had then called Washington. Secretary McNamara came on the line and ordered the recall of the aircraft, which he did. Concurrently he said that since he suspected that they were afraid that there might have been nuclear weapons on board, he reconfigured another flight of aircraft – strictly conventional weaponry – and re-launched it. After the second launch, he again called Washington to let them know what was going on. Again, Secretary McNamara ordered the aircraft recalled. Not understanding why, he requested confirmation of the order; and the next higher in command came on to confirm that…President Johnson…with the instructions that the aircraft were to be returned, that he would not have his allies embarrassed, he didn’t care who was killed or what was done to the ship…words to that effect. With that, Admiral Geis swore me to secrecy for his lifetime. I had been silent up until I found out from Admiral Moorer that Admiral Geis had passed away” [transcript from NBC’s Liberty Story, aired on national television 1/27/92]. This statement by Commander Lewis has recently been corroborated by Tony Hart, a Navy communications technician stationed at the U.S. Navy Base in Morocco in June, 1967. Mr. Hart connected the telephone conversation between Secretary McNamara and Admiral Geis and stayed on the line to keep them connected. Hart has been recorded as saying that he overheard Admiral Geis refusing McNamara’s order to recall the Sixth Fleet rescue aircraft while the ship was under attack. Mr.Hart reported that McNamara responded,“we are not going to war over a bunch of dead sailors.”

[3] New evidence of intercepted radio communications between attacking Israeli pilots and the Israeli War Room, recorded by a U.S. Navy EC-121 spy plane, in which the Israeli pilots report seeing the Liberty’s American flag flying, has been collected by investigative author James Bamford – for 9 years the Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings (and author of Body of Secrets, which includes a chapter entitled Blood about the attack on the Liberty). A similar radio message was intercepted by the EC-121 from the Israeli motor torpedo boats. This corroborates statements by surviving crewmembers, by Ambassador Dwight Porter, and by senior National Security Agency officials concerning NSA intercepts of Israeli pilot communications identifying the ship as American.

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Time for truth about USS Liberty

April 13, 2010

Time for truth about USS Liberty



An anniversary is coming up in June, a day for every U.S. citizen to remember — the attack on the USS Liberty by a so-called friend, Israel.

Last month I had the privilege of traveling for a visit with one of the crew of this proud ship. Our country and its leaders turned their backs and refused to support the crew in a time of war. What else can you call it? President Lyndon Johnson should have been impeached. The word “Classified” is supposed to heal the deaths, wounds destruction of families and shame? Not for this American.

A friend had set up our meeting at a restaurant about 75 miles from here. This survivor had already arrived and he greeted us. We talked about other things. I had requested that my friend ask the Liberty crew member to bring his helmet. I had been informed about its condition. After 30 minutes or so, I asked about the helmet. He reached under the table and brought it out.

I sat in silence. There were two holes almost dead center, one the size of a silver dollar and the other a little smaller. Only divine intervention could have saved him.

Isn’t it time our government released these brave men from their bondage? Tell the truth about the  attack.

The projectile scars run below his ear and down his neck. The scars he carries on the inside will never heal.

There will be a USS Liberty reunion on June 5 in Evansville, Ind.

Isn’t it time our government built a monument to honor these sailors?

Bob Payne

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Lyndon Johnson Ordered Cover-Up of Israeli Bombing Attack on USS Liberty in 1967 Six-Day War

Associated Press Wednesday, October 22, 2003

LBJ and McNamara, Enough said.

WASHINGTON—A former Navy lawyer who helped lead the military investigation of the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty that killed 34 American servicemen says former president Lyndon Johnson and his defense secretary, Robert McNamara, ordered that the inquiry conclude the incident was an accident.

In a signed affidavit released at a Capitol Hill news conference, retired Captain Ward Boston said Johnson and McNamara told those heading the Navy’s inquiry to “conclude that the attack was a case of ‘mistaken identity’ despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.”

Boston was senior legal counsel to the navy’s original 1967 review of the attack. He said in the sworn statement that he stayed silent for years because he’s a military man, and “when orders come, I follow them.”

He said he felt compelled to “share the truth” following the publication of a recent book, The Liberty Incident, which concluded the attack was unintentional.

The USS Liberty was an electronic intelligence-gathering ship that was cruising international waters off the Egyptian coast June 8, 1967. Israeli planes and torpedo boats opened fire on the Liberty at what became known as the outbreak of the Israeli-Arab Six-Day War.

In addition to the 34 Americans killed, more than 170 were wounded.

‘Classic all-American cover-up’

Israel has long maintained that the attack was a case of mistaken identity, an explanation that the Johnson administration did not formally challenge. Israel claimed its forces thought the ship was an Egyptian vessel and apologized to the United States.

After the attack, a Navy court of inquiry concluded there was insufficient information to make a judgment about why Israel attacked the ship, stopping short of assigning blame or determining whether it was an accident.

It was “one of the classic all-American cover-ups,” said retired Admiral Thomas Moorer, a former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman who spent a year investigating the attack as part of an independent panel he formed with other former military officials. The panel also included a former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, James Akins.

“Why would our government put Israel’s interests ahead of our own?” Moorer asked from his wheelchair at the news conference. He was chief of naval operations at the time of the attack.

Moorer, who has long held that the attack was a deliberate act, wants Congress to investigate.

David Lewis of Lemington, Vt., was on the Liberty when it was attacked. In an interview, he said Israel had to know it was targeting an American ship. He said a U.S. flag was flying that day and Israel shot it full of holes.

Israeli spokesman offers excuse

The sailors on the ship, he said, quickly hoisted another American flag, a much bigger one, to show Israel it was a U.S. vessel.

“No trained individual could be that inept,” said Lewis of the Israeli forces.

Israeli Embassy spokesman Mark Regev disputed any notion that Israel knowingly went after American sailors.

“I can say unequivocally that the Liberty tragedy was a terrible accident, that the Israeli pilots involved believed they were attacking an enemy ship,” Regev said.

“This was in the middle of a war. This is something that we are not proud of.”

Calls to the Navy seeking comment were not immediately returned.

Moorer’s panel suggested several possible reasons Israel might have wanted to attack a U.S. ship. Among them: Israel intended to sink the ship and blame Egypt because it might have brought the United States into the 1967 war.
New charges vs. Israel in ’67 ship attack

United Press International Wednesday, October 22, 2003

By NICHOLAS M. HORROCK, UPI Chief White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON—A private commission investigating the 1967 attack on the U.S. spy ship USS Liberty on Wednesday released the sworn testimony of one naval investigator that the Israelis knew the ship was American and intended to “murder its entire crew.”

Israeli aircraft and torpedo boats attacked the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967, killing 34 U.S. sailors and injuring 172 others in one of the deadliest attacks suffered by a U.S. ship that remained afloat. The Israeli government claimed it was a case of “mistaken identity” and that their pilots were gunning for a 1937-era Egyptian freighter, but this claim set off a 36-year controversy between the two countries. Both U.S. and Israel groups have investigated the attack over the years, but the issue has never been settled.

Coming now, the evidence becomes part of a controversy over Israelis influence in Washington and whether it has tilted the Bush administration toward Jerusalem.

A private commission headed by a former chief of naval operations, retired Adm. Thomas H. Moorer, made public an affidavit by retired Capt. Ward Boston, formerly of the judge advocate general’s office and one of two senior naval officials investigating the attack.

“The evidence was clear. Both Admiral (Isaac) Kidd and I believed with certainty that this attack, which killed 34 America sailors and injured 172 others, was a deliberate effort to sink an American ship and murder its entire crew. I am certain that the Israeli pilots that undertook the attack as well as their superiors who had ordered the attack, were aware the ship was American.”

