Liberty Survivors Say US Still Downplays Israel’s Attack on Ship
Nearly a half century after the USS Liberty -- a lightly armed American spy ship -- was almost sunk by Israeli air and sea forces during the Six Day War, survivors say the U.S. still prefers to avoid dealing with what happened and identifying who attacked the ship.
Strafed by machine-gun fire, hit by napalm and torpedoed over the course of the 75-minute attack, the Liberty has one of the most highly decorated crews in American naval history.
Out of that single action came one Medal of Honor, two Navy Crosses, a dozen Silver Stars, 20 Bronze Stars for valor, nine Navy Commendation Medals, more than 200 Purple Hearts and a Presidential Unit Citation.
But even when the ship is remembered, as it was last month with a rededication of carillon bells at Naval Station Norfolk’s chapel, an important part of Liberty's story is avoided: It was attacked by Israel.
"It's probably political," said Terry McFarland, a Liberty survivor who organized a memorial service held Wednesday at Arlington National Cemetery.
“But we still try to make Americans aware of what happened," he added, "for the memory of our shipmates and … and to get a complete and full investigation of all the facts" about the attack.
Transcripts of radio communications between Israeli pilots and their controllers indicate the attackers identified the ship as American yet continued the assault. But U.S. and Israeli officials still claim it was a case of mistaken identity.
Members of the Liberty Veterans Association organize a service annually at Arlington, where six of their dead are buried in a group grave and others, including ship's skipper Capt. William McGonagle, are interred in separate plots.
The U.S. Navy routinely provides a bugler to play Taps for the occasion. Survivors say the sea service offers little else.
Citing the military’s failure to identify Israel as the attacker on dozens of awards citations and the Arlington group headstone, to claiming the incident was an "accident" -- an excuse that even the State Department has never officially accepted, Liberty survivors they feel like they've been slighted for almost five decades.
"They don't want to talk about it, they don't want to listen to us, they don't want to do anything," Joseph Meadors, a signalman aboard Liberty during the attack, told Military.com. “They don't want to acknowledge our existence."
The story of the Norfolk chapel Carillon bells in the Navy news publication “The Flagship" is only the latest example of that unwillingness to confront history, they say.
Josie Toth Linen, whose brother Stephen was killed in action on Liberty, called the omission of Israel in the account of the incident "typical." She said, “We've been treated this way since 1967."
Base spokeswoman Kelly Warfel concedes the omission was deliberate, but said that's because who attacked Liberty was not germane to the story.
"From my point of view, as the base public affairs officer, and the person who edited the story, the purpose of the ceremony was to rededicate the bells. It has nothing to do with the controversy … We wrote the story, someone on my staff, and I’m very proud of the job that [she] did with the story."
Retired Lt. Cmdr. Jim Smith, a Liberty survivor who spoke at the service, doesn't recall either of the other speakers -- Command Chaplain Diane Lantz and NSN Commander Capt. Doug Beaver -- mentioning Israel.
“I don't believe that the plaque even says that," Smith said, referring to the dedication tablet placed in the chapel.
In weeks leading up to the event, he said he spoke to Lantz and asked her if she was meeting any resistance to dedicating the Carillon to the Liberty.
"I told her there are people out there who don't want us broadcasting that it was Israelis who attacked the ship," he said. But she assured him she was not hearing any opposition, he said.
Neither Lantz nor Beaver responded to Military.com’s request for comment.
From the start, the attack on Liberty was a political controversy, with a succession of presidents, lawmakers and military leaders showing little or no willingness to fully investigate it. The few lawmakers who pressed for an investigation of the incident have often been dismissed as conspiracy theorists and even anti-Semites.
Just days after the attack, even before a brief Naval Court of Inquiry finished a limited investigation into the case, the Navy was calling it an accident in official telegrams sent to the families of the dead.
The Court limited its inquiry into whether Liberty was where she was supposed to be and how the crew responded to the crisis, though Adm. John S. McCain, commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Europe, concluded the attack was accidental.
The Medal of Honor awarded to Liberty's skipper, Capt. William McGonagle, was presented in a private ceremony at the Washington Navy Yard by Navy Secretary Paul Ignatius -- not at the White House by President Johnson. (At the time of the presentation, wrote James Scott, author of "The Attack on The Liberty," Johnson was in the East Room overseeing the graduation of the Capitol Page School.)
