49 Years Ago Today, Israel Killed 34 American Military, and Wounded 171, When It bombed and Torpedoed the US Navy Ship Liberty in International Waters

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 07, 2016 4:01 PM GMT
    Normally, I would not post a non-gay post in All Things Gay, but it recently seems to have become normal in RJ. OTOH, out of the 205 naval personnel killed or wounded by Israel, the odds are that at least 15 of them were gay. Some of them were bound to be Jewish as well.

    And yet the USA government never stopped treating as a favored ally.
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    Jun 07, 2016 4:23 PM GMT
    theantijock%20engage%20stalker%20reducti

    Puppenjunge saidNormally, I would not post a non-gay post in All Things Gay, but it recently seems to have become normal in RJ. OTOH, out of the 205 naval personnel killed or wounded by Israel, the odds are that at least 15 of them were gay. Some of them were bound to be Jewish as well.

    And yet the USA government never stopped treating as a favored ally.


    But the guy posting anti-Israel into All Things Gay as well as digging up to spam old threads into News as well as spamming my picture everywhere as he just obsessively did above is the anti-Semitic OnTarget who I suspect is the anti-Semitic gymfreak.

    So by your posting this thread into this forum, as does he, while I have no idea who you are, your action seems to make you a bit of a douchebag yourself.

    Meanwhile:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Liberty_incident
    ...Israel apologized for the attack, saying that the USS Liberty had been attacked in error after being mistaken for an Egyptian ship.[6] Both the Israeli and U.S. governments conducted inquiries and issued reports that concluded the attack was a mistake due to Israeli confusion about the ship's identity...

    ...the Israeli government paid US$3,323,500 (US$22.6 million 2016) in compensation to the families of the 34 men killed in the attack. In March 1969, Israel paid a further $3,566,457 to the men who had been wounded. On 18 December 1980, it agreed to pay $6 million as settlement for the final U.S. bill of $17,132,709 for material damage to Liberty herself plus 13 years' interest...[
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    Jun 08, 2016 6:09 PM GMT
    "It remains our best judgment that the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty was not made in malice toward the United States and was a mistake." Admiral Stansfield Turner, Director of Central Intelligence, Feb 27, 1978,
    uss%20liberty_zpsbgrs3csj.gif
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stansfield_Turner
    M. Turner (born December 1, 1923) is a retired admiral in the United States Navy and former Director of Central Intelligence and President of the Naval War College. He was formerly a senior research scholar at the University of Maryland, College Park School of Public Policy....

    ...He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University while serving in the Navy, earning a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics in 1950. During his naval career he served as commanding officer of an ocean mine sweeper (MSO), executive officer of the destroyer USS Morton (DD-948 ) in 1961 and 1962, and as commanding officer of the Guided Missile Cruiser USS Horne (DLG-30) [1].

    He later commanded Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla 8 as a rear admiral, leading a task group in 1970-71 consisting of the aircraft carriers Independence and John F. Kennedy monitoring the Soviet Fifth Eskadra in the Mediterranean. Later he served as NATO Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe, headquartered in Naples.
    800px-Admiral_Stansfield_Turner%2C_offic
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 08, 2016 6:31 PM GMT
    U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry
    FINDINGS OF FACT
    …the attack on LIBERTY on 8 June was in fact a case of mistaken identity…
    …there is no available indications that the attack was intended against a U.S. ship…

    Signed:
    Isaac C. Kidd Jr, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy president
    Berard J. Lauff, Captain, U.S. Navy
    Bert N. Atkinson Jr, Captain, U.S. Navy
    Ward Boston Jr, Captain, U.S. Navy, counsel for the court


    USS%20liberty1_zpszrz2odlr.gif

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_C._Kidd_Jr.
    Isaac Campbell Kidd Jr. (August 14, 1919 – June 27, 1999) was an American Admiral in the United States Navy who served as the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO's Atlantic Fleet, and also as commander in chief of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet from 1975 to 1978. He was the son of Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, who was killed on the bridge of the battleship Arizona during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
    Isaac_C._Kidd%2C_Jr._portrait.jpg
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    Jun 09, 2016 4:45 PM GMT
    theantijock said

    Puppenjunge saidNormally, I would not post a non-gay post in All Things Gay, but it recently seems to have become normal in RJ. OTOH, out of the 205 naval personnel killed or wounded by Israel, the odds are that at least 15 of them were gay. Some of them were bound to be Jewish as well.