Outraged by ‘mistaken identity’ claim

Though Boston had made these charges informally, this was the first time a sworn affidavit supported them. Boston said he had been a serving naval officer and followed orders keeping quiet about his knowledge for 36 years.

“I am outraged at the efforts of apologists for Israel in this country to claim this attack was a case of ‘mistaken identity,’” he wrote.

“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 insidious attempt to whitewash the facts that has pushed me to speak out.”

Cristol [who is Jewish: ed.], a retired Navy pilot and member of judge advocate’s office, published a book in 2002 that found the attack was accidental.

Boston said “I saw the flag, which visibly identified the ship as American, riddled with bullet holes, and heard testimony that made it clear the Israelis intended there be no survivors.”

With the help of Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., the private commission arranged a news conference in the Rayburn House Office building. Moorer said the group wants the official naval report rescinded and a new court of inquiry convened and investigations launched by appropriate Capitol Hill committees.

White House ordered cover-up

The first court of inquiry was ordered by Adm. John S. McCain Jr.—father of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.—who was then commanding in London and over the vessels in the Mediterranean. Kidd and Boston conducted the inquiry in Malta where the Liberty had been taken for repairs and care of the wounded. Though they both agreed the attack was intentional, Kidd prepared a report that went with the Israeli version.

“I know from personal conversations I had with Admiral Kidd that President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of Defense (Robert) McNamara ordered him to conclude the attack was a case of ‘mistaken identity,’” Boston’s affidavit said.

There are numerous discrepancies between the Israeli version and the U.S. sailors’ report. The U.S. sailors reported they were under aerial surveillance by Israeli planes for hours before the attack and were flying the American flag. They said they were hit by aircraft, torpedoed and strafed by fast-moving surface vessels.

The Israelis said only aircraft were used in the attack. The sailors said that when they tried to launch lifeboats to secure the wounded the torpedo boats strafed and sank them.

They reported that the Israelis jammed the radio so they couldn’t call for help, but later when American aircraft were launched to help, they were recalled. Moorer said he has interviewed officers on the USS Saratoga, where the planes were based, who said the White House ordered them to abandon the rescue.

The Liberty was a World War II freighter converted to the role of a spy ship that the Navy said was very distinctive with massive aerials and satellite dishes. These spy vessels and spy flights later were replaced by satellite surveillance.

Why the Israelis would want to attack an American vessel has never been explained, but the incident came a few months before the 1967 Middle East war in which Egypt and Israel were adversaries.

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2007 USS Liberty Memorial Speech

The ship the State of Israel couldn't and still cannot sink.

Stan White, MCPO USN(Ret)

Surviving crewmember of the USS Liberty
Arlington National Cemetery
June 8, 2007

Good Afternoon!

The first thing I would like to talk about, in speaking for the USS Liberty survivors, is the organization “No Greater Love”. These special people have been conducting ceremonies on June 8th annually at this location, for many, many years now, honoring our thirty-four shipmates killed during the attack on our ship June 8, 1967.

It is with great gratitude that we thank you, words will never describe how much your kindness means to us.

Next, we thank ALL of you here with us today to honor our thirty-four fallen shipmates and their families.

These men joined the US Navy to serve their country to the best of their abilities. They were well trained at their jobs, as well as at their stations during General Quarters. They would be so disappointed if they knew that in their time of need and while giving their all, and finally – their lives, the US Government would not allow US Navy planes to come to our assistance while under attack. They would be even more disappointed if they knew that the US Congress, under the deep influence of the country that attacked us, has refused to stand up and be Americans and determining why the Liberty was intentionally attacked by Israel – AND why the US Government has covered up the attack, in its entirety, including the fact that it had the Navy Court of Inquiry conduct a fraudulent investigation, concluding that in a pre-determined finding of “accidental attack” in their final report.

I’m not here to talk about politics, politicians or governments, I just want to say a few words about my heroes – my shipmates.

The word “hero” has been over-used by people such as athletes and actors. We’re not talking about a football player with a sore leg who still scores a touchdown.

We are talking about Americans on a ship that is under attack, being hit with rockets, cannon and machine gun fire, and even napalm. Then when it seems like things can’t get any worse – it is hit by a torpedo!

These men don’t run and hide, even though they have very little in the way of weapons to defend themselves. No – they are fighting fires and pulling their wounded shipmates off the main deck while being shot at themselves. They are doing damage control, taking the positions at the stations of men killed or wounded, going to gun mounts of our machine guns, standing over the bodies of shipmates and friends – all this while they try not to slip or slide in the huge pool of blood on the deck. These are the same heroes swimming around in the dark oily waters in the torpedoed area, finding people still alive and bringing them up to safety. A wounded doctor, covering his wound, and working for hours saving lives and putting people’s bodies back together. A Captain that refuses medical attention until his men have been tended to and then staying on the bridge, giving orders, steering by the stars, and telling young men, tired and in shock, directions for turning the ship manually from down below. Men in the engine room refusing to leave their stations, even though they know that if the torpedo enters their area, every thing and every one will be blown to pieces. Over a hundred men with terrible wounds and mangled bodies, laying quietly with enormous amounts of pain, not complaining, waiting for their turn to get aid.

Those that survived – and those that died – are REAL American heroes. These are MY heroes, friends and shipmates. These heroes are one of the first things I think about each morning when I wake. I am SO proud, as are my shipmates, to have served with them and how very proud their families and friends must be too.

Maybe someday when some REAL American is running this Country, this ship and its crew will have a place in history books, as they should.

As Vice Admiral William Martin stated in July 1967, “I commend to every man who sails in the 6th Fleet, the fact that the USS Liberty has become a legend in her own times.” This quote is from an outstanding article titled “Heroism Aboard the USS Liberty 40 Years Ago” and is printed in the June/July 2007 issue of the VFW Magazine.

Please join us as we honor our heroes, dead or alive.

Thank you all again for being here.

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USS Liberty Survivor and President Ernie Gallo of the Liberty Veterans Association suspended by the NAVY LEAGUE OF THE UNITED STATES, apparently because they do not want to hear anything negative about Israel.

The apologists and the Israel Firsters will never stop. They can’t allow the truth out and exposure. Somebody is pulling strings and having a hissy fit.
The exposure and consequences of the truth would be devastating to these apologists and the US and Israeli government. Imagine having to admit after 42 years that the attack was deliberate and they always knew this?
And they claim there is no conspiracy?  Why the heavy handedness?
Just whose Navy League is this?
Whose country is this? Whose Navy? and auxiliary organizations  do they serve?
Do we exist for Israel’s benefit without question?  Is the subject and dissent of the Liberty attack immune from open honest discourse, dissent forbidden, search for justice and truth malleable that the shoddy “accident”, “official version” sacrosanct and Holy?  It appears so.
Just what does the Navy League fear and who is really being served?
You can’t serve serve two flags.  It seems to me that the Liberty Veterans Association watches the backs of Navy while the Navy League throws them under a bus.  What else could be their motivation 42 years after the attack and they call them ”conspiracy theorists’?  Look in the mirror Navy League.

34 dead forsaken again. Thrown under the bus for Israel again and again. This is “dual” loyalty and neocon patriotism and foreign entanglements and political expediency at its finest except there never seems to be anything “dual” about it.
Israel First always, never mind the US dead, never mind the billions given
and our AIPAC Government agrees. The Navy League of the United States sure does. -jd

From email:

Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2010
From: Ernie Gallo
Subject: The Navy League of the United States

USS Liberty Survivor and President Ernie Gallo of the Liberty Veterans Association.

Folks, I have recently been suspended by the subject organization because of my passion to tell the Liberty story and the new administrators do not want to hear anything negative about Israel. They have engineered my dismissal without consulting the St. Augustine Navy League (SANL) Council board of directors. The Florida Administrators have been very heavy handed and  see to it that I cannot speak to the Council or the board of directors. I have never seen anything like it.  These guys define the 11th commandment: Thou shall not condemn or criticize Israel or its supporters.