In addition, McGonagle's Medal of Honor citation did not identify Israel as the aggressor -- an omission repeated on all but one of the many award citations (and that, Meadors believes, likely got through by mistake). The attacker was also omitted on a group headstone at Arlington National Cemetery where six of the sailors are buried.
Instead, the citations and the headstone said only that the attack and the deaths occurred "in the Eastern Mediterranean." It was only after sustained pressure from survivors and supporters that the stone was changed to include "Killed USS Liberty." But it doesn’t mention Israel.
And while a Pentagon wall display does reference the incident, it suggests Israel mistakenly attacked the ship -- despite the radio chatter that indicated otherwise. For example, the display marking events in military intelligence history references the Liberty using a reproduced headline from The New York Times of June 9, 1967 -- before the court of inquiry had even convened -- declaring “Israel, in error, attacks Navy ship."
Meanwhile, the Navy denies that it dropped Liberty as the planned name of the second Littoral Combat Ship to avoid the controversy. But as previously reported by Military.com, the name appeared high on a list of recommended names to the Navy secretary and the official Naval Vessels Register identified LCS-2 as Liberty before it was changed.
Philip Giraldi, a former CIA case officer and Army intelligence officer who now writes for The American Conservative and other publications, was at the Arlington ceremony on Wednesday, where he met with survivors and their families.
"This was a deliberate attack" by Israel, he said. “But our country has done everything it could to make it appear it was an accident."
McLaren said he’s already looking ahead to next year's anniversary of the attack -- the 50th -- when survivors, family and supporters plan to rally at Norfolk, which was Liberty's home port.
“The [Liberty Veterans] Association will continue to talk about the Liberty in the coming years, until none of us are around anymore," he said, "and then hopefully our families will continue on."
-- Bryant Jordan can be reached at Bryant.email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BryantJordan.
© Copyright 2016 Military.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
O Good Lord, Deuce, give it up.ReplyDelete
Nobody really wants to argue about it anymore.
You have no more idea what happened than I do.
Get over it.
You become nothing but a cheap propagandist by going on and on about it.
Listen up Jack Ass: I know exactly what happened and I know exactly why it has been covered up.Delete
Earlier in the week, you made a post celebrating the Six Day War. I choose to think about and respect the American men who served the same time I did.
While those real American sailors were doing their service to the country, where were you?
Patriotic flag waving, go get em boys, bad ass muthafucka that you are, surely you were serving somewhere. No? In an English lit class, stalking elks, bad back?
While you and your Israeli first fellow travelers whip out the Anti-Semite card, belittling the families and members of real American families of young American men, Baptists, Catholics, Presbyterians,on an American flagged ship, serving the USA, they were killed and maimed by so-called allies flying under the Star of David, those families are are looking for truth and justice.
Perhaps if the Americans had been Jews, it would be a day of mourning . Who is the bigot, you old fraud?
There is nothing to argue about. There are only the politically driven deniers like you.
Sorry Deuce, The USS Liberty is a horrible example of American hubris.Delete
American sailors put into harms way, against the orders of the fleet, in the middle of a war.
Was it an accident? was it on purpose?
The reports say it was an accident. You feel it was on purpose as do I.
So the question I ask, why did the NSA put the most advanced spy ship, 9 miles off the coast of Gaza/Israel DURING the 6 day war?
Why did the Captain ignore the fleets orders out that ship 204 miles off course?
Like it or not? War sucks.
The question really is, why are the lives of those on the Liberty more valuable than the Americans lost by all sorts of actions?
Hezbollah and Iran - Kolbi Towers, Marrine barracks, thousands of US GI's in Iraq hit with uparmered IED's
Japan and it's starvation and murder of American GI's including head chopping.
The murder of American GIs and diplomats by the Palestinians.
And on and on...
Why is Israel the ONLY nation on the planet you have hostility at do to an act of war?
This is not to minimize the attack on the Liberty, after all Israel has apologized and paid restitution, (regardless whether you like to admit it or not) but Iran, Hezbollah, PLO, Japan, Germany and others never have.
One standard for Israel, no standards for anyone else.
I'll attempt to change the subject to something more meaningful and contemporary -ReplyDelete
Palestinians Cheer Tel Aviv Slaughter
How Israel's "peace partners" react when women and children are ruthlessly murdered.
