‘But Sir, It’s an American Ship.’ – Haaretz


"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



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35 Responses to ‘But Sir, It’s an American Ship.’ – Haaretz

  1. johnT says:

    This incident is, and will always be, an outrage to this Navy veteran of that era. Will we ever know the truth behind it?

  2. LondonBob says:

    Andrew and Leslie Cockburn in their book DANGEROUS LIAISON The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship quote an NSA source as stating ‘Jim Angleton and the Israelis spent a year cooking up the ’67 war. It was a CIA operation, designed to get Nasser.’
    So we really need to understand more about LBJ, Angleton and their relationship with Israel.
    I believe that through Angleton the Israelis learned a lot more than they should have and exercised a lot more influence on our activities than they should have.
    For a detailed description of the life of this obsessive CIA spook see the biography, Cold Warrior by Tom Mangold (Simon and Schuster), Mark Lane’s Plausible Denial; Wilderness of Mirrors: Intrigue, Deception, and the Secrets That Destroyed Two of the Cold War’s Most Important Agents by David C. Martin, and his biography on the various encyclopaedias.
    Angleton’s (far too close) links with Israel’s intelligence services are well explored in Michael Piper’s Final Judgment: The Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Controversy.
    Angleton’s exploits are detailed in the presidential Church Committee Report of 1976. (US Congress, Wash DC. Govt Printing Office, 14 Volumes) especially vol 7. See also the full (PDF) transcripts available online from the Assassinations Archive and Research Centre. The US Assassinations Records Review Committee (ARRC) provides an online public library with the Mary Ferrell Kennedy Research Trust and provides original FOIA documents through the History Matters research site.
    For detailed primary references to Angleton’s life and times see the list of primary sources at Wikipedia, as well as the books by Seymour Hersh, Mangold and Martin.
    James Angleton kept secret his full relationship with Israeli intelligence (Mossad) from the leaders of the new CIA or the Executive Branch because of State Department fears that public cooperation with the Israelis would complicate Arab and British relations. According to a former CIA officer who served as chief of station in Tel Aviv, no one at the State Department or CIA was anxious in the beginning to have an open relationship with Israel. (The Secret History of the CIA, by Joseph Trento, p.80)
    In 1985, Angleton told author Joseph Trento, ‘I realize how I have wasted my existence, my professional life.’ . . . ‘You know, the CIA got tens of thousands of brave people killed . . . We play with lives as if we owned them. We gave false hope. We – I – so misjudged what happened.’ (Trento, pp. 478–479)
    LBJ may have had distant Jewish antecedents. Jews first arrived in the New World following the expulsion from Spain in 1492. Known in Hebrew as Anusim (‘forced ones’), these immigrants were ostensibly ‘Conversos’ (Catholic converts) although it was widely suspected that they still practised Judaism. Many Anusim fled from Spain to areas in the American south-west, then under Spanish rule. Over the centuries there was much intermarriage and the Sephardim influence in the American South West remains strong. See David Sanchez’s article ‘The Secret History’, the Austin Chronicle of 11 May 2001.
    According to Jewish law, if a person’s mother is Jewish, then that person is automatically Jewish, regardless of the father’s ethnicity or religion. Both of Lyndon Johnson’s great-grandparents, on the maternal side, were Jewish. These were the grandparents of Lyndon’s mother, Rebecca Baines. Their names were John S. Huffman and Mary Elizabeth Perrin. John Huffman’s mother was Suzanne Ament, a common Jewish name.
    Huffman and Perrin had a daughter, Ruth Ament Huffman, who married Joseph Baines and together they had a daughter, Rebekah Baines, Lyndon Johnson’s mother. The line of Jewish mothers can be clearly traced back three generations in Lyndon Johnson’s family tree. There is little doubt that LBJ was – by the Jewish definition – Jewish.
