Israeli Navy attatck US Ship - Murders 34 US sailors

Polytics.Irie

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Not a lot of people know this, but posted in light of the flotilla attack.

In 1967, the USS liberty was under sustained attack off the coast of Egypt, but well inside international waters.

Not a lot of Americans know this.

http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dj9VjNRpn4g

ok, so a typo in the header, let's see who tries to kick the info because of it.....
 
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Sync

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Can't see Youtube, but if it's the Liberty attack most Americans know about it. It was a huge news story back in the day, and every few years a survivor or researcher comes out with new evidence or opinion on the motivations behind the attack. What you meant to say was you didn't know about it until yesterday. If you did you wouldn't be throwing around the word murder over an unproven incident, or basing everything you know on Youtube.

The US concluded it was an accident, but since then you've had respected people come out and say that the report into the affair was a cover up by McNamara at the time. One of those things that's impossible to prove, but it's a very reasonable hypothisis to suggest that Israel did it to try and blame the Soviets in an effort to drag America into the war on their side

The NSA report is here http://www.nsa.gov/public_info/_files/uss_liberty/attack_sigint.pdf
 

disgruntledcitizen

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lots of people know that, and know the various theories and conspiracy theories associated with it also, but hey lets just dig it up yet again as just another way to criticize Israel some more :(
 

TheTipperaryMan

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The Liberty was hit by mistake.
The Israeli Air Force mistook it for an enemy ship.

These kind of incidents happen all the time in war when bombs or artillery land on a friendly position instead of the enemy because someone reads out the wrong map co-ordinates or a soldier who left his foxhole at night to take a crap in the bushes is accidentally shot dead by his own men on his return when he forgets the password when they issue a challenge in the dark.

There is no evidence whatsoever the Liberty incident was in any way deliberate.

Years later a Soviet air force fighter interceptor shot down a Korean 747 civilian airliner after the crew mistakenly flew into Soviet airspace and it was mistaken for an American spy plane due to heightened Cold War tension.

Tragic but accidental.
 

Sync

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No evidence aside from the testimony of sailors that Israelis flew over the ship frequently and could see the flag, the testimony of sailors who heard Israeli radio chatter IDing the US ship and the affadavits and statements from a former Captain, a former Admiral and a former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, all of whom have said that there was an active coverup by McNamara.

Apart from that, no evidence.
 

Conor the Bold

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No evidence aside from the testimony of sailors that Israelis flew over the ship frequently and could see the flag, the testimony of sailors who heard Israeli radio chatter IDing the US ship and the affadavits and statements from a former Captain, a former Admiral and a former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, all of whom have said that there was an active coverup by McNamara.

Apart from that, no evidence.
Actually you're right no evidence.

Q1. How can some sailors testify to what somebody else could see?
P1. The sailors can only provide one outlook on an event which involved many different people, services and factors. I'm sure some of the sailors thought that the Israeli's knowingly and deliberately attacked a US Flagged ship - however it does not stand up to the evidence outside of their testimony.

Q2. No sailors overheard Israeli Radio chatter - this requires a source.
P1. It was claimed that Israel 'Jammed' radio waves. They didn't in fact. Recently declassified NSA communication intercepts support the misidentification argument.

Q3. A Former captain, Admiral (of which I'm dubious if its the one oft claimed) and Chairman of the JCS is simply an appeal to authority with no actual supporting argument.

The USS Liberty was a tragic incident the result of a series of minor and major errors (mostly due to incompetence) and the fog of war.

But the three most important questions can only be answered reasonably one way.

Why attack the USS Liberty in the first place?
Why attack the USS Liberty with weapons unsuited to sinking the USS Liberty.
Why didn't the Israeli's actually sink the USS Liberty in the first place?
 

Conor the Bold

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Quote: "At 1431 hours an Israeli Torpedo hit the Liberty midship.........twenty-five more Americans died."

'The USS Liberty': America's Most Shameful Secret
Well done Breadan.