    And yet the USA government never stopped treating as a favored ally.


    But the guy posting anti-Israel into All Things Gay as well as digging up to spam old threads into News as well as spamming my picture everywhere as he just obsessively did above is the anti-Semitic OnTarget who I suspect is the anti-Semitic gymfreak.

    So by your posting this thread into this forum, as does he, while I have no idea who you are, your action seems to make you a bit of a douchebag yourself.

    Meanwhile:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Liberty_incident
    ...Israel apologized for the attack, saying that the USS Liberty had been attacked in error after being mistaken for an Egyptian ship.[6] Both the Israeli and U.S. governments conducted inquiries and issued reports that concluded the attack was a mistake due to Israeli confusion about the ship's identity...

    ...the Israeli government paid US$3,323,500 (US$22.6 million 2016) in compensation to the families of the 34 men killed in the attack. In March 1969, Israel paid a further $3,566,457 to the men who had been wounded. On 18 December 1980, it agreed to pay $6 million as settlement for the final U.S. bill of $17,132,709 for material damage to Liberty herself plus 13 years' interest...[


    Of course, I don't know who you are either, Hidden Member, although why hide? (And why all the stupid images? Is this madman Antijock, off your meds again? The usual suspects in Pro and Anti Israel propaganda on RJ are well known.

    Anyone who seriously believes what the CIA, State Department or the Israleis later said about the incident is a complete fool. The CIA of course never lies to the public, when it deigns to say anything. It happened; the Israleis intended the attack to wipe out US ship's surveillance capability at the time, and what was said afterward was a coverup. Are you really so naive as to believe that governments don't lie? I guess you believe Putin's story about Russian involvement in shooting down an airliner in the Ukrane; that the Pakistani ISSI never funded or aided the Taliban; that the US never bombed in Laos or Cambodia; that Israel doesn't possess nuclear weapons.

    That Israel gave money to victims actually absolves them of the crime? Under our laws, one cannot murder, and then be off the hook by paying damages. Only nations can do that. And it doesn't wipe the crime off the books. We can continue to aid Israel, after all, it is the USA's dog in the region, but the Generals/Admirals who collaborated on the strike against the Libery ought to be hanged. That used to be the usual punishment for war criminals.

    And finally, of course you believe Wikipedia - because it gets its "facts" straight from god - of course..
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 09, 2016 4:52 PM GMT
    theantijock said"It remains our best judgment that the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty was not made in malice toward the United States and was a mistake." Admiral Stansfield Turner, Director of Central Intelligence, Feb 27, 1978,
    uss%20liberty_zpsbgrs3csj.gif
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stansfield_Turner
    M. Turner (born December 1, 1923) is a retired admiral in the United States Navy and former Director of Central Intelligence


    Right, CIA.

    The agency that always lies when it serves some purpose of it (That's what spy agencies do - It's in the very nature of their being) which is why no credibility should ever be given to their pronouncements.
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    Jun 09, 2016 5:26 PM GMT
    Your intent is now clear.
  • mwolverine

    Posts: 3381

    Jun 10, 2016 6:36 AM GMT
    USS LIBERTY - FRIENDLY FIRE RESULTING FROM A TRAGIC SERIES OF ERRORS

    The USS Liberty was sent to the eastern Med to eavesdrop on an escalating situation: Egyptian president Nasser and his Syrian ally were not only sabre-rattling, but had ordered UN peacekeepers to leave and had advanced troops into a buffer zone and onto Israel's border. By the time the ship arrived, war was already underway.