    According to historian James M. Smallwood, Congressman Johnson used legal and sometimes illegal methods to smuggle ‘hundreds of Jews into Texas, using Galveston as the entry port. Enough money could buy false passports and fake visas in Cuba, Mexico and other Latin American countries . . . Johnson smuggled boatloads and planeloads of Jews into Texas. He hid them in the Texas National Youth Administration . . . Johnson saved at least four or five hundred Jews, possibly more.’
    During World War II Johnson attended a small Austin gathering to sell $65,000 in war bonds. According to Gomolak, Johnson and a Jewish friend called Novy then raised a very ‘substantial sum for arms for Jewish underground fighters in Palestine.’ One source cited by the historian reports that ‘Novy and Johnson had been secretly shipping heavy crates labeled ‘Texas Grapefruit’ – but containing arms – to Jewish underground ‘freedom fighters’ in Palestine.’
    For a description of LBJ’s backing for Israel, see Neff’s, ‘LBJ Was First to Align US with Israel’s Policies’, in the Washington Report on Middle East, Nov-Dec 1996 p. 96. His affinity for Israel is movingly described by the Senior Editor of the Jewish Press in his article ‘LBJ and Israel’, 7 Sept 2002.
    LBJ’s early backing for Israel can be found in the Senate Records, 1957-58, the Eisenhower Library and LBJ’s own Presidential Library. After the 1956 Suez debacle, Israel clung on to Gaza and Aquaba, despite demands from both the US and UN to quit. By the spring of 1957, UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld was actively promoting UN sanctions against Israel as an aggressor nation and in defiance of UN Resolutions.
    The Israeli plan was scuppered in the US mainly by Senate Leader LBJ, who urged the State Dept. not to support sanctions ‘against a small country like Israel’ and rallied support in the Senate to block any legislation. (See New York Times of 20 February 1957 and, perhaps significantly, Louis Bloomfield’s monograph, ‘Egypt, Israel and the Gulf of Aquaba’.)
    Like JFK, his predecessor President Eisenhower was no advocate of ‘Israel, Right or Wrong’. LBJ and Eisenhower locked horns over Israel when Ike became heavily involved with the crisis over Israeli attempts to annex a Palestinian area around Banat Ya’qub in 1953 in order to divert water from the River Jordan. America stepped in to broker a deal. When the UN observers realised that the Israelis were ignoring their part of the agreement, Ike moved swiftly to revoke tax-deductible status of Jewish-Americans to Zionist organisations in order to force Israel to honour its obligations.
    Despite enormous pressure from US Jewish lobby groups, LBJ himself and claims that his policies were ‘anti-Semitic’, Eisenhower stood firm. When the Israeli government realised that their money supply really was going to dry up, they backed down and Ike restored aid. Full accounts are in the LBJ Library Archive and – from a more objective viewpoint – in the ‘jfk montreal’ site
    Just one month after succeeding Kennedy, LBJ attended the December 1963 dedication of the Agudas Achim Synagogue in Austin. Novy opened the ceremony by saying Johnson, ‘We can’t thank him enough for all those Jews he got out of Germany during the days of Hitler.’
    Lady Bird would later describe the day, according to Gomolak: ‘Person after person plucked at my sleeve and said, “I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for him. He helped me get out.”’ Lady Bird elaborated, ‘Jews had been woven into the warp and woof of all [Lyndon’s] years.’
    See also the New York Sun exposé ‘LBJ’s Secret Israel Tapes’28 May 2008.
    Mordechai Vannunu has tied in the 67 war with JFK and Israel’s development of nuclear weapons.
    The following books link these elements together.
    Colonel John Hughes-Wilson ‘JFK: An American Coup D’Etat’.
    Michael Collins Piper ‘Final Judgment: The Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Controversy’.