While in good standing, I created the Capt. William McGonagle Memorial Library project. I would collect used or new books, box them up, and distribute them to some 34 components that our Council supports. I estimate 5000 books have gone through my hands. Because of their action, I am taking steps to create the same project under the LVA instead of the ungrateful SANL. When I gave a box of books, I would talk about the Captain getting his Medal of Honor.  Most times, I would simply state that the ship was attacked by Israel but depending on my mood I would say Israel deliberately and brutally attacked the ship and that would drive them nuts.

In addition to the books, I would enclose a copy of the DVD  “Dead in the Water.”

This is just another chapter in our struggle.
I am still fighting and will advise when or if things change.

Cheers, Ernie
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2010
From: Phillip Tourney
Subject: Re: The Navy League of the United States

Ernie, Sounds like they cant stand the truth no matter how softly you present you views looks like they care more about Israels feeling than the dead and wounded and the truth about the USS Liberty. I am not one bit surprised some one wanted you gone big time I am ashamed of how you were treated it is UN American in my view the way the IDF NAVY LEAGUE sent you down the road. I will help you in your endeavors just let me know what you want of me.

Keep up the fight.


USS LIBERTY — 04/24/10 — News letter #221 by John Gidusko

Remember the USS Liberty! Here’s the truth.

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This is the group that Israeli supporter Ahron Jay Cristol calls “conspiracy theorists”

From the USS Liberty Memorial Website


The following is a partial list of individuals and groups supporting the position that the attack was deliberate

