On June 8, 1967
, US Navy intelligence ship USS Liberty was suddenly and brutally attacked on the high seas in international waters by the air and naval forces of Israel.The combined air and sea attack killed 34 crew members (naval officers, seamen, two Marines, and one civilian), wounded 171 crew members, and severely damaged the ship.At the time, the ship was in international waters north of the Sinai Peninsula, about 25.5 nmi (29.3 mi; 47.2 km) northwest from the Egyptian city of Arish.
BBC Documentary of USS Liberty attack See minutes 24-26 The US was minutes away from a NUCLEAR ATTACK ON CAIRO believing the attack to have been by Egypt
LYNDON JHONSON “PRESIDENT OF THE JEWSA”
I dont give a damm if the SHIP SINKS I wont embarass our allies
With “presidents” like these who needs enemies?
ROBERT MCNAMARA US SECRETARY OF DEFENCE
Mcnamara was askd by Admiral Larry Geist for permission to send aircraft to protect the USS Liberty and shoot down the attacking Israeli aircraft He REFUSED
WHAT AMERICAN POLITICIANS AND SAILORS INVOLVED IN THE ATTACK SAY
DEAN RUSK then-Secretary of State
” . . . an act of military recklessness reflecting wanton disregard for human life.” Then Secretary of State Dean Rusk in a 10 June 1967 diplomatic note to the Israeli Ambassador.
“But I was never satisfied with the Israeli explanation. Their sustained attack to disable and sink Liberty precluded an assault by accident or soem trigger-happy local commander. 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.” Rusk, As I Saw It, W.W.Norton, 1990. p 388
Clark M. Clifford, then-Presidential Advisor and Chairman of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Counsel to the President
“That the Liberty could have been mistaken for the Egyptian supply ship El Quseir is unbelievable. El Quseir has one-fourth the displacement of the Liberty, roughly half the beam, is 180 feet shorter, and is very differently configured. The Liberty’s unusual antenna array and hull markings should have been visible to low-flying aircraft and torpedo boats. In the heat of battle the Liberty was able to identify one of the attacking torpedo boats as Israeli and to ascertain its hull number. In the same circumstances, trained Israeli naval personnel should have been able easily to see and identify the larger hull markings on the Liberty.” Clifford, in a memorandum to the President, 18 July 1967
Thomas H. Moorer, Admiral, US Navy (Ret.), Forword to Assault on the Liberty
The ship was clearly identified, not only by its unique configuration but by a very large U.S. flag that was flown at the time. The weather was calm and the visibility was excellent. During this unprovoked attack 34 U.S. Navy men were killed and 171 wounded. Nevertheless, to this day the American public does not know why the attack took place and who was involved overall.In my opinion, the United States government and the Israeli government must share responsibility for this cover-up. I cannot accept the claim by the Israelis that this was a case of mistaken identity. I have flown for years in both peace and war on surveillance flights over the ocean, and my opinion is supported by a full career of locating and identifying ships at sea. Based on the way this tragedy was handled both in the United States and in Israel, one must conclude that there is much information that has not been made available to the public.The U.S. Fleet, positioned nearby, received a distress call from the USS Liberty, and one carrier dispatched a squadron to go to the defense of the disabled ship. Before the aircraft reached the Liberty, they received orders from Washington directing their return to their ship. Who issued those orders? So far, no one knows. In the United States all information available to the U.S. government indicating those who participated in controlling this operation from Washington, together with the exact text of orders transmitted to the Mediterranean Fleet, has never been made public.
Richard Helms, then-Director of Central Intelligence (CIA Director), A Look Over My Shoulder
“Israeli authorities subsequently apologized for the incident, but few in Washington could believe that the ship had not been identified as an American naval vessel. Later, an interim intelligence memorandum concluded the attack was a mistake and not made in malice against the U.S. . . .I had no role in the board of inquiry that followed, or the board’s finding that there could be no doubt that the Israelis knew exactly what they were doing in attacking the Liberty. I have yet to understand why it was felt necessary to attack this ship or who ordered the attack.”
— US Senator Adlai Stevenson III in interview with Wm. J. Small, UPI, for publication September 28, 1980
“Those sailors who were wounded, who were eyewitnesses, have not been heard from by the American public. . . [Their story] leaves no doubt but what this was a premeditated, carefully reconnoitered attack by Israeli aircraft against our ship.”
Yiftah Spector, the first pilot to attack USS Liberty The Jerusalem Post, Jun. 3, 2004.
“I’m sorry for the mistake. In war mistakes happen,” Spector said. “But it wasn’t my mistake.””These people never, ever spoke to me. Perhaps they are anti-Semites? Or these guys feel hurt and are looking for guilty parties, maybe to get compensation, or money? I am not afraid to meet them. Anyone who wants to meet with me is welcome. I don’t have any claims against them. I don’t want any compensation from them or anything. If they want they can look me up. And they best not deal with lies and deception since it won’t help. It’s best they tell the truth.”
Paul C. Warnke, then-General Legal Counsel of the Department of Defense
“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. I suspect that in the heat of battle they figured that the presence of this American ship was inimical to their interests, and that somebody without authorization attacked it.”
George Ball, under secretary of state at the time The Passionate Attachment: America’s Involvement with Israel, pages 57-58.
“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.
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.
“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.
David G. Nes, the deputy head of the American mission in Cairo at the time
“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.”