Why Did Israel Attack the USS Liberty?

Map of USS Liberty AttackU.S. Ship Torpedoed, Napalmed; Survivors Strafed

On June 8, 1967, an American naval vessel, the USS Liberty, was sailing in the Mediterranean, when Israel's military purposely attacked it.

The American flag aboard at the time was in plain sight when this dastardly attack by three unmarked Israeli planes occurred. Three torpedo boats joined the savagery starting with rockets and then napalmed our troops used in Vietnam that caused many to protest because of its effect on burning skin. As if this was not brutal enough, American soldiers aboard the Liberty were pelted with machine-guns while they attempted to put out the fires these attackers started and three torpedo attacks finished the assault for good measure! Moreover, the Israelis shot all of the life rafts on the American ship, which was a war crime for a ship in extreme distress.  Israeli jet attacking Liberty

President Lyndon Johnson thought these attacks must have come from Egyptians and prepared our forces nearby for retaliation, but called it off when informed our ally, Israel's forces, were the culprits. The American newscasters reported this deliberate attack as a mistake. An investigation under Admiral John S. McCain's direction stated it was a case of mistaken identity! McCain's shielding Israel's massacre of American sailors created a distinctive union with Israel and continued with his Arizona Senator son. All the sailors were sent to different locations and told to consider it an "accident."  One must believe the Israelis would blame the Arabs for this deliberate attack on our troops.

Headlines USS Liberty Attacked

Why would the Israelis want to destroy the Liberty? She was an intelligence gathering vessel, a spy ship, that knew Israel sought to accelerate the 1967 Six-Day War to increase territory by attacking Arab territories in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and possibly Syria as well. One report asserted a conspiracy existed between Israel and the CIA and theorized the attack on the Liberty would arouse suspicion against the Arabs and inflame a passion for revenge against them to Israel's delight.

USS Liberty dead

In 1983 a high level report called the claim a lie that this was a mistaken identity attack by the Israeli's. Moreover, the Israelis had asserted falsely that the Liberty traveled at a high speed near thirty knots when the truth was more like five and refused to reveal itself despite its conspicuous flag! The truth is that twenty five sailors were dead when Israel's forces first signaled to US forces and lied that no flag was flying to identify the Liberty after they shot down the flag to hide their infamy our sailors asserted. No one could have mistaken the Liberty's identity also because the name "Liberty" and its identifying numbers clearly were displayed next to its name. Even more damning is the fact that Israeli planes circled the ship thirteen times while sailors waved to our "Ally" according to eye-witness accounts shortly before they were slaughtered. Most disturbing is that one of the Israeli torpedo boats used in the attack is now in an Israeli museum as a trophy!

USS Liberty on fire

For documentation of this disastrous attack a DVD Documents 'Best Ally's' Treachery in Deliberate Attack on USS Liberty along with a video documentary, 'Loss of Liberty: Attack on the USS Liberty." It was premiered in Washington, D.C. at the Third International Barnes Review Conference on Authentic History and the First Amendment during June 14-16 that showed Israels' forces attacked the Liberty on June 8, 1967, and killed 34 American sailors and wounded 171 more. Tito Howard, a documentary film-maker, produced the video, and was the guest on a May 26 broadcast of Radio Free America, the weekly call-in talk forum sponsored by American Free Press with host Tom Valentine.

USS Liberty with dead numbered

The USS Liberty remains the most decorated ship in the history of the United States Navy.  A medal of honor went to Captain McGonagle, and two Navy crosses, 11 silver stars, 23 bronze stars-most of them with a "V" for valor-and a presidential unit citation for the remainder handed out by President Johnson.  The Israelis made a phony contention that Egyptian armor and infantry had crossed into the Negev, which is part of Israel and that they were responding to this assault when on June 5, 1967 they destroyed 80 percent of the Egyptian Air Force on the ground. And the next day they claimed they destroyed the air forces of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan because they wanted the Golan Heights and control over the West Bank and the Sinai. The USS Liberty was in the way of this plan.

tombstone of William McGonagle

It is the great hope of the makers of the film that people who see it will urge others to see the film, particularly friends and family and neighbors who have been in the military. The military people are the ones who have the experience and understand it best and they are the people who want to do more about it to right this wrong. The survivors and their supporters want a complete investigation into the attack.  Everyone concerned deserves to have a complete resolution of this tragedy even after all these years. Author of Body of Secrets, James Bamford, included in his book an extensive account in his chapter on the Liberty, and it is featured in this film.  Additional articles on the tragedy of the Liberty may be found below:

Assault on USS Liberty

http://www.ussliberty.org

http://www.washington-report.org/

   

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2 thoughts on “Why Did Israel Attack the USS Liberty?

  1. Allan Rees of NoLiesRadio.org contacted us about having this speaker as part of our ongoing program of the Social Justice Committee of the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists in Berkeley. How is it that most of us never heard about this? Incredible! This is our Facebook event listing. Your article has been added to the information offered. Thanks! Vic

    “USS Liberty Survivor Don Pageler Tells His Story 49 Years After the Israeli Attack of June 8, 1967”. http://www.facebook.com/events/1710743715866315

    Saturday, June 25th 2016 at 7:30 pm in Historic Fellowship Hall, 1924 Cedar Street, Berkeley, CA 94709. Don Pageler will give his first-hand account of how the USS Liberty, a virtually unarmed American navy ship, was attacked by Israeli planes and torpedo boats on June 8, 1967. 34 American sailors were killed and 174 injured that day, a casualty rate of 70%. This is among the highest casualty rates ever inflicted upon a U.S. naval vessel. President Lyndon Johnson recalled the planes that responded to the distress call, saying he didn’t care if they all died, he did not want to embarrass an ally. Hear about one of the biggest cover ups in American military history! Was it a false flag attack to lure the USA into joining the attack on Egypt and Syria? Was it to prevent the US intelligence signals ship from learning that Israel was going to seize the Golan Heights from Syria? Don Pageler survived the attack and the post-traumatic stress from the nightmare experience and from “survivors guilt” after so many shipmates did not survive or were maimed and disabled for life.

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