Acclaimed journalist and son of a survivor, author James Scott dedicated his extensively footnoted, compelling and dramatic account to his father, who lived to tell about it and the thirty-four sailors who did not.
On June 6, 1967, out of a crew of 294, thirty four were killed, 171 wounded and all scarred for life because the USA Government failed to support the troops who continue to request an open Congressional hearing to address the Israeli claim of mistaken identity.
Scott blows apart the only American investigation that was ever conducted; the U.S. Naval Court of Inquiry's white wash rush job that confirmed the Israeli claim which is contradicted by the facts that he uncovered.
Among many issues Scott illuminates, is that Israel’s chain of command were well aware of the Liberty’s true identity and he eviscerates their excuse of "mistaken identity" of the uniquely American flag waving ship.
Scott reveals how the American government de-emphasized the attack because of the war in Vietnam as he illuminates the American Government's preference in support of the Industrial Military Complex over the lives and well being of American servicemen.
Scott documents that Israeli pilots, air control staff and navy officers in Tel Aviv and Haifa were aware that before their unprovoked brutal torpedo attacks on the unarmed spy ship that the vessel was definitely American.
"More than twenty minutes before the fatal torpedo strike killed twenty-five sailors; Israel's chief air controller conclusively identified the Liberty as an American ship." [Page 216]
Many years after the attack, Lieutenant Colonel Shmuel Kislev, the chief air controller at general headquarters in Tel Aviv, confessed that he knew the U.S.S. LIBERTY was an American ship as soon as an Israeli pilot radioed in its hull numbers.
Two months before the sailor's mass burial at Arlington Cemetery, Navy analysis also uncovered that the Israeli torpedo boat gunners had targeted the spy ship with 40-mm tracer rounds made in the United States.
In 1967, the Republican representative from Iowa, H.R. Gross asked questions that still demand an answer today:
"Is this Government now, directly or indirectly, subsidizing Israel in the payment of full compensation for the lives that were destroyed, the suffering of the wounded, and the damage from this wanton attack? It can well be asked whether these Americans were the victims of bombs, machine gun bullets and torpedoes manufactured in the United States and dished out as military assistance under foreign aid." [Pages 271-272]
By November 1967, lawmakers were willing to spend six million USA tax dollars to build schools in Israel but during the debate, Representative Gross spoke with the voice of conscience and introduced an amendment that "not one dollar of U.S. credit or aid of any kind [should] go to Israel until there is a firm settlement with regard to the attack and full reparations have been made [and Israel] provides full and complete reparations for the killing and wounding of more than 100 United States citizens in the wanton, unprovoked attack…I wonder how you would feel if you were the father of one of the boys who was killed in that connection-or perhaps you do not have any feelings with respect to these young men who were killed, wounded and maimed, or their families." [Page 272-273]
Gross's amendment failed, justice remains delayed and American tax payers continue to support the Jewish State which has reaped a more violent and insecure planet for innocent civilians.
"Since the October War in 1973, Washington has provided Israel with a level of support dwarfing the amounts provided to any other state. It has been the largest annual recipient of direct U.S. economic and military assistance since 1976 and the largest total recipient since World War ll. Total direct U.S. aid to Israel amounts to well over $140 billion in 2003 dollars. Israel receives about $3 billion in direct foreign assistance each year, which is roughly one-fifth of America's entire foreign aid budget. In per capita terms, the United States gives each Israeli a direct subsidy worth about $500 per year. This largesse is especially striking when one realizes that Israel is now a wealthy industrial state with a per capita income roughly equal to South Korea or Spain.”
During Fiscal Year 2007, the Congressional Research Service’s “U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel,” written by Jeremy M. Sharp, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs, [updated January 2, 2008] reported that the US gave Israel at least $2,500.2 million in 2007. This number does not include the $137.894 million we spent on joint U.S.-Israeli missile defense projects or the $1.4 billion in loan guarantees made available to Israel in 2007. [Ibid]
While U.S. economic aid to Israel has been phased out, it has been replaced with increased military aid of $3.1 billion each year out of American wallets that go to provide even more weapons of destruction to one of the most powerful militaries the world has ever known.
