USS Liberty Incident
|Date||8 June 1967|
|Subpage||•USS Liberty Incident/Reliable Sources|
|Description||A 1967 false flag attack by Israel that tried and failed to sink the USS Liberty, a United States Navy signals intercept ship. The investigation was told to "conclude that the attack was a case of 'mistaken identity' despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary." Israel paid compensation but always contested that it was accidental.|
The USS Liberty Incident of 1967 was a result of Operation Cyanide, a failed false flag attack intended to sink the USS Liberty, a lightly armed US Navy signals intercept ship. At the time, the Israeli air force stated that the ship was mistakenly identified, but it had many radio antennas mounted on its open decks and three large masts, including two large parabolic reflector antennas. The ship was subjected to a combined air and sea attack by Israel's Defense Forces during the Six Day War, but failed to sink as planned.
- 1 Official narrative
- 2 Sub-Page
- 3 Reliable Sources from independent commentators overwhelmingly dispute "accident theory"
- 4 Chronology
- 4.1 1967
- 4.2 1979 James Enness's book
- 4.3 1982 IDF History Report
- 4.4 1986 Jacobsen on war-crimes
- 4.5 1987 Thames Television documentary
- 4.6 2001 retired servicemen start to speak
- 4.7 2001 History News Network
- 4.8 2002 flurry of interest and accusations
- 4.9 2004 State Department Panel Discussion
- 4.10 2005 survivors present legal demand for Inquiry
- 4.11 2007 Chicago Tribune summary
- 4.12 2012 Denial continues
- 5 Possible motives
- 6 The "Accident Theory"
- 7 Presidential Politics
- 8 List of fabrications, outright and suspected
- 9 Large numbers of US officials disbelieved Israel
- 10 Anti-semitism?
- 11 Italy loses airliner, fails to punish
- 12 Wikipedia
- 13 Further Reading
- 14 Related Documents
- 15 Rating
- 16 References
For reasons never stated, President Johnson’s administration did not interfere when notified that the attack was in progress, and both Israel and U.S. governments have officially treated the incident as a case of mistaken identity. Johnson and McNamara told those heading the navy's inquiry to "conclude that the attack was a case of 'mistaken identity' despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary."
In June 2016, the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs reported that "49 Years on, there is still no 'explanation' for the USS Liberty attack." Commenting on the WMREA article, Robert N. Edwards, Commander, Chaplain Corps, USN (Retired) said:
- "I have always held that the reason for the attack was to prevent the Liberty from stopping the [Israeli] assault on the Golan Heights. Next to the West Jerusalem/Temple Mount area, the Golan was the primary target. Numerous Jewish men, women and children had been killed by artillery shellings from those heights."
|USS Liberty Incident/Reliable Sources||20,645|
Reliable Sources from independent commentators overwhelmingly dispute "accident theory"
Main article USS Liberty Incident Reliable Sources
"Reliable Sources" are articles/books that have come through a respected publication process showing some degree of editorial control. Eg a book from a respected publisher, a respected newspaper/magazine, or a web-site with multiple respected contributors. The full rule book is at Wikipedia: Reliable Sources.
Every one of the independent or "neutral" commentators (as best as can be ascertained) has come to believe that this attack could not have occured accidentally. This attack was not a case of "Friendly Fire".
However, it is necessary that the reader has the opportunity to check this for themselves and so the listing at the sub-article covers (or is intended to cover) all significant sources, including those showing conflict of interest, other bias or, in some cases, suspicion of fraud. The mass of detail contained within the table of information has been moved to the sub-article to improve readability of the article here.
At the behest of the Secretary of Defense and the White House almost everyone involved is ordered not to discuss the incident with anyone eg Ken Ecker Immediately following the attack I was threatened with court-martial if I discussed the incident with the press or anyone else. and the Liberty crewmen are transferred to stations far apart from one another, no two at the same place. Several sources identify Admiral Kidd as the officer who threatened them "Kidd told the crew, ‘You are never, repeat never, to discuss this with anyone, not even your wives. If you do, you will be court-martialed and will end your lives in prison or worse.’" In 1991, another survivor, John Hrankowski, wrote to the New York Times to say he was a member of the crew and was told, two hours after the attack, never to speak of it and that order remains in effect to this day.
The surviving crewmembers were dispersed to other ships and told not to discuss the incident with anyone, including their own families. Many never said anything for at least 20 years, for fear of reprisal. Phil Tourney's book "What I saw that day" pulls no punches when he describes how the crew was treated by Admiral Isaac Kidd, with threats of court-martial and imprisonment "or worse" if they told anyone what they saw. "From a first-hand account the author brings forth the viciousness of the attack on a ship that had a large American flag displayed, the carnage inflicted on her crew and the tremendous damage done, which included over 820 bullet and shrapnel holes and areas burned by napalm and a torpedo hole the size of a house."
Israel claims the attack was the result of a string of innocent errors and they mistook the USS Liberty for an Egyptian horse carrier - the El Quisar. This ship, also shown in Jane's Fighting Ships is barely a quarter the size of the Liberty and has a strikingly different outline/appearance.
US demand for disciplinary measures stands today
The official position of the United States of America concerning these events is in a diplomatic note of the 10th June (ie 48 hours after the attack) by Secretary of State Dean Rusk. Addressed to the Israeli Ambassador it says, amongst other things:
... the Secretary of State wishes to make clear that the United States Government expects the Government of Israel also to take the disciplinary measures which international law requires in the event of wrongful conduct by the military personnel of a State."
There has been no statement since then by the United States government reversing or amending this formal position. A blanket absolution was granted by an Israeli judge who said that he had not discovered any deviation from the standard of reasonable conduct. No one in the Israeli government or military ever received any form of reprimand for their involvement in the attack.
1979 James Enness's book
In 1979, James Ennes, officer aboard USS Liberty during the attack, bravely defied the gag order placed on him by the US government and published "Assault on the Liberty: The True Story of the Israeli Attack on an American intelligence Ship.". The book reunited the USS Liberty crew and, despite the threats (still being uttered in 2010) and their previous complete isolation from each other, former Liberty crew founded a non-profit Liberty Veterans Association and held a reunion in 1982. Many discovered for the first time that all their colleagues felt the same, the attack could not have been a genuine "Friendly Fire". The servicemen began petitioning Congress for an investigation but only received pro-forma letters from the White House claiming that the attack had already been investigated.
1982 IDF History Report
In 1982, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) History Department, Research and Instruction Branch, produced a comprehensive report about the June 1967 IDF attack on USS Liberty, self-styled as the official Israeli version of the facts. The report is entitled "The Attack on the 'Liberty' Incident."
This report is notable for a picture (p.18) that claimed to be from the gun-camera of the attacking jet - but in fact shows a different ship. Israel has yet to release real gun-camera pictures, but this cannot be one of them. (Note that the original image in the report was extremely poor quality, a better version appeared in the 1987 Thames film).
1986 Jacobsen on war-crimes
The legality of Israel's actions was thoroughly examined by Walter L. Jacobsen and published as "A Juridical Examination of the Israeli Attack on the Liberty," in the Naval Law Review 36, (Winter 1986), 12-13.