  3. wisedupearly says:

    One thing that is extremely clear is the stupidity of Michael Oren.
    “Oren adds: “I’m a historian. I have to stick with the facts. I can’t get into conspiracies and theories. A historian must proceed on the basis of the data before him. Today, almost all the papers have been publicized, including the texts of the recordings of the U.S. spy plane and spy submarine.”
    So what is fact? Israeli command knew the Liberty was American before they ordered it attacked. There is no surprise, no “wait for confirmation”, no request to double check, only the order to attack it, presumably to kill everyone on board.
    The facts include the cable but Oren believes that as no irrefutable reason for why the Israelis attacked the Liberty has been advanced, he is safe to claim “It was a classic screw up.” As that is just a “theory”, you have just refuted yourself, Michael.

  4. PVP says:

    You are really putting your neck out there now Pat!

  5. turcopolier says:

    I am terrified. I have written and been interviewed over thirty years or so over the Liberty incident. There is no doubt whatever that the attacks were deliberate and repeated and clearly were intended to kill everyone on board so that there would be no witnesses. BTW, was that a threat? pl

  6. turcopolier says:

    john t
    What part of the truth do you not know? 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

  7. Outrage Beyond says:

    In the case of Michael Oren, I wouldn’t call it stupidity.
    Michael Oren is a former American who renounced his citizenship in order to serve the Zionist occupation as their ambassador to the US. He is a professional liar. I think he is fully aware of the truth, but like all hasbara experts, he has numerous ways of dissembling and distracting.

  8. fanto says:

    At Colonel:
    the RT program “Crosstalk” with Peter Lavelle has some leads and points out to controversies re. LBJ´s guilt in this topic – especially the discussion between the participantsO´Keefe and Nelson – O´Keefe maintained that Israel was not manipulated by LBJ, and was clearly offended by suggestion that it was LBJ who manipulated Israel and not vice versa.

  9. Outrage Beyond says:

    James Bamford also cites NSA transcripts in one of his books. He also concludes that the attack was deliberate. (I can’t recall which of his three NSA books discusses the attack, but they are all worth reading.)
    Another book that discusses the attack is “Taking Sides” (pp. 212-242) by Stephen Green (1984). Green states as follows:
    “The Joint Chiefs of Staff knew about the planned attack by Israel on the U.S.S. Liberty before it occurred and presumably informed the White House. When the early reports of the attack arrived, those who had known of the plan had a choice: either take retaliatory action against Israel, or become an accessory after the fact to the attack by promoting the fiction that it was somehow an accident.” (page 241)
    Green concludes:
    “All the official versions of the Liberty Affair, with the probable exception of the unreleased portions of the reports of the two U.S. intelligence agencies, have for political reasons had to proceed from the pleasant fictional premise that the attack was an accident. Now, foreknowledge of the planned attack, by both the U.S. and (obviously) the Israeli governments, is established by this book, thanks to recently declassified State Department documents, and to candor from Congressman and congressional staffers who took testimony in executive session on the Liberty Affair within days after the attack. One would hope that both governments will henceforth cease their dissembling about flags and wind speed and such irrelevancies, and will be willing and able to focus upon the matter of individual and collective responsibility for this unspeakably squalid operation.” (p. 242)
    Immediately prior to his discussion of the attack on the Liberty, Green relates an incident that I have never seen mentioned anywhere else.
    Green describes (pp. 204-211) how on June 3, 1967, the 38th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron of the 26th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, U.S. Air Force, was sent to the Negev, along with elements of other units, to provide reconnaissance support to the IDF with RF-4C aircraft. The units were “sanitized” before and after the mission to prevent them taking anything with them that might prove their presence. Likewise, the airmen who were sent on the mission were told to never reveal it.
    Due to these secrecy measures, Green states that his evidence for the operation is circumstantial. However, I suspect some participants on this cite may be able to confirm it.

  10. AK says:

    When I read the lines you quoted here, I laughed out loud. I thought, “I’ve seen that character in more than a few movies in recent years.” Oren is and always has been first and foremost a mouthpiece par excellence for the Zionist cause. I’ve read his works, and let’s say even a mildly critical mind can find them wanting, for his bias is as transparent as could possibly be.
    My favorite quote from Oren, however: “What continues to fuel these conspiracy theories?” Oren asks. “The subject is revived every few years. It is part of a ‘theory’ that Israel, together with Russia and China, spies on the United States. As Israel’s ambassador to the United States I saw this undercurrent, which is also sometimes anti-Semitic.” The last sentence also made me laugh aloud, because you really have to admire their messaging discipline. My god, it is airtight. There’s always room for a cursory accusation here and there, especially when your arguments have no other leg to stand on.