  • “I was never satisfied with the Israeli explanation. . . . Through diplomatic channels we refused to accept their explanations. I didn’t believe them then, and I don’t believe them to this day. The attack was outrageous.”
    — US Secretary of State Dean Rusk
  • “Accidents don’t occur through repeated attacks by surface vessels and aircraft. It obviously was a decision made pretty high up on the Israeli side, because it involved combined forces. The ship was flying an American flag. My judgment was that somewhere along the line some fairly senior official gave the go ahead. I personally did not accept the Israeli explanation.”
    — US Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Recorded interview,
  • “…the board of inquiry (concluded) that the Israelis knew exactly what they were doing in attacking the Liberty.”
    — CIA Director Richard Helms in his book A Look Over my Shoulder
  • “It was no accident.”
    CIA Director Richard Helms in interview for Navy Times, 6/26/2002. Asked to say more, Helms remarked that he did not want to spend the rest of his life testifying in court about the attack.
  • “To me, the picture thus far presents the distinct possibility that the Israelis knew that the Liberty might be their target and attacked anyway, either through confusion in Command and Control or through deliberate disregard of instructions on the part of subordinates.”
    — CIA Deputy Director Admiral Rufus Taylor
  • That the attack was deliberate “just wasn’t a disputed issue” within the National Security Agency
    — Former NSA Director retired Army Lieutenant General William Odom on 3 March 2003 in an interview for Naval Institute Proceedings
  • Former NSA/CIA Director Admiral Bobby Inman “flatly rejected” the Cristol/Israeli claims that the attack was an accident
    — 5 March 2003 interview for Naval Institute Proceedings
  • “I have never believed that the attack on the USS Liberty was a case of mistaken identity. That is ridiculous. Israel knew perfectly well that the ship was American.”
    Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, former Chief of Naval Operations and later Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff writing for Americans for Middle East Understanding, June 8, 1997
  • “To suggest that they [the IDF] couldn’t identify the ship is … ridiculous. … Anybody who could not identify the Liberty could not tell the difference between the White House and the Washington Monument.”
    — Admiral Thomas Moorer, Chief of Naval Operations and later Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, quoted in The Washington Post, June 15, 1991, p. 14
  • “To me, the picture thus far presents the distinct possibility that the Israelis knew that Liberty might be their target and attacked anyway.”
    Admiral Rufus Taylor, Deputy CIA director, as quoted by CIA director Admiral Rufus Taylor in A Look Over My Shoulder.
  • Of four former NSA/CIA seniors with inside knowledge, none was aware of any agency official who dissented from the position that the attack was deliberate
    — David Walsh, writing in Naval Institute Proceedings
  • “That the Liberty could have been mistaken for the Egyptian supply ship El Quseir is unbelievable”
    — Special Assistant to the President Clark Clifford, in his report to President Lyndon Johnson
  • “Inconceivable that it was an accident � 3 strafing passes, 3 torpedo boats. Set forth facts. Punish Israelis responsible”
    Clark Clifford, Secretary of Defense under Lyndon Johnson, in Minutes of NSC Special Committee Meeting, 9 June 1967
  • “A nice whitewash for a group of ignorant, stupid and inept [expletive deleted].”
    — Handwritten note of August 26, 1967, by NSA Deputy Director Louis W. Tordella reacting to the Israeli court decision exonerating Israelis of blame for the Liberty attack. Dr. Tordella expressed the view that the attack was deliberate and that the Israeli government attempted to cover it up to authors James Ennes and James Bamford and to Congressman George Mahon (D-Texas), and in an internal memorandum for the record. He noted “a nice whitewash for a group of ignorant, stupid and inept (redacted)” in the margin of the official Israeli excuse for the attack as noted in the NSA Gerhard report 1982)
  • “The attack was clearly deliberate.”
    General Marshall Carter, former director, National Security Agency, in a telephone interview with James Ennes
  • “The attack was deliberate”
    Lucius Battle, former presidential advisor, as keynote speaker for 1982 USS Liberty reunion.
  • “My immediate reaction was it was not an accident. It had to be a deliberate attack.”
    Lucius Battle, in BBC Documentary “Dead in the Water”.
  • “….did not buy the Israeli ‘mistake’ explanations either. Nobody believes that explanation.” When informed by author Bamford of gruesome war crime (killing of large numbers of POWs) at nearby El Arish, Morrison saw the connection. “That would be enough,” he said. “They wouldn’t want us in on that. You’ve got the motive. What a hell of a thing to do.”
    Major General John Morrison, US Air Force, Deputy Chief NSA Operations during the attack and later Chief of NSA Operations as reported in Body of Secrets by James Bamford, p233.
  • “I can tell you for an absolute certainty (from intercepted communications) that they knew they were attacking an American ship.”
    Oliver Kirby, former deputy director for operations/production, National Security Agency. Kirby participated in NSA’s investigation of the attack and reviewed translations of intercepted communications between pilots and their headquarters which he reports show conclusively that they knew their target was an American ship. Kirby is considered the “Godfather” of the USS Liberty and USS Pueblo intercept programs. (Telephone interviews with James Ennes and David Walsh for Friendless Fire, Proceedings, June 2003)
  • On the strength of intercept transcripts of pilots’ conversations during the attack, the question of the attack’s deliberateness “just wasn’t a disputed issue” within the agency.
    Lieutenant General William E. Odom, former director, National Security Agency, interview with David Walsh on March 3, 2003, reported in Naval Institute Proceedings, June, 2003
  • Inman said he “flatly rejected” the Cristol thesis that the attack was an accident. “It is just exceedingly difficult to believe that [USS Liberty] was not correctly identified” based on his talks with NSA seniors at the time having direct knowledge of intercepted communications. No NSA official could be found who dissented from the “deliberate” conclusion.
    Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, USN, Director National Security Agency 1977-1981, reported in Proceedings, June, 2003
  • “I found it hard to believe that it was, in fact, an honest mistake on the part of the Israeli air force units. I still find it impossible to believe that it was.”
    Paul C. Warnke, Undersecretary of the Navy and later general legal counsel to the Department of Defense.
  • “In many years, I have wanted to believe that the attack on the Liberty was pure error. It appears to me that it was not a pure case of mistaken identity. . . .   I think it is about time that the State of Israel and the United States government provide the crew members of the Liberty, and the rest of the American people, the facts of what happened and why it came about that the Liberty was attacked 30 years ago today.” Later, McGonagle remarked, “USS Liberty is the only US Navy ship attacked by a foreign nation, involving large loss of life…that has never been accorded a full Congressional hearing.”
    – Captain William L. McGonagle, Commanding Officer, USS Liberty, speaking at Arlington National Cemetery June 8, 1997.
  • “The Israelis told us 24 hours before that …if we didn’t move it, they would sink it. Unfortunately, the ship was not moved, and by the time the message arrived the ship was taking on water.”
    John Stenbit, Assistant Secretary of Defense for C3Im in an address to the AFEI/NDAI Conference for Net Centric Operations, Wednesday, April 16, 2003
  • State Department Legal Advisor and author of highly critical detailed analysis of the Israeli excuse in telephone interview from his home in France, Mr. Salans described the attack as deliberate.
    Legal Advisor Carl Salans
  • Walter Deeley, NSA department head, conducted still-classified investigation of the attack and remarked later in telephone interview that he regards the attack as deliberate.
    NSA Department Head Walter Deeley
  • “The highest officials of the [Johnson] administration, including the President, believed it ‘inconceivable’ that Israel’s ‘skilled’ defense forces could have committed such a gross error.”
    — Lyndon Johnson’s biographer Robert Dallek in Flawed Giant, Oxford University Press, 1998, pp. 430-31
  • Never before in the history of the United States Navy has a Navy Board of Inquiry ignored the testimony of American military eyewitnesses and taken, on faith, the word of their attackers.
    — Captain Richard F. Kiepfer, Medical Corps, US Navy (retired), USS Liberty Survivor
  • “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. . .that the attack. . .could not possibly have been an accident…. I am certain that the Israeli pilots [and] their superiors. . .were well aware that the ship was American.”
    — Captain Ward Boston, JAGC, US Navy (retired), senior legal counsel to the US Navy Court of Inquiry
  • According to Kidd’s legal counsel, Captain Ward Boston, USN, Kidd discussed with him his belief that the attackers were aware they were attacking an American ship. The Court ruled otherwise because they were so directed by Washington.
    — Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, President of the Navy Court of Inquiry, as reported in Navy Times, 6/26/2002
  • “I feel the Israelis knew what they were doing. They knew they were shooting at a U.S. Navy ship.”
    Captain Ward Boston, legal counsel to the Navy Court of Inquiry, as reported in . Navy Times, 6/26/2002
  • “No one in the White House believed that the attack was an accident.”
    George Christian, Press Secretary to President Lyndon Johnson in letter to James Ennes, 1978.
  • After reviewing the Court of Inquiry in his official capacity as legal counsel to the convening authority, concluded that the evidence did not support the findings that the attack was an accident and declined to recommend that his Commander sign and forward it to Washington.
    Rear Admiral (then captain) Merlin Staring, Staff Legal Office for Commander in Chief US Naval Forces Europe and later Chief Judge Advocate General of the Navy. Statement to Navy Times, 3 June 2002 and elsewhere
  • “This book [Assault on the Liberty] gives convincing evidence that the attack was deliberate and that the facts, including the Navy’s bungling before and during the attack, were covered up.”
    United States Senator Adlai E. Stevenson III as reported in Congressional Record — Senate S13136 September 23, 1980. Senator Stevenson later announced his interest in holding Congressional hearings on the attack. He pointed out that the survivors have been consistent in their accounts of what happened and that the attack was, in his word, “premeditated.” Also reported by William J. Small, United Press International, September 28, 1980.
  • “The Congress never investigated this matter, and I don’t detect much enthusiasm for getting into it now.”
    Senator Adlai Stevenson III in letter to James Ennes dated September 9, 1980
  • “From what I have read, I can’t tolerate for one minute that this was an accident! … What have we done about the Liberty? Have we become so placid, so far as Israel is concerned or so far as that area is concerned, that we will take the killing of 37 (sic) American boys and the wounding of a lot more and the attack on an American ship in the open sea in good weather? We have seemed to say: ‘Oh, well, boys will be boys.’ What are you going to do about it? It is most offensive to me!
    Senator Bourke Hickenlooper; From transcript of July 1967 Senate Foreign Relations Hearing on Foreign Assistance Act of 1967.
  • “I have read the Navy investigation of the Liberty, and the evidence adduced there, and I have read the Israeli court of inquiry records, and based upon their own records of the investigation, I cannot agree that it was accidental.”
    Senator Bourke Hickenlooper; From transcript of May, 1968, Senate Foreign Relations Hearing on Foreign Assistance Act of 1968, page 444.
  • “American leaders did not have the courage to punish Israel for the blatant murder of its citizens. . . . The Liberty‘s presence and function were well known to Israel’s leaders. …Israel’s leaders concluded that nothing they might do would offend the Americans to the point of reprisal. If American leaders did not have the courage to punish Israel for the blatant murder of American citizens, it seemed clear that their American friends would let them get away with almost anything.
    – George Ball, under secretary of state at the time writing in The Passionate Attachment: America’s Involvement with Israel, pages 57-58.
  • “I don’t think that there’s any doubt that it was deliberate…. [It is] one of the great cover-ups of our military history.”
    David G. Nes, the deputy head of the American mission in Cairo at the time
  • “FBI officials counter that ‘friendly’ spying can be as damaging as spying for enemies, they note, as in 1967 when Israeli jets deliberately attacked the electronic intelligence-gathering ship USS Liberty….”
    FBI Officials reported in Washington Times, November 26, 1998
  • “How much better if Congress would….call to account those who were involved in spreading lies about the tragedy.”
    James Akins, former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia James Akins in Special Report, The Israeli Attack on the USS Liberty, June 8, 1967, The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, December, 1999
  • “The attack was deliberate and not an accident.”
    Victor Ostrovsky, author and former Mossad officer, in telephone conversations with former Congressman Pete McCloskey October 10, 1991, and with and several conversations with James Ennes.
  • “It’s an American ship!” the pilot of an Israeli Mirage fighter-bomber radioed Tel Aviv as he sighted the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967. Israeli headquarters ordered the pilot to attack the American ship.
    former US Ambassador to Lebanon Dwight Porter describing transcripts of communications he saw, reported in syndicated column “Remembering the Liberty” by Rowland Evans and Robert Novak, November 6, 1991.
  • “The historical event which took place in June 1967 can hardly be called enigmatic and mysterious. …It is difficult to understand that the Israelis could not identity the USS Liberty, since the ship had a unique antenna and equipment and especially since the Israelis had identified the ship with long term observation.”
    Translated from a taped interview with Sergeev Oleg Korneevitch, retired Colonel, Soviet GRU.
  • “The government of Israel intentionally attacked the ship. …The attack was not legally justified. …(there were) two further violations of international law…the use of unmarked military aircraft (and)…the wanton destruction of life rafts.”
    Walter L. Jacobsen, Lieutenant Commander, US Navy, in Naval Law Review, Vol 36, Winter 1986
  • “The attack was not an accident.”
    Stephen Green, author. Antelope Valley Press, April 5, 1984
  • “Certain facts are clear. The attack was no accident. The Liberty was assaulted in broad daylight by Israeli forces who knew the ship’s identity. …The public, however, was kept in the dark. Even before the American public learned of the attack, U.S. government officials began to promote an account satisfactory to Israel. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee worked through Congressmen to keep the story under control. The President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, ordered and led a cover-up so thorough that years after he left office the episode is still largely unknown….”
    Paul Findley, author and former Member of Congress 1961-1983 in They Dare to Speak Out, by Paul Findley, 1985, page 166
  • “Is the Liberty episode being erased from history. So it would seem…What has happened to our prying journalistic corps and our editors, normally so indignant of attempted suppression of the news?…We believe that a joint select committee of Congress should investigate the strange case of the USS Liberty…”
    William F. Buckley, journalist and publisher, National Review, June 27, 1967
  • (In a review of “Six Days of War” by Michael Oren.) “Oren…frequently descends to vulgar propaganda. Deeming the Israeli combined air and naval assault on the USS Liberty …an accident,’ Oren rehashes official Israeli tales and embellishes them with his own whoppers.”
    Norman Finkelstein, PhD, author, professor of political science, DePaul University, writing in Journal of Palestine Studies, Spring, 2003, p85
  • “The attack on the USS Liberty was planned and there is and was a cover-up.” “If the very valuable lessons of the Liberty were known, the capture of the USS Pueblo could not have happened.”
    Lloyd M. “Pete” Bucher, US Navy, Commanding Officer USS Pueblo when captured by North Korea in January 1968, in telephone conversations with James Ennes and on September 6, 2002, with Richard Schmucker.
  • “Nearly everyone who is not affiliated with Israel…and who has seriously looked into the attack believes that it was deliberate. …The bare facts of the attack rule out any other conclusion.”
    Donald Neff, author, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, August, 2002, p29
  • Ralph Hoppe, Colonel, US Army, retired, reports that dozens of intelligence reports soon after the attack described the attack as deliberate including a “consensus report” which summarized the collective view of the US intelligence community. Soon orders came from Washington to collect and destroy all such reports. Nothing more in official channels described the attack as deliberate.
    Aerotech News and Review, March 2, 2001, by John Borne, PhD, and conversations with James Ennes
  • “It is clear that the Israelis knew that they were attacking a vessel of the US Navy, especially as it was flying a large Stars and Stripes at the time. The fact that they spent six hours reconnoitering and executing the attack, which included machine-gunning the lifeboats, attests to the deadly intent of the operation.
    Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, Dangerous Liaison, the Inside Story of the US-Israeli Covert Relationship, by Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, p152.
  • “A. Jay Cristol’s virtual minority of one assessment is not supported by the detailed non-technical common sense evidence to the contrary in Body of Secrets (by James Bamford). “There is nothing surprising in Bamford’s conclusion that the attack was deliberate. Liberty survivors have made that case convincingly for years.”
    Professor Hayden Peake, author, former CIA officer and member, Association of Former Intelligence Officers, The Intelligencer, Vol. 12, No.1, Summer 2001
  • Book reviews transcripts of communications during the attack which establish that the attack was deliberate.
    Israel’s Wars, 1947-1993, by Ahron Bregman
  • Survivors of the attack are unanimous in their conviction that the attack was deliberate. Among other things, their belief is based upon the intense pre-attack reconnaissance, the fact that the firing continued from close range long after the attackers examined the ship and its markings from a few feet away, and because the Israeli version of events as reported to the United States is grossly untrue.
    USS Liberty survivors
  • Several Air Force intelligence analysts who have come forward to report that they saw real-time transcripts of communications from the attacking forces which show clearly that they were aware they were attacking an American ship. Others who saw these transcripts include Dwight Porter and Oliver Kirby, mentioned above, and several top officials of the American intelligence community.
    Former US Air Force intelligence analysts Ron Gotcher, Steve Forslund, Richard Block and pilot Charles Tiffany
  • Published doctoral thesis establishes that the attack was deliberate.
    John Borne, PhD, adjunct professor of history, NY University.
  • Rejects the US Navy Court of Inquiry as inadequate, declares that the attack was apparently deliberate, and calls upon the United States to conduct a complete and thorough investigation.
    Resolution #508 of the American Legion at its 49th annual national convention in August, 1967
  • “The [Navy Court of Inquiry] leaves a good many questions unanswered.”
    The New York Times, July 1, 1967
  • “The naval inquiry is not good enough  — The Washington Post, June 30, 1967