The summary of his report says: "Following the Israeli attack on the U.S.S. Liberty, there were conflicting accounts of the event. Many questions remain unanswered. In this article, LCDR Jacobsen provides an analysis of the attack in light of existing international precepts as they relate to intelligence gathering, freedom of the seas, aggression, and self-defense. Following this analysis, the author concludes that the attack was not supportable in international law and recommends a thorough, public investigation into the attack by the United States Congress."
His report concludes that "[t]he attack was not legally justified....(there were) two further violations of international law...the use of unmarked military aircraft (and) ... the wanton destruction of life rafts."
Jacobsen notes that there is a passing reference to the attack on the Liberty in Professor O'Connell's, The Influence of Law on Seapower (1975). It reads:
On 8 June 1967 Israeli torpedo boats and aircraft attacked the U.S.S. Liberty, an electronic surveillance ship which was monitoring Israeli transmissions from the high seas during the Six Day's War. ... The fact that something is done does not make it legal and Israel is reported to have paid over $3 million in compensation. The illegality may have lain in the attack on a neutral ship or it may have been compounded by the fact that the attack occurred on the high seas. D. O'Connell, The Influence of Law on Seapower 127 (1975).
1987 Thames Television documentary
The British television station, Thames Ltd made a documentary entitled "Attack on the Liberty" that presented the Israeli version whereby this was an accident and a "friendly fire" incident. Thames presented a 2nd "gun-camera picture" provided by Israel, one which was to puzzle analysts for years. In 2002 Ken Halliwell proposed that it was a fake, a US picture of the right ship taken weeks after the attack. See entry below for 2002.
2001 retired servicemen start to speak
Previous to the year 2001, it almost appeared as if the matter would be hushed up completely. Admiral Kidd, who presided over the original Court of Inquiry is known to have wanted the whole case reexamined, speaking to Boston and Ennes and other survivors and yet never put anything into writing until his death in 1999.
Former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Admiral Thomas Moorer was 89 years old (b.1912, d.2004) when he summed up the Liberty incident in 2001:
"It’s ridiculous to say this was an accident. There was good weather, she was flying the U.S. flag and the planes and torpedo boats attacked over a long period of time."
In 2003, Moorer's "Independent Investigation" reported and condemned Israel and in the Jan. 16, 2004, edition of the Stars and Stripes 2004, less than a month before he died, he wrote: While State Department officials and historians converge on Washington this week to discuss the 1967 war in the Middle East, I am compelled to speak out about one of U.S. history's most shocking cover-ups.
2001 History News Network
A special edition documentary on the USS Liberty incident was broadcast by the History News Network in the summer of 2001, with particular attention to the allegations made in book of James Bamford, "Body of Secrets" which it describes as having "attracted a great deal of attention".
History News Network then published a rejoinder from AJ Cristol, The judge concludes that Bamford is guilty of telling "tall tales."
2002 flurry of interest and accusations
"The Liberty Incident" by Jay Cristol
Determined that discussion of this incident was best written off as a "conspiracy theory", supporters of Israel had never published a book presenting their case. In 2002, after some 15 years of research, including interviews of 500 Israelis and 7 survivors, Jay Cristol published "The Liberty Incident" defending Israel's "accident theory" for the incident.
Ward Boston Affidavit
Cristol's book so infuriated the original military lawyer and senior counsel for the 1967 Court of Inquiry, Captain Ward Boston, JAGC, US Navy that he broke his silence of 30 years to swear a declaration and condemn Israel for what happened, and the cover-up of which he was a central part. He speaks of "attempts to rewrite history" below, a reference to Jay Cristol's pro-Israeli book:
"For more than 30 years, I have remained silent on the topic of USS Liberty. I am a military man and when orders come in from the Secretary of Defense and President of the United States, I follow them. However, recent attempts to rewrite history compel me to share the truth.
"In June of 1967, while serving as a Captain in the Judge Advocate General Corps, Department of the Navy, I was assigned as senior legal counsel for the Navy’s Court of Inquiry into the ... attack on USS Liberty, which had occurred on June 8th."
... "The evidence was clear. Both Admiral Kidd and I believed with certainty that this attack ... was a deliberate effort to sink an American ship and murder its entire crew. ... It was our shared belief, based on the documentary evidence and testimony we received first hand, that the Israeli attack was planned and deliberate, and could not possibly have been an accident. I am certain that the Israeli pilots that undertook the attack, as well as their superiors, who had ordered the attack, were well aware that the ship was American."
... "I am outraged at the efforts of the apologists for Israel in this country to claim that this attack was a case of ‘mistaken identity.’ In particular, the recent publication of Jay Cristol’s book, The Liberty Incident, twists the facts and misrepresents the views of those of us who investigated the attack. It is Cristol’s ... attempt to whitewash the facts that has pushed me to speak out. [Note - some paragraphs joined].
This was something of a blow to Cristol and his exoneration of Israel, since he'd written of Boston's "professional qualifications and integrity" on page 149 of his book:
Boston brought two special assets in addition to his skill as a Navy lawyer. He had been a naval aviator in World War II and therefore had insight beyond that of one qualified only in the law. Also, Kidd knew him as a man of integrity. On an earlier matter Boston had been willing to bump heads with Kidd when Boston felt it was more important to do the right thing than to curry favor with the senior who would write his fitness report.
Boston describes a phone call he received from Jay Cristol in 1990 requesting an interview. Boston refered him to Admiral Kidd (ret.), still alive at the time.
"Shortly after my conversation with Cristol, I received a telephone call from Admiral Kidd, inquiring about Cristol and what he was up to. ... "At no time did I ever hear Admiral Kidd speak of Cristol other than in highly disparaging terms. I find Cristol’s claims of a ‘close friendship’ with Admiral Kidd to be utterly incredible. I also find it impossible to believe the statements he attributes to Admiral Kidd, concerning the attack on USS Liberty."
Confirmation of the views of Admiral Kidd comes from James Ennes, who claims that Admiral Kidd urged him and his group to keep pressing for an open congressional probe. However, he does not appear to have ever put this into writing or ever been recorded saying it.
Cristol responds to Boston
Cristol hastily sculled back from the position he'd taken of respect and admiration for Boston's integrity, claiming not to believe Boston about Kidd's views and pressure from the U.S. government, and says that Boston had close[d] his record with an act that dishonors himself by admitting to lying under oath. Cristol produced a handwritten 1991 letter from Admiral Kidd that, according to Cristol, "suggest that Ward Boston has either a faulty memory or a vivid imagination". Cristol's position is backed by the ADL, which said that according to his own account, Boston's evidence of a cover-up derives not from his own part in the investigation but solely on alleged conversations with Admiral Kidd
In an e-mail to James Ennes of 21 March 2003, Cristol claimed that Boston had gone public before he spoke to the Navy Times, but had later retracted what he said. Ennes sees no evidence for this.
Cristol and his "13 investigations exonerate Israel"
In his pre-publication publicity in July 2002, Cristol asserted that ten official U.S. investigations and three official Israeli investigations have all concluded that the attack was a tragic mistake or that there is no evidence to establish that it was not a tragic mistake.