    In an era of instant satellite communications, it's hard to comprehend that the US Navy could have trouble reaching one of its own ships. However, for stealth purposes, the Liberty relied upon a system that bounced signals off the moon (meaning there were lengthy stretches when no communication was possible). A total of 5 messages were supposed to be sent ordering the Liberty to withdraw 100 miles. A couple failed to be sent and those which were sent were not received. The US did have "steam valves" (secure phones) at the time - but they were all deployed in Viet Nam. Absent confirmation that the Liberty had received the orders, a Major at the JCS wanted to send the Liberty a plain radio transmission but this request was denied by the Deputy Chief of Staff at CINCUSNAVEUR/MJH.

    Indeed, prior to the attack, Israel inquired with the US and was told that it had no ship within a hundred miles of where the Liberty was. People who find it hard to believe that Israel failed to identify an American vessel should ponder that the US Navy itself had no idea where its own ship was.

    Independently, the Liberty's Captain (McGonagle) wanted to move the ship out of harms way (beyond the horizon), but the NSA operations officer advised him that this would reduce the ships eavesdropping (spying) ability by 80%. Unaware of the ship's mission, and cut off from his commanding officers, he was unable to correlate the importance of the mission with the safety of the ship and he opted to stay put.

    At 6am on 8 June 1967, an Israeli naval reconnaissance plane spotted the vessel and correctly identified it (using a copy of "Jane's Fighting Ships", a complete catalog of ships). However, the Liberty spotted the plane first and in order to fool it, temporarily changed direction.

    At the time, the Israeli Navy was a small organization of only about 5,000 people. In the 1956 war it had managed to capture an Egyptian destroyer, but in 1967 - while the Israeli Air Force was getting all the credit - all it had managed to do was almost bomb itself (yup, friendly fire). The Israeli Navy, headquartered in Haifa, wasn't yet part of Central Command (in Tel Aviv) and there was no secure communications between the two. When the ship was spotted at 6am, it was placed on a board - a physical board! By noon, the intelligence officer was off duty and the ship (the information being out-of-date) was removed from the board. No one who knew there had been an American ship present in the area was still on duty by the afternoon.

    Early in the afternoon (as the Liberty itself witnessed), there was fighting in El Arish (the northwestern tip of the Sinai peninsula). The Israeli army could see a warship on the horizon and assumed that this was the source of attack - as it had been the day before. So the Israeli army called in the air force for support. The air force alerted the Navy which dispatched 3 Motor Torpedo Boats to investigate. When they picked up the Liberty on radar, they saw that it was headed toward Port Said (in Egypt) at a speed of 28-30 knots (this was a calculation error. The Liberty was doing about 5 knots). Realizing that the MTBs could not acquire the target before it got away (and that such a speed definitely identified it as a warship), the Israeli Navy reluctantly called in the Air Force for help.

    Why reluctantly? Because there's competition between the branches and the Navy was running 3rd fiddle to the Air Force (which had already destroyed its Egyptian counterpart. The Army had liberated the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. But the Navy had so far only succeeded in crashing 2 of its ships). If they thought they could have handled the situation themselves, the Navy would have done so (especially since the day before, due to radar echoes, the Navy had called the IAF for support and almost ended up having its own ships bombed).

    The IAF scrambled a couple Mirage planes with the authority to fire on any warships other than the 3 MTBs heading that way. Thus began the first strafing run. Then two Mystere planes arrived from the Sinai where they had been fighting tanks. They dropped napalm on the ship and fired 30mm guns. The IAF was attempting to get a plane with iron bombs out there to sink the ship (lest the Navy get the job done), but started getting concerned that there was no anti-aircraft fire. As they came around to attack from the side, in an attempt to target the boilers and disable the ship, the pilot identified the ship as "CTR-5". Actually, it was "GTR-5". But the pilot saw "C" - as in "CCCP", and thus the IAF concluded that it had attacked a Soviet spy ship.