Now explain why USS Liberty was attacked with Napalm and guns by aircraft either returning from missions or being diverted from Close Air support Missions and why not even a single aircraft was carrying iron Bombs.

Ships aren't sunk by aircraft using cannons or napalm.

Also, while you're there, why didn't the Israeli's sink the ship in the first place?

And since you refered to the Torpedo boat incident, can you highlight who opened fire on who first? Was it the Israeli PT boats on Liberty or was it Liberty opening fire on the PT Boats?
 

Destiny's Soldier

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Don't mind the fake Tipperary Man. He/She probaby resides in Tel Aviv. As for Conor, he/she must be a paid disinfo merchant working for some network of criminal enterprise.

These are just spoilers. The "mistake" is a favourite word in Israeli lexicon. A "mistake" that lasted for 4 hours while the American Flag flew for the entire attack.

If it was such as "Mistake" why did LBJ call the captain of a nearby US ship to "call off the wings" -as in, prevent the other US ship in the area from sending aircraft to the USS Liberty's aid?

New revelations in attack on American spy ship - chicagotribune.com

The survivors interviewed by the Chicago Tribune uniformly agree that the Liberty was flying the Stars and Stripes before, during and after the attack, except for a brief period in which one flag that had been shot down was replaced with another, larger flag -- the ship's "holiday colors" -- that measured 13 feet long.

Concludes one of the declassified NSA documents: "Every official interview of numerous Liberty crewmen gave consistent evidence that indeed the Liberty was flying an American flag -- and, further, the weather conditions were ideal to ensure its easy observance and identification."


The Crew were threatened with court martial or worse (meaning termination of life) if they ever uttered a word about what happened.

Twenty minutes later, after the Liberty had been hit repeatedly by machine guns, 30 mm cannon and napalm from the Israelis' French-built Mirage and Mystere fighter-bombers, the controller directing the attack asked his chief in Tel Aviv to which country the target vessel belonged.

"Apparently American," the chief controller replied.


Fourteen minutes later the Liberty was struck amidships by a torpedo from an Israeli boat, killing 26 of the 100 or so NSA technicians and specialists in Russian and Arabic who were working in restricted compartments below the ship's waterline.



Analyst: Israelis wanted it sunk

The transcript published by the Jerusalem Post bore scant resemblance to the one that in 1967 rolled off the teletype machine behind the sealed vault door at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, where Steve Forslund worked as an intelligence analyst for the 544th Air Reconnaissance Technical Wing, then the highest-level strategic planning office in the Air Force.

"The ground control station stated that the target was American and for the aircraft to confirm it," Forslund recalled. "The aircraft did confirm the identity of the target as American, by the American flag.

"The ground control station ordered the aircraft to attack and sink the target and ensure they left no survivors."

Forslund said he clearly recalled "the obvious frustration of the controller over the inability of the pilots to sink the target quickly and completely."
 

Cellach

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Well done Breadan.

Now explain why USS Liberty was attacked with Napalm and guns by aircraft either returning from missions or being diverted from Close Air support Missions and why not even a single aircraft was carrying iron Bombs.
I was under the impression one of the Isreali Mirages fired an Exocet missile into the crew quarters. I think the source was Fisk's Great War for Civilisation.

Also if the intention behind the attack on the ship was intimidation rather then to sink then it would make sense not to arm the Mirages accordingly.
 

cozzy121

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Explains why the yanks are so afraid of Israel.
 

Conor the Bold

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Don't mind the fake Tipperary Man. He/She probaby resides in Tel Aviv. As for Conor, he/she must be a paid disinfo merchant working for some network of criminal enterprise.
That's right. Because nobody can ever have a different view to you, without being an conintelpro or whatever.

These are just spoilers. The "mistake" is a favourite word in Israeli lexicon. A "mistake" that lasted for 4 hours while the American Flag flew for the entire attack.
The attack lasted for '4' hours? The attack lasted 30 minutes if that.