The WRMEA claim to have comprehensively demolished this account in December 2003 in their article "Thirteen investigations have all exonerated Israel," is Cristol’s mantra. According to the "Washington Report on Middle East Affairs" 2 of the 13 claimed reports are non-existent, 9 were not investigations/or don't exonerate Israel, leaving only 1 Israeli investigation and the original rushed US Court of Inquiry. Typical of the problems, the Clark Clifford report of July 18, 1967 is claimed by AJ Cristol to exonerate Israel although it was not an inquiry (it's a summary of other reports) and Clifford wrote later that he regarded the attack as deliberate, a fact ignored by Cristol. Similarly, the CIA report of June 13, 1967 came out before there'd been any investigation. While it reported "our best judgment [is] that the attack...was a mistake." then-CIA Director Richard Helms concluded and later reported in his autobiography that the attack was planned and deliberate. Again, this is ignored by Mr. Cristol.
There is no record of Cristol attempting to defend his assertion over the investigations. In other cases he has robustly attacked the character and research of those he disagrees with eg Ward Boston over his affidavit and intelligence author James Bamford's book of which he says presents a mountain of allegations but no credible evidence to prove the allegations.
"Gun-Camera" pictures challenged
In 2002, Ken Halliwell self-published a series of illustrated essays about his analysis of photographic evidence contained within Israel's 1982 history report, the 1987 Thames Television Documentary and AJ Cristol's 2002 book, "The Liberty Incident."
Halliwell says that the report, the documentary and the book contain sets of purported "gun camera" images of USS Liberty under attack by the lead attack aircraft, all as provided by Israel. His analysis shows that the image sets are completely different from each other and are fraudulent. Halliwell opines that "an innocent party should not need to produce and present fraudulent evidence."
Halliwell's essays and conclusions are completely ignored by Wikipedia here. This is understandable, since the work has not been through any form of editorial process and the articles themselves are classified as a "primary source". They need to be discussed and relied on by a "secondary source" to be truly acceptable as "reliably sourced". The Wikipedia article on the Liberty is very inconsistent in applying its principles at this article and Wikispooks (which normally tries to comply) considers that this work is of sufficiently high quality to be included here.
2004 State Department Panel Discussion
According to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs the State Department hosted a highly charged panel discussion on the affair on Jan. 12, 2004. "Panelists included historians, an Israeli author, a bankruptcy judge, and a plucky investigative reporter. The State Department did not invite as speakers Liberty survivors or other military experts who played key roles in the tragedy. Nonetheless, despite clumsy attempts to silence them, the voices of survivors and their supporters came through loud and clear". (Wikispooks is not aware of other reports of this "discussion").
2005 survivors present legal demand for Inquiry
On June 8, 2005, the USS Liberty Veterans Association filed a "Report of War Crimes Committed Against the U.S. Military, June 8, 1967" with the Department of Defense (DoD). They say Department of Defense Directive 2311.01E requires the Department of Defense to conduct a thorough investigation of the allegations contained in their report. DoD has responded that a new investigation will not be conducted since a Navy Court of Inquiry already investigated the facts and circumstances surrounding the attack. (Copy of the statement in the Wikipedia entry, for which there is no evidence/reference given).
It would appear that the survivors took professional help from an experienced prosecuting attorney and created http://www.usslibertyinquiry.com to present documentation, evidence and legal basis for the conclusion that the attack was deliberate and was a war crime, one that was allowed by the US Government to go uninvestigated and unpunished. The link is still "live" in 2012, but now redirects back to their regular web-site, http://www.ussliberty.org
2007 Chicago Tribune summary
For many people new to this supposed "controversy", a turning point may be the article in the Chicago Tribune of 2nd Oct 2007 which, as the Wikipedia says contains "numerous previously unreported quotes from former military personnel with first-hand knowledge of the incident. Many of these quotes directly contradict the US National Security Agency's position that it never intercepted the communications of the attacking Israeli pilots, claiming that not only did transcripts of those communications exist, but also that it showed the Israelis knew they were attacking an American naval vessel."
Typical of the quotes in the Tribune is one from the late Dwight Porter, American ambassador to Lebanon during the Six-Day War, who told friends and family members that he had been shown English-language transcripts of Israeli pilots talking to their controllers. Close friend, William Chandler, former head of the Trans-Arabian Pipe Line Co., said Porter recalled one of the pilots protesting, "But sir, it's an American ship - I can see the flag!" To which the ground control responded, "Never mind; hit it!".
2012 Denial continues
A doctoral thesis and an article by Israeli Orna Katz-Atar in Haaretz blames President Lyndon B. Johnson and a number of top officials in his administration for spreading a version of events that condemns Israel. Apparently, Arab countries needed to be persuaded that the United States was not a partner to Israel's victory in the Six-Day War and to neutralize the pressure American Jews were applying on the White House.
Katz-Atar's conclusion: "The conduct of the White House in this incident could have been a transient episode had it not served top people in the American administration, [who were] anti-Israeli and even anti-Semitic. However, since the plot concocted by the administration served the interests of all of these - it has grown to this day."
Defenders of Israel have maintained that there could be no motive to attack the ship of an ally, especially not one as good and as powerful as the US.
However, Israel had done precisely this 13 years earlier in 1954. Israeli agents (Egyptian Jews acting as fifth-columnists) had attacked assets of the US and the UK in the Lavon Affair, apparently in order that Egypt be blamed (or at least, appear to be racked by fanaticism and incompetence). It was 51 years (2005) before the real culprits of the Lavon Affair were officially acknowledged by Israel. As at this writing, the attack on the Liberty has remained unsolved for 45 years.
To conceal planned attacks on Jordan/Syria?
“I am confident that Israel knew the Liberty could intercept radio messages from all parties ... to the ongoing [Arab-Israel, or Six-day] war, then in its fourth day, and that Israel was preparing to seize the Golan Heights from Syria [while pretending, as they later did, that Syria had attacked them] ... "And I believe Moshe Dayan [commander of Israeli forces] concluded that he could prevent Washington from becoming aware of what Israel was up to by destroying the primary source of acquiring that information, the USS Liberty."”
Thomas Moorer (June 8, 1997) 
Several books and the BBC documentary USS Liberty: Dead in the Water (according to the Wikipedia, not checked and conflicted, see below) argue that the USS Liberty was attacked in order to prevent the U.S. from knowing about the forthcoming attack in the Golan Heights, which would violate the mandatory UNSC cease-fire which the US had blocked until the attack on Egypt was completed. The attack on the Liberty occurred on June 8 before Syria announced its acceptance of the cease-fire (June 9 at 3 AM). Nevertheless, at 7 AM that day, Israel’s minister of defense, Moshe Dayan, "gave the order to go into action against Syria." Lenczowski further writes that timely knowledge of this decision and preparatory moves toward it "might have frustrated Israeli designs for the conquest of Syria’s Golan Heights" and, in the sense of Ennes’s accusations, provides "a plausible thesis that Israel deliberately decided to incapacitate the signals-collecting American ship and leave no one alive to tell the story of the attack."
US Ambassador to Israel, Barbour, had reported on the day of the Liberty attack that he "would not be surprised" by an Israeli attack on Syria, and the IDF Intelligence chief told a White House aide then in Israel that "there still remained the Syria problem and perhaps it would be necessary to give Syria a blow."
According to a Russian book by Joseph Daichman "History of the Mossad" referenced by the Wikipedia article (but now a dead link), Israel knew that American radio signals were intercepted by the Soviet Union and that the Soviets would certainly inform Egypt of the fact that, by moving troops to the Golan Heights, Israel had left the Egyptian border undefended. (Note - all this information copied from the Wikipedia article)
As a casus belli
By the US
A document from 2017 by the Israeli Archives suggests that U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson organised the attack on the USS Liberty (on the 8 June 1967) in an attempt to blame the Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser - to provide a casus belli to facilitate the US entry into the Six-Day War.