  11. LondonBob says:

    In regards to LBJ and the 67 war Jeff Gates, who is one of the more reputable commentators on such matters, alleges that LBJ was carrying on in the White House with ex Irgun terrorist Mathilde Krim, wife of Arthur Krim who was an LBJ advisor and finance chairman for the Democrat party, the very night the war began.
    Not that knowledgeable on the USS Liberty itself but LBJ’s corruption and murderous ways are well documented, I doubt it bothered him in the slightest.

  12. FourthAndLong says:

    It’s argued in online reviews of some of the books you cite that LBJ’s design was to actually s i n k the Liberty as a means of inserting the US into the ’67 ME war. To wit the 5th torpedo. Claims that Israeli navy fired 4 torpedoes which missed, leading to a direct order by LBJ to the Submarine commander of the Liberty’s escort sub to fire a fifth, which did not miss and nearly did the trick. Wish I had the expertise to evaluate such claims. On the level of a Forsyth thriller. Appalling. Revelations of late as to Johnson’s personality disorders have made such claims rather plausible.
    Been reading bits of David Halberstam’s ‘The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War.’ Beyond belief as to MacArthur and the criminal neglect of the US fighting men. The initial chapter is enough to nauseate a strong individual. A few very experienced (WW II) US Army intel officers had determined, essentially beyond doubt, that tens of thousands of Chinese forces (experienced fighters) had crossed the Yalu river and attack on the US troops dug in at Unsan, North of Pyongyang, was imminent. They were outflanked, hopelessly unprepared. MacArthur and his Command in Japan dismissed all of this as impossible. You simply won’t believe the man’s arrogance and hubris. And the thousands of lives wasted unnecessarily.
    I now better understand my dad’s lifelong hatred of that man, though he rarely spoke of his war experiences. He had been a navigator in the US Air Transport Command, mostly in the Pacific and Asia, during WW II and spoke bitterly of watching many of those men go down in blazes in the service of nothing more than delivering “Dugout Doug’s” furniture somewhere. And basketball immortal Jerry West’s even more intense hatred. He had lost his elder brother David in Korea and devoured Halberstam’s book when it appeared. Had I not read his autobiography “West on West” I would not have looked into it.
    Supposedly Dean Acheson had neglected to garrison South Korea at all prior to the North’s initial invasion.
    Much stranger than fiction by a long shot.

  13. BabelFish says:

    The same with this Navy veteran of that era, as well.

  14. The IDF pilot-to-controller “conversation” appears based on information from Dwight J. Porter who was U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon, located in the Beirut Embassy. Porter was interviewed by James M. Ennes (an attack survivor and author of ‘Assault on the Liberty’) during the summer of 1991.
    Ennes reported that Porter said the following:
    “[I read] intercepted communications between the attacking Israeli pilots and their headquarters starting some time before the pilot sighted the ship that was their target. Once sighting the target, the lead pilot informed his controlling headquarters that the target was in sight and it was an American ship flying an American flag. He asked for confirmation of orders to attack and was told to attack. The pilot expressed some reluctance but was ordered to attack and did so.” [source: http://ussliberty.org/dwightporter.htm ]
    Ennes said that Porter did not know where the communications were intercepted or who reported, only that it was received by his Embassy staff and shown to him along with other intelligence information. To date, no verifiable or validated material evidence (e.g., SIGINT report) has surfaced to support Porter’s recall.
    Two NSA affiliated (not assigned to Sixth Fleet) signal intercept aircraft are known to have been airborne at the time the attack occurred. Whether or not they were within VHF/UHF signal intercept range at the beginning of the attack is unclear, based on available evidence. (See analysis here: https://sites.google.com/site/usslibertyinquiry/UssLibertyAttackSignalHorizons.pdf )
    At the end of the attack, both signal intercept aircraft were in position to intercept communications between two IDF helicopters, their controller and the IDF motor torpedo boats. The NSA released intercepts reveal that the helicopter pilots saw and recognized the American flag, and the ship’s hull identification number. Soon thereafter, the air controller ordered the helicopters to leave the ship. (See and hear NSA signal intercepts here: https://www.nsa.gov/news-features/declassified-documents/uss-liberty/recordings.shtml )
    The NSA says that these are the only USS Liberty attack intercepts known to have ever existed. Although, it’s unclear whether or not a truly comprehensive search was conducted for other intercepts. Curiously, rarely mentioned is the U.S. Embassy in Israel that was likely within VHF/UHF signal incept range for aircraft flying above Liberty (when flying above 2500 feet) and their shore-based controller.
    Regarding recall of aircraft launched by Sixth Fleet: Aside from less than optimal communication, command and operational readiness by Sixth Fleet, all verifiable and validated evidence indicates that aircraft were not recalled until it was clear that the attack had ended and the IDF reported it was the attacker. The recall order was issued by Commander of Sixth Fleet, Vice Admiral William I. Martin, 1.5 hours after the attack ended. (See: https://sites.google.com/site/usslibertyinquiry/essay30 for timeline and detailed analysis.)