June 10, 2016
More troubling however, is the jubilant reaction from the Palestinian street. This is a society that revels in gore and bloodshed. It is a society that celebrates death – death of Jews and of American citizens. Following the September 11 attacks that resulted in the deaths of 3,000 people, Palestinians cheered. Old women were seen ululating while men danced, clapped, chanted Allahuakbar (what else?) and handed out sweets to mark the “joyous” event. Following the Boston Marathon bombing, they repeated the macabre spectacle, reveling in the murder of innocents.
Arab apologists have attempted to justify the attacks, placing the blame not on the attackers but rather their victims, obscenely claiming that the “occupation” prompted the terrorists to act like bloody savages. They should be reminded however, that there was no “occupation” in 1920, 1921, 1929 and 1936 when Arabs perpetrated violent pogroms against Jewish citizens living under the British mandate.
Those advocating for Palestinian statehood and independence should take note of Palestinian societal responses to acts of barbarism and savagery. Societies are capable of producing monsters but their deviant actions are reviled and condemned by the majority. But in the Palestinian case, the opposite holds true. They take pleasure in hearing news of butchery inflicted on civilians. It happened after 9-11. It happened after the Boston marathon attack and it happened after the Tel Aviv café attack.
A society that collectively cheers when women and children are ruthlessly murdered and revels in gore and death is undeserving of statehood. This macabre mindset represents the single largest obstacle to peace and until it can be altered, negotiations are pointless.
* I am also trying to get accurate news on a possible "Q"Nit in Ohio, USA this day. Will report if it turns out to be an authentic "Q"Nit.Delete
Did you know that you are considered employed by our Federal Government if you work 1 hour per month ?ReplyDelete
Source: Fox News
News Update from 'BernieLand' aka, Venezuela:ReplyDelete
Venezuela top court bans media publishing videos of lynchings....DRUDGE
Venezuela's top court bans media's publishing videos of lynchings
June 8, 2016
CARACAS (Reuters) - - Venezuela's Supreme Court on Wednesday banned media from publishing videos of lynchings, saying they create "anxiety and uncertainty" in a country ravaged by violent crime and an economic crisis.
The OPEC nation's society is in upheaval amid triple-digit inflation, a deep recession and brutal shortages of food and medicine. As Venezuelans have grown increasingly angry at frequent thefts, hold-ups and homicides, mob beatings and lynchings have increased in the country, which is already one of the world's most violent.
Gory videos of mob justice or photos of bloody corpses sometimes make the rounds on social media. President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government says the footage is part of a larger plan to sully his administration and stoke unrest in an attempt to unseat him.
In its statement, the top court, which Venezuela's opposition accuses of being subservient to Maduro, singled out two digital outlets, but said the ban applies to all media.
"The Supreme Court has ordered a ban on digital outlets 'La Patilla' and 'Caraota Digital' from publishing videos of lynchings, via their internet sites, as well as their social media accounts," the top judicial body said in a statement, while noting the broader ban....
Nocolas Maduro was a uneducated bus driver before he was handed the reins of government by Chavez.Delete
Plato had an answer to all this type horse shit in his 'Republic' but alas his solution was even worse than the disease.
The 'Republic' is redeemed however by the story of the 'Myth of Er' towards the end.
'I do not say that what I have described is exactly the truth' wrote Plato, 'only that all sensible men would affirm that something like it is the truth'.
Deuce is correct, the USS is a crime. But the criminals? Were the NSA.ReplyDelete
Why was the Liberty SPYING on Israel, 9 miles off the coast in direct disobeying of orders?
Why did the NSA put American sailors in a war zone?
It's not the 1st time the NSA did something against the interests of America.
The reason the Liberty issue was settled?
America screwed up.
How many wars has America tripped into, how many Americans have died because of poorly thought out, even criminal behavior?ReplyDelete
It's a tragedy.
But the evil lives in Washington.
Now let's look at Deuce's headline:ReplyDelete
"The Deliberate Israeli Slaughter of American Servicemen"
Has deuce EVER put up a post that referred to the:
"The Deliberate Hezbollah Slaughter of American Servicemen"
"The Deliberate Japanese Slaughter of American Servicemen"
"The Deliberate German Slaughter of American Servicemen"
"The Deliberate Palestinian Slaughter of American Servicemen"
"The Deliberate Iraqi Slaughter of American Servicemen"
"The Deliberate Iranian Slaughter of American Servicemen"
Just saying Deuce...