The press release for the 2002 BBC documentary film Dead in the Water suggests the attack was a "daring ploy by Israel to fake an Egyptian attack" to give America a reason to enter the war against Egypt. Convinced that the attack was real, US President Lyndon B. Johnson launched nuclear-armed planes targeted against Cairo from a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean. The planes were recalled only just in time, when it was clear the Liberty had not sunk and that Israel had carried out the attack. An account of Dead in the Water says that US servicemen testified on camera that nuclear-armed planes were sent to attack Cairo on receipt of the news in Washington. The sources in the film are a crew-member from the aircraft carrier USS America who saw the planes launched; a US Navy radio operator who heard the radio traffic about them being launched which he is certain was referring to nuclear-armed aircraft; and the account given by a Liberty survivor of a conversation at the time with the commander of the Sixth Fleet carriers in which he (the admiral) describes what happened, according to producer Chris Mitchell. The radio operator states on camera that he heard US Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara personally give the orders. A couple of other witnesses talked to program makers off camera. When interviewed by the team, McNamara denied the charges. Said Mitchell "I certainly think people in Cairo might like to know how close they came to being incinerated by a US nuclear bomb." The video also provides hearsay evidence of a covert alliance of U.S. and Israel intelligence agencies.
This explanation, to have the US attack Cairo, may or may not fit well with the fact that Israel made such great efforts to stop any distress call getting out (by destruction of aerials and radio-jamming, as confirmed in the US Court of Inquiry) and why Israeli boats machine-gunned the life-boats in the water (a war-crime the US would have been expected to protest loudly whatever the circumstances). The intention of the attack appears to have been that all 294 Americans on board were killed with nobody knowing who'd done it. There is nothing obvious to suggest that it was an attempt to have Egypt blamed (as was in part intended by the Lavon Affair of 1954). Nevertheless, if nuclear-armed planes were launched, then it might further explain why Johnson and McNamara were so keen this incident be accepted as an Israeli accident.
Mention may be made here that one of the arguments put forwards by Jay Cristol that "the attacking aircraft were not armed to attack a ship". seems irrelevant. 821 holes were counted, in sizes from half an inch (armor-piercing 0.50 caliber) to 8 inches diameter, and there were in total more than 3,000 other holes (or hits) along with large fires and blast damage and a torpedo hit that would normally have sunk the ship. A 1995 article in International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence called it "... probably the longest "accidental" attack in the history of naval warfare an hour and 15 minutes". Israel made every attempt to sink the USS Liberty leaving no survivors. The fact that they failed is not evidence they were not trying.
To cover up massacres of POWs?
In 1995 the mass graves of up to 1,000 unarmed Egyptian civilians and prisoners of war were discovered outside El-Arish and the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Jewish Telegraph Agency, and other commercially-controlled media sources in the U.S. and Israel reported that IDF veterans had admitted that there had been mass-murders during the 1967 War. Deputy Foreign Minister, Eli Dayan even offered compensation to the victims families in 1995, but explained that Israel was unable to pursue those responsible due to the statute of limitations. (A further mass grave of 30 Egyptian soldiers from the 1967 war was found in the Sinai peninsula in 2008, though it not known if they were murdered POWs or not.)
Some commentators consider killing POWs a war-crime and seem to have believed that Israel would murder almost 300 of the most highly qualified American sailors and intelligence operatives (and deprive the US of its finest spy ship) in order to conceal the likely unpunishable killing of 1000 or so Egyptian POWs. This theory has been seized on by defenders of Israel as a straw-man argument to knock down.
The year after the discovery of the massacres (1996), the survivor who had been fighting hardest for the truth to come out, James M. Ennes, Jr. (author of the 1979 The True Story of the Israeli Attack on an American Intelligence Ship) handed the Israel-firsters an opportunity to raise a strawman argument. Questioned about war-crimes (Ennes having a particular interest in those he believes were committed against him and his ship) Ennes asked: "Recent reports in the Israeli and Egyptian press suggest another powerful possibility. ... How would [senior Israeli officers] have reacted to the knowledge that USS Liberty was nearby and might have heard incriminating radio traffic?".
In 2001, James Bamford published a book on the National Security Agency called "Body of Secrets" and in one chapter discusses the USS Liberty Incident (which this well regarded intelligence-specialist author treats as a deliberate attack, see above). In an excerpt of the book available at History News Network he says "This and other war crimes were just some of the secrets Israel had sought to conceal since the start of the conflict. An essential element ... to hide much of the war behind a carefully constructed curtain of lies ... Into this sea of deception and slaughter sailed the USS Liberty".
Bamford's book resulted in a new storm of denial - none of it about the detailed specifics and criticism of Israel for the attack on the USS Liberty. Instead, Israeli-firsters concentrated on the argument that Bamford had explained the attack on the Liberty as a means to cover up these massacres - then denied the killings in unconvincing ways. Michael Oren argued that one of the witnesses (Israeli reporter Gabriel Bron, a former IDF soldier) had subsequently told him "The one hundred and fifty POWs were not shot, and there were no mass murders" but that they were helped by the Israeli soldiers who "gave them water, and in most cases just sent them in the direction of the Suez Canal." Oren had more to say about the character and integrity of Bamford including "there are a lot of reasons to question Bamford's credibility, starting with his rather curious reading of Middle Eastern history. For example, Bamford says Israel initiated hostilities against Syria and Jordan, when it happened the other way around."
The "Accident Theory"
Problems with Accident Theory
- Visibility of American flag: The Chicago Tribune in 2007 said: For all its apparent complexity, the attack on the Liberty can be reduced to a single question: Was the ship flying the American flag at the time of the attack, and was that flag visible from the air?
- Distinctiveness of USS Liberty's appearance: Admiral Thomas Moorer said Despite claims by Israeli intelligence that they confused the Liberty with a small Egyptian transport, the Liberty was conspicuously different from any vessel in the Egyptian navy. It was the most sophisticated intelligence ship in the world in 1967. With its massive radio antennae, including a large satellite dish, it looked like a large lobster and was one of the most easily identifiable ships afloat.
- Identification markings: The USS Liberty was marked with an eight-foot-high "5" and a four-foot-high "GTR" at the bow (on both sides) in white. 18in-high letters spelled the vessel's name at the stern. Clark Clifford, Special Assistant to the President wrote to President Johnson: In the heat of battle the Liberty was able to identify one of the attacking torpedo boats as Israeli and to ascertain its hull number. In the same circumstances, trained Israeli naval personnel should have been able easily to see and identify the larger hull markings on the Liberty.
- Ship's identification known during attack: Numerous sources state that the US was monitoring the attacking aircrafts transmissions, the transcripts were widely circulated around the world and seen by many people. The copies were all collected and destroyed 10 days later.
- Effort for identification: The American crew claims the attacking aircraft did not make identification runs over Liberty, but rather began to strafe immediately. Israel claims several identification passes were made.
- Speed of the vessel: According to Israeli accounts, the torpedo boat made measurements indicated the ship was steaming at 30knots. In fact, it could make no more than 17.5knots, and US accounts, including the Court of Enquiry findings state that the ship was steaming at 5knots.