  • “They must have known…that Liberty was an American ship.”
    The Washington Star, June 30, 1967
  • “The action was planned in advance”
    Drew Pearson and Jack Anderson in The Washington Post, June 30, 1967
  • “Only the blind or the trigger happy could have made such a mistake”
    The National Observer
  • “The attack was deliberate. Those responsible should be court-martialed on charges of murder.”
    California Congressman Craig Hosmer in the Congressional Record–House, June 29, 1967, p. 17893
  • “How can this be treated so lightly? What complaint have we registered?
    – Mississippi Congressman Thomas G. Abernethy in the Congressional Record–House, June 29m, 1967, pp. 17894-5
  • “Certain facts are clear. The attack was no accident. The Liberty was assaulted in broad daylight by Israeli forces who knew the ship’s identity. …The President of the United States led a cover-up so thorough that years after he left office, the episode was still largely unknown to the public — and the men who suffered and died have gone largely unhonored.”
    Paul Findley, They Dare to Speak Out, Lawrence Hill & Co., 1985, p166
  • “Nearly as bizarre as the attack itself was the reaction of the American government to the incident. A foreign nation had butchered American servicemen, sending thirty-four to their graves… A virtually unarmed American naval ship in international waters was shot at, strafed with rockets, torpedoed, set on fire…then left to sink as crazed gunners shot up the life rafts. The foreign nation then says, sorry about that, and offers an explanation so outrageous that it is insulting, and the American government accepts it, sweeps the whole affair under a rug, then classifies as top secret nearly all details concerning it.”
    James Bamford, author, “The Puzzle Palace”
  • The story has been hushed up.”
    Louisiana Congressman John R. Rarick in the Congressional Record–House, September 19, 1967, pp. 12170-6

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BBC Documentary on the USS Liberty: “Dead in the Water”

BBC Documentary on the USS Liberty:  “Dead in the Water”

“If it was an accident, it was the best planned accident I’ve ever heard of” - USS Liberty survivor

Cover-Up Alleged in Probe of USS Liberty

A former Navy attorney who helped lead the military investigation of the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty that killed 34 American servicemen says former President Lyndon Johnson and his defense secretary, Robert McNamara, ordered that the inquiry conclude the incident was an accident.

In a signed affidavit released at a Capitol Hill news conference, retired Capt. Ward Boston said Johnson and McNamara told those heading the Navy’s inquiry to “conclude that the attack was a case of ‘mistaken identity’ despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.”

It was “one of the classic all-American cover-ups,” said retired Admiral Thomas Moorer, a former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman who spent a year investigating the attack as part of an independent panel he formed with other former military officials. The panel also included a former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, James Akins.

Torpedo hole in USS Liberty
“Why would our government put Israel’s interests ahead of our own?” Moorer asked from his wheelchair at the news conference. He was chief of naval operations at the time of the attack.

Moorer, who has long held that the attack was a deliberate act, wants Congress to investigate. [Newsday]

Israel claims the USS Liberty was mistaken for the out-of-service Egyptian horse carrier El Quseir

USS Liberty
According to a 1981 NSA report on the incident, the El Quseir “was approximately one-quarter of the Liberty’s tonnage, about one-half its length, and offered a radically different silhouette.”

Fifteen years after the attack, an Israeli pilot approached Liberty survivors and then held extensive interviews with former Congressman Paul N. (Pete) McCloskey about his role. According to this senior Israeli lead pilot, he recognized the Liberty as American immediately, so informed his headquarters, and was told to ignore the American flag and continue his attack. He refused to do so and returned to base, where he was arrested.

Later, a dual-citizen Israeli major told survivors that he was in an Israeli war room where he heard that pilot’s radio report. The attacking pilots and everyone in the Israeli war room knew that they were attacking an American ship, the major said. He recanted the statement only after he received threatening phone calls from Israel.

