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The USS LIBERTY Incident


Evan Burton
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This thread has also been useful insofar as the question of James Jesus Angleton's loyalties is concerned. The suspicion that JJA's loyalties lay primarily with the state of Israel has been further strengthened by links posted by Len Colby.
Nice try Mark but unsupported claims by anyone, let alone people with "axes to grind" proves nothing.

Why do you claim that the suggestion that JJA was Israel's man was made by someone with 'an axe to grind'? Do you have evidence in support of your claim?

My post is merely recognition that having had time recently to go through the thread in detail, I have come to the conclusion that:

1. Much of your argument that the attack on the Liberty was a case of mistaken identity is actually quite weak and

2. You provided further corroboration if JJA's treachery.

On the latter point you deserve credit. An own goal is still a goal.

Edited by Mark Stapleton
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Why did Israel attack USS Liberty?

By Raffi Berg

BBC News

June 8, 2007

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6690425.stm

Nice of the BBC to assign an unbiased correspondent to report on the USS Liberty anniversary - but surely it would be cheaper and easier for the Beeb to subcontract the entire article to Haaretz or the Jerusalem Post?

Having said that, the reference to Peter Hounam's book on the USS Liberty is very useful. I wasn't aware of it before.

Yes I'm surprised they didn't enlist Mark Regev or (dare I say it) Phillip Adams to report the story:

NEWSFLASH NEWSFLASH---On the 40th anniversary of the Liberty attack we have just discovered it was all an innocent misunderstanding. That is all.

(Now back to the war on terror)

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Paul Findley: Subservience To Israel, from the sinking of the Liberty to now

Jewish Anti-Zionist activist Jeff Blankfort introduces Paul Findley's recent article about the USS Liberty as follows:

Former US Congressman Paul Findley was one of the first members of Congress to be victimized by the Israel lobby for questioning Israel's oppression of the Palestinians and US support for that oppression.

Since that time, other members of Congress who have publicly challenged Israel have been targeted for defeat, the most recent being Cynthia McKinney, who like Findley, is continuing to speak out.

Unfortunately, the fear of the lobby that Findley describes here, and which has been dismissed as a myth or as an exaggeration by some among us who are engaged in "damage control" for the lobby, is all too real as we see when looking at both houses of Congress today. Whereas there are a number of House members who will occasionally vote against the Israel's lobby wishes, there is not a SINGLE one today in either the House or Senate who will publicly speak out either on the floor of Congress or in public on behalf of the Palestinians. Sad to say, this phenomenon continues to be ignored by most of the organizations that purport to support the Palestinian cause.

For those of you who have yet to read it, Findley's "They Dare to Speak Out" is strongly recommended-JB

THE HIGH COST OF SUBSERVIENCE TO ISRAEL by Paul Findley

June 8, 2007

In the greatest service of his long public life, former President Jimmy

Carter warns of the grave consequences of America’s phenomenal

subservience to Israel. In his latest book and recent lectures, he

focuses on how Israel’s cruel occupation, made possible by massive and

unconditional U.S. support, has subjected the Palestinian people to

terrible suffering for forty long years. Beyond that grave human

tragedy, candid observers must cite U.S. complicity in Israeli

lawlessness as the major factor that prompted the horror of 9/11 and

lured America into launching three costly, wrong-headed, and failing

wars, —Afghanistan, Iraq and the War on Terror

The linkage is easily identified.

America’s support of Israel’'s brutality was the main motivation for

9/11. It was the ultimate expression of Arab fury over America’'s

double standard that routinely ignores Israeli violations of Arab human

rights. Nine-eleven would not have happened if any U.S. president in

the last forty years had refused to finance Israel’'s humiliation and

destruction of Palestine. Michael Scheuer, a former CIA analyst now a

consultant to CBS News, recently told a congressional committee that

“our unqualified support of Israel” was the main reason for 9/11.

Marine General Anthony Zinni, President George W. Bush'’s first special

envoy to the Middle East, has stated that the United States invaded Iraq

for Israel and oil. Osama bin Laden repeatedly said it was payback for

U.S. support of Israel’s brutal treatment of Palestinians and other

Arabs and for U.S. complicity in 1982 when Israeli forces used

U.S.-donated munitions to massacre over 18,000 innocent Arabs in Lebanon.

The U.S. acts of war in Afghanistan and the War on Terror were President

Bush’s retaliation for 9/11. Israel—and only Israel—urged the United

States to invade Iraq. Israel’'s lobby in Washington pushed hard and

prevailed. To our foreign critics, these wars focus on killing people

outraged by our pro-Israel bias. Our government has done nothing to

redress the grievances of Israel’'s victims.

Despite this grim record, U.S. subservience to the wishes of Israel’'s

leaders does not change. Unconditional aid to Israel keeps flowing, as

does Israel’'s savage treatment of Palestinians and other Arabs.

Moreover, the Bush administration is fully and openly pledged to do

whatever is necessary—--even acts of war--to halt Iran'’s nuclear

program even if its projects are lawfully limited to peaceful purposes.

Israel is the only nation urging the United States to attack Iran.

The lobby is pushing hard again. If the U.S. assaults Iran it will be on

Israel'’s behalf.

Congress, like the rest of America, is totally devoid of debate on the

amazing role of this small nation in critical U.S. policy. Members are

fulsome in public praise of the Jewish state, but no politician mentions

the illegal behavior of Israel or the staggering burden it imposes on

our country.

How did Israel gain this influence?

It all started 40 years ago. On June 8, 1967, the U.S.

commander-in-chief, President Lyndon B. Johnson, turned his back on the

crew of a U.S. navy ship, the USS Liberty, despite the fact that the

ship was under deadly assault by Israel’'s air and sea forces. The

Israelis were engaged in an ugly scheme to lure America into their war

against Arab states. They tried to destroy the Liberty and its entire

crew, then pin the blame on the Arabs. This, they reasoned, would

outrage the American people and immediately lead the United States to

join Israel’'s battle against Arabs.

The scheme almost worked. It failed because, despite the

carefully-planned multi-pronged assault, the Liberty crew managed to

broadcast an SOS over a makeshift antenna. When the appeal reached U.S.

aircraft carriers nearby, the commanders immediately launched fighter

planes to defend the ship. Informed of the launch, President Johnson

ordered the rescue planes to turn back immediately.

For the first time in history, forces of the U.S. Navy were denied the

right to defend a Navy ship under attack. Johnson said, “I don't care

if the ship sinks, I am not going to embarrass an ally.” Those were his

exact words, heard by Navy personnel listening to radio relays. The

ally Johnson refused to embarrass was Israel. To him, saving Israel

from embarrassment was more important than saving the lives of the

Liberty crew.

The day yielded infamy, —deceit, lies and cover-up at the highest level.