- Jamming: The survivors, including Wayne L. Smith, Radioman Chief, testified that there was extensive jamming of the (US specific) frequencies used for communication. None of the Israeli Defense Forces' investigations or reports confirm or deny radio frequency jamming was performed during or following the attack.
- Visual communications: Joe Meadors, the signalman on bridge, states that "Immediately prior to the torpedo attack, he was on the Signal Bridge repeatedly sending 'USS Liberty U.S. Navy Ship' by flashing light to the torpedo boats." It is not clear if Israel confirms or denies this.
- Machine-gunning of the life-rafts: Officers and men of Liberty claim that after the torpedo attack the motor torpedo boats strafed the ship's topside with automatic gunfire, trapping men below, and they machine-gunned the life rafts. The IDF claims that Liberty was not fired upon after the torpedo attack and that a rescue raft was fished from the water while searching for survivors.IDF History Report, "Liberty was not fired upon after the torpedo attack and that a rescue raft was fished from the water while searching for survivors." 1982 p.19.</ref> Captain Ward Boston claims that much was excised from the US report after it left his hands including the testimony of Lt. Painter concerning the deliberate machine gunning of the life rafts by the Israeli torpedo boat crews, which Boston distinctly recalls being given at the Court of Inquiry and included in the original transcript.
- U.S. rescue attempts: At least two rescue attempts were launched from U.S. aircraft carriers nearby but were recalled. The first planes to leave may have been loaded with nuclear weapons (to attack Cairo?), no explanation has been provided for the second recall.
Worth noting is that the Israeli "side" seek to prove that "Friendly Fire" attacks are commonplace (even apparently inventing such a case, an alleged attack on their own armoured column in either Jenin or Sinai). In fact, almost every known case of "Friendly Fire" has been either a split-second mistake or carried out at night.
There does not appear to be any concerted action by Israel’s defenders to provide credible rebuttals to these points. In many cases the distortions are very evident eg though the ship sustained 800 hits, as evidenced by as many holes, there was no "‘extended’ attack." The Cristol book (no longer available on GoogleBooks) has a large amount of information including an extensive time-line of the entire war, but fails to be specific over the timings of the attacks. Other defenders make much of quite small details (eg a speech to the UN 3 days earlier said that there were no US warships for 100s of miles, which was then true) while ignoring the many essential points.
Problems with defenders of the "accident" theory"
In 1995, John Borne (died 2010) published his doctoral dissertation "The USS Liberty: Dissenting History VS Official History". It is intended as an examination of how history comes to be written. It has been reviewed by John Ennes and WRMEA.
Of the survivors, Borne says they have been remarkably consistent and assured in presenting their views. He claims that the views they held in 1992 were the same as those they held in 1967 (allowing only for some additional information). Their arguments are coherent and detailed. (Borne finds only one notable exception, related to the events in Grafton, Wisconsin, where they disagree over the naming and particularly the financing of a memorial library in their honor).
The Israelis and their American supporters have been far less consistent. Their accounts of the attack vary greatly. Just why the Israeli explanations vary so greatly is covered in the concluding chapter.
The U.S. government position is and always has been consistent, it has stood by the Naval Court Summary of 1967 as the final word on the matter, and has refused to debate the matter further.
Arguments in support
The arguments in favour of the attack being an accident are well covered (though often not well sourced) at Wikipedia, so are not duplicated in detail here. However, Wikispooks would be pleased to host essays (perhaps as sub-pages) expanding on arguments such as the following:
- There can be no motive for Israel to attack a US ship
- The US announced it had no warships in the area
- Friendly Fire Attacks are commonplace
Did President Johnson know?
JQ ‘Tony’ Hart was a chief petty officer assigned to a U.S. Navy relay station in Morocco that handled communications between Washington and the 6th Fleet. He remembers listening as Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, in Washington, ordered Rear Adm. Lawrence Geis, commander of the America’s carrier battle group, to recall the jets racing to protect the Liberty. When Geis protested that the Liberty was under attack and needed help, Hart said, McNamara retorted that "President [Lyndon] Johnson is not going to go to war or embarrass an American ally over a few sailors."
From a "Research Report" drawn up at the "Air Command And Staff College Air University" in 1999 comes another damning version of President Johnson's part in the incident:
The first rescue flight was canceled on direct orders by radio from Secretary of Defense McNamara, who ordered a 90-minute delay before any further flights. When the second flight took off at 1550[B] (having waited 90 minutes as ordered) Geis notified McNamara, who again ordered the recall of the flights. Any officer who doubts the wisdom of an order he has received has the prerogative to ask that the order be confirmed by a yet-higher officer, and Geis availed himself of that right. Since he was questioning the order of the Secretary of Defense, the only man superior to the Secretary was the President. President Johnson himself came on the radio and ordered Geis to recall the flights because ‘we are not going to embarrass an ally.’
Truman, Eisenhower, JFK and LBJ on Israel
The US had taken little interest in the Middle East between the wars (when it produced oil to spare). By 1945 there was strong support for Zionism in the US and opposition to taking numbers of the displaced persons (many Jewish) who wished to come to the US. Harry Truman is thought to have been funded by the Zionists for the 1948 election. Between Truman and his State Department, the newly-formed UN was influenced to propose the partition of Palestine, leading straight to the Declaration of Independence of Israel. Subsequent Presidents were even-handed between the nations of the Middle East, allowing Israel only defensive weapons, ordering the Israelis out of Suez (Eisenhower) and blocking Israel's acquisition of nuclear weapons (Kennedy).
Meanwhile Lyndon Baines Johnson was a junior Congressman in 1939 and was one of the few Americans who helped Jews to find refuge from the Nazis, he went on to be a very staunch supporter of Israel. Elected Vice president to John F Kennedy in 1960, LBJ became President in 1963 when Kennedy was assassinated. Aid to Israel, both financial and military soared from then on. A detailed account of this change in policy, mentioning the USS Liberty Incident but without taking a position, was published by the www.jewishpress.com on the 100th anniversary of LBJ's birth in 2008.
List of fabrications, outright and suspected
List of outright fabrications either by Israel directly or via agents/authors who are linked to the "accident theory".
1) The first "gun-camera picture" from the IDF History Report in 1982 does not show the USS Liberty.
2) The second "gun-camera picture" of 1984 has been photo-shopped, and is almost certainly an American photograph taken weeks after the incident.
3) The 1984 claim, much repeated, that there was a "friendly-fire" incident by the Israelis on their own armoured column the previous day (6th June 1967) Hirsh Goodman and Ze'ev Schiff, "The Attack on the Liberty," Atlantic Monthly, (September 1984). This claim has been dropped from the JVL source once depended on by Wikipedia.
4) Numerous claims made by AJ Cristol, particularly some details of his "13 inquiries exonerate Israel", see above. Cristol calls the rushed Naval Court of Inquiry "remarkably competent (and) thorough", while the veterans call it "a doctored sham". Cristol stresses that 14 seamen spoke at the hearing. Ship’s officers Ennes, Painter, Golden, and others charge that in dozens of cases, sworn testimony damaging to Israel’s case was not allowed or, if allowed, not entered into evidence or made part of the transcript. Ennes avers not only that his testimony went unentered but also that deck and weather log entries in his hand were altered. Former cryptologic technician Joe Lentini stated that the naval hearing helped Israel "get away with murder" a view not contradicted by any known survivor.
