USS Liberty: Are We “Conspiracy Theorists” or “USS Liberty Truthers”?

USS Liberty: Are We “Conspiracy Theorists” or “USS Liberty Truthers”?
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USS Liberty: Are We “Conspiracy Theorists” or “USS Liberty Truthers”?

by Joe Meadors

Joe Meadors

Joe Meadors

A while back I learned of a Jon Faine radio interview in which former Australia Prime Minister Malcom Fraser mentioned that he has concluded that the attack on the USS Liberty was deliberate.

Within that interview Faine trots out the oft-used “Conspiracy Theorist” pejorative and since it is improperly applied with regard to the USS Liberty I set out to let him know.

I emailed his radio station asking for Faine’s email address so I could share my opinion.

He replied with his personal email address and invited me to send him a comment.

So I did.


Thank you for your kindness in responding to my enquiry. It is a courtesy not extended by all.

My concern is not about the attack on our ship or how it was described but in your apparent lumping all who opine that the attack was deliberate and premeditated as “conspiracy theorists” – a descriptor that over the years has taken on a decidedly negative connotation.

Let me be clear. Anyone who researches the attack on our ship is perfectly within their right to reach their conclusions based upon whatever evidence they deem to be appropriate.

So are we.

We have researched the evidence of the attack and have concluded that it was deliberate and premeditated.

We saw the unmarked aircraft; we heard the jamming of our radios on both US Navy tactical and international maritime distress frequencies; we witnessed the deliberate machine gunning of life rafts we had dropped over the side in anticipation of abandoning ship; we witnessed the slow circling of our ship by Israeli torpedo boats as they fired from close range at crewmen who were either trapped topside or who ventured topside to help their wounded shipmates; we saw the Israeli helicopters filled with armed assault troops hover very close to our ship in an apparent attempt to find a place to allow those troops to rappel down to the ship; we witnessed the torpedo boats immediate departure from the scene of the attack after cessation of hostilities instead of offering assistance as is their obligation under international law.

We have also learned that testimony from eye witnesses about the deliberate machine gunning of our life rafts in the water has been removed from the record of the US Navy Court of Inquiry Report; that Findings of Fact in the US Navy Court of Inquiry Report are not supported by evidence and testimony in the record as is required by the rules that govern Courts of Inquiry; that there is nothing in the Court of Inquiry Report about the recall of two flights of rescue aircraft on orders from The White House; that statements provided to the Court by some 65 USS Liberty crewmen have disappeared; that the endorsement by the Court’s Presiding Officer was conditional and based on information then available to the Court; that the responsibility for the review of the US Navy Court of Inquiry Report in preparation of submitting it for endorsement by the Convening Authority (ADM John S. McCain) was removed from McCain’s Legal Advisor, Capt. Merlin Staring, when Staring found a myriad of significant mistakes committed by the Court, told McCain that his review would take a considerable amount of time and that he refused to conduct the requested cursory examination of the Report for McCain’s endorsement.

We also know that the attack on our ship is the only attack of its kind in US naval history NOT to be the subject of a Congressional investigation; that the Department of Defense has refused to conduct an investigation based upon the allegations made in the War Crimes Report we submitted to them on June 8, 2005 despite the requirement that they do so; that the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) has refused to investigate the crimes contained in the War Crimes Report despite the fact that one of those crimes is a capital offense; that Members of Congress routinely include text provided not by USS Liberty survivors but by Israel or her supporters in their boilerplate responses to their constituents who write to inquiry about the attack; that Members of Congress refuse to modify their boilerplate responses to one based upon eye-witness accounts; that for decades no Member of Congress has attended our annual memorial service held on June 8th in Washington, DC; that the Department of Defense, Navy Department, American Legion and Navy League likewise have all refused to send an official to our annual memorial service despite the fact that the memorial service is being held in Washington, DC.

Whether or not you deem these facts as supporting the possibility that the attack was the deliberate and premeditated act that we say it was I’m sure you will agree that it is impossible for all the parties referenced above to enter into a conspiracy to ignore the evidence supporting our conclusion and to treat USS Liberty survivors and the families of our fallen shipmates in such a disgusting manner to the extent that those of us who point these facts out can be described by the pejorative “Conspiracy Theorist.”

Indeed, with the patriotic fervor and overwhelming support for the military gripping the US I cannot imagine the outrage that would be displayed should such a conspiracy be uncovered and made public.

Whether this compels Mr. Faine and his ilk to conclude that we are not “Conspiracy Theorists” but more correctly “USS Liberty Truthers” is doubtful.  What it does show is that anyone who does use that pejorative when describing us is doing so without foundation.

(Joe Meadors is a USS Liberty survivor. He also was a participant in the Freedom Flotilla I and II attempts to break the siege on Gaza. He can be contacted at


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Joe Meadors

Joe Meadors

Writer, blogger at USS Liberty Veterans
Joe Meadors grew up in Saudi Arabia and spent 22 years living in the Kingdom.

He was aboard the USS Liberty when the ship was attacked by the Israeli Defense Forces in 1967 and has been in the forefront of the effort to ensure the US government finally investigates the attack.He also participated in Freedom Flotilla I in 2010 whose goal was to break the blockade of Gaza only to be brutally attacked by the IDF who killed 9 human rights activists on the MV Mavi Marmara.

The death of one American citizen on the Mavi Marmara elicited nary a peep of outrage or condemnation from the State Department.This follows the outrageous precedent the State Department initiated when 34 Americans were killed on the USS Liberty which was followed by silence from the State Department.Meadors is an eye-witness to and a victim of this policy.

His background gives him a unique perspective as an American citizen when it comes to issues involving the Middle East.

He will be sharing that perspective in his articles for The Arab Daily News.

He can be reached at
Joe Meadors
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