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Thread: Remember the USS Liberty

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    Default Remember the USS Liberty

    Some new evidence on the 1967 attack:

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nat...ll=bal-home-he

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    See the USS Liberty Memorial for more.

    This series of attacks is one of those things Americans just seem to not want to grasp.

    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    See the USS Liberty Memorial for more.

    This series of attacks is one of those things Americans just seem to not want to grasp.

    Tom
    Maybe, but it always struck me as something that most Americans have never heard of. The elite, political and media, doesn't usually want to talk about it, so most people never hear about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Granite_State View Post
    Maybe, but it always struck me as something that most Americans have never heard of. The elite, political and media, doesn't usually want to talk about it, so most people never hear about it.
    I'd tend to go with this as well. The whole Liberty incident tends to get swept under the rug in most general history classes, and that's all many Americans ever get.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
    I'd tend to go with this as well. The whole Liberty incident tends to get swept under the rug in most general history classes, and that's all many Americans ever get.
    Swept under the rug? Make that hidden and nailed shut; virtually nothing was out until Assault on the Liberty came out and the suppression machine swung into high gear. The Moorer Commission statement in 2003 was damning but given little coverage:


    The "Moorer Commission" (Chaired by Adm. Moorer) investigated the attack and made the following findings:

    "We, the undersigned, having undertaken an independent investigation of Israel's attack on USS Liberty, including eyewitness testimony from surviving crew members, 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 USS Liberty, the world's most sophisticated intelligence ship, inflicting 34 dead and 173 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 USS 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 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 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 USS 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 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 crew members 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 crew member 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 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 USS Liberty and the subsequent official cover-up of the Israeli attack, endangers the safety of Americans and the security of the United States.
    Last edited by Tom Odom; 10-03-2007 at 05:00 PM.

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    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Yeah...I find the whole thing disgusting in the extreme myself.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Amen to that.

    One of MANY reasons why Lyndon is not one of my favorite people...

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    This is quite pathetic. Not only that they did it,but that we helped so much in covering it up for them.

    Just curious, how many Israeli troops or brigades are in Iraq right now? If they are allegedly our #1 ally in the Middle East, I would imagine quite a few. But something tells me that's not going to be the answer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    ....Just curious, how many Israeli troops or brigades are in Iraq right now? If they are allegedly our #1 ally in the Middle East, I would imagine quite a few. But something tells me that's not going to be the answer.
    If there is even the slightest semblance of a real cooperative relationship between the US and Israel, they will keep completely out of Iraq. Any overt or covert involvement, support or interference of any sort by Israel in Iraq would be massively counterproductive. Even rumors of such activity feed the threat IO mill.

    ...just to throw something else on for the Liberty:
    Declaration of Ward Boston, Jr., Captain, JAGC, USN (Ret.)

    I, Ward Boston, Jr. do declare that the following statement is true and complete:

    1. For more than 30 years, I have remained silent on the topic of USS Liberty. I am a military man and when orders come in from the Secretary of Defense and President of the United Stares, I follow them.

    2. However, recent attempts to rewrite history compel me to share the truth.

    3. In June of 1967, while serving as a captain in the Judge Advocate General Corps, Department of the Navy, I was assigned as senior legal counsel for the Navy’s Court of Inquiry into the brutal attack on USS Liberty, which had occurred on June 8th.

    4. The late Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, President of the Court, and I were given only one week to gather evidence for the Navy’s official investigation into the attack, despite the fact that we both had estimated that a proper Court of Inquiry into an attack of this magnitude would take at least six months to conduct.

    5. Admiral John S. McCain, Jr., then Commander-in-Chief, Naval Forces Europe (CINCUSNAVEUR), at his headquarters in London, had charged Admiral Kidd (in a letter dated June 10, 1967) to “inquire into all the pertinent facts and circumstances leading to and connected with the armed attack; damage resulting therefrom; and deaths and injuries to naval personnel.”

