USS Liberty Veterans Associations current three-term president Ernest Gallo is famous for saying: “We must never forget the holocaust, however, in concert, it is equally important for the future of the United States to never forget the USS Liberty.”
The grassroots movement ‘We American and the USS Liberty’ exists to help end the cover-up that is sustained by Media spin and or failure to seek and report the facts.
By Eileen Fleming
On 21 July 2018, I emailed the following to Jim Abbott, the reporter who wrote, “Remember the USS Liberty” for The Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL:
Dear Mr. Abbott and The Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL,
Thank you for writing and publishing “Remember the USS Liberty” featuring Ernie Gallo [CC’d above] who is featured in “We Americans and the USS Liberty” taped during the USS LIBERTY Veterans 50th commemorative reunion at Arlington National Cemetery and Norfolk VA.
I trust you will view it in light of Mr. Abbott’s statement: “In the immediate aftermath, a Navy Board of Inquiry determined that the two-hour attack led by four Israeli fighter jets on the defenseless intelligence- gathering ship was an accident, conducted in error. Gallo and his shipmates didn’t buy it.”
Because this member of the growing grassroots movement inspired by Phil Restino [CC’d above] We Americans and the USS Liberty don’t buy it either!
As of this publication Mr. Abbott has not replied so this reporter will provide a brief history regarding the USA Government’s coverup of the deliberate attack on the USS LIBERTY.
At the outbreak of what became known as The Six Day War, Captain William L. McGonagle immediately requested Vice Admiral William I. Martin at the Six Fleet headquarters to send a destroyer to accompany the USS Liberty, serve as an armed escort, and auxiliary communications center for America’s then premier spy-ship.
On 6 June 1967, Admiral Martin replied: “Liberty is a clearly marked United States ship in international waters, not a participant in the conflict and not a reasonable subject for attack by any nation. Request denied.” [Assault on the Liberty: The True Story of the Israeli Attack on an American Intelligence Ship, by James Ennes, pages 38-39 ]
Admiral Martin also promised that in the event of an attack, jet fighters from the Sixth Fleet would be overhead in ten minutes!
During the early part of Israel’s air attack but before the torpedo boats were sighted, the USS Liberty sent a distress message that was received by Sixth Fleet aircraft carrier USS Saratoga.
Aircraft carrier USS America dispatched eight aircraft, but Vice-Admiral William I. Martin recalled the aircraft within minutes!
The National Archives in College Park, Maryland includes in its files on casualties from the Liberty copies of the original telegrams the Navy sent out to family members. The telegrams called the attack accidental. The telegrams were sent out June 9, the day before the Navy Court of Inquiry even convened!
The U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry is the only actual investigation of the attack on Liberty, but it took only ten days, despite the court’s president, Rear Admiral Isaac Kidd, warning that it would take six months to conduct a proper Court of Inquiry.
The inquiry was also focused on uncovering any shortcomings on the part of the Liberty’s crew that may have contributed to the injuries and deaths that resulted from Israel’s attack on America’s then premier spy-ship.
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. [ As I Saw it. p. 388]
In 2002, Captain Ward Boston, JAGC, U.S. Navy, senior counsel for the Court of Inquiry, said that the Court of Inquiry’s findings were intended to cover up what was a deliberate attack by Israel on a ship that the Israelis knew to be American. Boston wrote:
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.
In this YouTube, USS Liberty Commanding Officer William McGonagle states Israel’s attack was “Not a Case of Mistaken Identity”:
In this YouTube, USS Liberty Commander David Ed Lewis spoke during the USS LIBERTY’s 50th reunion regarding “idiots in Washington” and the president who set the precedent of failing to support the crew of the USS LIBERTY:
Lewis previously informed this reporter:
“Rear Admiral Lawrence Geiss was in charge of the USS Saratoga and USS America. He swore me to secrecy until his death, which happened about nineteen years later. What he told me I kept secret until I learned of his death at the first reunion and twenty year anniversary of the veterans of the USS LIBERTY. He told me that as soon as he got the word of our distress he launched aircraft and notified D.C. and immediately heard from McNamara to recall the aircraft. He said he assumed it was because some idiots in Washington thought that he was launching nuclear weaponry. He reconfigured and then re-launched aircraft without nuclear capabilities. Admiral Geiss notified Washington of this and once again the immediate response that came from McNamara was the order to recall the aircraft. Admiral Geiss challenged the order and pleaded that people are dying! LBJ was heard to say, ‘I don’t give a damn! I won’t embarrass an ally.’
“McNamara had been talking to Geiss on an unsecured but plain language telephone, the Automatic Digital Network, Autodial. President Eisenhower had once gotten so upset when it took three days once to receive critical information and he established the CRITICOM system. This enabled all critical intelligence to be delivered to the White House within two minutes and CRITICOM [abbreviation for “Critical Intelligence Communications”] is how Geiss and McNamara exchanged information.
“Twenty-eight of the thirty-four that were murdered that day worked for me. I also still feel personally responsible for the loss of my Communication Officer and Communication Chief.
“Just before the LIBERTY sailed they both brought me their retirement papers. They both had all their time in and I asked if one of them would do me a favor in the interest of continuity and go on one last assignment. They both replied, ‘For you Commander, we’ll both go!’
“Not only did they die, their families also paid a price. One widow went over the edge and the state took her kids away. Some of my men were threatened with being put in a mental institution if they spoke out. None of us had any contact with the other until the first reunion of the LIBERTY twenty years after the attack. Everybody was assigned to different duty stations to keep us apart…
“That morning I saw a couple of the Israeli over flights, we waved at each other. We all felt safe, as they were friends. I was back in my general quarter’s station two levels down when I heard the thud-thud-thud of the rockets overhead, but they never penetrated the bowels of the ship.
“It was such a well planned accident. They took out just about every antenna we had. All of them were knocked out except for one that never worked right. It was also the first satellite communications in the U.S.A. It leaked hydrolic fluid but when it worked right, it bounced off the moon.
“The torpedo explosion happened less than ten feet from where I stood and blew out the bulkhead and covered me with twenty years of navy paint. All the troops within twenty feet of me were killed instantly. The bulkhead [wall] protected me as a shield from the blast.
“I shouldn’t have even survived. I was on the second level down and the compartment was sealed. Seamen Shnell broke regulations and saved my life. It’s against regulations to break watertight integrity, but he took the risk of sinking the ship to check for survivors.
“I would have loved to have seen the carnage as devastating as it was, but the last thing I heard was the call to stand by for torpedo attacks on the starboard side. The next thing I knew I was sitting on the deck up against a bulkhead. My eyes were seared shut with burnt paint and not until the next morning when I was helicopter lifted out, all wrapped up from head to toe so tightly that a corpsman couldn’t tell my head from my feet and he sat on my head the entire ten minute flight. I was cyanotic when they unwrapped me, I nearly suffocated.
“The Dr. stood me up against a wall to lance my eyes open and told me don’t move, just keep your eyes on the scalpel so he didn’t blind me. Then they took me straight away to Rear Admiral General Geiss who had been waiting just for me….
READ MORE HERE
Eileen Fleming, senior non-Arab correspondent writes for TADN
Contact Eileen Fleming
- Response to Israeli expert on whistleblowers and The Matter of Mordechai Vanunu - September 19, 2020
- America’s 19th 9/11, Stand or Fall - September 3, 2020
- USS Liberty Survivors of The Six-Day War Read and Write - August 2, 2020