If it was such as "Mistake" why did LBJ call the captain of a nearby US ship to "call off the wings" -as in, prevent the other US ship in the area from sending aircraft to the USS Liberty's aid?
He didn't. Funnily enough USS Captains didn't have then, and probably don't now, have a direct line to the president.

And "Nearby"? No other US ship was with in 200 miles of the conflict zone. Because it was exactly that, a conflict zone. The Israeli's were told this as well.


The Crew were threatened with court martial or worse (meaning termination of life) if they ever uttered a word about what happened.
I'm sure they weren't.

The Flag was flying or not is a red herring. From the Altitude, at the speed and angles which the aircraft and pilots were approaching and departing the liberty it would be unlikely that most could have seen a flag. They weren't maritime strike pilots nor trained as such so could not be expected to identify a ship from its outline.

As for the pilots seeing a flag after their attacks 20 minutes after their attacks, isn't this sort of the point? Since they have to rely their information back to their controllers, who have to shift the information up through the chain of command and then to the Israeli Navy and back down, all on what is a WWII era communications network, which is already heavily overloaded due to the fact Israel is fighting a war on 3 fronts, it is asking a bit much - edit - for realtime situational awareness of all parties..

As for Steve Forslund, its easy to make completely unsubtaniated claims. It's another one to back them up.

A simple question to debunk this claim is why did they send planes so plainly unsuited for Anti-shipping, to ship USS Liberty (And then get frustrated about it, when the planes wouldn't have been able to sink it in a month of Sundays...)
 
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Conor the Bold

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I was under the impression one of the Isreali Mirages fired an Exocet missile into the crew quarters. I think the source was Fisk's Great War for Civilisation.
You were?

1. Exocet started development in 1967 and it wasn't even deployed as an Air launched version in the French Navy until 1979.

2. Israel has never had Exocet...

Also if the intention behind the attack on the ship was intimidation rather then to sink then it would make sense not to arm the Mirages accordingly.
Intimidation? The USN already had all of its ships out of the conflict area anyway. The only reason why Liberty was in the area was because its routing orders got lost.

Why 'intimidate' the Liberty and then try and sink it with torpedos fired from PT boats?
 

Cellach

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You were?

1. Exocet started development in 1967 and it wasn't even deployed as an Air launched version in the French Navy until 1979.

2. Israel has never had Exocet...
It appears I was incorrect about the Exocet. Apolagies.
 

Conor the Bold

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It appears I was incorrect about the Exocet. Apolagies.
The story apparently goes that the Israeli's targeted the signals compartment with a torpedo.

Sounds sinister unless you know that the torpedo was unguided and that they launched 5 of them (4 of which missed completely).

If it still sounds sinister then why did the Israeli's try and establish contact with the Liberty and only commenced attack after they were fired upon by Liberty?
 

Conor the Bold

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Basically what people don't seem to get their head around, is that the Israeli's weren't that good at managing the battlespace. Then again they didn't have to be, because the people they fought happened to be more awful than them.

Friendly Fire incidents happen in war time. Occam's Razor and all that.
 

Green eyed monster

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There is a good article on the sustained assault on the vessel here...

The U.S.S. Liberty and the culture of impunity - Israel - Salon.com

Aside from the question of the motivation behind the sustained attack on the vessel, the question of blame, of criticism and of consequences remained unanswered...What seemed to baffle everyone even then was how the criticism was directed at the US Govt not the Israelis...

[T]he overall lack of criticism of Israel baffled some senior government leaders. The dogged press corps consistently challenged the administration on its Vietnam policy and ambitious social programs. In the case of the Liberty, the press aimed most of its critical questions at the American government. Israel in contrast enjoyed a reprieve. Reporters soon adopted the phrase 'accidental attack,' a description that frustrated Pentagon officials, who felt it minimized the ferocity of the sustained assault that had killed or injured two out of every three men on board...
Aside from the political arguments about not offending pro-Israeli voices at home during the Vietnam war when their support was needed, the opinions among the US military at the time was that it was a deliberate attack...