The pilot’s protests also were heard by radio monitors in the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon. Then-U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Dwight Porter has confirmed this. Porter told his story to syndicated columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak and offered to submit to further questioning by authorities. Unfortunately, no one in the U.S. government has any interest in hearing these first-person accounts of Israeli treachery. [Washington Report]

“Then, inexplicably, at 2 p.m., unmarked Israeli aircraft began attacking the ship.” [Ledger Enquirer]

Israel attacked the USS Liberty using UNMARKED AIRCRAFT. This is the single fact which proves Israel knew exactly who they were attacking. Israel’s story is that they thought USS Liberty was an Egyptian ship and therefore a legitimate target of war. Were that true, there would be no reason to attack a supposedly Egyptian ship with unmarked aircraft. The only possible reason to use unmarked aircraft to attack the ship is that Israel knew it was an American ship and intended to sink it, then to blame the attack on Egypt.

Moorer, who as top legal council to the official investigation is in a position to know, agrees that Israel intended to sink the USS Liberty and blame Egypt for it, thus dragging the United States into a war on Israel’s behalf. This seems to be a common trick of Israel. Starting with the Lavon affair, through the USS Liberty, to the fake radio transmitter that tricked Reagan into attacking Libya, to potentially 9-11 itself, Israel’s game is to frame Arabs and set them up as targets for the United States.

The official US investigation is discredited. And with it, every claim of innocence for Israel that relied on the official investigation as a source.

The real question facing the American people is why the US Government seems more concerned with protecting Israel after they are caught playing these dirty tricks, rather than doing something to convince Israel not to kill any more Americans.
“Evidence linking these Israelis to 9/11 is classified. I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It’s classified information.” — US official quoted in Carl Cameron’s Fox News report on the Israeli spy ring and its connections to 9-11.

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Would the U.S. Shoot Down an Israeli Jet? Top Officer Won’t Say

Comment to the article:

“Yes, We will take down the Israeli Jets and give the Pilots to the Mullahs for conversion and call it “Operation USS Liberty.”    ……, is someone writing this down?”

Posted by:  ShaJ | 04/20/10 | 5:25 pm |

By Noah Shachtman ,  April 20, 2010

Congressman Tim Murphy and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff participate in a town hall forum at Soldiers and Sailors Hall at Pittsburgh University on April 19, 2010.

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — I’m not going to make a big deal of this, although some dug deep in the trenches of the Middle East debate might. But America’s top military officer wouldn’t rule the possibility today of U.S. forces firing on Israeli jets, if Israel launched a pre-emptive strike on Iran.

In a town hall on the campus of the University of West Virginia, a young Air Force ROTC cadet asked Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen to respond to a “rumor.” If Israel decided to attack Iran, the speculation went, those jet would need to fly through Iraqi airspace to reach their targets. That airspace is considered a “no-fly” zone by the American military. So might U.S. troops shoot down the Israeli jets, the airmen asked the chairman, if they breached that airspace?

Mullen tried to sidestep the question. “We have an exceptionally strong relationship with Israel. I’ve spent a lot of time with my counterpart in Israel. So we also have a very clear understanding of where we are. And beyond that, I just wouldn’t get into the speculation of what might happen and who might do what. I don’t think it serves a purpose, frankly,” he said. “I am hopeful that this will be resolved in a way where we never have to answer a question like that.”

The cadet followed-up: “Would an airmen like me ever be ordered to fire on an Israeli – aircraft or personnel?”

Mullen’s second answer was much the same as his first. “Again, I wouldn’t move out into the future very far from here. They’re an extraordinarily close ally, have been for a long time, and will be in the future,” the admiral said.

Does this represent a shift in American policy towards Israel? Some signal that the U.S. would stop an Israeli first strike at the final moment? Probably not. I’d guess this is Mullen trying not to wade further into treacherous waters. But it was interesting to hear America’s top military officer decline to knock down the idea that U.S. troops might fire on America’s closest ally in the Middle East.

__________________End of article________________

But Israel and the IDF can kill 34 USS Liberty crewmen and wound 173 with impunity. Or this continued message to harp 24/7  that what is good for Israel is/will/must be good for the United States automatically. It will be US  forces who will suffer on the ground there and die because of our “special relationship”.  Israel is an untrustworthy ally and horrendously expensive welfare client  Israel has become all costs with no benefits.  It started June 8th 1967.

Write that a 1000 times on the blackboard AIPAC and Abe Foxman.  -jd

Noah Shachtman is a contributing editor at WIRED magazine, and the editor of this little blog right here. He’s written for The New York Times, Slate, Salon, and The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, among others. Before become a journalist and national security dork, Shachtman worked as a professional bass player, book editor, and campaign staffer on Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign. He lives in New York City. And he ain’t leaving.

[PHOTO: The Joint Staff via Flickr]

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When False Flags Don’t Fly

James Corbett

The Corbett Report
April 20, 2010

Those who have studied history know that nothing invigorates and empowers an authoritarian regime more than a spectacular act of violence, some sudden and senseless loss of life that allows the autocrat to stand on the smoking rubble and identify himself as the hero. It is at moments like this that the public—still in shock from the horror of the tragedy that has just unfolded before them—can be led into the most ruthless despotism: despotism that now bears the mantle of “security.”

Acts of terror and violence never benefit the average man or woman. They only ever benefit those in positions of power.

This is why Nero fiddled while Rome burned: it gave him a chance to throw the Christians to the lions and rebuild the capital of the Roman Empire in his own image.

This is why Hearst and the warmongers of the emerging American Empire were delighted by the destruction of the U.S.S. Maine in Havana Harbor: it gave them the excuse they needed in order to rouse the public into supporting the Spanish-American War.

This is why Israel attacked the U.S.S. Liberty in 1967 during the Six Day War, strafing and torpedoing it relentlessly for hours in a vain attempt to send it to the bottom: the Israelis believed that the loss of the Liberty could be blamed on Egypt and draw the Americans into war.


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Gordon Duff article mentioning the USS Liberty attack

Below is Gordon Duf’s latest article at and the segment where he discusses the deliberate attack on the USS liberty on June 8th, 1967. The entire article can be found on the link.


April 19, 2010 posted by Gordon Duff


I got an email yesterday telling me about how Israel barely survived when all the Arab countries went after them in 1967.  This is the story we are still telling but it is a total lie.  The 1967 war was planned by Israel to seize land and was a sneak attack, first destroying the entire Egyptian air force on the ground, then wiping out their army, an army with no air cover.  Syria was a walkover then.  To get away with it, Israel attacked the American spy ship, USS Liberty, bombing, strafing and torpedoing it, murdering 34 Americans.

Anyone who tries to tell you the 1967 war was anything but a “blitzkrieg” by Israel, a sneak attack on her neighbors with no warning, kept secret by the the planned attack on the USS Liberty is a liar.

Israel had tried the same thing, attacking Egypt in1956, with the help of France and Britain.  Israel send tanks across the Sinai, just like in 1967, this time backed by air power from France and Britain.  This “blitzkrieg” was called Operation Kadesh.  Moshe Dyan and Ariel Sharon planned the attack with friends in Paris and London.  However, the United States, under President Eisenhower, wouldn’t allow it.  The UN Security council drafted a resolution condemning the invasion but Britain and France vetoed it.

Then America threatened to economically destroy France and Britain if they didn’t withdraw troops and end support for Israeli aggression.  Eventually this led France to leave NATO, if that is something you wondered about.  We call this, “the Suez crisis” but, frankly, we don’t call it anything at all because it makes a good case for Israel’s history of aggression and its capability to get western governments to support its policies of conquering the Middle East.

How has this history worked out?  Any patterns appear here?  The myth of the 1967 war no longer holds water once we learn it wasn’t their first try, once we accept they learned from being caught during the Suez Crisis, and decided to attack the American ship that would have discovered their lie.  Israel invaded Egypt with a sneak attack, 1956 and 1967.