When the SOS reached the top military commanders in Israel, they

immediately canceled ousHous the assault, claiming it was a case of

mistaken identity. ousHous At the White House, Johnson accepted

Israel’'s claim, even though he knew it was a lie. Then Johnson

magnified the day'’s infamy by ordering a cover-up of the truth.

Liberty survivors were sworn to secrecy. Even those in hospital beds

and badly wounded were threatened with court martial if they told anyone

what actually happened. The cover-up has been continued by every

administration since Johnson'’s.

It proved to be a fateful turning point in Israel’'s power over U.S.

foreign policy. The Liberty experience convinced Israeli officials that

they could get by with literally anything--—even the murder of U.S.

sailors--in their manipulation of the U.S. government. Financial aid to

Israel began to pour like a river, all of it with no stings attached.

According to The Christian Science Monitor, this outpouring has now cost

U.S. taxpayers over $1.4 trillion. Costs go far beyond money.

Thousands of American families are blighted forever, with America’'s

once high moral standing in shambles. Because of its unqualified

support of Israel, Washington is hated worldwide as never before.

The principal source of Israel’'s influence is the fear it seems to

instill in every sector of our society. The most effective instrument

of intimidation employed by its lobby is the reckless accusation of

anti-Semitism, often leveled at anyone criticizing any aspect of Israeli

behavior. Several organizations, fundamentalist Christian as well as

Jewish, lobby for Israel, but the principal one is the American Israel

Public Affairs Committee [AIPAC]. I can personally certify that for

many years it has cast a blanket of fear over Capitol Hill and blocked

any semblance of unfettered discussion.

I unintentionally contributed to that fear in 1985 when my book, They

Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’'s Lobby, was

published. It reports in detail the efficiency of Israel’'s U.S. lobby,

its history and tactics. Most of the text arose from my personal

experience as AIPAC'’s prime target during my last five years as a

Member of Congress. It also details the lobby'’s important role in

the defeat of Senators Charles Percy and Adlai Stevenson, and U.S. Rep.

Paul “Pete” McCloskey. In a rare burst of public candor about its

partisan activities, AIPAC claimed credit for defeating re-election bids

by myself in 1982 and Senator Percy in 1984.

My book became a bestseller. I hoped it would inspire public officials

and other citizens to revolt against the lobby'’s influence on U.S.

policy, but several of my former colleagues told me it had the opposite

effect. One said, “After what AIPAC did to you and Percy, I vote with

the lobby every time.”

Israel'’s grip on America seems impervious. Two distinguished political

scientists, John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen

Walt of Harvard, strode resolutely into the Middle East minefield a year

ago by co-authoring a paper on Israel’'s lobby. More recently,

Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, a book written by former President

Carter, revered worldwide for his effective work on international

conflict resolution, was published.

These brave statements should have produced a groundswell of public

protest demanding America'’s liberation from Israel. Although the

professors and Carter have pursued the lecture circuit, no tide of

outrage has developed. With few exceptions, America’'s major editors,

producers, commentators, academics and politicians have given these

courageous initiatives the silent treatment. Democratic leaders on

Capitol Hill simply said, “Carter doesn't not speak for the Democratic

Party.”

Nationwide, the lobby'’s influence is pervasive, sustained and deep, a

phenomenon unprecedented in U.S. history. Because of that power, the

“other” Israel is almost never discussed openly and candidly any place

in America, even in private conversation. It is impossible to explain

the silence except as a reflection of profound fear.

The situation is highly dangerous. America has already paid a towering

price for our subservience to Israel, and great additional burdens seem

inevitable. If the United States is involved in acts of war against

Iran, anti-American protest will rise to new heights, especially

throughout the Islamic world. It will inevitably deepen the widely-held

belief among Muslims that America seeks to undermine Islam.

The outlook for reform is grim. Elected officials of both major

political parties in Washington seem hopelessly captured by Israel’'s

agents. So does every serious candidate for the presidency in 2008. A

senior U.S. Senator told me recently that Israel cannot expect to

experience true security until Palestinians are secure in an independent

state of their own, but he spoke off the record and has not made that

wise declaration in public.

All U.S. citizens must accept a measure of responsibility for Israel’'s

grip on America. Those of us who knew what was happening did not

protest with sufficient force and clarity. Those who did not know

should have taken their responsibility as citizens more seriously. They

should have informed themselves.

The scene is likely to improve only if U.S. elected officials are

criticized so forthrightly from home that they fear a constituent revolt

more than they fear Israel’'s lobby. This, of course, will not happen

until the countryside benefits from a rigorous and edifying public

debate about Israel’'s role in our national life. --

Paul Findley, a U.S. Representative from Illinois 1961-83, resides in

Jacksonville, Illinois. He is the author of five books, including the

Washington Post seven-week bestseller, They Dare to Speak Out: People

and Institutions Confront Israel'’s Lobby, originally published by

Lawrence Hill.

Edited by Sid Walker
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In this article, the chief counsel to the Navy's Court of Inquiry into the attack on the USS Liberty expresses outrage at the efforts of Israel's apologists to claim this attack was a case of “mistaken identity.

Time for the truth about the Liberty

By Ward Boston Jr.

June 8, 2007

Forty years ago this week, I was asked to investigate the heaviest attack on an American ship since World War II. As senior legal counsel to the Navy Court of Inquiry, it was my job to help uncover the truth regarding Israel's June 8, 1967, bombing of the Navy intelligence ship Liberty.

On that sunny, clear day 40 years ago, Israel's combined air and naval forces attacked the Liberty for two hours, inflicting 70 percent casualties. Thirty-four American sailors died, and 172 were injured. The Liberty remained afloat only by the crew's heroic efforts.

Israel claimed it was an accident. Yet I know from personal conversations with the late Adm. Isaac C. Kidd – president of the Court of Inquiry – that President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara ordered him to conclude that the attack was a case of “mistaken identity.”

The ensuing cover-up has haunted us for 40 years. What does it imply for our national security, not to mention our ability to honestly broker peace in the Middle East, when we cannot question Israel's actions – even when they kill Americans?

Today, survivors of Israel's cruel attack will gather in Washington, D.C., to honor their dead shipmates as well as the mothers, sisters, widows and children they left behind. They will continue to ask for a fair and impartial congressional inquiry that, for the first time, would allow the survivors themselves to testify publicly.

For decades, I have remained silent. I am a military man, and when orders come in from the secretary of defense and president of the United States, I follow them. However, attempts to rewrite history and concern for my country compel me to share the truth.

Adm. Kidd and I were given only one week to gather evidence for the Navy's official investigation, though we both estimated that a proper Court of Inquiry would take at least six months.

We boarded the crippled ship at sea and interviewed survivors. The evidence was clear. We both believed with certainty that this attack was a deliberate effort to sink an American ship and murder its entire crew.

I am certain the Israeli pilots and commanders who had ordered the attack knew the ship was American. I saw the bullet-riddled American flag that had been raised by the crew after their first flag had been shot down completely. I heard testimony that made it clear the Israelis intended there be no survivors. Not only did they attack with napalm, gunfire and missiles, Israeli torpedo boats machine-gunned at close range three life rafts that had been launched in an attempt to save the most seriously wounded.