The 'Liberty' is a kind of Rorschach Test of Deuce, though he doesn't realize it.
Anyone else can see it plainly though. And the repetition of it. It brings out his deep prejudices and hatred, his monomania, which I have commented on before. It allows us peer into his soul.
I don't much like what I see there, myself.
AFTER his marriage - tells how 'lumpy' Hillary with her 'fat ankles and hair on her toes' schemed to get her to LIE on 60 Minutes about Bill's other affairsReplyDelete
'There appears to be no limit to what Hillary will do to destroy her perceived enemies,' Dolly Kyle writes in her new bombshell book
Kyle began sleeping with Bill Clinton after high school and their affair didn't end until he moved to the White House
'Billy was a sex addict; I was a codependent,' she admits in memoir that rips the lid off the power couple
Bill was undone by Wilt Chamberlain's claim to have slept with 20,000 women - That's ten times more than I've had!' he told Dolly
Dolly says Bill told her he and Hillary - who he called 'The Warden' -needed to have a baby 'so we can appear to be a normal couple'
'We need to do something serious to take attention off the Warden's lifestyle,' Bill said and Dolly suggested he sleep with Hillary
When Dolly met Hillary - May 28, 1974 - she wore a 'misshapen, brown, dress-like thing that must have been intended to hide her lumpy body'
The garment 'stopped too soon to hide her fat ankles and her thick calves covered with black hair'
'Thick brown sandals did nothing to conceal her wide feet and the hair on her toes,' Dolly said, adding that she was embarrassed and staring
By Caroline Howe For Dailymail.com
Published: 07:36 EST, 10 June 2016
Pretty interesting article, also this:
Following is the full text of the declaration of Dolly Kyle Browning executed on March 8, 1998. It was released on March 13 by Paula Jones's lawyers, as part of their opposition to the Clinton legal team's Feb. 17 motion for summary judgement.
Trump has a point about the Judge in his school case. The founder of the lawyer's group the Judge is a member of is on record as saying they want to turn California into a Latino state and the whites ought to go back to Europe.ReplyDelete
Heh....can't get much more damning than that.
Sounds like Deuce and the Jews in Israel.Delete
Except Deuce LOVES to ignore the Jews that lived in Israel and never left or the 850,000 and their millions of descendants that were exiled from their homes of 2000 years in the now occupied arab world.
Paul Krugman: Hillary and the HorizontalsReplyDelete
"Group identity is an unavoidable part of politics":
Hillary and the Horizontals, by Paul Krugman, NY Times: I spent much of this politically momentous week at a workshop on inequality... As so often happens at conferences..., what really got me thinking was a question during coffee break: “Why don’t you talk more about horizontal inequality?”
What? Horizontal inequality is the term of art for inequality measured, not between individuals, but between racially or culturally defined groups. ... And like it or not, horizontal inequality, racial inequality above all, will define the general election. ...
Defining oneself at least in part by membership in a group is part of human nature. Even if you try to step away from such definitions, other people won’t..., a truth reconfirmed by the upsurge in vocal anti-Semitism unleashed by the Trump phenomenon.
So group identity is an unavoidable part of politics... Racial and ethnic minorities know that very well, which is one reason they overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton, who gets it, over Mr. Sanders, with his exclusive focus on individual inequality. And politicians know it too.
Indeed, the road to Trumpism began with ideological conservatives cynically exploiting America’s racial divisions. The modern Republican Party’s central policy agenda of cutting taxes on the rich while slashing benefits has never been very popular, even among its own voters. It won elections nonetheless by getting working-class whites to think of themselves as a group under siege, and to see government programs as giveaways to "Those People." ...
And race-based political mobilization cuts both ways. Black and Hispanic support for Democrats makes obvious sense, given the fact that these are relatively low-income groups that benefit disproportionately from progressive policies. ... But the overwhelming nature of that support reflects group identity.
Furthermore, some groups with relatively high income, like Jews and, increasingly, Asian-Americans, also vote strongly Democratic. Why? The answer in both cases, surely, is the suspicion that the same racial animus that drives many people to vote Republican could, all too easily, turn against other groups with a long history of persecution. ...