"We were quite convinced the Israelis knew what they were doing," [Thomas Hughes, director of the State Department's Intelligence office] later said. "It was hard to come to any other conclusion." Other senior staffers agreed, believing that Israel did not want the United States reading its wartime message traffic....

Despite Jerusalem's close ties with Washington, many State Department officials--and others in the intelligence community--believed the Jewish state's survival instinct was so strong that, if necessary, Israel would attack a close ally in the interest of self-preservation.... [According to William Wolle, former State Department:] "The feeling of those of us at the working level in NEA [State Department Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs] was that the Israelis had deliberately done this so that we couldn't read all of their communications, etc. We are their ally but they are not going to trust us when it comes to a wartime situation in terms of what information might get out, what we might pass along to someone. We all felt it was no accident."...
Perhaps the most serious long term fallout from the attack was a new realisation in Israel that from this point on it could get away with whatever it wanted with US, murdering their troops was the ultimate proof, there would be no reprisals no matter what it did - and true enough that has been the way things have evolved ever since 1967.

George Ball, the former undersecretary of state prior to [Nicholas] Katzenbach, wrote that the Liberty ultimately had a greater effect on policy in Israel than in the United States. "Israel's leaders concluded that nothing they migth do would offend Americans to the point of reprisal," Ball wrote. "If America's leaders did not have the courage to punish Israel for the blatant murder of American citizens, it seemed clear that their American friends would let them get away with anything."
In the end policies matter more than ordinary troops. Despite all the presentations of US troops as heroes, 'support the military', waving the flag etc at the end of the day Kissinger was probably right when he said...

"Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy"

The issue of doing right by those who died on the boat was certainly viewed as less important than upsetting certain political balances which existed at the time.
 

Conor the Bold

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Read their communications? What facility did Liberty have to intercept VHF radio and it had no Hebrew translators either?

Basically its just a crap article trying to relate to something new in the news.

Friendly Fire happens.
 
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Green eyed monster

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Read their communications? What facility did Liberty have to intercept VHF radio and it had no Hebrew translators either?
The article suggests they had this capability...

[With the Liberty] the United States had the capability to intercept and decipher VHF and UHF radio frequencies, common frequencies used for government and military communications...
As for translators, the Israelis probably assumed a ship that might be in the region to listen in on communications would have Hebrew speakers on board. It was an intelligence gathering vessel.

More recent revelations have confirmed the Israelis knew it was a US vessel...

Israeli communications said to prove IAF knew Liberty was U.S. ship - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

As with our own controversial issues such as Dublin and Monaghan some key transcripts have since 'gone missing' but high ranked people who have seen them testify to their authenticity...

According to the report, some of the transcripts and intelligence information have disappeared, while the rest can be found in U.S. government archives.

Oliver Kirby, the NSA's deputy director for operations at the time of the Liberty attack, is quoted by the Tribune as confirming the existence of the transcripts, saying he personally read them.

"They said, 'We've got him in the zero,'" Kirby was quoted as saying, "whatever that meant - I guess the sights or something. And then one of them said, 'Can you see the flag?' They said 'Yes, it's U.S, it's U.S.' They said it several times, so there wasn't any doubt in anybody's mind that they knew it."

Kirby told the newspaper that the transcripts were "something that's bothered me all my life. I'm willing to swear on a stack of Bibles that we knew they knew."
 

Herodotus

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Good article on the aid flotilla in the times. Gaza ships: the passenger list - Times Online

From the above article, something relating to this incident
The US Navy veteran

Joe Meadors, 63, of Texas, is a navy veteran. His wife Jean said yesterday evening that she believed he was safe, “but I’d like to hear that from him”.

She said his exact status, whether under arrest, detention or otherwise, was unclear.

Mr Meadors served aboard the US Navy intelligence ship USS Liberty that was attacked by Israeli forces in 1967, killing 34 crew members.

“He hasn’t had much luck with the Israelis,” his wife said.
His wife is right, he does not have much luck with them.
 


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