The deliberate attack on the USS Liberty was perpetrated by Israel, with a cover-up of what actually happened. There are apologists that continue to claim that Israel made a grave mistake, while claiming anyone saying otherwise is simply engaging in "conspiracy theories". It's a conspiracy reality. The survivors of the USS Liberty have long given accounts of what happened, and there are intelligence documents and top officials who speak about the deliberate attack on the Liberty. But that doesn't matter to many who prefer to toe the line and suckle the teat of blind obedience and patriotism for the U.S. and Israeli governments.
The USS Liberty incident in my choice for the current deep dives research challenge, which is to search the CIA FOIA library "Reading Room" at cia.gov, find an overlooked, underrated, underreported or obscure document on a topic that interests you, and then build a post around your findings.
This past June 8th, 2018, was the 51st "anniversary" for the attack that occurred on June 8th, 1967. This is a topic that gets little attention, as simply talking about the fault of Israel has many people shout out "anti-Semitism" in order to shut up the exposure of the truth of what happened. For those unfamiliar with what happened that day, let me give you the details from the CIA archives themselves.
USS Liberty Attack by Israel
Here are details of the events from the Intelligence Memorandum June 13th, 1967, classified "Top Secret" at the time.
- US Navel tecnical research ship Liberty attacked by Israeli aircraft and torpedo boats off the Sinai Peninsula
- two delta-wing fighter jets (Israeli Mirages) orbited the ship at 9:50am local time (2:50am EST)
- 7 hours later at 3:05pm, unidentified jets made 6 strafing run attacks on the Liberty
- the Liberty was not able to communicate with the rest of the US SEiccth Fleet during the air attack
- at 3:25pm topedo boats attacked, one topedo past astern, and another struck the starboard side
- one of the boats was identified as Israeli, with hull number 206-T
- at 4:11pm, the Commander of the US Sixth Fleet sent attack aircraft from carriers America and Saratoga to protect the Liberty
- the ships emergency communication equipment was used to communicate, as the crew destroyed most of the main communication equipment and the intelligence information they collected
- Israeli helicopters were sent but ordered to return to El Arish
- intercepted messages from the Israeli control tower have the helicopter identify the ship as Egyptian, despite the Egyptian transport ship El Quesir being 200 feet shorter than the Liberty (apparently the most modern surveillance ship was mistaken for a 40-year-old rusted Egyptian transport ship)
- the weather was clear, Liberty's hull number GTR-5 was visible, and the American flag was flying
- helicopter pilot reported the American flag, and the hull number GTR-5, but the control tower said the hull number wasn't significant
- Israeli aided the USS Liberty 44 minutes after the initial attack that was called off, not because the Liberty was identified as American, but because it seemed to be sinking
- the torpedo damage was 39 feet wide
- 10 personnel killed, 90 wounded, 22 missing
Here is what the USS Liberty looked like before and after the attack:
The initial reports of those killed (10) and wounded (90) changed after the investigation was done. The final death toll stood at 34 being killed (naval officers, seamen, two marines, and one civilian), and 171 wounded.
The Israeli government first paid $3.32 million in May 1968 ($23.4 million in 2017) to the families of those
killed murdered, and later $3.57 million in in March 1969 ($23.8 million in 2017) to the wounded survivors. An additional $6 million ($17.8 million in 2017) was paid in December 1980 as a final settlement for damage to the Liberty itself. This was all essentially paid by the U.S. taxpayers, as the U.S. had been giving aid to Israel for decades.
Both Israel and the US governments have claimed this was a case of mistaken identity. But in another CIA FOIA released confidential document titled "PROSPECTS FOR POLITICAL AMBITIONS OF MOSHE DAYAN/ATTACK ON USS LIBERTY ORDERED", a source speaks of how then-Israeli Defense Minister Moshe "Dayan personally ordered the attack" on the USS LIberty:
... Dayan personally ordered the attack on the ship and that one of his generals adamantly opposed the action and said, "This is pure murder." One of the admirals who was present also disapproved the action, and it was he who ordered it stopped and not Dayan."
Why would Israel have done this?
