This morning I told an American friend about Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty in international waters in the Mediterranean on June 8, 1967. She was incredulous.
I don’t blame her. It’s difficult for me to believe that Israel would deliberately attack an ally’s well-marked ship by air and sea for several hours. In fact, I would chalk such allegations up to anti-Israel-bashers if the USS Liberty survivors weren’t coming forward and sharing their eye-witness accounts.
Their website provides convincing testimony and is very compelling. I also found this article — A Juridical Examination of the Israeli Attack on the USS Liberty by Lieutenant Commander Walter L. Jacobsen, JA GC, USN — published in 1986 in the Naval Law Review to be very credible.
At the time, there was very little information about the attack published in the US mainstream media. It’s safe to say that most Americans were hearing about Israel’s military superiority in the Six Day War (June 5 – 10, 1967), but not a peep about the death of 34 US Navy personnel on the USS Liberty. The National Review was the only American press to include a piece.
As far as I can tell, the New York Times never covered the story in 1967 or after. No mention of the USS Liberty in the New York Times pops up until 1988. A letter to the Editor in the NYT in August of that year said justice still waits for the survivors of the USS Liberty.
A few days later, Abe Foxman, the National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote a letter defending Israel and calling the “unfortunate facts” a “tragedy” that cost lives. Unfortunately, Foxman’s facts don’t square with the eyewitness accounts.
The chronology of events before, during and after the attack are spelled out here …. and leave only one question unanswered. When is the U.S. Government going to come clean with Americans? We deserve the truth.