Sunday, September 19, 2010

Will the Truth ever be told? USS Liberty

June 8, 1967 the USS Liberty was attacked by Israeli planes and gunboats. 34 killed and 173 wounded.
Israel claimed it was a mistake and their pilots did not recognize it as an American ship, the fact that
two large American flags were flying not withstanding. Israel claimed and still claims it was mistaken for an Egyptian ship, and this was during the 6 Day War, so it was justified.

Many do not believe this and think it was a purposeful attempt to kill all those aboard the ship, and destroy the ship. Included in this group was then Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Thomas Moorer, CIA Director Richard Helms, National Security Agency deputy director Louis Tordella, Undersecretary of State George Ball, Undersecretary of the Navy Paul Warnke, Clark Clifford and Secretary of State Dean Rusk.

Planes from an American aircraft carrier were dispatched to assist the Liberty, but were recalled some say on orders from President Johnson. President Johnson admitted using the "hot line" to inform the Soviet Union that the planes were in flight to investigate.

Of course the Soviets had a large naval and intelligence presence in the Mediterranean and knew what had happened.

Some claim that in June 1967 President Johnson was planning to run for re-election and covered up the attack to avoid angering Jewish contributors and therefore covered up the incident.

The cover-up even extended to Arlington National Cemetery. The grave markers of six USS Liberty crewmen who died from the Israeli attack were noted "died in the Eastern Mediterranean June 8, 1967." Nothing indicated they had died as the result of hostile actions. In June 1982 just before the anniversary of the attack the markers were changed to read "Killed, USS Liberty June 8 1967."

The commanding officer of USS Liberty, who was severely wounded during the attack was awarded
the Medal of Honor; but instead of being bestowed upon him at the White House, as is normally done
with great pomp and honor, it was given to him at a small private ceremony at the Washington Navy Yard.

December 19, 1980 Israel and the United States decided that all information had been explored and decided to complete the investigation. Just about a month prior to that an American cargo ship SS Poet
was sunk after delivering arms to Iran as part of the "October Surprise", also sunk by Israeli forces.
The arms were to help ensure that Iran would not release the U.S. Embassy hostages held by Iran until after the November elections.

Thirty-four Americans were killed on the Poet, the same number that were killed in the attack on the USS Liberty. These men too were forgotten in another cover-up. Israel agreed to pay 6 million dollars
in addition to the 7 million dollars it had paid to the families of the 34 killed on the USS Liberty and the wounded crewmen.

So the State Department asked Israel to pay $17 million plus interest to repair the Liberty. Just a little
while after President Jimmy Carter was elected Israel ask Vice President Walter Mondale to forget the
10 million dollar interest and reduce the damages from 7.5 million to a mere 6 million, which of course
is exactly what happened.

More to come in another and later entry.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996