    6. Despite the short amount of time we were given, we gathered a vast amount of evidence, including hours of heartbreaking testimony from the young survivors.

    7. The evidence was clear. Both 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. Each evening, after hearing testimony all day, we often spoke our private thoughts concerning what we had seen and heard. I recall Admiral Kidd repeatedly referring to the Israeli forces responsible for the attack as “murderous bastards.” It was our shared belief, based on the documentary evidence and testimony we received first-hand, that the Israeli attack was planned and deliberate, and could not possibly have been an accident.

    8. I am certain that the Israeli pilots that undertook the attack, as well as their superiors, who had ordered the attack, were well aware that the ship was American.

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

    10. Not only did the Israelis attack the ship with napalm, gunfire and missiles, Israeli torpedo boats machine-gunned three lifeboats that had been launched in an attempt by the crew to save the most seriously injured – a war crime.

    11. Admiral Kidd and I both felt it necessary to travel to Israel to interview the Israelis who took part in the attack. Admiral Kidd telephoned Admiral McCain to discuss making arrangements. Admiral Kidd later told me that Admiral McCain was adamant that we were not to travel to Israel or contact the Israelis concerning this matter.

    12. Regrettably, we did not receive into evidence and the court did not consider any of the more than sixty witness declarations from men who had been hospitalized and were unable to testify in person.

    13. I am outraged at the efforts of the apologists for Israel in this country to claim that this attack was a case of “mistaken identity.”

    14. In particular, the recent publication of Jay Cristol’s book, The Liberty Incident [Brassey's Military, Washington, D.C., 2002], twists the facts and misrepresents the views of those of us who investigated the attack.

    15. It is Cristol’s insidious attempt to whitewash the facts that has pushed me to speak out.

    16. I know from personal conversations I had with Admiral Kidd that President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara ordered him to conclude that the attack was a case of “mistaken identity’” despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    17. Admiral Kidd told me, after returning from Washington, D.C., that he had been ordered to sit down with two civilians from either the White House or the Defense Department and rewrite portions of the Court’s findings.

    18. Admiral Kidd also told me that he had been ordered to “put the lid’” on everything having to do with the attack on USS Liberty. We were never to speak of it and we were to caution everyone else involved that they could never speak of it again.

    19. I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of that statement as I know that the Court of Inquiry transcript that has been released to the public is not the same one that I certified and sent off to Washington.

    20. I know this because it was necessary, due to the exigencies of time, to hand correct and initial a substantial number of pages. I have examined the released version of the transcript and I did not see any pages that bore my hand corrections and initials. Also, the original did not have any deliberately blank pages, as the released version does. Finally, the testimony of Lt. Painter concerning the deliberate machine gunning of the life rafts by the Israeli torpedo boat crews, which I distinctly recall being given at the Court of Inquiry and included in the original transcript, is now missing and has been excised.

    21. Following the conclusion of the Court of Inquiry, Admiral Kidd and I remained in contact. Though we never spoke of the attack in public, we did discuss it between ourselves, on occasion. Every time we discussed the attack, Admiral Kidd was adamant that it was a deliberate, planned attack on an American ship.

    22. In 1990, I received a telephone call from Jay Cristol, who wanted to interview me concerning the functioning of the Court of Inquiry. I told him that I would not speak to him on the subject and prepared to hang up the telephone. Cristol then began asking me about my personal background and other, non-Court of Inquiry related matters. I endeavored to answer these questions and politely extricate myself from the conversation. Cristol continued to return to the subject of the Court of Inquiry, which I refused to discuss with him. Finally, I suggested that he contact Admiral Kidd and ask him about the Court of Inquiry.

    23. Shortly after my conversation with Cristol, I received a telephone call from Admiral Kidd, inquiring about Cristol and what he was up to. The Admiral spoke of Cristol in disparaging terms and even opined that “Cristol must be an Israeli agent.” I don’t know if he meant that literally or it was his way of expressing his disgust for Cristol’s highly partisan, pro-Israeli approach to questions involving USS Liberty.