I am outraged at the efforts of Israel's apologists to claim this attack was a case of “mistaken identity.”

Adm. Kidd told me that after receiving the president's cover-up orders, he was instructed to sit down with two civilians from either the White House or the Department of Defense and rewrite portions of the court's findings. He said, “Ward, they're not interested in the facts. It's a political matter, and we cannot talk about it.” We were to “put a lid on it” and caution everyone involved never to speak of it again.

I know that the Court of Inquiry transcript that has been released to the public is not the same one that I certified and sent to Washington. I know this because it was necessary, due to the exigencies of time, to hand-correct and initial a substantial number of pages. I have examined the released version of the transcript and did not see any pages that bore my hand corrections and initials. Also, the original did not have any deliberately blank pages, as the released version does. In addition, the testimony of Lt. Lloyd Painter concerning the deliberate machine-gunning of the life rafts by the Israeli torpedo boat crews, which I distinctly recall being given at the Court of Inquiry and including in the original transcript, is now missing.

I join the survivors in their call for an honest inquiry. Why is there no room to question Israel – even when it kills Americans – in the halls of Congress?

Let the survivors testify. Let me testify. Let former intelligence officers testify that they received real-time Hebrew translations of Israeli commanders instructing their pilots to sink “the American ship.”

Surely uncovering the truth about what happened to American servicemen in a bloody attack is more important than protecting Israel. And surely 40 years is long enough to wait.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Boston served as chief counsel to the Navy's Court of Inquiry into the attack on the U.S. Navy intelligence ship Liberty. He also served as a naval aviator in World War II on the carrier Yorktown and as an FBI agent prior to his assignment to the Navy's Judge Advocates General Corps. He is a graduate of the the College of William and Mary School of Law and a resident of Coronado

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This thread has also been useful insofar as the question of James Jesus Angleton's loyalties is concerned. The suspicion that JJA's loyalties lay primarily with the state of Israel has been further strengthened by links posted by Len Colby.
Nice try Mark but unsupported claims by anyone, let alone people with "axes to grind" proves nothing.

Why do you claim that the suggestion that JJA was Israel's man was made by someone with 'an axe to grind'? Do you have evidence in support of your claim?
I was obviously referring to Alexander Cockburn, who makes no secret of his disdain for Israel, and Victor Marchetti who very obviously had a beef with the CIA. Marchetti was not part of Angleton’s counter-intelligence division so there is a good chance he didn’t like the man even before he became disillusioned with “the Agency” and quit. And the fact that he was addressing a group of Holocaust deniers at the time indicates he probably wasn’t overly fond of Israel either.
My post is merely recognition that having had time recently to go through the thread in detail, I have come to the conclusion that:

1. Much of your argument that the attack on the Liberty was a case of mistaken identity is actually quite weak

If that’s the case you should easily be able to counter my arguments, so far you haven’t even tried
and

2. You provided further corroboration if JJA's treachery.

On the latter point you deserve credit. An own goal is still a goal.

Wrong again for reasons already stated. Simple claims of “JJA's treachery” (or anything) without any corroboration. especially when we expect the claimant to say such things, prove nothing. A link provided by a creationist to a Baptist minister saying Evolution is nonsense would have just as much evidentiary value.

Edited by Len Colby
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In this article, the chief counsel to the Navy's Court of Inquiry into the attack on the USS Liberty expresses outrage at the efforts of Israel's apologists to claim this attack was a case of “mistaken identity.

The recent claims of the octogenarian Mr. Boston aren't very credible for reasons I spelled out in post # 70

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.ph...st&p=104393

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If that’s the case you should easily be able to counter my arguments, so far you haven’t even tried

Now that I have had time to check you arguments and the sources underpinning them, I'll give it a try.

On May 2 (post #35), you posted this article from the HNN archives--a blurb promoting A Jay Cristol's upcoming book. You prefaced posting this link by claiming to Sid Walker that "actually there was a Hebrew linguist on board the Liberty":

USS Liberty: Israel Did Not Intend to Bomb the Ship

By A. Jay Cristol

Mr. Cristol is the author of the forthcoming The Liberty Incident.

Editor's Note: This summer HNN devoted a special edition to Israel's attack on the USS Liberty in 1967 during the Six Day War, which resulted in the deaths of 34 Americans. Israel insists the attack was an accident. Many others contend it was deliberate, among them, James Bamford, author of Body of Secrets., which has attracted a great deal of attention. A. Jay Cristol, a federal bankruptcy judge in Florida, has spent 14 years researching the incident and has been allowed exlusive access to Israeli archives and officials. His long-awaited book, The Liberty Incident, will be published in March by Brassey. In the piece below, Judge Cristol critiques the claims advanced by Mr. Bamford. The judge's conclusion? Mr. Bamford is guilty of telling "tall tales."

Bamford: Describes the attack on the U.S.S. Liberty as "unprovoked."

Fact: He completely ignores that the United States had publicly announced to the world at the United Nations Security Council only two days before June 8, 1967 that it had no warships within hundreds of miles of the combat zone. The chain of reactions were started by an Israeli army report of explosions at El Arish. Since Israel controlled the air and the ground, they made the assumption that they were being shelled from the sea and a warship was in eye view. In view of the U.S. public announcement, it seems more logical for the Israelis to have assumed that a haze grey warship sailing within eye view of the ongoing combat was an enemy vessel rather than a U.S. ship.

Bamford: "Israel fighters and torpedo boats assaulted the ship for more than an hour."

Fact: The air attack lasted about 12 minutes and was terminated as soon as the Israel Air Force determined the ship was not an Arab ship. While the Air Force was initiating rescue operations, the torpedo boats approached, stopped, and began signaling to the Liberty. The response of the Liberty was to begin shooting at the torpedo boats which thereupon began the torpedo attack. It lasted less than 15 minutes during which time the navy torpedo boats believed they were facing an enemy who initiated the shooting at them.

Bamford: The Israeli attackers used "cannon fire, rockets, heavy bombs, burning napalm and five torpedoes"

Fact: No rockets were fired at Liberty. No bombs, "heavy" or otherwise, were used. The attacking aircraft were not armed to attack a ship. Had they dropped the standard 500 pound iron bombs normally used against ship targets, the Liberty would very likely have been sunk in minutes. (During the battle of Midway in World War II, U.S. Navy dive bombers using standard 500 pound iron bombs sank three Japanese aircraft carriers in ten minutes.) Four napalm canisters [bombs] were dropped by the attacking aircraft. At least three and possibly all missed. The Liberty's doctor reported no treatment of any crew member for napalm burns.

