Resolution 40 calls on Congress to immediately investigate Israel’s 1967 attack on the USS Liberty and its aftermath
Denise Rohan was elected national commander of the two million-member American Legion at the 99th national convention of America’s largest veterans organization.
By Eileen Fleming
On Aug. 24, 2017, in Reno, Nev., Denise Rohan had one question for the delegates at the American Legion’s 99th national convention “Are you ready?”
Rohan’s theme is “Family First,” and that theme is based on The American Legion’s motto of “For God and Country.”
The first woman elected as American Legion national commander stood at the podium and stated:
I chose purple for this year’s membership shirts to show that we are joining forces as an American Legion family. Just like all branches of the military started working together and joined forces, they purpled up over the last several years, it is time for The American Legion family to also purple up as we all work together for the common good.
Are you ready to Purple Up and show the nation that we are a family that not just takes care of our own members, we stand ready to take care of our active-duty military and their families, we take care of our veterans and their families and, in reality, when you look at our four pillars and all of our programs, are you ready to continue to take care of our entire nation’s families?
I believe we were put here, where you are today, and in the positions you hold currently for the greater good.
We are not here to judge one another. We are here to nurture and take care of one another. Families grow through love and support for one another. As an American Legion family – we need to treat each other in that same spirit – like part of our larger extended family.
Are you ready to continue to join forces as part of the nation’s largest veteran service organization’s family?
The American Legion family will stand tall next to our heroes and their families…To make a difference in someone’s life, you don’t have to be brilliant, rich, beautiful or perfect. You just have to care enough to be there.
Caring enough to attend the American Legion’s national conference was USS Liberty survivor, Gunnery Sergeant Bryce F. Lockwood (USMC, ret.) who worked for passage of resolution 40, which originated from Post 40 in Seattle, WA.
The passing of resolution 40 by the American Legion now aligns the nation’s largest veterans organization on the side of the USS Liberty survivors, family, and supporters in calling upon the “115th United States Congress to publicly, impartially, and thoroughly investigate the attack on the USS Liberty and its aftermath and to commence its investigation before the end of 2017, the 50th anniversary year of the attack.”
USS Liberty survivors and supporters who ‘cared enough to be there’ at the 50th reunion of the USS LIBERTY veterans, are featured in the soon to be released DVD, “We Americans and the USS LIBERTY”, which will SOON be available at the USS LIBERTY VETERANS ASSOCIATION bookstore.
Excerpts from “We Americans and the USS LIBERTY” DVD:
In an interview with NPR, Commander Denise Rohan stated:
My theme for the coming year is family first…My concern is also with our veterans and their families, our military personnel and their families. And when you look at the mission of the American Legion and our four pillars of what we stand for, we’re really taking care of our whole nation’s families.
We Americans and the USS LIBERTY are a family with a screenplay available for your download and review at AmazonStudios:
National Headquarters, The American Legion
Ninety-Ninth Annual National Convention, Reno, Nevada August 22, 23, 24, 2017
WHEREAS, on June 8, 1967, while operating in support of the National Security Agency (NSA) in international waters, properly marked as to her identity and nationality, and in calm, clear weather in the eastern Mediterranean, the USS Liberty (AGTR-5) was the target of an unprovoked attack by Israeli military forces that killed 34 members of the Liberty’s crew and wounded 173; and,
WHEREAS, in recognition of their heroic efforts during and after the Israeli onslaught, Liberty crew members were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, 2 Navy Crosses, 12 Silver Stars, 20 Bronze Stars, more than 200 Purple Hearts, and the ship’s captain, Navy Commander William. L. McGonagle, was awarded the Medal of Honor; and,
WHEREAS, the June 28, 1967 public summary of proceedings of the Navy Court of Inquiry into the attack stated: “It was not the responsibility of the Court to rule on the culpability of the attackers and no evidence was heard from the attacking nation”; and,
WHEREAS, according to Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) information reports from June and October, 1967, sources in Tel Aviv reported: “Israel’s forces knew exactly what flag the LIBERTY was flying” and Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan “personally ordered the attack” on the Liberty over the objections of senior uniformed military personnel, one of whom characterized the attack as “pure murder”; and,
WHEREAS, Richard Helms (Director of Central Intelligence, 1966-1973), stated in a 1984 CIA interview: “everything possible was done to keep from the American public really the enormity of this attack on an American naval vessel” and “since this is for the Agency’s record, I don’t think there can be any doubt that the Israelis knew exactly what they were doing … any statement to the effect that they didn’t know that it was an American ship … is nonsense”; and,
WHEREAS, Lieutenant General Marshall S. Carter, USA (ret.) (Director of the NSA, 1965-1969), recalled in a 1988 NSA interview that he stated at a Congressional hearing in 1967 that the attack on the Liberty “couldn’t be anything else but deliberate. There’s just no way you could have a series of circumstances that would justify it being an accident” and Carter indicated this remained his belief in 1988; and,
WHEREAS, in a 2003 affidavit published in the Congressional Record, Captain Ward Boston, Jr., JAGC, USN (ret.), legal counsel for the 1967 Navy Court of Inquiry stated: “I know from personal conversations I had with Admiral Kidd [president of the Court of Inquiry] that President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara ordered him to conclude that the attack was a case of ‘mistaken identity’ despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary”; and,
WHEREAS, according to the findings, published in the Congressional Record, of the 2003 Independent Commission of Inquiry, chaired by former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, USN (ret.): “there is compelling evidence that Israel’s attack was a deliberate attempt to destroy an American ship and kill her entire crew” and “the White House deliberately covered up the facts of this attack”; and,
WHEREAS, in 2013, the Veterans of Foreign Wars adopted Resolution 423 calling “upon Congress to immediately investigate the attack on the USS Liberty by the armed forces of Israel on June 8, 1967, in order to determine the truth behind the attack, and to bring closure to the families and crew”; and,
WHEREAS, in August 1967, after the conclusion of the Navy Court of Inquiry, the American Legion adopted Resolution 508 (rescinded in 1984 without being first reviewed) declaring the published report of the Navy Court of Inquiry “fails to provide the American public with a satisfactory answer as to the reason for the attack” and stating that “The American Legion denounces and condemns Israel’s irresponsible attack” and demanding “a complete and thorough investigation of the incident”; and,
WHEREAS, according to Gurney Williams III, writing in The American Legion Magazine (“Death Strikes the Liberty“, July 1997), Congress has never investigated the Israeli attack on the Liberty; now therefore be it,
RESOLVED, By The American Legion in National Convention assembled in Reno, Nevada, August 22, 23, 24, 2017, that The American Legion calls upon the 115th United States Congress to publicly, impartially, and thoroughly investigate the attack on the USS Liberty and its aftermath and to commence its investigation before the end of 2017, the 50th anniversary year of the attack.
Eileen Fleming is TADN’s volunteer Health Reporter and Senior Non-Arab Correspondent
Fleming produced the UNCENSORED “30 Minutes with Vanunu” Mordechai, Israel’s nuclear whistleblower
Contact her HERE
- 9/11 and a 20th Reflection of That Day - September 5, 2021
- Mordechai Vanunu: Final Annual Update and this Writers Next Steps - June 19, 2021
- US-Israel PTSD Collaboration UPDATE and USS Liberty’s 54 Commemoration - May 28, 2021