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From: Tom ZeCat (
Subject:         USS Liberty Incident -- Decide for Yourself
Date: October 12, 2007 at 2:03 pm PST

In Reply to: So Who's Afraid of the Israel Lobby? posted by Bart on October 6, 2007 at 8:21 am:

Here's an article on the subject:

It's well supported and quotes both people who believe it was a tragic mistake by Israeli forces and those who think it was a deliberate attack on the US. Decide for yourself.

Here are the article's references:

^ "The surviving Liberty crewmen . . . believed the attack was deliberate." *Mission Memorial: Remembering the USS Liberty from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Magazine, June/July 2005.
^ "The failure of the Israeli navy's attacks on Egyptian and Syrian ports early in the war did little to assuage Israel's fears. Consequently, the IDF Chief of Staff, Gen. Yitzhak Rabin, informed the U.S. Naval Attaché in Tel Aviv, Cmdr. Ernest Carl Castle, that Israel would defend its coast with every means at its disposal. Unidentified vessels would be sunk, Rabin advised; the United States should either acknowledge its ships in the area or remove them. Nonetheless, the Americans provided Israel with no information on the Liberty. The United States had also rejected Israel's request for a formal naval liaison. On May 31, Avraham Harman, Israel's ambassador to Washington, had warned Under Secretary of State Eugene V. Rostow that if war breaks out, we would have no telephone number to call, no code for plane recognition, and no way to get in touch with the U.S. Sixth Fleet.'" Oren, Michael B. The USS Liberty: Case Closed, Azure, Spring 5760 / 2000, No. 9.
^ Numbers are written by Russian using the same Latin numbering system
^ "While Egyptian naval ships were known to disguise their identities with Western markings, they usually displayed Arabic letters and numbers only. The fact that the ship had Western markings led Rabin to fear that it was Soviet, and he immediately called off the jets. Two IAF Hornet helicopters were sent to look for survivors - Spector had reported seeing men overboard - while the torpedo boat squadron was ordered to hold its fire pending further attempts at identification. Though that order was recorded in the torpedo boat's log, Oren claimed he never received it." Oren, Michael B. The USS Liberty: Case Closed, Azure, Spring 5760 / 2000, No. 9.
^ Even as USS Liberty's Heroic Captain Receives New Honor, Coverup of Israeli Attack on His Ship Continues, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, March 1998 Issue, Pages 26, 88
^ Navy Medal of Honor: Vietnam War (era) 1964-1975, citation for Captain William L. McGonagle, U.S. Navy, accessed May 15, 2006
^ Congressional Medal of Honor Society, accessed June 20, 2007
^ Raymond Garthoff, A Journey Through the Cold War Washington, DC: 2001 p. 214.
^ "However, according to his own account, Boston's evidence of a cover-up derives not from his own part in the investigation but solely on alleged conversations with Admiral Kidd, who purportedly told him he was forced to find that the attack was unintentional. Kidd died in 1999 and there is no way to verify Boston's allegations. However, Cristol argues that the 'documentary record' strongly indicated that Kidd 'supported the validity of the findings of the Court of Inquiry to his dying day.'" The USS Liberty Attack, Anti-Defamation League, June 9, 2004.
^ Richard Helms. Over My Shoulder. New York: Random House, 2003. ISBN 037550012X
^ Dean Rusk. As I Saw It. New York: W.W. Norton, 1990. ISBN 0140153918
^ LBJ, National Security File, Box 104/107, Middle East Crisis: Jerusalem to the Secretary of State, June 8, 1967; Barbour to Department, June 8, 1967; Joint Embassy Memorandum, June 8, 1967.
^ Crewdson, John (2007-10-02). New revelations in attack on American spy ship. Chicago Tribune.
^ Crewdson
^ William D. Gerhard and Henry W. Millington, National Security Agency, Attack on a SIGINT Collector, the USS Liberty, 1981. Top Secret Umbra. See page 41 of the report, page 49 of the pdf; see also footnote 4 on same page.
^ CNN report by David Ensor, CNN, April 23, 2001. Report cites material from: Body of Secrets, by James Bamford, Doubleday, 2001 (ISBN 0-09-942774-5)

A History of Israel by Ahron Bregman contains extracts from the tapes. (ISBN 0-333-67631-9)
Cristol, A. Jay (2002). The Liberty Incident: The 1967 Israeli Attack on the U.S. Navy Spy Ship. Dulles, Virginia: Brassey's. ISBN 1-57488-414-X.
Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East, by Michael B. Oren, Oxford University Press (ISBN 0-19-515174-7)
Assault on the Liberty: The True Story of the Israeli Attack on an American Intelligence Ship, by James M. Ennes, Jr. (ISBN 0-9723116-0-2) Currently in its 9th printing.
The Puzzle Palace, by James Bamford, Penguin Books, 1982, has a detailed description of the Israeli attack on the SIGINT ship USS Liberty, and the events leading up to it, on pages 279-293.
Body of Secrets, by James Bamford, devotes a detailed chapter to the incident, and concludes it was deliberate. Doubleday, 2001 (ISBN 0-09-942774-5)
Peter Hounam, Operation Cyanide: Why the Bombing of the USS Liberty Nearly Caused World War III, Vision Paperbacks. 2003, ISBN 1-904132-19-7,
Anthony Pearson, Conspiracy of Silence: The Attack on the USS Liberty, 1979 ISBN 0-7043-2164-5
John Borne, The USS Liberty, Dissenting History vs. Official History
Thomas, Baylis (1999). How Israel Was Won: A Concise History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books. ISBN 0-7391-0064-5. In Chapter 15 on "The Six Day War and Its Consequences", dissects the sequence of events and concurrent attacks on Arab towns and explores the possibility that the attack on this U.S. spy ship was an intentional act to prevent U.S. monitoring of Israeli military actions, and that the intent was to kill all on board before any kind of communications could be sent out.