While convincing to some, some evidence/assertions by defenders of Israel cannot be conclusively proven to be fabrications. However, where evidence is strong and could easily be falsified, then an assumption of outright and deliberate falsification seems justified.
Large numbers of US officials disbelieved Israel
Numerous US intelligence and military officials now dispute Israel's explanation.
From a list compiled by James Bamford:
- Dean Rusk, U.S. Secretary of State at the time of the incident, wrote: "I was never satisfied with the Israeli explanation. Their sustained attack to disable and sink Liberty precluded an assault by accident or some trigger-happy local commander. Through diplomatic channels 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."
- Lieutenant General Marshall S. Carter, director of the National Security Agency at the time: "There was no other answer than it was deliberate."
- Dr. Louis Tordella, the deputy director of NSA at the time: "I believed the attack might have been ordered by some senior commander on the Sinai Peninsula [where the massacres were taking place] who wrongly suspected that the Liberty was monitoring his activities." Tordella also scrawled across the top page of the formal Israeli "mistake" report, "A nice whitewash."
- Major General John Morrison, NSA deputy director of Operations at the time: "Nobody believes that explanation. The only conjecture that we ever made that made any near sense is that the Israelis did not want us to intercept their communications at that time."
- Walter Deeley, the senior NSA official who conducted an internal NSA investigation of the incident: "There is no way that they didn't know that the Liberty was American."
- Captain William L. McGonnagle, the Liberty's commander: "After many years I finally believe that the attack was deliberate."
- Richard Helms, Director of Central Intelligence at the time speaking to James Bamford: "Your chapter on the Liberty was exactly right."
- George Christian, press secretary to President Johnson at the time: "I became convinced that an accident of this magnitude was too much to swallow."
- Paul C. Warnke, Under Secretary of the Navy at the time: "I found it hard to believe that it was, in fact, an honest mistake on the part of the Israeli air force units.... I suspect that in the heat of battle they figured that the presence of this American ship was inimical to their interests."
- David G. Nes, the deputy head of the American mission in Cairo at the time: "I don't think that there's any doubt that it was deliberate.... [It is] one of the great cover-ups of our military history."
- George Ball, Under Secretary of State at the time: "American leaders did not have the courage to punish Israel for the blatant murder of its citizens."
The original survivors (now getting elderly) operate the USS Liberty Veterans Association and the USS Liberty Memorial web-site at http://www.gtr5.com/ (was www.ussliberty.org). This association is extremely sensitive to the charge of antisemitism and condemn various groups who "often seek to identify with us and to usurp our story as their own". They add "On the Israeli side, the group of pro-Israel, anti-American critics of our story, while small, persists in launching loud, vicious ad hominem attacks on anyone who attempts to discuss the deliberateness of the attack. These anti-American apologists refuse to discuss the facts of the case. Instead, they rely on propaganda and charge anyone who questions the Israeli position with being antiSemitic."
uss-liberty.com is also operated by survivors but consider it perfectly proper to be critical of Israel, even putting up a photograph of AJ Cristol and calling him a "fraud, a[n] 'Israel First' American and USS Liberty apologist and liar".
Some supporter groups, perhaps authored by younger people with careers outside the military, are more critical again.
However, such groups remain respectful of the survivors and carry statements such as that they do "not have the approval or sanction of the USS Liberty Veterans Association in any way". In some cases, such web-sites have used (or permitted to remain visible within comments) the same ethnic designation as is universally used by the defenders of Israel.
Italy loses airliner, fails to punish
For comparison, in 1980, an Italian DC-9 was lost over the sea and 81 people were killed. Repeated efforts have been made to find out what happened and prosecutions brought for various offenses, including falsification of documents, perjury, abuse of office, and aiding and abetting. Four generals were charged with high treason for withholding information about planes in the air at the time.
However, the Italian judicial system has not been able to get to the truth. Two of the generals were acquitted of high treason and two others can't be tried for it, although the allegations against them stood until 2007. In 2011, a tribunal ordered the Italian government to pay 100 million euros in civil damages to the relatives of the victims for failure to protect the flight and for concealing the truth and destroying evidence.
A major theory is that 2 Libyan MIGs (one of which could have contained the leader of Libya, Gadaffi) were chased and shot at by 3 Italian F-104s, a US A-7 and a French plane. A Libyan MIG is known to have been downed around this time, perhaps as it took shelter near the DC-9. New documents confirming this may have been found at the fall of Tripoli in 2011.
Wikipedia biased article
The Wikipedia article is rife with bias and distortions, along with some outright falsehoods. This should become obvious if you have the time and inclination to dig into the information presented here.
However, deep study is not necessary to realise there is something badly amiss in the whole treatment of the topic of Israel. There is also a detailed Wikipedia article on "Friendly Fire", which does not mention the Liberty incident despite it being, surely, the most famous "Friendly Fire accident" of all.
The Wikipedia article includes an entry for the 1967 Six Day War, but it consists only of the single (unreferenced) claim that: "Israeli aircraft bombed an Israeli armored column in the Sinai after it was mistaken for an enemy column". (The main article USS Liberty article here also mentions this "incident" but in an entirely different location, the West Bank).
This claim about Israel having attacked it's own forces (the claim has admittedly has repeated many times since in hasbara accounts) appears to have been invented by two Israeli journalists in 1984. This fact was known to the WP editors at least as far back as 2008, not least because the IDF keeps detailed notes of such incidents (including "near-miss") and they have no record of it. In Feb 2012, two editors pointed out that even the very Zionist source (JVL) referenced in the article has now deleted this claim about an attack on an armoured column. But 2 months after that (last checked 8th April 2012) and 4 years after they were first informed of the lie, the biased nature of the "editor community" is such that no honest editor is brave enough to remove the fraud. Almost as if Wikipedia isn't about recording history but about deliberately collecting Zionist-friendly lies. The degree of obstruction and bias can be seen throughout the editing process, eg here where the top administrator (and personal friend of Jimbo Wales) defends an obvious sock-puppet of a banned user and insists that a quite obvious untruth remain in the article.
Needless to say, there is a very long history of Zionist fabrications concerning the attack on the Liberty and it would be quite unfair to blame the Wikipedia (c.2002/2005) for having started it. The survivors reference a 1997 example and plead to be heard: "The survivors ask: LET US TESTIFY UNDER OATH! If Mr. Roth has knowledge of the attack, we would be pleased to hear his sworn testimony."
Wikipedia still worth reading
Wikipedia still carries much interesting material. For instance, in 1981 Russell Warren Howe asserted in a book Weapons that Liberty was accompanied by the Polaris armed Lafayette-class submarine Andrew Jackson which filmed the entire episode through its periscope but was unable to provide assistance. Several Liberty crew members testified that they had briefly seen a periscope during the attack. In February 1997, a senior member of the crew of the submarine USS Amberjack told James Ennes that he had watched the attack through the periscope and took pictures. James Ennes believes that if the submarine photography exists, it should show that the ship's flag was clearly visible to the attacking fighters and torpedo boats. Captain of the Amberjack, insists that the vessel was 100 miles from the Liberty and when told the crew believed they were closer replied "They must be mistaken". If there were to be photographs, they would immediately demonstrate whether or not the US flag was flying visibly on the Liberty, as the survivors all claim and Israel denies.