The Republican nominee represents little more than the rage of white men over a changing nation. And he’ll be facing a woman — yes, gender is another important dimension in this story — who owes her nomination to the very groups his base hates and fears.
The odds are that Mrs. Clinton will prevail, because the country has already moved a long way in her direction. But one thing is for sure: It’s going to be ugly.
A Republican senator just prayed that Obama’s “days be few.” This is how the GOP got Trump.ReplyDelete
Want to know how Republicans ended up with Donald Trump? This is how Republicans ended up with Donald Trump:
Betsy Woodruff ✔ @woodruffbets
Sen. Perdue tells Faith and Freedom attendees to pray for Obama. "We should pray like Psalm 109:8 says: Let his days be few"
8:57 AM - 10 Jun 2016
Sen. David Perdue is the junior senator from Georgia. He's known in the Senate as a nice, modest guy — not one of the bomb throwers, by any means.
Here is how the prayer he encouraged the audience to make for Obama continues:
Let his days be few; and let another take his office.
Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.
Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.
Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour.
Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children.
Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out.
Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the Lord; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out.
You don’t have to believe Perdue literally wants Michelle Obama to be a widow to think that invoking this Psalm toward the president of the United States is, perhaps, a bit inappropriate. (Perdue isn’t the first to suggest Psalm 109:8 is an appropriate prayer for Obama; it's become a meme in hard-right circles, where you can buy bumper stickers and shirts that say the same thing.)
The Republican Party acts shocked by Trump — like he is some alien parasite who has taken over their party without warning or precedent. They shouldn’t be so shocked.
Comments like Perdue’s are the context in which Trump ran. For years, Republican voters have been told that the president is a Muslim, a Kenyan, a socialist. They have heard Newt Gingrich fret over his "Kenyan anti-Colonial mindset," Mitt Romney worry that the United States is "inches away from no longer being a free economy," and, yes, Donald Trump argue that he’s hiding the true circumstances of his birth. They were thrilled when Ben Carson called Obamacare "the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery" and pleased when Ted Cruz agreed to look into whether Obama was planning an armed takeover of Texas.Delete
And those examples are limited to national leaders in the Republican Party. The rhetoric coming from state senators, talk radio hosts, and local tea party chairs is much worse. Grassroots Republicans have been told for years that the struggle with Obama is existential and civilizational, that the disagreements are fundamental and scary, that the future of the country they love dearly is in doubt. Republican leaders are not responsible for all of this rhetoric, but they have consistently indulged it and rarely challenged it. Rather than fighting the hysteria, they have sought to harness it for their own ends.
In some ways, the strategy has worked. Republicans control the House and the Senate. But they face a base continually angry over their inability to stop Obama, and one that punishes them severely when they try to compromise. And now the base has lost faith in their quisling leaders and turned to a guy who seems like he really won’t give up, who seems like he really isn’t cowed by the media or Washington elites, who seems like he believes what they believe and recognizes the stakes are high enough that something needs to be done about it.
Or, as Jamelle Bouie wrote:Delete
Jamelle Bouie ✔ @jbouie
"Let his posterity be cut off, and in the generation following let their name be blotted out."
Jamelle Bouie ✔ @jbouie
So, in case you missed it, a sitting U.S. senator just asked an audience to pray a death curse to the president.
Yeah. Trump fits right in.
9:29 AM - 10 Jun 2016
Can’t we just take them all out, put them in an orange jump suit, let them run a five mile gauntlet of disabled veterans on one side, unemployed on the other side and then put them in a cargo plane for a trip to a federal supermax, place them in solitary for 12 months and preparation for trial?Delete
Why is Israel the ONLY nation on the planet you have hostility at do to an act of war?
Because of the sneak attack, because of the lies, because of the cover-up, and because it was an act of war even though the US and Israel weren't at war.
It's because the lies you offer up above are the same that have been promulgated since the early 2000's in an effort to try to exculpate the guilt surrounding the heinous attack on the Liberty.
It's because the Liberty crew cruising in international waters on a clear day were attacked by a so-called ally.
It's because the US Commander-in-Chief at the time with the means to blow the attacking Israeli forces out of the air and off the face of the sea chose instead to allow the men reporting to him on the Liberty to die for political reasons.
