Sunday, February 25, 2024

USS Liberty – Tragic Blunder or Mass Murder? – OffGuardian - Martin Hanson

"Never before in the history of the US Navy has a Navy board of inquiry ignored the testimony of American eyewitnesses and taken, on faith, the word of their attackers”
Captain Dr. Richard Kiepfer, USS Liberty survivor

“A danger to national security exists whenever elected officials are willing to subordinate American interests to those of any foreign nation, and specifically are unwilling to challenge Israel’s interests when they conflict with American interests.”
Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1970-1974

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”
Mark Twain

At dawn on June 14, 1967 a battered American intelligence-gathering ship, the USS Liberty limped into the Grand Harbor at Valletta, Malta.

Six days earlier it had been attacked and almost sunk by Israeli air and naval forces while in international waters 13 miles off the coast of Egypt. Fewer than a third of the ship’s complement of 294 escaped death or injury in what survivors are convinced was a deliberate attempt by the Israelis to sink the ship with all hands.

What was the ship doing there? Though a naval ship manned by naval crew, the Liberty was a state-of-the art intelligence gathering ship. Bristling with radio antennae, its National Security Agency (NSA) staff below decks could eavesdrop on radio communications in nearby countries. On board were NSA linguists able to intercept and understand communications in Russian and Arabic. In response to rising tensions between Israel and its Arab neighbors, the Liberty had been sent to the Eastern Mediterranean from its previous location off the coast of West Africa.

The ship arrived at its destination just in time for the beginning of the ‘six-day-war’ on June 5, in which Israel inflicted devastating surprise attacks on the air forces of Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq, destroying hundreds of planes before they could get off the ground. Israel now occupied the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Only Syria was still resisting; Israel had not yet taken the Golan Heights. This would have involved rushing troops and materiel north from Sinai to the Syrian border, for which secrecy was essential. The presence of the Liberty therefore posed a threat to the completion of General Dyan’s plans......

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