- Washington Report on Middle East Affairs – USS Liberty Archive
- Assault on the Liberty by Lieutenant Commander James Ennes, a junior officer (and off-going Officer of the Deck) on Libertys bridge at the time of the attack. 1987
- USS Liberty Memorial - the comprehensive website of the survivors, USS Liberty Veterans Association. James Ennes and Joe Meadors. Shadow site at http://www.gtr5.com.
- "The USS Liberty: Still Covered Up After 35 Years" by James M. Ennes,June 16, 2002
- Attack on the USS Liberty "Dissenting History VS Official History" By John Borne, Ph.D., doctoral dissertation published June 1995.
- "The Zionist Connection" 2nd Edition by Alfred Lilienthal Chapter 17. "The Attack on Liberty"
- They Dare to Speak Out, a chapter in Paul Findley’s book describes the Zionist reaction to Mr. Ennes’ book: "The Assault On Assault"
- "The USS Liberty: America’s Most Shameful Secret" Eric Margolis, April 2001.
- "Body of Secrets" by James Bamford Chapter 6: "Blood" comments that the Israeli rescue helicopter transmissions (in the NSA transcripts) reported seeing a flag. This confirms the testimony of the surviving Liberty crewmen and tends to dispute the official Israeli position.
|Document:False Flags for Israel||webpage||11 September 2012||Deanna Spingola||An overview of Israel's long history of False Flag attacks.|
|Document:USS Liberty - Government Betrayal and Cover-up||article||1 July 2008||Paul Craig Roberts||The sustained attack on the American surveillance vessel USS Liberty in June 1967 was deliberate and calculated as this article makes abundantly clear|
- "Liberty Survivors Say US Still Downplays Israel's Attack on Ship"
- "Lyndon Johnson Ordered Cover-Up: Former Navy Lawyer" Toronto Star, AP 2003-10-22
- "No 'Explanation' Disproves Israel’s Guilt in 1967 Attack on USS Liberty" WRMEA, June/July 2016, pp. 28-29
- "Comment by Robert N. Edwards, Commander, Chaplain Corps, USN (Retired)"
- Survivor Ken Ecker Speaks Out Immediately following the attack I was threatened with court-martial if I discussed the incident with the press or anyone else. USSLiberty.org. Undated.
- IN RECOGNITION OF ADMIRAL THOMAS H. MOORER HON. JOHN CONYERS, JR. OF MICHIGAN IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES] 7. That although the Liberty was saved from almost certain destruction through the heroic efforts of the ship’s Captain, William L. McGonagle (MOH), and his brave crew, surviving crewmembers were later threatened with "court-martial, imprisonment or worse" if they exposed the truth; and were abandoned by their own government. CONGRESSIONAL RECORD Oct 7, 2004.
- What I Saw That Day "Gripping book recommended reading for all patriots" - very well reviewed at Amazon.com Phil Tourney. 2011.
- Tape Backs Account of '67 Israeli Attack we the crew were told two hours after the attack never to speak of the attack, and that order remains in effect to this day Letter to the New York Times from John Hrankowski, November 20, 1991.
- The following summary is taken from the formal War Crimes Report filed with the Secretary of Defense There has been no statement in the last thirty-eight years by the United States government reversing or amending this formal position. gtr5.com James Ennes 2007.
- The Man With The Israeli Accent "USS LIBERTY Survivor’s Life Threatened by Mossad on American Soil While Uncle Sam Yawns". theuglytruth.wordpress.com blog 16th Aug 2010.
- "The Attack on the 'Liberty' Incident" IDF History Department official Israeli version. 1982.
- A Juridical Examination of the Israeli Attack on the USS Liberty by Lieutenant Commander Walter L. Jacobsen, JAGC, USN. 1986.
- WHO SAYS THE LIBERTY ATTACK WAS DELIBERATE? Listing of knowledgeable Americans claiming the attack was not an accident. non-survivor web-site uss-liberty.com (and survivor web-site http://www.ussliberty.org/supporters.htm, Ennes and Meadors).
- There was good weather, she was flying the U.S. flag Quoted in "USS Liberty: Eyewitness Account" by James M. Ennes,Aug. 13, 2001.
- A FAIR PROBE WOULD ATTACK LIBERTY MISINFORMATION America's Highest Ranking Naval Officer Admiral Thomas Moorer (1912 - 2004) Former Chief of Naval Operations and Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Rejects the Israeli Excuse in a statement published less than a month before he died. Jan. 16, 2004, edition of the Stars and Stripes.
- USS Liberty: Israel Did Not Intend to Bomb the Ship By A. Jay Cristol. Mr. Cristol is the author of the forthcoming The Liberty Incident. Summer 2001. History News Network.
- Declaration of Ward Boston,Captain, JAGC, USN (Ret.) The evidence was clear. Both Admiral Kidd and I believed with certainty that this attack, which killed 34 American sailors and injured 172 others, was a deliberate effort to sink an American ship and murder its entire crew. Each evening, after hearing testimony all day, we often spoke our private thoughts concerning what we had seen and heard. I recall Admiral Kidd repeatedly referring to the Israeli forces responsible for the attack as 'murderous bastards.' It was our shared belief, based on the documentary evidence and testimony we received first hand, that the Israeli attack was planned and deliberate, and could not possibly have been an accident. Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, March 2004, page 10.
- Declaration of Ward Boston,Captain, JAGC, USN (Ret.), Counsel to the U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry’s investigation into the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, January 9, 2004.
- Ward Boston first gives sworn testimony a few months earlier. "New Charges vs. Israel in ’67 Ship Attack" UPI, Oct. 24, 2003.
- "Findings of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Israeli Attack on the USS Liberty" We, the undersigned, having undertaken an independent investigation of Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty, including eyewitness testimony from surviving crewmembers, a review of naval and other official records, an examination of official statements by the Israeli and American governments, a study of the conclusions of all previous official inquiries, and a consideration of important new evidence and recent statements from individuals having direct knowledge of the attack or the cover up, hereby find the following: October 22, 2003
- Friendless Fire? According to James Ennes, Admiral Kidd urged him and his group to keep pressing for an open congressional probe. United States Naval Institute Proceedings (magazine) June 2003 Vol. 129/6/1,204
- Cristol's response to Boston's affidavit ... so strange that he should close his record with an act that dishonors himself by admitting to lying under oath, that is, filing a false report in a U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry after taking an oath to faithfully perform his duty as counsel for the Court. thelibertyincident.com post-2003.
- Letter to Cristol from Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, Jr of 1991 Nothing you told me, wrote to me or provided by way of documentation has been inconsistent with what we had to work with at the time The Liberty Incident.com. Undated.
- The USS Liberty Attack Boston's evidence of a cover-up derives not from his own part in the investigation but solely on alleged conversations with Admiral Kidd who purportedly told him he was forced to find that the attack was unintentional. Kidd died in 1999 and there is no way to verify Boston's allegations.Anti-Defamation League June 9, 2004.
- Naval Institute Proceedings "Friendless Fire" Meanwhile, Judge Cristol has Boston recanting his Navy Times statements. In reality, Boston stands firmly behind them. uss-liberty.com. 5th May 2010.
- USS Liberty: Israel Did Not Intend to Bomb the Ship "The attacking aircraft were not armed to attack a ship." Jay Cristol. July 19, 2002.