It's because for their service and their suffering the crew of the Liberty were shuttled aside and treated like shit, offered trinkets instead of the recognition they deserved.
It's because the Israelis eventually offered up unit citations to at least some of crews involved in the attack for their part in what the Israelis called a 'horrible mistake'.
It's was because the attack on the Liberty could be called more vile than the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, if not in quantitative terms at least in qualitative terms, since the sneak attack on the Liberty was carried out by a so-called ally rather than the enemy.
It's because the lies and the cover up continue as the Liberty crew slowly dies off.
I don't know why it's so hard for you to understand.
Give it a rest, lame brain.Delete
You don't know exactly what happened. No one here does.
Don't show your prejudice so damn nakedly.
“Lame brain", from the second most challenged cerebral cortex on this blog.Delete
The proper lame brain sequence is:Delete
thank you very much.
Trump is giving another good speech.ReplyDelete
My cast on my left hand is now off so I can type again and give you hell with no problem so just watch out.....
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, May-June 2007, pages 26-27
FOUR DECADES OF TWISTING FACTS ABOUT ISRAEL’S ATTACK ON THE USS LIBERTY
By James Ennes
SINCE JUNE 8, 1967, when Israeli air and naval forces deliberately attacked the American intelligence ship USS Liberty, Israel and its American supporters have lied about what happened.
The facts are simple and straightforward. Israeli forces reconnoitered the ship for hours in daylight with unlimited visibility, correctly reported the ship’s identity to their headquarters, then attacked the clearly marked and defenseless American ship by air and sea for more than 75 minutes, killing 34 men and wounding more than two-thirds of the 297-man crew.
After disabling the ship with a 40-foot torpedo hole and hundreds of canon and missile hits, Israeli torpedomen continued to fire from as little as 50 feet away. They ignored the oversize American flag that flew in plain sight from the mast while firing on medical personnel and firefighters nearby. Finally, as preparations were being made to abandon ship, they machinegunned the ship’s empty life rafts which had been lowered into the water awaiting survivors—a clear violation of Geneva conventions.
The lies started almost immediately. Even before crewmen could give their eyewitness accounts, the Israeli government concocted a preposterous “tragic accident” story, claiming that the Liberty had been mistaken for an out-of-service Egyptian horse carrier designed to carry 40 horses and their riders for the Egyptian cavalry of the 1920s. According to this story, the Liberty was recognized as American only after torpedoes were launched. Since torpedoes can’t be recalled or redirected, however, Americans died. According to the Israeli story, the attackers immediately ceased fire and apologized for their “mistake.”
But this was not true. The torpedomen continued to fire long after they claim the last shot was fired. In fact, they continued to fire until they heard that air support from the Sixth Fleet was on the way.
Survivors of the attack fully expected to refute the Israeli lie during one of the investigations that would be sure to follow, and show that the attack was no accident. That, however, was not to be.
Despite the presence of more than 200 men eager to testify, the Navy Court of Inquiry inexplicably did not ask about deliberateness, and did not allow survivors to testify freely—nor did Congress or anyone else. Israel’s “Big Lie” was accepted at face value, and no questions were ever asked about whether the attack was deliberate or whether the Israeli story was true.
According to a sworn affidavit by the Court’s own legal officer, the official Navy transcript was fraudulently changed and rewritten in Washington after it was signed by members of the Court. The official record, therefore, is a forgery. Yet despite several appeals to the secretary of the Navy and others, the Navy refuses to investigate or even to contact the senior legal officer making these very serious charges (see ).
Survivors of the Israeli attack have spent most of the ensuing 40 years trying in vain to right these wrongs, but have been frustrated at every turn. ISRAEL’S ATTACK ON THE USS LIBERTY REMAINS THE ONLY MAJOR MARITIME INCIDENT IN AMERICAN HISTORY NOT INVESTIGATED BY CONGRESS. Queries to Congress bring boilerplate replies and no serious attention. Why? Because the attack by Israel on the USS Liberty is simply too politically sensitive.
Individually, nearly everyone in government with knowledge of the attack agrees that it was deliberate. Dozens of senior officials, including White House advisers and most senior intelligence agency leaders, agree that Israel deliberately attacked a ship it knew to be American (see ). A diplomatic note sent by Secretary of State Dean Rusk to Israel asserted our government’s disbelief in the Israeli story. Yet such notes were withheld from the public until years later, and the private views remained mostly private. Even today, 40 years later, former Sen. Adlai Stevenson III (D-IL) is one of the few elected officials who had the courage to tell the truth about this attack while still in office.