The United States has given more money to Israel than to any other country, and the "indirect or consequential costs to the American taxpayer as a result of Washington’s blind support for Israel exceed by many times the amount of direct U.S. aid to Israel. Some of these ‘indirect or consequential’ costs would include the costs to U.S. manufacturers of the Arab boycott, the costs to U.S. companies and consumers of the Arab oil embargo and consequent soaring oil prices as a result of U.S. support for Israel in the 1973 war, and the costs of U.S. unilateral economic sanctions on Iran, Iraq, Libya and Syria. [Ibid]
During the Bush Administration, Israel killed more than 3,000 Palestinian civilians-including more than 1,000 children during its December-January war on the Gaza Strip-with U.S. made weapons in violation of the Arms Export Control and Foreign Assistance Acts. In 2007, the United States agreed to increase military aid to Israel by 25% over the next decade, totaling $30 billion.
"This request for an increase in military aid to Israel comes despite the fact that Israel consistently misuses U.S. weapons in violation of the Arms Export Control and Foreign Assistance Acts." 
The Pentagon dismantled the spy ship program in 1968 while survivors and supporters continue to pursue justice. A letter-writing campaign to Congress has been established to request a new Court of Inquiry and also that the Congressional Record on June 8th, 2009 will be the first annual "USS LIBERTY Remembrance Day."
USS Liberty Survivor, Dick Carlson, a member of the National Cryptological Veterans Association, is asking all survivors and supporters to send a snail mail letter to their Congressional representatives  which I slightly edited and have mailed to:
Dear President Obama, Senator Martinez, Senator Nelson and Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite,
As we approach the 42nd anniversary of the attack of the USS LIBERTY it is appropriate that all Americans pause a moment to remember the survivors of the attack on the U.S.S. LIBERTY and to observe a national moment of silence for the 34 sailors who died and the 171 wounded on June 8, 1967, aboard the USS LIBERTY that was patrolling in international waters of the Mediterranean when Israeli planes and torpedo boats attacked the ship.
June 8, 1967, will remain a day of infamy because it was the first time in history that the US NAVY was delayed from coming to the aid of an American Ship under attack. Although, planes were launched from the USS SARATOGA, they were called back by the Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara and President Johnson accepted the Israeli excuse as he did not want to embarrass an ally.
Israel paid minimal compensation to the families of the crew and six million for damages to the unarmed spy ship which in fact should have exceeded 40 million. Israel has never acknowledged that the attack was premeditated and instead, blamed the victims.
In recent years, Admiral Moorer, General Raymond Davis, Rear Admiral Staring, Ambassador James Akins and others have come forth stating the attack was deliberate. They have asked that a new Court of Inquiry be convened by the Department of the Navy, operating with Congressional oversight, to thoroughly investigate the attack on the USS LIBERTY, which is the only way justice can be rendered to the survivors.
Admiral Moorer and his distinguished colleagues have called for June 8th to be known as “USS LIBERTY Remembrance Day, in order to commemorate the Liberty’s heroic crew”.
I ask for your support in opening a new Court of Inquiry, so that the survivors who have been denied justice for 42 years will have their voices recorded and Americans will know what these heroes endured.
Might this June 8th see justice begin to be served by entering into the Congressional Record: USS LIBERTY Remembrance Day.
Most Sincerely and with HOPE,
"HOPE has two children. The first is ANGER at the way things are. The second is COURAGE to DO SOMETHING about it."-St. Augustine
THE ATTACK ON THE LIBERTY: The Untold Story of Israel’s Deadly 1967 Assault on a U.S. Spy Ship by James Scott. Simon & Schuster, June 2009.
The Untold Story of Israel’s Deadly 1967 Assault on a U.S. Spy Ship can be pre-ordered before publication date of June 2, 2009 @
My interviews with a few of the LIBERTY survivors:
The Blow Back from "My nightmare in the Mediterranean" : 6th in the LIBERTY series "It was God that kept us afloat" Read more...
Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
Eileen Fleming,is a Citizen of CONSCIENCE for US House of Representatives 2012 Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org Staff Member of Salem-news.com, A Feature Correspondent for Arabisto.com Producer "30 Minutes with Vanunu" and "13 Minutes with Vanunu" (more...)
The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.
This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.
To view all comments:
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)