    24. At no time did I ever hear Admiral Kidd speak of Cristol other than in highly disparaging terms. I find Cristol’s claims of a “close friendship” with Admiral Kidd to be utterly incredible. I also find it impossible to believe the statements he attributes to Admiral Kidd concerning the attack on USS Liberty.

    25. Several years later, I received a letter from Cristol that contained what he purported to be his notes of our prior conversation. These “notes” were grossly incorrect and bore no resemblance in reality to that discussion. I find it hard to believe that these “notes” were the product of a mistake, rather than an attempt to deceive. I informed Cristol that I disagreed with his recollection of our conversation and that he was wrong. Cristol made several attempts to arrange for the two of us to meet in person and talk but I always found ways to avoid doing this. I did not wish to meet with Cristol as we had nothing in common and I did not trust him.

    26. Contrary to the misinformation presented by Cristol and others, it is important for the American people to know that it is clear that Israel is responsibly for deliberately attacking an American ship and murdering American sailors, whose bereaved shipmates have lived with this egregious conclusion for many years.

    Dated: January 8, 2004
    At Coronado, California.

    WARD BOSTON, JR., CAPTAIN, JAGC, USN (RET.)
    SENIOR COUNSEL TO THE USS LIBERTY COURT OF INQUIRY

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Cristol was trotted out as the Israeli defense--along with the Israeli Embassy in DC--on a History Channel program. I remember him claiming that Boston and Kidd had "cleared" the Israelis of a deliberate attack(s) versus a mistaken attack(s).

    As usual, Jed great post. I had not seen this statement.

    Best

    Tom

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    Default Why!

    Look, I've heard info on every side of this issue and whatever it reads out to my question is "why?" Look whatever the situation was wether or not it was intentional doesn't really matter. If it wasn't it was incompetence and it shouldn't have been covered up. If it was reckless troops blowing up everything in site, the same thing. If it was intentional you have to ask why. There does not seem to be any reason here for a direct attack. If the attack was not an accident there probably is some sort of reason and there is no way in hell anybody is going to release the documents. There are too many inconsistencies on both sides. Frankly, if its been kept secret this long somebody somewhere, on both sides (probably including someone in our executive branch,) really f*%ked up. As far as a congressioinal investigation, there should be one, if that hasn't happened yet something that is too potentially embarassing, to both us and them, exists. In conclusion, there isn't going to be an investigatioin.
    Last edited by Adam L; 10-04-2007 at 05:12 AM. Reason: typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam L View Post
    Look, I've heard info on every side of this issue and whatever it reads out to my question is "why?"
    James Bamford stirred debate in his 2001 book on NSA Body of Secrets, alleging the attack on the Liberty was to cover up the execution of Egyptian POWs at El Arish.

    USS Liberty: Cover Up By James Bamford, History News Network, 8-13-01

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam L View Post
    Look, I've heard info on every side of this issue and whatever it reads out to my question is "why?" Look whatever the situation was wether or not it was intentional doesn't really matter. If it wasn't it was incompetence and it shouldn't have been covered up. If it was reckless troops blowing up everything in site, the same thing. If it was intentional you have to ask why. There does not seem to be any reason here for a direct attack. If the attack was not an accident there probably is some sort of reason and there is no way in hell anybody is going to release the documents. There are too many inconsistencies on both sides. Frankly, if its been kept secret this long somebody somewhere, on both sides (probably including someone in our executive branch,) really f*%ked up. As far as a congressioinal investigation, there should be one, if that hasn't happened yet something that is too potentially embarassing, to both us and them, exists. In conclusion, there isn't going to be an investigatioin.
    El Arish perhaps. Most likely reason to prevent US interecpt of IDF orders to move on Syria and take the Golan, after a UN ceasefire went into effect.

    There were 3 separate attacks, Adam. Fighter, helicopter, and torpedo boats. That makes the "accident claim" really stretched. Intentional versus accidental is critical.