  15. turcopolier says:

    Ken Halliwell
    Porter and I read the same NSA/Naval Cryptologic Service intercepts. pl

  16. Babak Makkinejad says:

    But LBJ has long been dead; what has US done in cases of Rachel Corey and Furqan Dogan?

  17. Anna says:

    “Reasons why Israel attacked the USSLiberty:” http://theduran.com/3-reasons-israel-attacked-the-uss-liberty-in-1967/
    The survivors of the attack discuss the treasonous affair around the attack, as well as the pernicious influence of Israel on the US internal and external policies. It tells a lot about MSM that the US veterans were not allowed to discuss the USSLiberty “incident” in the US and instead they were invited for a discussion by Russia Today News (RT).
    It looks as if the main world conflict today is between Russian Federation and Israel, where the US is playing a role of a hapless host in service to parasitic Israel-firsters. There are also secondary layers supporting the conflict: the MIC, banksters, and oilmen, i.e., the mega war-profiteers.

  18. Neil Schipper says:

    The lesson of the USS Liberty is one that should be studied carefully by other states: if you find yourself in a hot war, and you are allied with a global superpower, and that superpower is providing you diplomatic cover and supplying you with needed weaponry, then: identify a major nearby asset of theirs, and bomb the fuck out of it.
    And make sure not to kill only “grunts”; also kill highly trained telecom and field intel people.
    And make sure to not finish the job, but leave badly wounded survivors and witnesses — the more bitterness and hostility the better. You can rely on the survivors and the families of the dead — an unusually smart and tough-minded demographic with deep connections to the superpower’s military class — to shrug off a whitewash.
    If you can pull this off, then you get a half-century (and counting) of diplomatic and military support.
    Probably this very moment, Syria is following a plan of similar deviousness and cunning, and bombing the fuck out of Russian-supplied, Russian-manned command and control infrastructure.

  19. Ivan says:

    Is this the same Michael Oren, who claimed that Israel would far prefer have to have the jihadists control Syria rather that Assad? Anything is too good for Israeli security interests including the sacrifice of Syria’s secular Muslim, and Christian populations. I fell for his malarkey about how the there was a coastal explosion on the Israeli shore, which led to a concatenation of errors that resulted in the attack on the Liberty. But after evaluating this man’s biases, I have to conclude that everything this self-proclaimed historian claims have to be taken with a great deal of salt.

  20. I'veBeenANaughtyBoy says:

    Bob – there are only 24 hours in a day but by the looks of things you have spent a good many more than most people in the pursuit of knowledge. Knowledge which the majority have no idea even exists. Perhaps the world would be a better place if more time was spent by more people following in your footsteps.
    You have written a comment with multiple intriguing rabbit holes to descend – thank you for that. And a hat tip to Xymphoras site for pointing me to your comment.

  21. Greg Bacon says:

    Also add in that when William Colby took over the CIA, he fired Angleton. Not long after that, Colby ‘drowned’ when he went canoeing at night, which friends said he never had done in the past.