    The Israeli Navy, off in Haifa, was still in the dark and steaming toward the Liberty even as the IAF was gloomy because they feared that now the Russians had an excuse to enter the war. The MTBs signaled the ship to identify itself (as Liberty's Captain McGonagle testified) and then the commander of the MTB (a veteran of a 1956 battle with an Egyptian destroyer) thought he saw signals reminiscent of an Egyptian ploy back then. Without Jane's (the Israeli Navy couldn't afford to put a copy on each ship) and merely a copy of an Israeli issued booklet listing only Arab vessels, the MTBs mis-identify the Liberty as the El Quesir. The Navy reported that it was engaging an Egyptian ship (to a sigh of relief at IAF/Army command center).

    Then the Navy says that it sees a red flag through the smoke. The gloom returns to the war room - it's Russian. Finally, the Navy makes a definitive and correct identification. The Israeli AF breathes a sad sigh of relief. Ironically, back in Washington, the same thing happens in reverse. Reports come in that a US Navy ship was attacked and torpedoed. The top brass is meeting to discuss this with President Johnson on the way to join them. Was it the Egyptians - or the Russians? It was a painful relief when the President walked in and announced that he had received word from Israel that it had mistakenly attacked the ship.
  • mwolverine

    Posts: 3381

    Jun 10, 2016 6:37 AM GMT
    Some have argued that the pilots who first attacked the ship should have seen the US Flag. Yet both US and Israeli pictures from the scene show that smoke from the burning ship rose straight up - meaning there was no wind and the flag was drooping.

    Others have argued that it was a clear and sunny day. A perfect day, normally, for a picnic, except that on this particular day there happened to be a war raging. It should also be noted that even with much newer technology and communications, friendly fire between forces are still all too common today. In the first Gulf War, the US killed more British soldiers than Iraqi forces did - and a US jet shot down a couple of US helicopters. On a clear and sunny day, with their (painted) flags and markings visible.

    Israel had no motive to attack the vessel. Claims by James Ennes that it was trying to prevent the US from discovering plans to counter-attack Syria were deflated when the US declassified documents showing that Israel has already informed the US of its plans to do so. Claims by Peter Bamford that Israel was trying to cover up a massive massacre of Egyptian POWs is disputed by all of his own sources - except an anonymous Egyptian source which cannot be verified (yet there is no evidence of any such massacre). Claims Israel wanted the US to enter the war are problematic given that the war was progressing so well that it would be over on the 6th day, 3 days later.

    If Israel had premeditated the attack rather than responding to an ad hoc perceived threat, it would have used munitions suitable for sinking a ship (iron bombs, not napalm) and it could have attacked the vessel under cover of darkness.

    More than a dozen investigations have concluded that the incident was the result of a tragic series of mistakes - today used as a case study by the US Naval Academy.

    Every piece of information declassified in recent years (e.g. NSA transcripts of intercepted communications of Israeli pilots) supports this.

    Israel accepted responsibility, apologized and paid reparations.

    None of which prevents people, often feigning concern for US sailors, from muckraking this incident - nearly 50 years later - to demonize Israel. Sadly, these muckers usually support more recent attacks against the USS Stark and the USS Cole and are indifferent regarding the contemporary attack on the USS El Pueblo (the Liberty's sister ship, which suffered from some of the same problems/mistakes).
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    Jun 10, 2016 1:22 PM GMT
    Nice science fiction.

    Predictably, it is long on atmospherics but short on details of the attack as it happened. Consequently, we can ignore the sentiment-heavy gibberish on Israeli bumbling and focus on the lead-up to, and the events of, the attack itself:

    Propaganda> The USS Liberty was sent to the eastern Med to eavesdrop on an escalating situation: Egyptian president Nasser and his Syrian ally were not only sabre-rattling, but had ordered UN peacekeepers to leave and had advanced troops into a buffer zone and onto Israel's border. By the time the ship arrived, war was already underway.

