“Blood in the Water: How the U.S. and Israel conspired to Ambush the USS Liberty” opens with the scene at the American Embassy in Tel Aviv, on the top floor presided over by the CIA chief of station John Hadden…
By Eileen Fleming
On Sunday in Orlando Professor Joan Mellen joined forces with Ernest Gallo, President of the USS Liberty Veterans Association to discuss her twenty-fourth book “Blood in the Water: How the U.S. and Israel conspired to Ambush the USS Liberty”, which effectively ended the USA governments attempts to coverup the attack on America’s then premier spy-ship as she navigated in international waters during what became known as The Six Day War.
Just as “Blood in the Water: How the US and Israel Conspired to Ambush the USS Liberty”, is essential reading for anyone interested in today’s USA Middle East policies and Naval history;
So is the website IfAmericansKnrew.org , which provided the following facts regarding the USS LIBERTY:
Why would the White House prevent the rescue of an American ship?
This is, perhaps, the most disturbing question arising out of Israel’s attack. It is why there needs to be a thorough investigation of the actions taken by the White House and the Secretary of Defense.
We are calling for a new Court of Inquiry by the Department of the Navy, with congressional oversight, to take public testimony from surviving crewmembers and otherwise thoroughly examine the circumstances of the attack.
Why are you calling for a naval — and not a congressional investigation?
We believe this would remove the inquiry from the political pressures traditionally exerted by special interest g roups upon individual congressional offices. Fundraising and election pressures have prevented an honest investigation from being conducted…
Why is this significant for the American people nearly 52 years later?
We have a duty to the crew of the USS Liberty, while the survivors are still alive to testify, and while the perpetrators can be brought to justice. Furthermore, any policies that paralyze our elected leadership to the extent they become unable or unwilling to protect Americans and American interests, endangers not only the safety of all Americans but also the national security of the United States.
Doesn’t America have a special relationship with Israel?
No nation or people should be above the law; nor should American interests be subordinated to the interests of any foreign nation. Those Israelis responsible for ordering the attack and the resulting murder of American sailors must be held accountable for their actions.
What was Israel’s explanation for the attack?
Israel claimed the attack was “a case of mistaken identity”; that they didn’t know it was an American ship.
Why would we question that explanation more than 50 years later?
The ship’s survivors were afraid to speak out in the early years because of threats of “court martial, prison or worse” if they did not remain silent. However, as time passed, they have stepped forward to say the attack was deliberate.
Recently, high government and military officials have suggested that not only was the attack deliberate, but that the US government covered-up the incident. Today, an Independent Commission of Inquiry has found that Israel committed “an act of war” against the United States (see Findings of Independent Commission). In addition, the Navy’s chief attorney to the original 1967 military Court of Inquiry has issued a statement that orders to cover-up the incident were issued by President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara [see Statement of Captain Ward Boston, USN, JAG (Ret.)].
Did Israel have reason to believe the USS Liberty was an Egyptian ship?
Israel says its pilots and torpedo boat commanders confused the USS Liberty with the El Quseir, an Egyptian ship allegedly firing upon its forces in the Sinai. But there was no Egyptian naval bombardment that day; nor did the El Quseir (an unarmed 1920s-era horse carrier out of service in Alexandria) bear any resemblance to the Liberty.
Isn’t it difficult to identify a ship if you’re in an airplane?
In 1967, the USS Liberty was the most sophisticated intelligence ship in the world, with dozens of large antennas, including a large moon-bounce “satellite-dish” mounted on a tall structure near the stern. It may have been one of the most easily identifiable ships of any navy in the world. With a displacement of 10,000 tons, it was four times the size of the antique Egyptian transport it is claimed to have resem- bled. Freshly painted, the Liberty carried large white identi- fication numbers on its bow. Egyptian hull numbers are painted black.
Doesn’t Israel say that the Liberty flew no flag?
According to American survivors, a 5-by-8 feet American flag was hoisted early that morning and was flying all day until it was shot away by attacking aircraft. Within several minutes, it was replaced by the giant 7-by-13 feet holiday ensign, which flew for the duration of the attack.
Could Israel have thought the ship was in a war zone, acting suspiciously?
According to surviving crewmembers, Israeli reconnaissance aircraft closely studied the Liberty over an eight-hour period prior to the attack, one flying within two hundred feet of the ship. At all times the Liberty was a clear- ly marked American ship in international waters, proceeding at a speed of only 5 knots.
What was the weather like the day of the attack?
Weather reports confirm that it was a clear day with unlimited visibility. The Israeli reconnaissance planes could have seen the Liberty’s crew sunbathing on the upper decks just before the attack. The flag was flying in a 12-knot breeze for most of the afternoon.
Doesn’t Israel say they ended the attack the minute they saw someone hoist an American flag?
The Israeli attack by combined air and naval forces spanned two hours — as long as the attack on Pearl Harbor. The air attack alone lasted approximately 25 minutes: consisting of more than 30 sorties by approximately 12 separate planes using napalm, cannon, and rockets which left 821 holes in the ship.
Following the air attack, three Israeli motor torpedo boats torpedoed the ship, causing a 40’x 40’ wide hole in her hull, and machine- gunning firefighters and stretcher-bearers attempting to save their ship and crew.
More than 3,000 machine-gun bullet holes were later counted on the Liberty’s hull. After the attack was thought to have ended, three life rafts were lowered into the water to rescue the most seriously wounded. The Israeli torpedo boats returned and machine-gunned these life rafts at close range.
This was followed by the approach of two large Israeli Army assault helicopters filled with armed comman- dos carrying what appeared to be explosive satchels (they departed after hovering over the ship for several minutes, making no attempt to communicate)…LEARN MORE:
“Blood in the Water: How the U.S. and Israel conspired to Ambush the USS Liberty” can be purchased at Amazon HERE
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