As it relates to the making and sustaining of the Arab-Israeli conflict, there is no better or more shocking example of how the truth of history has been suppressed than the Liberty Affair? Israel’s attack, on 8 June 1967, on America’s most sophisticated spy ship; an all-out attack which was originally intended to kill all of the Liberty’s crew and sink the vessel but which, when the attack was called off, had killed “only” 34 American sailors and wounded 172 others.
On 8 June this year I received from America’s Council for the National Interest Foundation (CNI) the text of an op-ed carried by the San DiegoUnion Tribune of that day. It was headlined Forty Years Later, Searching for Truth. The writer of it was Ward Boston, Jr. (Who he is, and what he was, in a moment).
For this posting I am going to reproduce the text of the op-ed; then briefly summarise the results of my own search for the truth as set down in Volume Two of my book Zionism, The Real Enemy of the Jews; and I will conclude by addressing the question? Why the cover-up, by the media as well as the Johnson administration?
Text of the San DiegoUnion Tribune’sop-ed (my emphasis added)
Forty years ago this week, I was asked to investigate the heaviest attack on an American ship since World War II. As senior legal counsel to the Navy Court of Inquiry it was my job to help uncover the truth regarding Israel’s June 8th1967 bombing of the USS Liberty.
On that sunny, clear day 40 years ago, Israel’s combined air and naval forces attacked our American intelligence-gathering ship for two hours, inflicting 70 percent casualties. Thirty-four American soldiers died and 172 were injured. The USS Liberty remained afloat only by the crew’s heroic efforts.
Israel claimed it was an accident. Yet I know from personal conversations with the late Admiral Isaac C. Kidd? president of the Court of Inquiry? that President Johnson and Secretary of Defence McNamara ordered him to conclude that the attack was a case of “mistaken identity.”
The ensuing cover-up has haunted us for 40 years.What does it imply for our national security, not to mention our ability to honestly broker peace in the Middle East, when we cannot question Israel’s actions? even when they kill Americans?
On June 8th, survivors of Israel’s cruel attack will gather in Washington DC to honor their dead shipmates as well as the mothers, sisters, widows and children they left behind. They will continue to ask for a fair and impartial congressional inquiry that, for the first time, would allow the survivors themselves to testify publicly.
For decades I have remained silent. I am a military man and when orders come in from the Secretary of Defence and President of the United States, I follow them. However, attempts to rewrite history and concern for my country compel me to tell the truth.
Admiral Kidd and I were given only one week to gather evidence for the Navy’s official investigation, though we both estimated that a proper Court of Inquiry would take at least six months.
We boarded the crippled ship at sea and interviewed survivors. The evidence was clear. We both believed with certainty that this attack was a deliberate effort to sink an American ship and murder its entire crew.
I am certain that Israeli pilots and commanders who had ordered the attack knew the ship was American. I saw the bullet-riddled American flag that had been raised by the crew after their first flag had been shot down completely. I heard testimony that made it clear the Israelis intended there be no survivors. Not only did they attack with napalm, gunfire and missiles, Israeli torpedo boats machine-gunned at close range three life rafts that had been launched in an attempt to save the most seriously wounded.
I am outraged at the efforts of Israel’s apologists to claim this attack was a case of “mistaken identity”.
Admiral Kidd told me that after receiving the President’s cover-up orders, he was instructed to sit down with two civilians from either the White House or the Defence Department, and rewrite portions of the Court’s findings. He said, “Ward, they are not interest in the facts. It’s a political matter and we cannot talk about it.” We were to “put a lid on it” and caution everyone involved never to speak of it again.
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 to Washington. 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 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. In addition, the testimony of Lt. Lloyd Painter concerning the deliberate machine-gunning of the life rafts by the Israeli torpedo boat crews, which I distinctly recall being given to the Court of Inquiry and included in the original transcript, is now missing.
I join the survivors in their call for an honest inquiry. Why is there no room to question Israel? even when the kill Americans? in the halls of Congress?
Let the survivors testify. Let me testify. Let former intelligence officers testify that they received real-time Hebrew translations of Israeli commanders instructing their pilots to sink “the American ship.”
Surely uncovering the truth about what happened to American servicemen in a bloody attack is more important than protecting Israel. And surely forty years is long enough to wait.
