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From: bob klahn
Date: 2009-09-14 18:45:00
Subject: USS Liberty

 We have had discussions of the USS Liberty before in Fido. For
 those who may not know, that was a US Navy Intel ship sailing
 off the coast of Israel during the 1967 war. It was attacked by
 Israeli aircraft and torpedo boats, with major damage and the
 loss of 34 killed and 171 wounded.

 The BBC did a documentary on that incident, google:

 bbc dead in the water

 The video can be watched online, or downloaded.

 Most of what was in the video I already knew from research, and
 what was discussed in Fido. However, there were a couple points
 I was not previously aware of.

 It's long been claimed that the Israeli aircraft misidentified
 the Liberty as an Egyptian freighter. This in spite of the ship
 flying a prominent American flag, and having a lot of antennas
 of various sorts all over the ship. Also the Liberty was much
 larger than the Egyptian ship.

 What I did not previously know was, a US command aircraft
 monitoring communications in the war had heard and recorded the
 Israeli pilots calling for confirmation of orders just before
 they attacked. The lead pilot told their control "this is an
 American ship". When he was ordered to proceed with the attack
 he again challenged the order and repeated that it was an
 American ship. He was ordered to attack anyway.

 Also I had not known the captain of the Liberty had asked for an
 escort, such as a destroyer and was refused.

 The Israeli Mossad, intel, has a memorial to one of the American
 intel agents involved in the incident.

 Most significant of all, IMO, was the response of the fleet. We
 have long known that the fleet sent off alert aircraft in
 response to the attack. It is also known the aircraft were
 recalled to the ship. For a long time that recall has been
 considered evidence of complicity of some in the US govt in the
 attack. That the aircraft were called back from going to the
 assistance of the Liberty, perhaps because the command did not
 want them to see too much.

 The BBC program reported that the aircraft were not sent to
 relieve the ship. They were launched to attack Cairo. The fleet
 command assumed it was Egypt that attacked the Liberty. And the
 alert aircraft were nuclear armed.

 Even back in 1967, the year I enlisted in the Air Force, they
 made a point of telling us all the protections against an
 accidental launch that were in place. Use of nuclear weapons
 required approval from the president. Yet the records of the
 time showed LBJ was caught by surprise by the attack, and was
 outraged. Which implies he knew nothing of it till a fair amount
 of time later. How they ever managed to launch a nuclear
 retaliation without presidential approval I cannot figure out.

 For a long time it was presumed the attack was to cover up the
 Israeli plan to attack and capture the Golan Heights. They
 supposedly did not want a US ship intercepting traffic about
 that attack. Esp since a truce was developing.

 This makes it look like, just maybe, the intent was to provoke
 the US into attacking Egypt. Esp since the Israeli's were so
 determined to sink the ship and kill the crew. Merely disabling
 the recon equipment would have been enough to prevent the

 Also the fact that the aircraft were unmarked suggests the Egypt
 scenario even more.

 If anyone in the US command were involved still remains
 unanswered. The Naval inquirey determined that the attack was a
 mistake, in spite of all the evidence, and LBJ and his advisors
 firm belief that it was not.

 Now the question is, what do we do about it? There is no
 statute of limitations on murder.

BOB KLAHN bob.klahn{at}

... In an unjust society the place for the just man is prison. H.D. Thoreau
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