    War was “already underway” because Israel had just bombed Egypt, not because of Cairo’s legal decision to redeploy a UNEF contingent, or mobilize troops on its own territory, after receiving accurate Soviet intelligence reports indicating Israel planned to attack it. Israel of course, was guilty of far more than “sabre-rattling” at this point. It had conducted a massive cross-border raid on (and massacre of) the West Bank village of Samu just months earlier, and was laying plans to invade Syria after provoking multiple firefights on the Golan Heights and destroying Arab villages inside the buffer zone. On the Egyptian front, it had unilaterally withdrawn from EIMAC following its 1956 aggression in alliance with the colonial powers, and had refused to restation UNEF forces on its side of the border (as originally envisaged), or even to allow Egypt to do so within Gaza. All of which was an egregious violation of THREE separate armistice agreements negotiated in 1949.

    Propaganda> People who find it hard to believe that Israel failed to identify an American vessel should ponder that the US Navy itself had no idea where its own ship was.

    Strange then that the Americans sent no request to their ally asking them to locate the vessel.
    Of course, this has nothing to do with identifying it, once discovered.

    Propaganda> At 6am on 8 June 1967, an Israeli naval reconnaissance plane spotted the vessel and correctly identified it (using a copy of "Jane's Fighting Ships", a complete catalog [sic] of ships). However, the Liberty spotted the plane first and in order to fool it, temporarily changed direction.

    In fact, Israeli reconnaissance pilots (IAF officers trained to identify ships) would make over half a dozen identification runs without incident that cloudless summer morning. It was they who, in what the US Navy described as “ideal” clear and sunny conditions, apparently missed the huge 5-by-8-foot US flag fluttering in a stiff breeze atop the high central mast, and the US Navy identification markings and number painted in 5-foot letters on both sides of the bow and stern of a vessel the IAF had been monitoring for days.

    Propaganda> the MTBs mis-identify [sic] the Liberty as the El Quesir [sic]. The Navy reported that it was engaging an Egyptian ship (to a sigh of relief at IAF/Army command center).

    The al-Qusayr was a totally differently configured vessel. It was 180 feet shorter, boasting only half the beam and a quarter the displacement of the Liberty, whose hull markings and antennae were markedly different. To the trained and untrained eye alike, a small Egyptian transport like the al-Qusayr would bear NO resemblance to the US Navy’s most recognizable vessel, which was fully twice its size.

    Propaganda> Some have argued that the pilots who first attacked the ship should have seen the US Flag. Yet both US and Israeli pictures from the scene show that smoke from the burning ship rose straight up - meaning there was no wind and the flag was drooping.

    Totally false. The Liberty's wind speed was 12 knots relative to drag (5 knots ship speed, 7 knots resistance). The vessel had been monitored for days, several identification runs had already been made, and the sailors were waving on the deck as the planes, communicating freely about the ship’s American provenance, flew in for their initial attack.

    Propaganda [back to the John le Carré prose]> The top brass is meeting to discuss this with President Johnson on the way to join them. Was it the Egyptians - or the Russians? It was a painful relief when the President walked in and announced that he had received word from Israel that it had mistakenly attacked the ship.

    The “relief” soon dissipated. Johnson’s press secretary would describe Israel’s version of events as “too much to swallow”, with Secretary of State Dean Rusk fuming that:

    “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.”

    Propaganda> Claims by James Ennes that it was trying to prevent the US from discovering plans to counter-attack Syria were deflated when the US declassified documents showing that Israel has [sic] already informed the US of its plans to do so.

    Again false. Israel’s ambassador mentioned the possible need to deal the Syrians a “blow” in the war, but the US was strictly against the idea, and certainly didn’t expect Israel to violate the ceasefire to conquer the Golan Heights (on the orders of Moshe Dayan, who went commando without notifying the Prime Minister or Chief of Staff).

    The truth is Israel had left its Egyptian border undefended by moving troops to its northern front. US radio signals at the time were regularly intercepted by the Soviet Union, who Israel knew could easily relay them to Egypt.

