by Charles Coughlin
Today is the 48th anniversary of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty. The Liberty was flying a large American flag on a clear day in international waters in the eastern Mediterannean when Israeli forces attacked it. Navy veterans have been fighting a battle for 48 years to get the truth about this premeditated attack officially recognized. The casualties included 34 Americans killed and 173 wounded. 70 percent of the ship’s crew were casualties. A 40 million dollar Navy intelligence ship was so badly damaged it was sold as scrap. The commander of the Liberty was awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor for keeping his ship from sinking.
One website reports “On Monday, June 6, 2005, the attorney for the USS Liberty Veterans Association will file a report with the Department of Defense detailing the war crimes the Israelis committed during their June 8, 1967 attack on the USS Liberty. According to the directive that governs the submission of the report the Department of Defense is required to conduct an investigation. If they do not, we have recourse…” The Israelis claimed that they never identified the ship as American, but the same website notes “At approximately 0600 hours (all times local) on the morning of June 8, 1967 an Israeli maritime reconnaissance aircraft observer reported seeing ‘a US Navy cargo type ship’ “
No honest person familiar with the details of the attack on the Liberty has any doubt that the Israelis were deliberately trying to sink a US Navy ship without survivors. Five communication frequencies used by the Liberty were being jammed during the attack. The attack stopped only after the Liberty successfully contacted a nearby aircraft carrier, which despatched jets to defend the Liberty.
The only question remaining is “Why?” One theory is that the Israelis wanted to sink the Liberty with no survivors and to blame the attack on the Egyptians. The Liberty was an intelligence ship and was monitoring radio frequencies in the Middle East. The “Six Day War” between Israel and its neighbors had just begun. It’s possible the Israelis simply did not want anyone monitoring their secret radio transmissions during the war.
The report on that website notes:
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…
The War Crimes report makes a profound summary noting “The USS Liberty Veterans Association has established, prima facie, the commission of war crimes by the state of Israel against US military personnel and civilians. These Americans volunteered to serve their country. They followed all orders given to them. In the course of following those orders, they were suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the state of Israel and their country did absolutely nothing to protect them or seek justice on their behalf. The failure of the United States government to undertake a complete investigation of the Israeli attack on USS Liberty has resulted in grievous harm to the surviving victims, as well as to the families of all crewmembers. Equally serious, this failure has resulted in an indelible stain upon the honor of the United States of America. It has sent a signal to Americas serving men and women that their welfare is always subordinate to the interests of a foreign state. The only conceivable reason for this failure is the political decision to put the interests of Israel ahead of those of American servicemen, employees, and veterans…”
These veterans have learned the hard way that the interests of Israel supercede the interests of ordinary Americans. It was no mere coincidence that the name of the ship the Israelis destroyed was the “Liberty.” Anyone familiar with the role AIPAC plays in American politics and the increasing subordination of our national interests to those of the Israeli lobby knows that there has been a relentless attack on our liberty going back even further than 1967. It has been 48 years and no one in our government is willing to accuse Israel of anything more than an “accident.” This is clear proof of the two-party’s subservience to Israel. The 34 Americans killed on the Liberty were mass murdered by militant, racist Zionists and they stand ready to betray us again whenever they think it suits their needs.