Continues at

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Denied Infamy Israeli attack on USS Liberty

It’s been posted before but it says it all so well and deserves a repeat. It matters even after 42 + years. It always will.

By Alan Sabrosky

June 08, 2009 “Information Clearing House” — Americans respond badly to treachery. This may explain why they went into WWII against Nazi Germany with determination but against Imperial Japan with rage, even though Hitler was decidedly the more vicious enemy. The reason lay in Japan’s surprise attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor, described by then-President Roosevelt as “a date which will live in infamy.”

The Attack

Less catastrophic but more treacherous and deserving of infamy was the deliberate Israeli air and naval attack upon the USS Liberty, a clearly marked naval intelligence ship, on June 8, 1967. After several hours of aerial surveillance, unmarked aircraft attacked the USS Liberty with gunfire, rockets and napalm. This was followed by an attack by three motor torpedo boats, firing torpedoes and then machine-gunning the ship, its crew and their lifeboats. The ship managed to get out a call for help under extraordinary circumstances, but was nearly sunk, and more than 200 American sailors and Marines were killed or wounded. Israel claimed it was a case of mistaken identity, and the US Government accepted that explanation.

Both lied, and Israel’s lies become evident when one examines the profiles of the USS Liberty and the Egyptian ship the Israelis supposedly thought they were attacking, plus a photo of the USS Liberty itself. Misidentification in a December gale in the North Atlantic might have been possible. On a June day in the Eastern Mediterranean, never, at least by any pilot with the visual acuity to take off and land his aircraft:

Remember that in 1967, Israel’s fighters and motor torpedo boats had to get close to use their on-board weapons against a target. Anyone seeing the radars and electronic arrays on the USS Liberty knew this was not some Egyptian tramp steamer. Finally, there is the USN designation “GTR5” on both sides of the bow & the stern, with the number larger than the letters — anyone approaching the ship close enough to attack cannot miss that designation, and know that this was a US Navy ship.

Why the Attack

But the Israelis attacked anyway, and tried very hard to sink the ship without any survivors while concealing their own identity. They were aided and abetted by US President Lyndon Johnson and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, who personally recalled separate flights of fighters launched from the 6th Fleet’s aircraft carriers USS Saratoga and USS America, fighters whose arrival over the USS Liberty would have saved most American lives and cost the Israelis a number of aircraft and motor torpedo boats.

What Johnson and McNamara did is appalling. As a Marine who served in Vietnam, I have always despised them for their arrogance and incompetence. After understanding their role in the USS Liberty tragedy, I now despise them twice over for their cowardice and their dereliction of duty, and for giving precedence to a domestic Jewish lobby and their own political interests over the lives of Americans in uniform.

At the very least, both were indictable accessories after the fact in the murder at sea of 34 Americans and a breach of international law, in open violation of their own oaths of office.

So why did the Israelis do it? One possibility is that for them, it was simply business as usual. Israel has a long history of attacking anything in its path – a civilian airliner, UN posts and officials, refugee camps, hospitals, the lot — and then denying culpability, so the question is not “why,” but “why not?” Another was to dispose of inconvenient witnesses to the murder of Egyptian prisoners and civilians at El Arish.

A third was to cloak their strategy of involving Jordan so as to take East Jerusalem and the West Bank. And a fourth was to show other Arab countries that they had such influence in the US that they could do it and get away with it, and perhaps involve the US militarily on their side.

Fixing Things

Any of these would have sufficed. What is important to note is that the Israelis had no qualms about deliberately killing Americans and concealing their own identity, doubtless hoping to bring the US in on their side openly attacking Egypt — they won handily anyway, but they could not be certain of doing so at the beginning of the war. It is something to keep in mind as a possible precedent when we look later at the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001 and made the US an active belligerent intent on destroying Israel’s enemies.

The tale of the USS Liberty needs to reach the American people. It needs to reach them in a medium that will convey the calculated nature of the attack and the outrage it should evoke. And it should conclude with the statements of so many people in positions of authority at the time who said categorically that the attack was deliberate, and of survivors who lost shipmates there and likewise are convinced that the attack was deliberate and that their own government abandoned them at the time of the attack, and betrayed them afterwards.

Few events are so calculated to enrage Americans as the image of a US ship being deliberately attacked and Americans being killed and wounded by a supposed ally, for its own local purposes. That this “ally’s” influence in the US government was so great that a US president ordered back fighters whose arrival would have prevented most of the 200 casualties on the USS Liberty from occurring would compound that outrage. And that this influence allowed Israel both to evade retribution at the time and to conceal knowledge of what happened from the American people, would add insult to compound outrage.

This is the factually accurate message Americans need to see and hear, and it is a message that could impact sharply on what members of Congress — whose jobs depend on votes even more than they do on Jewish money — would be prepared to do to or for Israel. It could also give President Obama political room for diplomatic maneuver IF he seriously would like to reorient the way the US does its business in the Middle East.

AIPAC, its cohorts and the hasbara crowd will howl. There will be the usual flurry of fabrications, denials, falsehoods, fear-mongering, character assassination and disinformation that is their specialty. But at the end of the day, more and more Americans will see graphic portrayals of an American ship attacked — and especially of uniformed Americans killed and wounded — by a foreign country named Israel, whose domestic clout within the United States in 1967 allowed them to do it with impunity, and whose extended clout since that time has already produced one American tragedy (9/11), taken the US into two wars (Afghanistan and Iraq) and is pointing the US towards two more wars (Iran and Syria). And there is a good chance that a growing number of Americans will say, “Enough! Never again….” and make things happen. Let us begin.

Alan Sabrosky (Ph.D, University of Michigan) is a ten-year US Marine Corps veteran and a graduate of the US Army War College. He can be contacted at

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What’s wrong with this picture?

What’s wrong with this picture?     The answer is simple.

It’s that obvious.  A child can see it.

By J. Davis,  Monday,  April 19th, 2010

We all probably remember the old joke about being asked to point out the pack of camels in the picture of the ALL SEEING EYE  in the pyramid on the back of a single US dollar bill.  The person would look and study the Great Seal of the United States in vain after a time and call “shenanigans!”. The person would then tell them that they are in back of of the pyramid!

Good grief.

Here is a copy of what it looks like and there are no camels to be seen anywhere.  It is that obvious.  It’s right in front of you.   But it still remains, what you cannot see

No camels anywhere to be seen. It still remains on what you cannot see.

The joke was lame  and it still is.

Dishonest deliberate  subterfuge always is.

Now let’s look at this  well distributed, well known picture of the USS Liberty (AGTR-5):

The USS Liberty (AGTR-5), the Ship Israel and the IDF and the apologists couldn't sink.

Here’s another well known distributed picture of same.

Let’s look at this one:

The ship the State of Israel, the IDF and the apologists couldn't and still cannot sink.

What do you see and what do you not see?

The liars and the apologists say  “So what?…No big deal”, Israel is an ally. There have been multiple investigations claimed by all of them such as “Liberty apologist” historians  Michel Oren and A. Jay Cristol which they shout from the rooftops  stating  that Israel is  our bestest buddies in the whole wide world and that it was an “accident” in the proverbial  “fog of war”.   The US government and the State of  Israel or the Liberty apologists would never collude, divert,  conspire, obfuscate, ignore,  lie or shanghai the truth about the attack on June 8th, 1967 Never mind that the ship was in international waters.  The record speaks for itself they tell is.

Here’s some of the proof used.  It’s  in books , conferences, web pages, government reports, and in numerous  “investigations” and on and on over 40+ years

“Then, at 11:24, a terrific explosion rocked the shores of El-Arish. The blast was clearly heard by the men on the Liberty’s bridge, who had been navigating according to the town’s tallest minaret, and who also noted a thick pall of smoke wafting toward them. In El-Arish itself,  Israeli forces were convinced they were being bombarded from the sea, … Israeli sources had reported shelling of the area by Egyptian warships the previous day. There was therefore good reason to conclude that the Egyptian navy had trained its guns on Sinai.“  - “The USS Liberty: Case Closed”, Azure Magazine by Michael B. Oren, US born historian  now currently US Ambassador  for Israel.