Bamford: "Israeli reconnaissance planes had positively identified the ship"

Fact: A routine Israel Navy reconnaissance flight at dawn on June 8 sighted Liberty at about 6:00 A.M. steaming southeasterly and south more than 70 miles further west of El Arish. Positive identification was made and the information passed to Naval Intelligence Headquarters and the Liberty was marked on the battle control board at Naval Headquarters. Five hours later, the Liberty mark was considered old information and removed from the battle control board. At 11:00 A.M., shifts changed and the information about the Liberty was not known to the officer who assumed command. At about 1:00 P.M., when the presence of a ship steaming west, 14 miles off the coast of the Sinai and reported to be shelling Israel Army positions from the sea became a tactical issue, the Navy Officer in command did not know about the dawn sighting of Liberty many miles to the west.

Bamford: "Throughout the attack, according to survivors, the Liberty was flying a large American flag,"

Fact: Immediately prior to the air attack, the Liberty had a 5 by 8-foot American flag hoisted but because of the light wind conditions it probably was not extended. This is the Finding of Fact number 2. of the U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry of June 18, 1967. As a matter of fact, a reference to the formula for visual acuity reveals that a flag that size, if fully extended in good light would not be identifiable beyond 1323 feet and the attacking aircraft never came that close. It is also the undisputed testimony of the Commanding Officer of the Liberty that the 5 by 8-foot flag was shot away on the first strafing run. A second, larger, 7 by 13 foot flag was hoisted after the air attack and prior to the torpedo attack but it was engulfed in smoke and thus was not an identification factor during the attacks. The first actual sighting of an American flag on the Liberty was made by an Israeli helicopter pilot more than 30 minutes after both air and sea attacks were over.

Bamford: "Nowicki heard both the pilots and the torpedo boat crew members referring to the American flag during the attack,"

"Nowicki also heard the pilots talk about the American flag."

Fact: No reference to an American flag was made on any radio intercept until 1512, approximately 30 minutes after the attack was over. I have obtained transcripts of the Israel Air Force tapes which confirm this. I have an appeal pending before the National Security Agency for release of their tapes, which are the tapes described by Bamford. Release of these tapes by NSA will corroborate both what Nowicki originally told Bamford as well as the transcripts of the Israel Air Force tapes. That is the attack was a mistake.

Bamford: [The Liberty] "had its name painted in English in ten-foot letters across the stern."

Fact: The name Liberty on the curved stern of the ship was not larger than 18 inches and because of the curvature of the stern, was extremely difficult to read under any circumstances. The ships identifier, "GTR-5" was painted on both sides of the ship near the bow and near the stern but only the number "5" was ten feet tall. The "GTR" was substantially smaller. It was the sighting of these markings by the second wave of aircraft that identified the ship as not an Arab ship and resulted in immediate termination of the air attack.

Bamford: "Among those who never believed Israel's explanation are the survivors and the captain of the ship."

Fact: The captain of the ship, William L. McGonagle, testified under oath before the U.S. navy Court of Inquiry on June 13, 1967 "I realized that there was a possibility of the aircraft having been Israeli and the attack having been conducted in error." [emphasis added] [Court of Inquiry Record, p. 39] Bamford attributes rejection of the Israel explanation of mistaken identity to "The Survivors." This infers all the survivors. Again, this is not a true statement.

Bamford: "Among those who never believed Israel's explanation are ... Secretary of State, Dean Rusk and Chief of Naval Operations (and later Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) Admiral Thomas Moorer;"

Fact: Dean Rusk never accepted the Israeli explanation but when I asked him in an interview at Athens, Georgia on April 5, 1989 on what evidence he based his opinion, he conceded that he never read the U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry findings, the CIA Report, or the Clark Clifford Report. When pressed further, he said, "I did not make a career of studying the evidence."

Admiral Moorer was Commander in Chief Atlantic on the day of the attack on the Liberty and became Chief of Naval Operations on August 1, 1967. In two interviews in Washington, D.C. on February 10, 1989 and May 3, 1990, he explained that the Liberty's identity could not be mistaken because she was the "Ugliest ship in the Navy" and was larger in size than the Egyptian ship for which she was mistaken. The CIA Report concludes the opposite, that the two ships could be mistaken. Ironically, the findings of the U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry were approved by Moorer's office while he was the Chief of Naval Operations.

Bamford: [The Liberty] never fired a shot."

Fact: This statement is a lie. The evidence has been undisputed for more than three decades that when the torpedo boats approached, stopped, and began signaling, the Liberty began shooting at them. Captain McGonagle, the commanding officer, testified to this under oath at the U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry and reconfirmed it in a videotaped press conference on board Liberty when the ship returned to the United States. He may be observed on videotape telling of the Liberty firing at the torpedo boats in the Thames TV documentary, Attack on the Liberty, aired on British television on January 27, 1987.

Bamford: "The evidence that Israel's attack was deliberate is overwhelming." [He refers to] "the mountain of evidence in my book indicating that Israel knew the ship was American."

Fact: All attacks are inherently deliberate. The question is: did the Israelis attack knowing that it was an American ship. Ten official U.S. investigations and three official Israeli investigations have all concluded that the attack was a tragic mistake or that there is no evidence to establish that it was not a tragic mistake. Seven U. S. Presidents, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Regan, Bush, and Clinton have all accepted the conclusion that the attack was a tragic mistake. Still, more than two dozen conspiracy theories, most of which like Mr. Bamford's conspiracy theory, are based on false or erroneous premises, and have been circulating for years. They all start from the assumption that all the above investigations were wrong or a deliberate cover up; that the Israelis knew they were attacking an American ship; and the only question is: "Why". Bamford's book presents a mountain of allegations but no credible evidence to prove the allegations.

Bamford: Refers to Marvin Nowicki plus "another Hebrew linguist" who, he says, "is" confident that the Israeli attack was a deliberate attack.

Fact: Here again Mr. Bamford lies. Dr. Marvin Nowicki, the U.S. Navy Hebrew linguist on the NSA EC-121 aircraft who heard the Israeli Air Force pilots' radio transmissions and supervised their recording, told Mr. Bamford exactly the opposite, that is Nowicki is certain the attack was a mistake. In an e-mail letter dated March 3, 2000, a copy of which was provided to me by Nowicki and which will be published in full in my forthcoming book, Nowicki wrote to Bamford, "...we recorded most, if not all, of the attack. Further, our intercepts, never before made public, showed the attack to be an accident on the part of the Israelis." Dr. Nowicki's letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal published on May 16, 2001 unequivocally contradicts what Bamford attributes to him. Nowicki said in the Wall Street Journal letter: "My position, which is opposite of Mr. Bamford's, is the attack, ..., was a gross error." There are not one, but two other NSA connected Hebrew linguists that, according to Dr. Nowicki, have heard the tapes and share his - not Bamford's - alleged conclusions.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ABOUT JUDGE CRISTOL: He is a former U.S. Navy carrier pilot, and a lecturer for the Department of Defense on the Law of Naval Warfare. He retired from my Naval service with the rank of Captain. He is professionally knowledgeable about air combat and naval matters. He has spent fourteen years researching one question about the Liberty incident: did the Israelis attack her knowing she was a U.S. ship ("No") or was it a case of mistaken identity ("Yes")? This study was his doctoral dissertation accepted in 1997 by the Graduate School of International Studies of the University of Miami and is on file in the Library of Congress.