- Cristol Claim of 13 Investigations Into Israel’s Attack on USS Liberty a Travesty "Thirteen investigations have all exonerated Israel," is Cristol’s mantra. Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, December 2003, pages 14-15.
- An Evidentiary Study of the USS Liberty Attack This Internet site presents documentary and forensic evidence studies and findings. K. J. Halliwell, individual's web-site. Updated until 2011.
- Those not invited to speak steal the show at State Department Liberty Discussion Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, March 2004, pages 9-11, 31.
- The final word on whether the Liberty attack was a war crime http://www.usslibertyinquiry.com, created by an experienced prosecuting attorney, is a sister site to htt://www.ussliberty.org which provides background on the deliberate Israeli attack on the American intelligence ship USS Liberty. This companion site provides the documentation, evidence and legal basis for the conclusion that the attack was deliberate and was a war crime that has been allowed by the US Government to go uninvestigated and unpunished. James M. Ennes January 3, 2005.
- "New revelations in attack on American spy ship" Close friend, William Chandler, former head of the Trans-Arabian Pipe Line Co., said Porter recalled one of the pilots protesting. Chicago Tribune. 2nd Oct 2007.
- The Makings of History / Myth vs. plot Respected historian Tom Segev says that "Over the years, various pieces of evidence have emerged that seem to support Israel's claim that the USS Liberty was fired on by mistake in 1967. However, a number of questions still hover over the affair, and these nourish the conspiracy theories". Haaretz 19 Feb 2012.
- DEAD IN THE WATER BBC Interview with Former Head Israeli Navy 1967, Admiral Shlomo Erell
- Ex-Navy Official: 1967 Israeli Attack on U.S. Ship Was Deliberate Moorer Report. Foxnews.com. 2003-10-23
- http://ussliberty.org Memorandum: Attack on the USS Liberty June 8, 1967
- George Lenczowski, American Presidents and the Middle East, Duke University Press, 1990, p. 105-115, Citing Moshe Dayan, Story of My Life, and Nadav Safran, From War to War: The Arab-Israeli Confrontation, 1948-1967, p. 375
- LBJ, National Security File, Box 104/107, Middle East Crisis: Jerusalem to the Secretary of State, June 8, 1967; Barbour to Department, June 8, 1967; Joint Embassy Memorandum, June 8, 1967.
- "History of the Mossad" Russian author Joseph Daichman states Israel was justified in attacking the Liberty because Israel knew that American radio signals were intercepted by the Soviet Union and that the Soviets would certainly inform Egypt of the fact that, by moving troops to the Golan Heights, Israel had left the Egyptian border undefended. Smolensk, 2001.
- Hot summer of 1967: The Israeli attack on America and the 'Soviet destroyer.' Pravda September 14, 2002
- New evidence for American cover-up of Israeli attack on U.S. warship Johnson had no doubts that the Israeli attack on American spy ship USS Liberty, which left 34 American servicemen dead and 171 wounded, had been a deliberate attack. BBC, August 6, 2002.
- Addendum to 2007 Edition James Ennes, later stated that he was probably wrong in his original book "the planes were not nuclear-armed" June 2007.
- The Attack on the USS Liberty and its Cover-up "more than 3,000 holes from armor piercing bullets were counted". If Americans Knew.org.
- The Attack on the Liberty: an "Accident"? Issue of the International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence. Reverdy S. Fishel Fall, 1995 (Vol 8, No 3).
- Memo: James Bamford refutes criticism and notes that The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Jewish Telegraph Agency, and many other respected press organs both in the U.S. and Israel had reported a massacre of Egyptians carried out in 1967, Bamford provides excerpts from some of them. 1995.
- Ibrahim, Youssef Egypt Says Israelis Killed P.O.W.'s in '67 War, New York Times 21 September 1995.
- Egypt soldiers found in mass grave near Israel uniformed "bodies of 30 Egyptian soldiers believed killed in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War were found in a mass grave" between El-Arish and Rafah by a Bedouin. al-Arabiaya.net 09 Jan 2008
- "USS Liberty: Did Israel Commit One War Crime to Hide Another?" "Recent reports in the Israeli and Egyptian press suggest another powerful possibility. ... Could our operators have heard voice radio messages revealing these killings? Did senior Israeli officers sanction the murders, or did they learn of them? How would they have reacted to the knowledge that USS Liberty was nearby and might have heard incriminating radio traffic? Would they have been desperate enough to attack an American ship?" Survivor James Ennes, Washington Post Report on Middle East Affairs, May/June 1996.
- Excerpt "This and other war crimes were just some of the secrets Israel had sought to conceal since the start of the conflict. An essential element ... to hide much of the war behind a carefully constructed curtain of lies ... Into this sea of deception and slaughter sailed the USS Liberty". Excerpt from Body of Secrets by James Bamford at History News Network. 2001.
- Unfriendly Fire review of Bamford's "Body of Secrets" by Michael Oren. "There are a lot of reasons to question Bamford's credibility, starting with his rather curious reading of Middle Eastern history. For example, Bamford says Israel initiated hostilities against Syria and Jordan, when it happened the other way around." December 26th, 2002.
- [http://www.usslibertyinquiry.com/arguments/american/elquseir.html Refuting the Israeli Arguments "Liberty resembles the Egyptian supply ship El Quseir."] it looked like a large lobster and was one of the most easily identifiable ships afloat cited to Admiral Moorer in the Houston Chronicle, 11 January 2004 by usslibertyinquiry.com. Undated.
- The Clark Clifford Report to Lyndon Johnson In the heat of battle the Liberty was able to identify one of the attacking torpedo boats as Israeli and to ascertain its hull number. In the same circumstances, trained Israeli naval personnel should have been able easily to see and identify the larger hull markings on the Liberty. ussliberty.org July 18, 1967.
- Review of "Assault on the Liberty" by James M. Ennes, Jr. (Random House 1980, Reintree Press 2002), see Israel’s defenders in action. For example, though the ship sustained 800 hits, as evidenced by as many holes, there was no "‘extended’ attack."
- "The USS Liberty: Dissenting History VS Official History" By John Borne, Ph.D., doctoral dissertation published June 1995.
- ATTACK ON THE USS LIBERTY REALPOLITIK GONE HAYWIRE A Research Report Submitted to the Faculty In Partial Fulfillment of the Graduation Requirements. AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE AIR UNIVERSITY, AU/ACSC/109/1999-04, Richard D. Lee,LCDR, USN, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, April 1999.
- "LBJ and Israel" mentions the USS Liberty but takes no position. jewishpress.com. August 27th, 2008.
- Navy Captain, Other Officials Call For Investigation Of Israel's Attack On USS Liberty WRMEA Delinda C. Hanley July/August 2003
- Response to charges made in Secrecy News on July 17, 2001 Listing of the statements made by various US officials. James Bamford to Steve Aftergood, July 25, 2001.
- Italy court fines government $137 million over mysterious crash of plane over Ustica. Washington Post September 13, 2011.
- Libyan secret documents said to uncover Ustica tragedy ... and how Gaddafi escaped to Malta unscathed. The Malta Independent 18 September 2011.
- A spy for all seasons: my life in the CIA. A Libyan MIG may have taken shelter near the Italian DC-9. Clarridge, Duane R., Diehl, Digby pp. 399-400. Scribner, 1997.
- This story presented as it appears in the Wikipedia article, from the 1981 book "Weapons" by Russell Warren Howe.