    It is important to remember that the Liberty was a spy ship, and not on its own that day in the Eastern Mediterranean, There was an accompanying Lafayette-class US submarine armed with the Polaris missile system operating directly below the Liberty and for good reason. In the event of Israel attacking the Arab capitals, its job was to blow to bits all of Israel’s long-range rocket sites in the Negev. The reasoning was that the Soviets might do so themselves, likely drawing both countries into a nuclear standoff.

    Speaking of the Negev, the Golan was not the first Arab territory that Israel had seized in violation of a mutually agreed ceasefire. In 1949, Israel had invaded and annexed Eilat after the close of hostilities in similar fashion.

    Propaganda> Claims by Peter Bamford that Israel was trying to cover up a massive massacre of Egyptian POWs is disputed by all of his own sources - except an anonymous Egyptian source which cannot be verified (yet there is no evidence of any such massacre)

    Apparently whoever wrote this (and it sounds a lot like Michael Oren) is unaware of the national scandal that overtook Israel in 1995, when unimpeachable military and civilian testimony, confirming the mass killing of (at minimum) scores of Egyptian POWs in al-Arish and elsewhere, was made public. For more on this, see 'The Seventh Day' (1971), or Mor Loushy's excellent recent film 'Censored Voices'.

    This is of course consistent with the massacres of Egyptians and Palestinian Fedayeen in Gaza in 1956 (also 49 civilians in Kafr Qasim), the massacres in Gaza in 1955, and of course the scores of massacres in the 1947-48 war. In the end, as gruesome details emerged of defenceless POWs being forced to dig their own graves before being shot in the head, PM Rabin had no choice but to condemn the crimes he’d sought to hush up. This also wouldn’t be the first time Israel carried out a false flag operation, seeking to blame it on the Egyptians. Recall the “Lavon Affair”, ie. the “Dirty Business” of 1954, when Israel attempted to blow up libraries, cinemas and other US and UK installations in Egypt in a spate of terror attacks organized at the highest military and government levels (the US favored Nasser over Israel at the time, a scenario Israel wanted to avert by war). Pinhas Lavon actually went so far as to order the poisoning of water supplies in Gaza and the DMZs during this sordid episode.
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    Jun 10, 2016 1:22 PM GMT
    The difference was, US military jets carrying nuclear bombs were sent en route in 1967, and were only recalled after the culprit was accurately identified.

    Compare Israel’s reckless actions in 1973, also in a war against Egypt, causing the Nixon administration to issue a DEFCON III nuclear alert.

    Propaganda> If Israel had premeditated the attack rather than responding to an ad hoc perceived threat, it would have used munitions suitable for sinking a ship (iron bombs, not napalm) and it could have attacked the vessel under cover of darkness.

    Israel of course had no right to attack the ship without first ordering it to heave to, but it’s unlikely the original intention was to sink it. This calculus surely shifted considering the extended air attack with missiles, high-calibre aircraft cannon, heavy metallic bombs and burning napalm, followed by a torpedo attack (causing a massive explosion) and sustained machine gun fire on the crippled vessel from attack boats, resulting in a casualty count of 80% of those on board. The miracle is that the ship (barely) limped around long enough to be scrapped upon arrival home. Incidentally, by the time the Israeli speedboats arrived in attack formation, the crew were already using a flashlight to signal their name and position. But it didn’t matter. The attackers machine-gunned the survivors at close range after stopping near the vessel’s fantail, where the Liberty’s name and hull number appeared in large letters (a new oversized American flag had been unfurled). The last thing the IDF did was to machine gun all the life rafts they hadn’t confiscated, even as the survivors were attempting to escape – a serious war crime under international law. They then left the area for a full hour before returning to offer assistance.

    Propaganda> More than a dozen investigations have concluded that the incident was the result of a tragic series of mistakes - today used as a case study by the US Naval Academy.

    The same US establishment that awarded the ship's Capt. McGonagle his Medal of Honor not at the White House as per the normal custom but at a naval yard so as not to draw attention?

    Of course he makes another false claim. Five of the investigations he cites (lifting largely from the 'Jewish Virtual Library') came to no general conclusion, with a sixth exonerating Israel of deliberate intent but scolding it for “inexcusable failures” and “gross negligence”.