The quotations attributed to Mr. Bamford were taken from a statement he published in the New Republic.

Okay Len, I'll make three observations/queries regarding this piece:

1. Who was the Hebrew linguist aboard the Liberty? What was his name? You said a linguist was on board so you should have no trouble answering this.

2. The circumstances surrounding the removal of the Liberty from the battle control board at naval headquarters are ridiculous, imo. I believe Evan also expressed surprise at such an explanation. A routine reconnaissance flight identifies the ship at 6am. POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION WAS MADE and the Liberty was marked on the battle control board at Naval Headquarters. FIVE HOURS LATER THE LIBERTY MARK WAS CONSIDERED OLD INFORMATION AND REMOVED FROM THE BATTLE CONTROL BOARD.

Len, do you and A Jay Cristol expect researchers to be stupid enough to believe the subsequent attack was carried out without the IDF leadership being aware of who they were attacking? Do you expect me to believe that a defence force as efficient and highly trained as the IDF, in a time of war with vigilance and caution at its peak, would allow such a comical breakdown in military co-ordination to occur? Cristol then expects us to believe that when the shift change occurred after 11am, the officer who assumed command was not briefed about what had occured previously--that a marker for the Liberty had been placed on the control board and then removed because it was 'old information'. Pull the other one, Len.

Such a fanciful scenario would be more appropriate if it concerned the military of a small dictatorship in Central America or Africa--even then I would have trouble believing it--but I will never accept that the IDF could be so lazy and slipshod, especially in a time of war.

Your premise falls on this point alone (but wait, there's more).

3. The editor's note at the top of the article states that Cristol has been granted exclusive access to Israeli archives and officials. Hmmm, so others interested in seeking the truth of this matter are denied access to these archives and officials, one must assume. Why has this preferential treatment been granted exclusively to Cristol? What is his background vis-a-vis the state of Israel? His transition from Federal Bankruptcy Judge (in the state of Florida--a stronghold of support for Israel) to authoritative historian seems to have been remarkably seamless. Of course, he didn't move into the historian's profession at entry level---he was granted exclusive access to important historical information. So Len, naturally I have to ask the question, is Cristol as staunchly supportive of Israel as yourself?

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Mark,

I'm still very much on the fence about this, but I must clarify one point you mention:

2. The circumstances surrounding the removal of the Liberty from the battle control board at naval headquarters are ridiculous, imo. I believe Evan also expressed surprise at such an explanation. A routine reconnaissance flight identifies the ship at 6am. POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION WAS MADE and the Liberty was marked on the battle control board at Naval Headquarters. FIVE HOURS LATER THE LIBERTY MARK WAS CONSIDERED OLD INFORMATION AND REMOVED FROM THE BATTLE CONTROL BOARD.

Len, do you and A Jay Cristol expect researchers to be stupid enough to believe the subsequent attack was carried out without the IDF leadership being aware of who they were attacking? Do you expect me to believe that a defence force as efficient and highly trained as the IDF, in a time of war with vigilance and caution at its peak, would allow such a comical breakdown in military co-ordination to occur? Cristol then expects us to believe that when the shift change occurred after 11am, the officer who assumed command was not briefed about what had occured previously--that a marker for the Liberty had been placed on the control board and then removed because it was 'old information'. Pull the other one, Len.

Such a fanciful scenario would be more appropriate if it concerned the military of a small dictatorship in Central America or Africa--even then I would have trouble believing it--but I will never accept that the IDF could be so lazy and slipshod, especially in a time of war.

Your premise falls on this point alone (but wait, there's more).

I certainly do find it unusual - based on Naval experience 1985 to date - but I can't say it wouldn't happen. I'll try to find some "blue-on-blue" incidents that have similar circumstances. To make a more judgmental call, I'd have to know more about the particular ops centre and their Area of Operations. For what area tracks were maintained, how tracks were removed, and their subsequent disposition is important in this case.

There are a lot of aspects that are questionable in this incident, but I most certainly do not rule out an accidental attack. Both sides of the argument have much merit, IMO.

Sorry for being so non-committal, but I don't think I have read enough to convince me one way or the other.

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If that’s the case you should easily be able to counter my arguments, so far you haven’t even tried

Now that I have had time to check you arguments and the sources underpinning them, I'll give it a try.

On May 2 (post #35), you posted this article from the HNN archives--a blurb promoting A Jay Cristol's upcoming book. You prefaced posting this link by claiming to Sid Walker that "actually there was a Hebrew linguist on board the Liberty":

[…]

Okay Len, I'll make three observations/queries regarding this piece:

1. Who was the Hebrew linguist aboard the Liberty? What was his name? You said a linguist was on board so you should have no trouble answering this.

I gave the wrong link. Ennes wrote (my additions in []): “The six men who came aboard in Rota [spain] were Wilson, [Alan] Blue, Blalock, Lockwood, Raper and Rehmeyer, all Arab or Russian linguists. Only Blue knew any Hebrew, and he had learned it on his own in his spare time for fun. He was not a qualified linguist.”* Others have been less negative about Blue’s Hebrew speaking ability I’ll try and find a citation. Blue died during the attack, Ennes only would have had limited (if any) contact with him for 6 days. I should have said “someone who understood Hebrew” The lack or presence of Hebrew linguist doesn’t prove much either way. According to Ennes and an author who supports his claims they were sent to spy on the Egyptians and Russians who the US believed was helping them**.

* http://www.ussliberty.org/addendum.htm

** “There were at least four Russian and three Arabic linguists aboard, however; that indicates the ship's intelligence targeting. Additionally, Ennes has recently disclosed that a special tasking of the ship, apart from gathering all the information on every party it could, was to determine if TU-95 "BEAR" Bombers of the Egyptian Air Force were controlled and flown by Soviets. Ennes also says that "at least two men recall that their orders were to concentrate on Soviet intercepts and to ignore any Israeli signals they happened to hear. The order was `Note the signal and, if it is Israeli, drop it.””

http://www.ussliberty.org/ijic.htm

2. The circumstances surrounding the removal of the Liberty from the battle control board at naval headquarters are ridiculous, imo. I believe Evan also expressed surprise at such an explanation. A routine reconnaissance flight identifies the ship at 6am. POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION WAS MADE and the Liberty was marked on the battle control board at Naval Headquarters. FIVE HOURS LATER THE LIBERTY MARK WAS CONSIDERED OLD INFORMATION AND REMOVED FROM THE BATTLE CONTROL BOARD.