  22. turcopolier says:

    Greg Bacon
    I met Colby in VN in early 1969 when he was station chief or head of CORDS. I can see who someone would think he needed swimming lessons or maybe he just offed himself. pl

  23. turcopolier says:

    I first met Oren at a cocktail party in Tel Aviv. IDF GS intelligence were the hosts for our DIA delegation. Oren was called over to be introduced. He was a captain. They said he was their “American specialist.” pl

  24. Seward says:

    While installing a computer system in 1989 at the VQ2 detachment at Athens, I became well acquainted with the Chiefs that ran the place, and the 1st Classes that did the actual work. I’d been a lowly transcriber in the Aleutians in 1959, so literally spoke the same language. They even let me practice a little transcription, which I could still do, although the targets were much different. In the course of it, they told me the steps the Navy was taking to insure they had advanced notice, and were never surprised again, by another Liberty-like incident. Couldn’t tell if it was done locally in the Med by the 6th Fleet, on it’s own initiative, or with the concurrence of Naval HQ. If it had been publicized, it likely would have been stopped by civilian authorities in DC, for domestic political reasons. I left in early November (day the Berlin wall came down), so have no idea if their still doing the same thing. The VQ2 facility was closed in Athens a few years later, and I think moved to Crete. I can’t be specific about what they were doing, only that they were determined never to be surprised like that again. Hope the still are.

  25. LondonBob says:

    Reading Colonel Hughes-Wilson’s notes one really gets an appreciation for the extent of his research, not just the depth but also the breadth, notably his willingness to consult ‘alternative’ sources. He didn’t back away from the conclusions his research led him to either, personally I commend him for it.

  26. Peter Reichard says:

    Israel had no RF-4 photo recon aircraft yet somehow timely, accurate, close up bomb damage assessment photos appeared and have since been widely published. Perhaps they had some other post strike photo recon capability but Stephen Green’s theory on this has always seemed to me to be highly plausible.

  27. turcopolier says:

    Peter Reichard
    I handled a FOIA action on the Liberty case in ’82 and in the course of that reviewed all the available photography. It is nearly all US taken by 6th Fleet or USDAO Tel Aviv. pl

  28. If the intercepts truly existed, then NSA earns an A+ for thoroughly eradiating/hiding any trace of their existence in any form.

  29. turcopolier says:

    Ken Halliwell
    Thank you for calling me a liar. You will not ne published here again. pl

  30. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Some articles on the 50th anniversary of the attack, with some excerpts:
    Ray McGovern:

    Chief Petty Officer J.Q. “Tony” Hart, who monitored conversations between then-Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and Sixth Fleet Carrier Division Commander Rear Admiral Lawrence Geis,
    reported McNamara’s instructive reply to Geis,
    who had protested the order to recall the U.S. warplanes on their way to engage those attacking the Liberty. McNamara:
    “President Johnson is not going to go to war or embarrass an American ally (sic) over a few sailors.”
    The late Adm. Thomas Moorer after interviewing the commanders of the U.S. aircraft carriers America and Saratoga confirmed that McNamara ordered the aircraft back to their carriers.
    Moorer called it “the most disgraceful act I witnessed in my entire military career.”

    Philip Giraldi:

    The faux court of inquiry and the medals awarded in secret were only the first steps in the cover-up, which has persisted to this day, orchestrated by politicians and a media that seem to place Israel’s interests ahead of those of the United States.
    Liberty survivors have been finding it difficult even to make their case in public.
    In April 2016 a billboard that read “Help the USS Liberty Survivors – Attacked by Israel” was taken down in New Bedford Massachusetts.
    The billboard had been placed by the Honor Liberty Vets Organization and, as is normal practice, was paid for through a contractual arrangement that would require the billboard company to post the image for a fixed length of time.
    It was one of a number of billboards placed in different states.
    Inevitably, Israel’s well connected friends began to complain.
    One Jewish businessman threatened to take his business elsewhere, so the advertising company obligingly removed the billboard two weeks early.

    Philip Weiss:

    Google news results for the USS Liberty today, and it’s fascinating. Our leading journals have nothing to say about the 50th anniversary of the Liberty. Besides the Haaretz story, all the leading results are for letters to the editor from people who can’t forget the Liberty.