    As for reasons for the coverup, well look at your reaction. The embarrassment was tremendous; the Navy awarded the Medal of Honor to the skipper in a private ceremony. That is not "business as usual."

    As for the possibility of an investigation, I fear you are correct. And that makes Point 12 of the Moorer Commission more compelling:

    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 USS Liberty and the subsequent official cover-up of the Israeli attack, endangers the safety of Americans and the security of the United States.
    Tom

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    "Many of those who believe the Liberty was purposely attacked have suggested that the Israelis feared the ship might intercept communications revealing its plans to widen the war, which the U.S. opposed. But no one has ever produced any solid evidence to support that theory, and the Israelis dismiss it. The NSA's deputy director, Louis Tordella, speculated in a recently declassified memo that the attack "might have been ordered by some senior commander on the Sinai Peninsula who wrongly suspected that the LIBERTY was monitoring his activities." - per Tom's cited reference

    Moshe would have been contacted first and approved of the strike and Golda would have told him the call was his to make. To weigh and judge this probability behooves one to speculate on what our Government would have done with the Intel on Israel's intentions of expanding the fight. The logical conclusion to the speculation in the above quote is that Israel weighed X number of potential American KIAs from the USS Liberty strike against their own potential KIAs based on an assumption that America would have sacrificed Israeli lives to prevent the war's expansion. That is the heart of the matter that will never see the light of day, never.

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    Moshe would have been contacted first and approved of the strike and Golda would have told him the call was his to make.
    Levi Eshkol was Israeli PM during the '67 War.

    The logical conclusion to the speculation in the above quote is that Israel weighed X number of potential American KIAs from the USS Liberty strike against their own potential KIAs based on an assumption that America would have sacrificed Israeli lives to prevent the war's expansion. That is the heart of the matter that will never see the light of day, never.
    That Israel would choose to make a national security decision based on Israeli interests over American should come as a shock to no one. It has done so repeatedly in the past, as with its decision to pass on American secrets gained from Jonathan Pollard to the Soviets and also through its sale of American defense technology to China. Israeli behavior is an excellent reminder of how Lord Palmerston's old saw remains true.

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    When we can penetrate the myriad of Islamic fundamentalist groups 1/3rd as good as Mossad does, then the ledger can be balanced but until then we will love and hate them like we do the Saudis. As long as they can be a thorn in the side of Arabs, they will get our cash, weapons and be tolerated. I got a crisp $20.00 says they will be allowed to buy a dozen Raptors in a year or so, at a discount price of course.

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goesh View Post
    When we can penetrate the myriad of Islamic fundamentalist groups 1/3rd as good as Mossad does, then the ledger can be balanced but until then we will love and hate them like we do the Saudis. As long as they can be a thorn in the side of Arabs, they will get our cash, weapons and be tolerated. I got a crisp $20.00 says they will be allowed to buy a dozen Raptors in a year or so, at a discount price of course.
    Mate when you get beyond the peculiar myth about the effectiveness of the Mossad then maybe your bet will make sense. In 50 plus years now Israeli intelligence has not gotten it right. And you assume that the the Arabs are the enemy--hence the need for a thorn.

    You are probably partially correct on the Raptors--if they get them they will not pay for them. We will.

    Tom

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Agree with your premise but Moshe was

    the Minister of defense for the Six-Day war.

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    You are probably partially correct on the Raptors--if they get them they will not pay for them. We will.
    Kind of makes one wish we had subsidized the Lavi back in the day to the fullest - it might have saved us money now. Then again, if we'd done that the Chicoms would probably have the F-16 copied in full by now - and then God knows how many Raptors we'd have to buy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tequila View Post
    Kind of makes one wish we had subsidized the Lavi back in the day to the fullest - it might have saved us money now. Then again, if we'd done that the Chicoms would probably have the F-16 copied in full by now - and then God knows how many Raptors we'd have to buy.
    Maybe we can "sell" them the ones with the bad GPS units...
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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