Len, do you and A Jay Cristol expect researchers to be stupid enough to believe the subsequent attack was carried out without the IDF leadership being aware of who they were attacking? Do you expect me to believe that a defence force as efficient and highly trained as the IDF, in a time of war with vigilance and caution at its peak, would allow such a comical breakdown in military co-ordination to occur? Cristol then expects us to believe that when the shift change occurred after 11am, the officer who assumed command was not briefed about what had occured previously--that a marker for the Liberty had been placed on the control board and then removed because it was 'old information'. Pull the other one, Len.

1) I really don't appreciate your insinuation that I'm intentionally being misleading, it was uncalled for.

2) I have noted similar ‘unbelievable’ blunders by Russians, Americans and the British. Twice during WWII British aircraft attacked their own ships, on one of those occasions they mistook the Sheffield a cruiser from their own battle group from the much larger very different looking battleship Bismarck. They had not gotten the message that the Sheffield had been ordered to approach the German ship.

3) The explanation is hard to believe but since neither you nor Sid nor anybody else has proposed motive that makes senses it’s the best one we have. It was seeming accepted by the Liberty’s captain even in 1997 as well as other people with naval/military/intelligence experience who looked into the incident.

3. The editor's note at the top of the article states that Cristol has been granted exclusive access to Israeli archives and officials. Hmmm, so others interested in seeking the truth of this matter are denied access to these archives and officials, one must assume. Why has this preferential treatment been granted exclusively to Cristol?

Didn’t Bamford claim to have “exclusive access” to NSA documents? It’s normal for governments to use discretion when granting access to “archives and officials”. Do you know of anyone who has asked for such access and been denied it?

What is his background vis-a-vis the state of Israel?
Yes, he’s Jewish is that a problem?
His transition from Federal Bankruptcy Judge (in the state of Florida--a stronghold of support for Israel) to authoritative historian seems to have been remarkably seamless. Of course, he didn't move into the historian's profession at entry level---he was granted exclusive access to important historical information.

No real mystery, according to the article he spent 14 years researching the case and it was the subject of “his doctoral dissertation accepted in 1997 by the Graduate School of International Studies of the University of Miami”

So Len, naturally I have to ask the question, is Cristol as staunchly supportive of Israel as yourself?

1) I have no idea what his position is about Israel on other matters.

2) I’m not exactly a ‘staunch supporter of Israel’ having criticized that nations actions on more than one occasion.

Should I take your attack on “the messenger” (Cristol) as evidence you can’t find anything wrong with “the message” (other than his explanation that the Liberty was removed from the board?).

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Mark,

I'm still very much on the fence about this, but I must clarify one point you mention:

2. The circumstances surrounding the removal of the Liberty from the battle control board at naval headquarters are ridiculous, imo. I believe Evan also expressed surprise at such an explanation. A routine reconnaissance flight identifies the ship at 6am. POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION WAS MADE and the Liberty was marked on the battle control board at Naval Headquarters. FIVE HOURS LATER THE LIBERTY MARK WAS CONSIDERED OLD INFORMATION AND REMOVED FROM THE BATTLE CONTROL BOARD.

Len, do you and A Jay Cristol expect researchers to be stupid enough to believe the subsequent attack was carried out without the IDF leadership being aware of who they were attacking? Do you expect me to believe that a defence force as efficient and highly trained as the IDF, in a time of war with vigilance and caution at its peak, would allow such a comical breakdown in military co-ordination to occur? Cristol then expects us to believe that when the shift change occurred after 11am, the officer who assumed command was not briefed about what had occured previously--that a marker for the Liberty had been placed on the control board and then removed because it was 'old information'. Pull the other one, Len.

Such a fanciful scenario would be more appropriate if it concerned the military of a small dictatorship in Central America or Africa--even then I would have trouble believing it--but I will never accept that the IDF could be so lazy and slipshod, especially in a time of war.

Your premise falls on this point alone (but wait, there's more).

I certainly do find it unusual - based on Naval experience 1985 to date - but I can't say it wouldn't happen. I'll try to find some "blue-on-blue" incidents that have similar circumstances. To make a more judgmental call, I'd have to know more about the particular ops centre and their Area of Operations. For what area tracks were maintained, how tracks were removed, and their subsequent disposition is important in this case.

There are a lot of aspects that are questionable in this incident, but I most certainly do not rule out an accidental attack. Both sides of the argument have much merit, IMO.

Sorry for being so non-committal, but I don't think I have read enough to convince me one way or the other.

No worries, Evan. Your Naval background is of great assistance in explaining to non-military people like me the technical aspects of naval procedure. Also, you clearly also have an open mind on the Liberty issue.

If you could discover precedents for the cockups resulting in the Liberty attack, it would be interesting indeed.

For my part, I still think the attackers (those who ordered it) knew it was the Liberty. Given Israel's record of indifference to civilian 'collateral' casualties, disregard for the safety of aid workers, journalists or anyone else who gets in the line of fire, I'm not prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt.

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If that’s the case you should easily be able to counter my arguments, so far you haven’t even tried

Now that I have had time to check you arguments and the sources underpinning them, I'll give it a try.

On May 2 (post #35), you posted this article from the HNN archives--a blurb promoting A Jay Cristol's upcoming book. You prefaced posting this link by claiming to Sid Walker that "actually there was a Hebrew linguist on board the Liberty":

[…]

Okay Len, I'll make three observations/queries regarding this piece:

1. Who was the Hebrew linguist aboard the Liberty? What was his name? You said a linguist was on board so you should have no trouble answering this.

I gave the wrong link. Ennes wrote (my additions in []): “The six men who came aboard in Rota [spain] were Wilson, [Alan] Blue, Blalock, Lockwood, Raper and Rehmeyer, all Arab or Russian linguists. Only Blue knew any Hebrew, and he had learned it on his own in his spare time for fun. He was not a qualified linguist.”* Others have been less negative about Blue’s Hebrew speaking ability I’ll try and find a citation. Blue died during the attack, Ennes only would have had limited (if any) contact with him for 6 days. I should have said “someone who understood Hebrew” The lack or presence of Hebrew linguist doesn’t prove much either way. According to Ennes and an author who supports his claims they were sent to spy on the Egyptians and Russians who the US believed was helping them**.

* http://www.ussliberty.org/addendum.htm

** “There were at least four Russian and three Arabic linguists aboard, however; that indicates the ship's intelligence targeting. Additionally, Ennes has recently disclosed that a special tasking of the ship, apart from gathering all the information on every party it could, was to determine if TU-95 "BEAR" Bombers of the Egyptian Air Force were controlled and flown by Soviets. Ennes also says that "at least two men recall that their orders were to concentrate on Soviet intercepts and to ignore any Israeli signals they happened to hear. The order was `Note the signal and, if it is Israeli, drop it.””

http://www.ussliberty.org/ijic.htm

2. The circumstances surrounding the removal of the Liberty from the battle control board at naval headquarters are ridiculous, imo. I believe Evan also expressed surprise at such an explanation. A routine reconnaissance flight identifies the ship at 6am. POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION WAS MADE and the Liberty was marked on the battle control board at Naval Headquarters. FIVE HOURS LATER THE LIBERTY MARK WAS CONSIDERED OLD INFORMATION AND REMOVED FROM THE BATTLE CONTROL BOARD.