    The US Naval Board of Inquiry, the one that mattered, was a joke. High-ranking figures had no doubts its report was a whitewash. Senior NSA official Walter Deeley even felt the need to conduct his own internal investigation of the incident, concluding "There is no way that they didn't know that the Liberty was American", while a top secret NSA review concluded the same, charging that the Israeli pilots committed perjury in claiming under oath that they hadn’t seen the US flag. An additional investigation chaired by Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, likewise found Israel guilty of a deliberate attack.

    None of this would be news of course to anyone who’s read the standard literature on the subject, which is scathing. A good place to start is Anthony Pearson’s “Conspiracy of Silence” [1978] and James Ennes’ “Assault on the Liberty” [1979]. For the uncontroversial facts, widely known and admitted in Israel, see Yoram Peri’s “Between Battles and Ballots” [1985]. And if anyone doesn’t believe high-ranking officials had no doubts, just ask all the most relevant and well-informed people surrounding the incident:

    Dean Rusk [Secretary of State at the time]
    George Ball [Under Secretary of State at the time]
    Richard Helms, [CIA Director at the time – recall the Liberty was a spy ship]
    Paul C. Warnke [Under Secretary of the Navy at the time]
    Lieutenant General Marshall S. Carter [Director of the NSA at the time];
    Dr. Louis Tordella, [Deputy Director of NSA at the time];
    Major General John Morrison [NSA Deputy Director of Operations at the time];
    Walter Deeley [the senior NSA official who conducted the internal NSA investigation]

    All of the above believed Israel’s attack to be deliberate.

    Propaganda> Every piece of information declassified in recent years (e.g. NSA transcripts of intercepted communications of Israeli pilots) supports this.

    False, and the most relevant transcripts remain classified (that is, when the US is not pretending they don’t exist).

    Chicago Tribune: Transcripts of IAF communications show pilots who attacked Liberty in Six-Day War saw a U.S. flag.
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/israeli-communications-said-to-prove-iaf-knew-liberty-was-u-s-ship-1.230486

    || The report stated that the U.S. National Security Agency - to which the intelligence gathering ship belonged - was able to intercept IAF communications according to which, at some stage, the pilots identified the ship as American but were nonetheless instructed to push ahead with the attack.

    If the pilots realized the ship was American only after initially firing on it, as some have maintained, then why did the IDF continue attacking the ship for over an hour? Why has no recording of the shocking discovery back to headquarters ever been released?

    Propaganda> None of which prevents people, often feigning concern for US sailors, from muckracking [sic] this incident - nearly 50 years later - to demonize Israel. Sadly, these muckers usually support more recent attacks against the USS Stark and the USS Cole and are indifferent regarding the contemporary attack on the USS El Pueblo (the Liberty's sister ship, which suffered from some of the same problems/mistakes).

    Readers might recall that Saddam Hussein was afforded a similar dispensation, as particularly valued allies are, after the vicious attack on the Stark, an “incident” with striking similarities to the Liberty attack – a client state murders about 35 of its master’s seamen during a Middle East war it started through deliberate aggression, claims a ludicrous “tragedy of errors” in mitigation, and is then reprimanded by the master (but with a wink).

    Actually, the only peacetime naval incident that came close to the attack on the Liberty before that was the Japanese attack on the Panay in 1937, in which 3 were killed. Richard K. Smith compared the “strangely callous” Israeli response to the far more forthcoming Japanese reaction. Note that Japan couldn’t rely on the US intelligentsia to cover up the attack - a privilege Israel correctly took for granted.

    To conclude, I think Admiral Moorer’s remarks say it best:

    “These sailors and Marines were entitled to our best defense. We gave them no defense. Did our government put Israel’s interests ahead of our own? If so, why? Does our government continue to subordinate American interests to Israeli interests? … The American people deserve to know the truth about this attack … It is a duty we owe not only to the brave men of the USS Liberty, but to every man and woman who is asked to wear the uniform of the United States."