False Flag Pretext to Bring the US into Six-Day War
This was during the infamous Six-Day War where American-provided war machines and weaponry were used by Israel to invade the Egyptian Sinai and engage in a war with Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Egypt had closed the straits of Tiran to Israeli vessels, which Israel then attacked them for doing, trying to justify it as "preemptive airstrikes". Egypt was amassing defenses on it's border in fear of an Israeli attack, which is exactly what Israel did.
In order to try to gain support and win the war (which Israel failed to do and was forced to retreat), Dayan tried to get the U.S. into war on the side of Israel by trying to pin the attack on then-Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. But it failed.
False flags like these have been exposed before, like the Gulf of Tonkin incident where the U.S. went to war with Vietnam based on a lie of an attack on a U.S. ship (USS Maddox) that never happened. Although this attack never happened, it showed how an attack can be used to gain favor and support for war mongering ambitions. The same behavioral effect was demonstrated after 9/11, as the attack was used to justify invading Afghanistan and later Iraq.
Silencing the Liberty's Spying on Israel
The desire for a false flag provocation to bring the US to go to war with Egypt was possible, but no existing evidence supports it to prove it. That doesn't mean there weren't other reasons to attack the USS Liberty.
According to then-United States Secretary of State Dean Rusk (1967), the so called attack on the LIberty was no accident, but deliberate. Moshe Dayan was a renegade who took risks and made poor judgments in an effort to secure Israeli dominance in the region. He took the law into his own hands and ordered the attack on Syria. He knew the Liberty was collecting sensitive information from everyone in the region, including Israel.
Dayan acted alone, according to Rusk, with no other superiors in the Israeli government knowing about his plans. Dayan wanted to be unmonitored, and was apparently gambling on surprise and confusion to silence the intelligence asset (the Liberty) that could monitor his every move. He didn't want information of his plan or actions to take the Golan Heights being relayed to the Israeli PM who would order him to stop, or provoke US intervention to stop either.
Apparently Dayan was so convinced Israel could win the war without U.S. support, that the idea of bringing the U.S. to war is dismissed by Rusk. The then-Director of the CIA Richard Helms also made comments about the attack being deliberate.
President Johnson Orders Support Planes to Turn Away from Liberty
Another odd thing that happened that day is the failure of Johnson to support the Command of the US Sixth Fleet to send aircraft support to defend the liberty from attack. The Liberty was smoldering, sinking, with dead crewmen and others dying or wounded, yet the U.S. President recalled fighters to their aid.
Rear Admiral Lawrence R. Geis who commanded the carrier force in the Meditarranean at the time said:
"President Lyndon Johnson came on with a comment that he didn't care if the ship sunk, he would not embarrass his allies."
That means Johnson already knew Israel had attacked the USS Liberty. Subsequently, the USS Liberty investigations cleared Israel of wrong-doing as the White House and Congress covered-up the brazen attack by Israel. Johnson also needed pro-Israel support from voters for his next election run the following year. It makes sense that he didn't want to embarrass Israel more, and recalled the fighters, and later pulled strings to keep the investigation on the narrative he wanted: that it was all a mistake. The investigation was a whitewash, as Admiral Thomas Moorer called for an in-depth congressional investigation:
"Congress to this day has failed to hold formal hearings for the record on the Liberty affair. This is unprecedented and a national disgrace."
A deeper investigation was never done, despite being called for by some officials in the government and military. Whether the plan was just to remove the intelligence gathering on Israel, or to try to bring the U.S. to war against Egypt, top U.S. officials say the attack was deliberate, despite pro-Israel apologists claiming the oppose, simply because there isn't 100% solid proof that it was deliberate.
- THE ISRAELI ATTACK ON THE USS LIBERTY
- PROSPECTS FOR POLITICAL AMBITIONS OF MOSHE DAYAN/ATTACK ON USS LIBERTY ORDERED
- USS Liberty incident
- MOSHE DAYAN AND THE ATTACK ON THE UNITED STATES SHIP LIBERTY
- When presidents lie to make a war
- The cover-up
Thank you for your time and attention. Peace.
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