Len, do you and A Jay Cristol expect researchers to be stupid enough to believe the subsequent attack was carried out without the IDF leadership being aware of who they were attacking? Do you expect me to believe that a defence force as efficient and highly trained as the IDF, in a time of war with vigilance and caution at its peak, would allow such a comical breakdown in military co-ordination to occur? Cristol then expects us to believe that when the shift change occurred after 11am, the officer who assumed command was not briefed about what had occured previously--that a marker for the Liberty had been placed on the control board and then removed because it was 'old information'. Pull the other one, Len.

1)

I really don't appreciate your insinuation that I'm intentionally being misleading, it was uncalled for.

Funny, I never knew you were such a sensitive soul. Based on what you have written in some of your rants at Jack White your new found sensitivity is a little surprising. Not losing the debate, are you?

2) I have noted similar ‘unbelievable’ blunders by Russians, Americans and the British. Twice during WWII British aircraft attacked their own ships, on one of those occasions they mistook the Sheffield a cruiser from their own battle group from the much larger very different looking battleship Bismarck. They had not gotten the message that the Sheffield had been ordered to approach the German ship.

Yes, but that's not the same as having made a positive identification some hours earlier of the ship in question, is it? I grant that blunders have been made in the past, probably more than the military services have willingly revealed, but that still doesn't prove that Israel mistakenly attacked the Liberty. You're asking readers to grant Israel the benefit of the doubt, which they are free to do. I'm not granting Israel that luxury.

3) The explanation is hard to believe but since neither you nor Sid nor anybody else has proposed motive that makes senses it’s the best one we have. It was seeming accepted by the Liberty’s captain even in 1997 as well as other people with naval/military/intelligence experience who looked into the incident.

Here I'll concede that the apparent lack of motive is the strongest part of your argument. An attempt to entice America into the war seems a little too strange, as Israel appeared to be in a dominant position. However, the purpose may have been to use the attack as a diversion. This possibility has been explored. Then there's also the possibilty that it was simply a case of bloodthirsty hubris, committed in the knowledge that America's unflinching loyalty was guaranteed by LBJ's occupancy of the White House and that the Israeli and US military shared some very dark and mutually damaging secrets.

3. The editor's note at the top of the article states that Cristol has been granted exclusive access to Israeli archives and officials. Hmmm, so others interested in seeking the truth of this matter are denied access to these archives and officials, one must assume. Why has this preferential treatment been granted exclusively to Cristol?

Didn’t Bamford claim to have “exclusive access” to NSA documents? It’s normal for governments to use discretion when granting access to “archives and officials”. Do you know of anyone who has asked for such access and been denied it?

I guess it is. Especially when the Government in question is eager for the historian to see things their way.

What is his background vis-a-vis the state of Israel?
Yes, he’s Jewish is that a problem?

There's no problem if he's Jewish. There's a problem if he's just an apologist for a Government guilty of wilful murder.

His transition from Federal Bankruptcy Judge (in the state of Florida--a stronghold of support for Israel) to authoritative historian seems to have been remarkably seamless. Of course, he didn't move into the historian's profession at entry level---he was granted exclusive access to important historical information.

No real mystery, according to the article he spent 14 years researching the case and it was the subject of “his doctoral dissertation accepted in 1997 by the Graduate School of International Studies of the University of Miami”

So Len, naturally I have to ask the question, is Cristol as staunchly supportive of Israel as yourself?
1) I have no idea what his position is about Israel on other matters.

2) I’m not exactly a ‘staunch supporter of Israel’ having criticized that nations actions on more than one occasion.

Where?

Should I take your attack on “the messenger” (Cristol) as evidence you can’t find anything wrong with “the message” (other than his explanation that the Liberty was removed from the board?).

You're the last person who should be admonishing others for 'attacking the messenger'. In post #81 you state:

"The recent claims of the octogenarian Mr. Boston aren't very credible for reasons I spelt out in post #70"

The needless insult concerning Boston's age aside, you didn't demolish his credibilty in post #70 at all. You wrote:

"Back in 1967 he signed the findings of the COI which concluded the attack was accidental. So he either perjured himself back then or perjered himself later."

However, you conveniently neglect to mention another possibility--that he was pressured into signing off on the finding in 1967. LBJ was adept at giving inquiries their riding instructions prior to commencement. Remember the Warren Commission? Hale Boggs never believed the lone nut theory but he too was compelled to sign off on a finding he didn't believe.

When it comes to shooting the messenger, you are always willing to indulge. Don't give me high-minded speeches please.

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Michael Collins Piper's radio show has covered in Liberty incident in recent days.

Last Friday, Piper interviewed several Liberty survivors in person. They were assembling in Washington for a week-end re-union.

One of the speakers at that event was a healthy septuagenarian called Richard Thompson. An ex US Naval intelligence officer, he had been a primary source for the recent book 'Operation Cyanide: How the Bombing of the USS Liberty Nearly Caused World War III ' referred to above.

It is the book by British journalists Peter Hounam and John Simpson that claims Israel set up the attack on the Liberty as a false flag operation. According to this theory, had the attack succeeded, the War on (Arab) Terror would have come three and a half decades earlier...

Thompson was killed in a car crash on his return to Florida. Apparently no other cars were involved. Cause of the accident unknown.

The trgic incident was discussed by Piper on his show this Monday.

Edited by Sid Walker
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Michael Collins Piper's radio show has covered in Liberty incident in recent days.

Last Friday, Piper interviewed several Liberty survivors in person. They were assembling in Washington for a week-end re-union.

One of the speakers at that event was a healthy septuagenarian called Richard Thompson. An ex US Naval intelligence officer, he had been a primary source for the recent book 'Operation Cyanide: How the Bombing of the USS Liberty Nearly Caused World War III ' referred to above.

It is the book by British journalists Peter Hounam and John Simpson that claims Israel set up the attack on the Liberty as a false flag operation. According to this theory, had the attack succeeded, the War on (Arab) Terror would have come three and a half decades earlier...

Thompson was killed in a car crash on his return to Florida. Apparently no other cars were involved. Cause of the accident unknown.

The trgic incident was discussed by Piper on his show this Monday.

Sid,

Thanks for that. I'll listen to the relevant programs when I get a chance.

It's quite bizarre that Thompson was killed so soon after speaking at the re-union. It's definitely an eyebrow raiser.