A. Jay Cristol chimed in with his expertise.

“Perhaps if the Liberty had not been in sight, about fourteen miles off the coast, the Israeli army units would not have come to the conclusion they were shelled from the sea“   – Ahron Jay Cristol,  -”The Liberty Incident“(2002) , pg.34Cristol’s statement uses information and his footnote comes from  James Ennes’s  “Assault on the Liberty“, (1978) whom Cristol  disparages at any mention of his name or his book in his “self acclaimed” definitive analysis.

The Israeli Defense Force Department of History Report (June 1982) stated in their report to obfuscate the truth in the aftermath and to counter the damning truth of James Enners’  “The Assault in the USS Liberty” (1978)”

The Israel Defense Forces History Department Report  stated”

“The Head of [Israeli] Operations Section concluded that when the torpedo boats made contact with the vessel that was shelling the coast, they should request close air support from the IAF.”  -  IDF History Dept. Report, pg. 10, June , 1982

There are numerous other reports and mentions of this event and it is  the sole motivation for the Israeli actions of June 8th, 1967.

Warning!, Warning! …Danger Will Robinson!

So IDF forces on the beach were under attack from “shelling from the sea”. Let’s go get the perps. There are many versions and diversions of this story and the ways and the means.

One simple fact has always remained and is that the USS Liberty sailing in international waters as an intelligence gathering ship NEVER had this capability. It was impossible for this ship with just 4 .50 caliber machine guns , over 50 “lobster like antennas” to  bombard any shore on planet Earth or even on the weightless environment of the moon. Alan Shepard could drive a golf ball for thousands of yards yet the USS Liberty still couldn’t fire a shell because it NEVER had the means to do so even in a fantasy environment. It was and never could have been a threat in fantasy

Look at any  five inch gun on a naval ship.  I gathered these on Google images. Also note that a five inch naval gun still could not achieve the 12, 13, 14 mile range. I post them to show how prominent and large and easily identifiable that are.

5-inch gun,  .38 caliber mount on USS New Jersey 1984, Look at the tiny people.

5-inch gun, .38 caliber mount on USS New Jersey (WW2 ship just like the USS Liberty) in 1984, Look at the tiny people.

A 5inch gun .38 cal. on Open Mount circa 1942, The USS Liberty was aW2 vessel in origin. It still couldn't hit El Arish from 14 miles as Cristol and the IDF said. The range is a little over 10 miles.

Mk 38 5 in. gun .38 caliber mount aboard the destroyer USS Hamner. Look how it stands out

Mk 30 single enclosed base 5 in. gun on a Fletcher-class destroyer.


Let me state that I am no expert nor am I at all expertly knowledgeable about shore bonbardment/naval armaments. I based this on a historical naval armaments website.

For the record, the shore bombardment in question never happened at all as there was never any ship to shore bombardment at El Arish in the Sinai, only explosions on June 8th, 1967  yet the IDF launches coordinated  two air wings of different aircraft with different armaments and three MTB’s  (motor torpedo boats)  to hunt down and stop this action so  they state.  Whether they took  this reactive action for all reports of ship to shore attacks and the IDF claim  all  were false or just for the USS Liberty sighting, we don’t know.

Israel and the IDF aren’t telling and the US government never asked.  Not once. None of the9, 1 , 12, 13 investigations  never asked either as Jay Cristol claimed.  The 11 investigations about the USS Liberty attack “Top Gun” Cristol cites in his book like the shore bombardment at El Arish on June 8th  never happened either.

It’s still a mystery since this  issue has  been ignored. Cristol as the “last word” doesn’t know as he stated so in the footnote s of his book.  There’s never been an open honest first time investigation. Only a cover up requires mandatory avoidance of the obvious.

Israeli troops are on the beach under fire,  time is of the essence. This is the official story. These are the facts we are officially told.  These guns are not small, portable or camouflagable.   A naval six inch naval might cover  the distance of 13-14 miles on  a ship with that armament capability.  The USS Liberty was without question incapable of such damage, action, intent, design or capability. It was was Belmont class WW2 “Liberty cargo ship”, the most  mass produced naval ship of the 20th century, known through out the world seas.  Like a VW Bug, everybody knows what one looked like.

Here’s a You Tube video of small size naval guns during an bombardment at work.  These are not “smart munitions” either for people who think they always existed.   These ship guns are enormous!  and could probably be spotted from the Space Shuttle. Any gun larger than 6″ is mindbogglingly  destructive and massive in size and  operation.  LINK Only the blind and ignorant like the US government and Israel would pretend otherwise.  The video is from and  during the Korean war it claims.   Search for more on Naval shore bombardment videos  and see just how asinine the Israeli IDF claims are about rationale and motives are.   As to the “fog of war”, it was a clear, bright mid- sunny day on the attack and there were 8 previous Israeli IAF reconnaissance flights before the attack.  Or reconnoitering?, attack planning?, attack coordination?, lull into complacency? …who really knows as there’s never been a investigation on the why’s of the attack.

So your army comrades are on the beach under “bombardments from the see”.  There  are explosions and smoke for miles.  Yet the IDF aircraft CANNOT SEE NOR EVER MENTIONED any armaments necessary for shore bombardment. No guns on a ship means not responsible for shore  bombardments. Pretty cut and dried.  It’s common sense.

  • Does a policeman pursue, identify and shoot the the dangerous person with a gun or the unarmed person who is no threat at all nor has the capability of ever having endangered his fellow policeman “back on the beach“?  Of course not.
  • Does a infantry patrol reacting to the urgent order to pursue an armed enemy who is reported to have endangered soldiers elsewhere or does it attack unarmed soldiers incapable of doing such?  What’s more urgent?
  • Does a pilot pursue a naval ship that obviously has no shore guns at all or does it keep looking for the ship that has that capability?
  • Does a ship or ships in pursuit of a enemy vessel that is bombarding your army on the beach and all that is required to do it  or does it  approach a ship without warning that van be easily and visually determine a ship  incapable of firing any kind of naval gun required for shore bombardments?   In fact,  it’s impossible if you cannot see any shore gun at all.
  • You look elsewhere …remember your boys back on the beach are counting on you even if  said event of motivation for action never happened in the first place.

So why would you?, how can it be an accident when the obvious of what you cannot see is staring you in the face?  Even a little child knows this.  A trained pilot cannot see enormous ship guns but without warning attacks a  ship with no guns and concluding  it  is the one the one bombarding El Arish?

What was their mission then?  What was the real purpose?  No US-Israel government asked the obvious except those who were there and were attacked and they are still called “conspiracy theorists”, “liars”, “haters” and “anti-Semites” ,are still vilified, smeared, ignored, forsaken,  slandered and discounted for stating the simple obvious and asking for the  of how and why from government officialdom that cannot stand scrutiny?

It’s that damn obvious yet issues of flag size, speed of boats, radio coms, blips and scale, this and that dominate and purposely confuse while no one except the survivors ask how could you not see enormous ship guns that cannot disappear or hide and conclude it is an enemy vessel of doing something it cannot??

The “official US -Israeli version of the attack is a damn joke. 34 dead, 173 were wounded and there are still governments, apologists, duplicitous liars and dupes who still say it was an “accident”? And nobody knows why after 40+ years while the armed criminals got away.

The joke was lame  and it still is.

Dishonesty and subterfuge always are.

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Posted in Disinformation, General Discussion, The dishonesty and comedy of A. Jay Cristol.

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