18 November 2003

Why did the Israelis attack the Liberty?

More tales of government lies in the 1960s.

Admiral John McCain, father of current Arizona senator John McCain, was a player in the Israeli military attack on the USS Liberty off the coast of Gaza back in 1967, Jeffery St. Clair reports.

On June 6, the Joint Chiefs sent Admiral McCain, father of the senator from Arizona, an urgent message instructing him to move the Liberty out of the war zone to a position at least 100 miles off the Gaza Coast. McCain never forwarded the message to the ship.

Then Admiral McCain directed the coverup after...

But the book wasn't closed for the sailors either, of course. After a Newsweek story exposed the gist of what really happened on that day in the Mediterranean, an enraged Admiral McCain placed all the sailors under a gag order. When one sailor told an officer that he was having problems living with the cover-up, he was told: "Forget about it, that's an order."

Wikipedia has a nice writeup on the USS Liberty attack, including a letter from the USS Liberty Veterans Association:

Without changing anything the author wrote in his account we feel a clarification is in order.

At a little after 2pm in the afternoon of June 8, 1967 the USS Liberty was attacked by at least three unmarked Israeli Mirage aircraft. Those aircraft used rockets, cannon and machine gun fire to target the ship's communications and defensive capabilities. Each of the ship's 4 gun tubs and each of the ship's antenna mounts sustained a direct hit by either rocket or cannon fire.

After the Mirages had finished their attack we were hit by slower Mystere aircraft armed with napalm.

The aircraft were followed closely by three torpedo boats who fired five torpedoes at the ship. One struck the ship on our starboard side killing 25 men. The torpedo boats then slowly circled the ship while firing from close range at Liberty crewmen who ventured topside to help their wounded shipmates.

Some have argued that napalm is ineffective when used against a ship. Combine napalm with the slow circling of the Liberty by Israeli torpedo boats as they fire upon Liberty crewmen and the Israeli refusal to offer immediate aid upon cessation of hostilities and some have concluded that the intent of the attackers was to leave no survivors. Indeed, that is what would have happened had their scenario been carried out to its completion.

And, let's not forget their use of helo-borne assault troops.

Let me spend some time addressing the above claim that "Subsequent ten American commissions of inquiry and three Israeli ones have all concluded that the attack was conducted because of USS Liberty being confused with an Egyptian vessel, and failures of communications between Israel and the US."

The legal counsel to the US Navy Court of Inquiry has said publicly that the Court of Inquiry was a sham whose conclusions were dictated by Washington.

The President of the Court of Inquiry and his legal counsel concluded that the attack was deliberate but reported falsely that it was a tragic accident because they were ordered by Washington to report falsely and "officers follow orders" said the Counsel to the Court.

That report can be found in the July 26 issue of Navy Times and in follow-up issues.

Washington directed that the Court conclude that the attack was a tragic accident, despite the fact that the Court determined that it was deliberate. So the Court of Inquiry was a sham.

Of the ten US investigations cited, only the fraudulent US Navy Court of Inquiry bothered to interview survivors. The others either did not look into deliberateness at all -- examining peripheral issues such as the adequacy of communications and of command and control -- or were merely reports to their bosses which summarized the results of the fraudulent Court of Inquiry Report. So nine of those ten investigations were poisoned fruit of the poisoned tree, which was the first investigation.

One has to ask why is there controversy in the first place? If the attack has been the subject of some 10 US investigations why are there any questions remaining outstanding at all? Surely all of the questions and alleged points of controversy are very basic and would be included in even a rudimentary investigation. Do you think, perhaps, if someone were to actually read the reports they claim were of the attack would find out that they weren't investigations of the attack at all?

An addition to the recommended reading list is A History of Israel by Ahron Bregman (ISBN 0333676319). The publisher tells readers that "There is a rare extract from a radio exchange between air control and Israeli pilots on the fourth day of the Six Day War, showing that the Israelis did realize that the ship they were bombing was the American USS Liberty, but still went on to attack it."

Joe Meadors
Vice President
USS Liberty Veterans Association
Email: joe@ussliberty.com


I have been watching the 9/11 Commission report to the Congressional Committee. The Commission members correctly advanced ideas for reaching the whole Muslim Community. However there was one item—one word actually that means a great deal to the Muslims that was not used at all. That word was Zionism. I call it the Z word. Fear of being branded anti-Semitic has made this a subject to be avoided. Even the warrior Dennis Kucinich, who communicated a doubt that a change in public relations would not be sufficient, did not broach this delicate subject. In fact Zionism is the root cause of this whole mess. It is obvious that the well-armed military of Israel are not among our coalition partners in Iraq or Afghanistan.
All Zionists are not Jews, nor are all Jews Zionists. The True Torah Jews, (You can reach them on the internet) are violently opposed to Zionism. Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell are Christian fundamentalists and avid Zionists. Zionism is a relatively new phenomenon. Zionists are Jewish nationalists. They believe that Israel is the gift of God to the Jews. In order to encourage immigration they actually encourage anti-Semitism in other countries.
The answer to the plaintive question: “Why do they hate us?” is; that it is a result of our government giving Israel billions of taxpayer dollars to buy arms. They have destroyed a nuclear plant under construction in Iraq. They keep thousands of Palestinians in refugee camps after stealing their land and property. They attacked an American Navy vessel, Liberty; killing over one hundred American sailors. And worst of all they have penetrated our government. The 9/11 Commission should study Zionism. But they will not even use the word.
The only answer given the American people to the question, “Why do they hate us?” is that radical Muslim extremists hate us for our freedom and the liberty of our women. That any Muslim would wage Jehad for such reasons is not convincing. Terrorism is the weapon of the desperate. The Kamikaze pilots of WWII only engaged in this tactic when they were faced with overwhelming military force. How can a Palestinian, or an Iraqi resist the occupation of their country without tanks and planes, and missiles? Terrorism is the last resort. The Kamikazis almost destroyed our pacific fleet. They made the use of the atom bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki unavoidable.
There is no way that we will win over a crescendo of terrorist attacks until someone has the courage to use the Z word.

Yours truly,

John H. St.John