Thanks also for posting the Paul Findlay piece via Jeff Blankfort (post #78). A disturbing scenario from a man who knows all about the influence of the Israeli lobby in Congress. I fail to understand why so many Americans put their head in the sand and refuse to admit that this is a very serious problem for America. In particular, I find that Americans who eagerly express their Christian faith, and constantly praise Israel while obligingly turning a blind eye to the suffering of the Palestinians to be quite contemptible.

It's a real irony of the present era that the Congress of the world's most powerful nation is terrified of upsetting a small nation on the other side of the globe---but that's the state of play, I'm afraid.

The US Congress is too gutless to confront the issue. The country is led by a vacuous, cowardly simpleton, joined at the hip to corrosive special interests, the militant Israel lobby prominent among them, whose interests are diametrically at odds with the interests of the average citizen, and whose global vision is limited to a simple us versus them endgame, drawn along religious lines. All we can do is watch and brace ourselves for the consequences.

The proposed missile shield is their latest gambit.

Sorry for the off-topic rant. Sometimes you need to let it out.

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I find that Americans who eagerly express their Christian faith, and constantly praise Israel while obligingly turning a blind eye to the suffering of the Palestinians to be quite contemptible.

It's part of their Christian faith that Israel is God's chosen as set forth in the Bible. Naturally God's chosen can do no wrong.

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I wrote:

1) I really don't appreciate your insinuation that I'm intentionally being misleading, it was uncalled for.

Mark replied:

Funny, I never knew you were such a sensitive soul. Based on what you have written in some of your rants at Jack White your new found sensitivity is a little surprising.

Perhaps you could cite some examples of where I have unfairly criticized Jack who is hardly a saint BTW.

"Not losing the debate, are you?"

Not even close

I wrote:

2) I have noted similar ‘unbelievable’ blunders by Russians, Americans and the British. Twice during WWII British aircraft attacked their own ships, on one of those occasions they mistook the Sheffield a cruiser from their own battle group from the much larger very different looking battleship Bismarck. They had not gotten the message that the Sheffield had been ordered to approach the German ship.

Mark replied:

Yes, but that's not the same as having made a positive identification some hours earlier of the ship in question, is it?

I don’t think you can find any two such incidents that are perfectly analogous, but there more that enough situations like this that it is clear that incomprehensible screw-ups are not uncommon in wartime.

No, no one in the Sheffield’s battle group had formally “identified” her but considering that she had been part of her battle group for a year and that the navy had several identical ships one would hardly think such a step necessary.

I grant that blunders have been made in the past, probably more than the military services have willingly revealed, but that still doesn't prove that Israel mistakenly attacked the Liberty. You're asking readers to grant Israel the benefit of the doubt, which they are free to do. I'm not granting Israel that luxury.

I never said that they “prove that Israel mistakenly attacked the Liberty” only that combined with…

-the lack of a plausible motive.

- the types of munitions used by the fighters,

-the fact that the MTB’s didn’t fire on the Liberty till she fired on them and then quickly offered assistence and

- the fact that according to two of the three NSA linguists who heard Israeli helicopter pilots approaching the ship after the attack and their ground controlled express confusion about its nationality etc etc

… they seem to indicate the most likely explanation was a screw up.

I wrote:

Didn’t Bamford claim to have “exclusive access” to NSA documents? It’s normal for governments to use discretion when granting access to “archives and officials”. Do you know of anyone who has asked for such access and been denied it?

Mark replied:

I guess it is. Especially when the Government in question is eager for the historian to see things their way.

Sounds like all governments and most people to me. Can name anyone researching the incident who claims to have been denied similar access?
I wrote:

2) I’m not exactly a ‘staunch supporter of Israel’ having criticized that nations actions on more than one occasion.

Mark replied:

Where?

In post #18 (page 2) of this thread I referred to the murder of the Egyptian POW’s as a “war crime”

Seemingly I like answering my own rhetorical questions

"Are the warmongers currently in power in the US, UK and Israel a contemtable bunch? Yes"

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.ph...l&pid=98885

"Is Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip a brutal over reaction? Yes."

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.ph...l&pid=66929

I wrote:

Should I take your attack on “the messenger” (Cristol) as evidence you can’t find anything wrong with “the message” (other than his explanation that the Liberty was removed from the board?).

Mark replied:

You're the last person who should be admonishing others for 'attacking the messenger'. In post #81 you state:

"The recent claims of the octogenarian Mr. Boston aren't very credible for reasons I spelt out in post #70"

The needless insult concerning Boston's age aside…

Come on how many people do you know in their 80’s? I know several some are as sharp as they were when they were my age, others are totally senile, most are some where in between and their grips on reality/abilities to recall the past aren’t what they where when they were younger. I see nothing wrong in suggesting that his totally uncorroborated new version of events might have been shaped by his advanced age.
you didn't demolish his credibilty in post #70 at all. You wrote:

"Back in 1967 he signed the findings of the COI which concluded the attack was accidental. So he either perjured himself back then or perjered himself later."

However, you conveniently neglect to mention another possibility--that he was pressured into signing off on the finding in 1967.

And you “conveniently” left out the rest of my argument a) according to Cristol’s notes of phone conversations they had in the 90’s Boston reaffirmed the COI’s findings to the Florida judge B) as even Ennes admits Admiral Kidd defended the COI’s investigation till the day he died c) Cristol has a letter Kidd sent him shortly before he died in which he reaffirmed the COI conclusions and endorsed the judge’s research d) Cristol said that the admiral said similar things to him in private.

Even if were pressured if he signed a report knowing it was false he committed perjury. Someone in the military can’t be punished (legally) for not obeying an illegal order.

LBJ was adept at giving inquiries their riding instructions prior to commencement. Remember the Warren Commission?
The situations aren’t analogous, LBJ chose the members of the WC it is possible that he picked people he had ‘dirt’ on or otherwise knew he could manipulate. Admiral Kidd who chose the members of the COI was selected by the Admiral McCain the commander of the UN Navy in Europe. All involved were career military people who presumably risked there lives on various occasions and forsook safer better paying careers to serve their country, it’s hard to believe they could have been manipulated into covering up the murder of dozens of their colleagues and attempted murder of hundreds of others to protect the foreign country that perpetrated the crime just because the president told them to. I don't know of any evidnce that McCain, McNamera or LBJ influenced who'd be on the COI or put pressure on them to exonerate Israel.

It’s also possible that many of the members believed the WCR to have been accurate.

Hale Boggs never believed the lone nut theory but he too was compelled to sign off on a finding he didn't believe.

If you have any evidence that this is true you should start a new thread in the JFK Assassination forum. His daughter, a well known reporter, denied this was the case.

When it comes to shooting the messenger, you are always willing to indulge. Don't give me high-minded speeches please.

Boston’s story is a special case because he made uncorroborated claims about his personal experience thus questioning his credibility is legitimate. Since he only spoke up long after Kidd died there is no way to verify his claims. Cristol on the other hand presented evidence and made claims about the incident which can be verified or if untrue shown to be false, but you chose to question his credibility instead.

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