Jim Ennes, who was a watch standing officer on the USS Liberty asked me for a statement as to what I knew of the transcripts of Israeil conversations and the ship. This is what I sent him. I was quoted about this in the Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun on Monday. pl
(Wednesday, 19 July 2017) I have re-published this because people have written to me saying that the transcripts were not prublished before the recent Haaretz article. pl
I was a student in the Military Intelligence Officer Advanced Course at Ft. Holabird, Maryland (Baltimore) in 1967-1968. The course lasted about ten months. We students were required to take several electives from a group offered and I took a course in Cryptology. This was taught by people from the NSA School at nearby Ft. Meade. This course was taught in the winter or early spring of 1967-1968. There were several sub-courses, one of which had to do with voice intercepts. In the course of this, the instructor introduced a booklet produced at Ft. Meade as material for the course. It contained various course materials. Among them were transcripts of the translated intercepts of radio conversations between the Israeli strike commander and his base before and during the attacks on USS Liberty. The instructor, a retired cryptologic warrant officer or NCO identified the transcript as being of the Liberty incident. It was also so marked in the booklet.
In the transcript, the flight leader spoke to his base to report that he had the ship in view, that it was the same ship that he had been briefed on and that it was clearly marked with the US flag. I think he said that the ship was displaying the US flag on an upper deck, but my memory of that might be inexact. He asked for confirmation of his orders to attack the ship and seemed reluctant (understandably) to attack the ship. He asked more than once and was told to carry out his orders and attack the ship.
There was some further discussion of damage to the ship.
That is all I remember.
W. Patrick Lang
Colonel (Ret.) US Army"