I salute the courage and integrity of three parties: Ward Boston Jr. for writing that; the Editor of the San Diego Union Tribunefor publishing it; and the Copley family which owns the newspaper and allows it to be a beacon of light in an otherwise very dark and menacing mainstream media landscape. (I’m a former ITN and BBC Panorama correspondent, and it’s my view that the mainstream media, out of fear of offending Zionism, is not only complicit in Zionism’s suppression of the truth of history, but is betraying democracy).
The attack on the Liberty was ordered by Defence Minister Moshe Dayan, Israel’s charismatic, one-eyed warlord and master of deception. (I knew this Moshe well enough to have private conversations with him. If asked today to describe him in retrospect, I would say that he was a most engaging war criminal).
Like so much else to do with the making and sustaining of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the motive for the attack on the Liberty has to be deduced from what happened in the countdown to the 1967 war (one could say the countdown began when the fighting of 1948 ended), and what happened during the war.
In Zionism, The Real Enemy of the Jews, the story unfolds in two chapters of Volume Two? Chapter 24, which is titled America Takes Sides, War with Nasser Act II; and the Creation of Greater Israel; and Chapter 25, which is titled The Liberty Affair? “Pure Murder” on a “Great Day” and includes a very graphic and detailed account of the attack.
The key to more or less complete understanding is knowledge of the Liberty’s capabilitiesand what itsmission was as it patrolled off the Mediterranean coast of Israel and the Sinai Peninsula. The essence is summarised in nine paragraphs of my Chapter 25 as follows:
The Liberty’s naval designation was AGTR-5, meaning that it was the fifth ship in a series undertaking “Auxiliary General Technical Research.” It was, in fact, a converted World War II Victory ship? the former Simmons Victory. It had been refitted by the NSA (National Security Agency) for use as a signals intelligence (SIGINT) “platform”? a floating listening post. It had a very sophisticated system of radio antennae including a “Big Ear” sonar-radio listening device with a clear capability range of over 500 miles. Up to that distance the Libertycould intercept virtually any form of wireless communication, including military and diplomatic traffic, telemetry data, rocket guidance and satellite control, among others. It could then decode and process the intercepted messages and relay them back to the NSA at Fort Meade, Maryland, via short-wave radio or through a very special communications system called TRSSCOM, using a 10,000-watt microwave signal bounced off the surface of the moon. The USS Liberty was America’s most advanced spy ship.
Below decks the communications areas? which housed the computers, listening and decoding devices manned by linguistic experts and other personnel who were changed according to the ship’s mission? were off-limits to the crew, including Captain William McGonagle. The communication areas were under the direct control of an NSA technician (managing spook). The on-board NSA controller for the Liberty’s June ‘67 mission was known to the crew as “the Major.” With two other civilians he joined the Libertyat Rota in Spain shortly before the spy ship sailed from there for the Middle East on 2 June. The day after Dayan became minister of defense. (A coincidence?)
The Liberty’s movements were controlled by the JCS (Joints Chiefs of Staff) and NSA in Washington. With a top speed of 18 knots it was faster than most ships of its kind. On both the forecastle and deckhouse aft of the bridge there were two pedestal-mounted 0.50-caliber Browning machine guns. These four guns, on open mounts without shrapnel shields, were the spy ship’s only defences. Strictly speaking the Liberty was not an unarmed vessel but for all practical purposes it was. Another sitting duck if attacked.
The Liberty’s mission was TOP SECRET and has not been acknowledged to this day.
It was on patrol, listening, because some in the Johnson administration? perhaps Defence Secretary McNamara especially? did not trust the Israelis to keep their word with regard to the scope of the war.
The Johnson administration had given the green light for Israel to attack Egypt and only Egypt. It was understood that the IDF would have to respond to Jordanian intervention? if it happened, but on no account was Israel to seek to widen the war for the purpose of taking Jordanian or Syrian territory. Apart from President Johnson’s public statement that he was as firmly committed as his predecessors had been to the “political independence and territorial integrity of all the nations in that area”, Washington’s fear was what could happen if the Israelis occupied Syrian territory. If they did there was a possibility of Soviet intervention (for face-saving reasons). Soviet leaders could just about live with the Egyptians being smashed by the IDF but not the Syrians too. Through the CIA the Johnson administration was aware of the IDF’s secret agreement with the Syrian regime. So it, the Johnson administration, was reasonably confident that the Syrians would not seek to widen the war by engaging the Israelis in any serious way. The name of the U.S. counter-intelligence game was therefore preventing Israel from attacking Syria. That was the Liberty’s mission.