External links

U.S. government sites
Attack on a Sigint Collector, the U.S.S. Liberty, by William D. Gerhard and Henry W. Millington, U.S. Cryptologic History series, National Security Agency, 1981, partially declassified 1999, 2003.
Additional information released by the National Security Agency on July 2003, including audio recordings (mostly in Hebrew) of conversations between two Israeli helicopter pilots and their control tower following the attack, transcripts of the recordings (in English), and follow-up reports.
Naval Historical Center, featuring photographs of the ship and crew, and the aftermath of the attack.
National Security Agency's Memorial Wall, including list of names inscribed on the wall.

Other sources
Naval Institute Proceedings interviews key intelligence officers in 2003
USS Liberty attack tapes released by David Ensor, CNN.
Chicago Tribune Article 2007
Israeli communications said to prove IAF knew Liberty was U.S. ship, Yossi Melman, Ha'aretz, October 4, 2007.

Sources claiming attack was a mistake
US tapes confirm Israel's '67 attack on 'Liberty' was accidental
The Liberty Incident, by Naval Aviator and JAG A. Jay Cristol. Includes original documents, as well as rebuttals to various theories and articles that hold that the attack was deliberate.
Pages devoted to USS Liberty Incident maintained by the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, including a collection of contemporaneous diplomatic documents and telegrams.
The USS Liberty: Case Closed Azure article by Michael Oren
Michael Oren's "Six Days of War." Ballatine Books, 2003, p. 263-271
Memos show Liberty attack was an error Haaretz article by Nathan Guttman
Return of the USS Liberty Critique of Bamford's "Body of Secrets" from Honest Reporting
Bamford Bashes Israel: Conspiracy Theorist Claims Attack on USS Liberty Intentional from the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America
Viewers’ Guide to the History Channel’s Cover Up: Attack on the USS Liberty from the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America
The USS Liberty Attack from the Anti-Defamation League
Response to the History Channel Program on the USS Liberty prepared for the Jewish Council for Public Affairs by A. Jay Cristol
Declassified Documents Show Israel's 1967 Attack On USS Liberty Was Accidental from the Israel National News
USS Liberty: Israel Did Not Intend to Bomb the Ship by A. Jay Cristol
USS Liberty on
Hank Roth:Truth about U.S.S. Liberty]-->
USS 'Liberty' hit was unintentional, says CIA
to 'Post - interview with pilot (Yiftah Spector) who led attack]

Sources claiming attack was deliberate

Survivors of the attack
The website of the Veterans of USS Liberty, run by survivors Jim Ennes and Joe Meadors. This site includes a wide variety of documents, photographs, and responses to authors who argue that the attack was a mistake.
The USS Liberty Inquiry website, run by USS Liberty survivors Jim Ennes, Joe Meadors and John Hrankowski and maintained by researcher Andrew Nacin. This contains hundreds of documents and evidence on the attack, as well as a public forum..
USS Liberty, by John Gidusko, Communications Officer aboard the USS Liberty
Assault on Liberty Still Covered Up After 26 Years by Jim Ennes at Washington-Report
Loss of Liberty Film, featuring multiple survivors who claim they were set-up
Dead in the Water BBC documentary (2002).

Other sources
Captain Ward Boston (USN, Ret.), chief counsel to the Navy's Board of Inquiry interviewed on Electric Politics June 29, 2007
A Juridicial Examination of the Israeli Attack on the USS Liberty by Lieutenant Commander Walter L. Jacobsen, JAGC, USN
USS LIBERTY: Public History vs. Dissenting History, by John Borne
Possible strategic and political backgrounds by Eric Margolis, foreign correspondent for the Toronto Sun.
Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: Israel Deliberately Attacked US Ship, Daily Star, January 21, 2004.
Naval Institute Proceedings: Friendless Fire? by David Walsh
San Diego Union-Tribune: Lifting the "fog of war" by David Walsh
BBC Documentary Dead In The Water
documentary Terror Storm (minutes 13 through 18) by Alex Jones
U.S. Navy and Marine Casualties in Wars, Conflicts, Terrorist Acts, and other Hostile Acts
Telegrams Cast Doubt on Liberty Report, Navy Times,June 4, 2007 by Bryant Jordan
Conflicting comments rekindle Liberty dispute, Marine Corps Times, June 26, 2002, by Bryant Jordan
Alison Wier article from Counterpunch June 22, 2007
RayMcGovern article on AlterNet: The "Hidden Day" Israel Deliberately Attacked American Ship, Killing 34

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