    James M. Scott, son of John Scott, damage control officer on the Liberty:

  31. Peter Reichard says:

    Green’s book alleges that US RF-4 aircraft flown by US pilots conducted the post strike photo recon of Egyptian air bases following the initial Israeli attacks in the Six Day War. It was photos of destroyed Migs that I referred to not those of the Liberty. Like Outrage Beyond I have seen no other reference to this apparent US participation in the Israeli surprise attack. If true it has serious implications of US collusion with Israel in starting the war.

  32. DH says:

    Fascinating info on Johnson’s Jewish heritage and his importation of Jews during the war.
    Re USS Liberty, I agree with FourthAndLong that it was a false flag attempt. IIRC I read in Wiki that Johnson had begged other nations to intervene by sending ships to the Gulf of Aqaba, but he had no takers. Can’t find it now, but this is the whitewash from history.state.org:
    “[…] In 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower had promised that the United States would treat the closure of the Straits as an act of war. Johnson now had three unwelcome options: to renege on Eisenhower’s promise, acquiesce in an Israeli attack on Egypt, or order U.S. forces to reopen the waterway.
    Instead, the President played for time. He sought international and Congressional support for Operation Red Sea Regatta, which called for a coalition of maritime nations to send a “probing force” through the Straits if Egypt refused to grant all nations free passage through them. Simultaneously, Johnson implored the Soviets to intercede with Nasser and urged Israeli restraint. “Israel,” Johnson told Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban on May 26, “will not be alone unless it decides to go it alone.” Yet over the following week, the administration failed to gain domestic or foreign backing for “Regatta.” Meanwhile, Jordan joined the Arab coalition, heightening the pressure for an Israeli strike. Though Johnson continued to caution Israel against preemption, a number of the President’s advisors had concluded that U.S. interests would be best served by Israel “going it alone” by the time the Israelis actually did so.”
    Until we blew our blood and treasure on the 2003 Iraq War we could, and did, anything we liked.

  33. Kalin says:

    One of the most concise and accurate observations ever stated.

  34. Stonevendor says:

    Here is an observation from a friend who was flying over the Mediterranean at the time.
    “If this story is true, the “NSA asset” referred to was probably the “Willie Victor” (WV-2 or, in the “new” nomenclature, EC-121) from VQ-2 based in Rota, Spain. The Willie Victor was loitering around at 12,000’ in the Eastern Med when the Liberty was attacked. The transmissions between the Israeli aircraft and their controllers on the ground would have been UHF, thus strictly line-of-sight. The Willie Victor would have been the only NSA asset in a position to intercept these transmissions – other than the Liberty itself.
    Contrary to what the article says, I don’t believe that the transmissions quoted “have already been published in the past”. The UHF intercepts that have been published (to my knowledge) begin at a point in time after the jets and torpedo boats had completed their attacks. They reveal conversations between the Israeli helicopters that came to the scene after the attacks, and the helicopters’ controllers. These intercepts aren’t very informative – certainly not as inflammatory as the UHF exchanges quoted in the article.
    Mind you, I’m not saying that the article is incorrect. I believe the VQ-2 Willie Victor was recording all of the UHF transmissions before, during, and after the attack. But as far as I know the before-and-during transcripts haven’t been released publicly. If the quote in the article is genuine, it’s a big fucking deal.
    A sidelight to this story – the Israelis had to know that the Willie Victor was present. If the Liberty was attacked deliberately (which I believe), and the reason was to prevent the USA from learning about some ultra-sensitive Israeli goings-on (which is widely believed but which I have no opinion about), why didn’t the Israelis just shoot down the Willie Victor in addition to attacking the Liberty??? At a minimum, they would have known that the Willie Victor was intercepting their UHF communications, and had the goods on them re. the Liberty attack.
    Anybody else have any thoughts?

  35. turcopolier says:

    “Contrary to what the article says, I don’t believe that the transmissions quoted “have already been published in the past”” Wrong! I read them in the winter of ’67-’68. pl

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