Survivors’ frustration is made worse by various spokesmen for the attackers such as Florida Bankruptcy Magistrate Ahron Jay Cristol and FLAME president Gerardo Joffe.
Cristol first gave serious currency to “The Big Lie” when his book, The Liberty Incident, falsely claimed that up to 15 investigations “including five congressional investigations” had all inquired into the attack and exonerated Israel of any wrongdoing.
As we have demonstrated previously in these pages and elsewhere, that is totally untrue. No American investigation has ever inquired as to whether the attack was deliberate. Certainly no congressional inquiry has done so. Crystal’s dishonest tactic is to find a mention of the attack in some official record and call this an “investigation that exonerated Israel.”
For instance, Cristol cites a 1968 remark by then-Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in an unrelated hearing asserting that the attack was not deliberate, while ignoring the conclusion of the hearing chairman Bourke Hickenlooper that “I have read [the reports] and I cannot agree that it was accidental.” Yet Cristol ignores Hickenlooper’s opinion and reports the hearing as supporting the “tragic accident” position.
Similarly, none of the “five congressional investigations” so often cited by Cristol were in fact investigations at all. None established or asserted Israeli innocence. But that does not stop Cristol from endlessly claiming that it does, and citing these and other fictitious sources as proof of Israeli innocence.
Sadly, other sycophants pick up Cristol’s ball and run with it. Perhaps most persistent is one Gerardo Joffe, president and chief cheerleader for the pro-Israel propaganda group FLAME—an acronym its critics maintain stands for “Fallacies and Lies About the Middle East.” In kneejerk letters to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, and in his FLAME Web site Joffe consistently parrots Cristol’s line that the Liberty attack has long been proven accidental and that it has been given too much attention, while other incidents are given too little.
Similarly, the Anti-Defamation League, whose stated mission is to stop defamation of the Jewish people and “to secure justice and fair treatment to all,” has no problem supporting the Cristol/FLAME fiction by pretending, according to its Web site, that “Several government investigations have concluded that the attack...was carried out in error” and that “every piece of information declassified to date...has supported this conclusion.”
Survivors repeatedly have asked Cristol and others to provide copies or other evidence of these so-called “investigations.” None has done so. They cannot. There are no such investigations. Similarly, we have asked them to remove their false statements. They refuse. These lies serve their purpose.
In fact, when survivors have sought details of such investigations from their congressmen, from the Navy Judge Advocate General, from the Library of Congress, from the Congressional Research Service, or from any other government agency, we have repeatedly been advised that there has never been any congressional investigation of Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty.
Most recently, on July 25, 2006, in response to a query from Liberty survivors, the Librarian of Congress wrote:
“After checking numerous resources, including the CIS (Congressional Information Service) Indexes to Congressional Hearings (both published and unpublished), and the Public Documents Masterful, I could find no evidence that the Congress ever held hearings or launched an investigation into the June 8, 1967 incident with the USS Liberty. LC Control Number: 98135843.”
That should settle the issue for all time and bring Cristol, Joffe, ADL and other myopic Israel-can-do-no-wrongers to cease their never-ending claim that Israel has been exonerated by numerous investigations. That simply is not true, never has been true and never will be true, despite their blind determination to deny reality.Delete
James Ennes was a lieutenant on the bridge of the USS Liberty when the Israeli attack started and retired from the Navy after 27 years’ service. He is author of Assault on the Liberty (available from the AET Book Club).
The Israeli government is like the spoiled child of an unscrupulous dictator. Day or Qusay Hussain, sons of Saddam, come to mind—cruel, unscrupulous, ruthless, and free to commit every conceivable outrage with impunity because they were protected by their all-powerful father.Delete
Israeli-firsters control the vast majority of US media and AIPAC controls the US Congress. What can you expect out of that? Enough Americans to put an end to it? Eventually it will happen. The truth always triumphs over lies.Delete
AIPAC controls the US CongressDelete
The proper lame brain sequence is:
Relax, and have a drink, everyone -ReplyDelete
The American Way of Drinking
By ROSIE SCHAAP JUNE 9, 2016
Interesting article, much history, and little known facts.