"Israeli pilot to IDF war room: This is an American ship. Do you still want us to attack?
IDF war room to Israeli pilot: Yes, follow orders.
Israeli pilot to IDF war room: But sir, it’s an American ship – I can see the flag!
IDF war room to Israeli pilot: Never mind; hit it.
Both the CIA document and the quote have already been published in the past. The book revives them as part of its attempt to prove its thesis." Haaretz
This conversation was intercepted by NSA assets with the 6th Fleet during the event. USS Liberty was a SIGINT collector engaged in monitoring Egyptian communications during the 6 day War. She was off the Egyptian coast when attacked repeatedly by Israeli aircraft and patrol boats. She was a converted freighter and virtually defenseless. The USS America aircraft carrier battle group was in the general area and launched a strike against the Israelis but on the order of the WH the aircraft were recalled. That is a puzzling thing. LBJ quickly had the matter buried under the snowdrift of a suppressed naval investigation.
In the course of my duties at the time I read the NSA transcripts quoted above.
Six months after the attack I was a student as a captain in the Military Intelligence Advanced Couse at Ft. Holabird, Maryland. This was a year long course for mid-career intelligence officers. We had a separate building for a classroom. The whole building was a SCIF. An MP checked you in and out of the building. All the students and instructors had TS/SCI clearances at the COMINT category III level. During the course I was required to take several electives off a menu, like a Chinese restaurant. One that I took was a survey course for senior officers in cryptology. This course was normally taught to colonels and generals at the NSA school at nearby Ft. Meade. There were several sub-courses; cryptanalysis, traffic analysis, direction finding and voice intercept operations. In the last of these, the instructor was a retired army cryptologic warrant officer. He brought his teaching materials from FT. Meade. Among them was a booklet illustrating voice intercept operations. Among the examples contained therein was the English translation transcript of the chatter between the Israeli air strike crews and their higher command. The quotation from this transcript as quoted in the Haaretz story is correct. New subject: to what extant was LBJ guilty in any way in the matter of these sailors deaths and wounding? pl