Press Release: American Legion Demands USS Liberty Attack Investigation-Please Forward

For immediate release

Contact:
Email: ussliberty.press@gmail.com Tel:916-913-9460
Ernest Gallo, President of the Liberty Veterans Association: Tel: 386-446-6855

American Legion calls for full investigation into Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty

In a historic move, the American Legion, at its national convention in Reno on Thursday, August 24, 2017, approved Resolution 40 calling for the first full U.S. government investigation of Israel’s 1967 attack on the USS Liberty.

Gunnery Sergeant Bryce F. Lockwood (USMC, ret.) was on hand during the entire convention working for passage of the resolution, which originated earlier this year from Post 40 in Seattle in the American Legion Department of Washington (state).

Lockwood was awarded the Silver Star for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action in connection with the unprovoked and unexpected armed attack on U.S.S. LIBERTY (AGTR-5), in the Eastern Mediterranean, on 8 June 1967.”

Lockwood said there were a lot of “handshakes, hugs, and some tears” after the vote.

The American Legion’s resolution brings the nation’s largest veterans organization back on the side of the USS Liberty survivors, family, and supporter in calling upon the “115th United States Congress to publicly, impartially, and thoroughly investigate the attack on the USS Liberty and its aftermath and to commence its investigation before the end of 2017, the 50th anniversary year of the attack.”

The resolution also aligns the Legion with the Veterans of Foreign Wars, which, in 2013, adopted Resolution 423 at their national convention calling for the attack to be investigated.

The Liberty was a U.S. Navy electronics ship operating in international waters in the eastern Mediterranean when it was attacked by Israeli forces, killing 34 and injuring at least 174.

The ship’s commander received the Congressional Medal of Honor and the crew is one of the most decorated for a single engagement in U.S. Navy history.

The claim is sometimes incorrectly made that the attack has already been investigated. However, a one-week-long Naval inquiry was only tasked with investigating crew performance during the attack, and Congress has never investigated it, as reported in the July 1997 issue of The American Legion Magazine and elsewhere. For more information go to http://gtr5.com/faq-1.htm or see http://www.usslibertyveterans.org/ . See key resolution documents at https://tinyurl.com/LibertyResDocs or https://spaces.hightail.com/space/XPJEuQ2VKu.

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American Legion Passes Historic USS Liberty Resolution

RESOLUTION
National Headquarters, The American Legion
Ninety-Ninth Annual National Convention, Reno, Nevada August 22, 23, 24, 2017

WHEREAS, on June 8, 1967, while operating in support of the National Security Agency (NSA) in international waters, properly marked as to her identity and nationality, and in calm, clear weather in the eastern Mediterranean, the USS Liberty (AGTR-5) was the target of an unprovoked attack by Israeli military forces that killed 34 members of the Liberty’s crew and wounded 173; and,

WHEREAS, in recognition of their heroic efforts during and after the Israeli onslaught, Liberty crew members were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, 2 Navy Crosses, 12 Silver Stars, 20 Bronze Stars, more than 200 Purple Hearts, and the ship’s captain, Navy Commander William. L. McGonagle, was awarded the Medal of Honor; and,

WHEREAS, the June 28, 1967 public summary of proceedings of the Navy Court of Inquiry into the attack stated: “It was not the responsibility of the Court to rule on the culpability of the attackers and no evidence was heard from the attacking nation”; and,

WHEREAS, according to Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) information reports from June and October, 1967, sources in Tel Aviv reported: “Israel’s forces knew exactly what flag the [L]IBERTY was flying” and Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan “personally ordered the attack” on the Liberty over the objections of senior uniformed military personnel, one of whom characterized the attack as “pure murder”; and,

WHEREAS, Richard Helms (Director of Central Intelligence, 1966-1973), stated in a 1984 CIA interview: “everything possible was done to keep from the American public really the enormity of this attack on an American naval vessel” and “since this is for the Agency’s record, I don’t think there can be any doubt that the Israelis knew exactly what they were doing … any statement to the effect that they didn’t know that it was an American ship … is nonsense”; and,

WHEREAS, Lieutenant General Marshall S. Carter, USA (ret.) (Director of the NSA, 1965-1969), recalled in a 1988 NSA interview that he stated at a Congressional hearing in 1967 that the attack on the Liberty “couldn’t be anything else but deliberate. There’s just no way you could have a series of circumstances that would justify it being an accident” and Carter indicated this remained his belief in 1988; and,

WHEREAS, in a 2003 affidavit published in the Congressional Record, Captain Ward Boston, Jr., JAGC, USN (ret.), legal counsel for the 1967 Navy Court of Inquiry stated: “I know from personal conversations I had with Admiral 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’ despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary”; and,

WHEREAS, according to the findings, published in the Congressional Record, of the 2003 Independent Commission of Inquiry, chaired by former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, USN (ret.): “there is compelling evidence that Israel’s attack was a deliberate attempt to destroy an American ship and kill her entire crew” and “the White House deliberately covered up the facts of this attack”; and,

WHEREAS, in 2013, the Veterans of Foreign Wars adopted Resolution 423 calling “upon Congress to immediately investigate the attack on the USS Liberty by the armed forces of Israel on June 8, 1967, in order to determine the truth behind the attack, and to bring closure to the families and crew”; and,

WHEREAS, in August 1967, after the conclusion of the Navy Court of Inquiry, the American Legion adopted Resolution 508 (rescinded in 1984 without being first reviewed) declaring the published report of the Navy Court of Inquiry “fails to provide the American public with a satisfactory answer as to the reason for the attack” and stating that “The American Legion denounces and condemns Israel’s irresponsible attack” and demanding “a complete and thorough investigation of the incident”; and,

WHEREAS, according to Gurney Williams III, writing in The American Legion Magazine (“Death Strikes the Liberty“, July 1997), Congress has never investigated the Israeli attack on the Liberty; now therefore be it,

RESOLVED, By The American Legion in National Convention assembled in Reno, Nevada, August 22, 23, 24, 2017, that The American Legion calls upon the 115th United States Congress to publicly, impartially, and thoroughly investigate the attack on the USS Liberty and its aftermath and to commence its investigation before the end of 2017, the 50th anniversary year of the attack.

The final text of the resolution is expected to soon appear on the American Legion’s digital archive page: https://archive.legion.org/handle/123456789/1/browse?type=dateissued

USS Liberty Makes History at American Legion Convention

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 21, 2017

Contact: Bryce Lockwood
USS Liberty Veterans Association
Phone: 417-848-3858
Email: brycelockwood@sbcglobal.com

Contact: Ernie Gallo
USS Liberty Veterans Association
Phone: 386-446-4855
Email: ernie7900@aol.com

USS LIBERTY MAKES HISTORY AT AMERICAN LEGION CONVENTION
Attack Investigation Resolution Reaches Historic Milestone

In a historic move, the American Legion national convention in Reno, Nevada seems poised to pass a resolution calling for the first full investigation of Israel’s 1967 attack on the USS Liberty.

The Liberty was a U.S. Navy electronics ship operating in international waters in the eastern Mediterranean when it was attacked by Israeli forces, killing 34 and injuring at least 174. The ship’s commander received the Congressional Medal of Honor and the crew is one of the most decorated for a single engagement in U.S. Navy history.

The resolution has made it past two hurdles, the Foreign Relations Subcommittee and the National Security Committee, and will now go to a full floor vote later this week, where attendees normally approve resolutions.

The resolution was introduced in the Foreign Relations Subcommittee with the recommendation of “Rejection” by national Legion officials. An Iowa delegate, however, moved to approve it and was seconded. A show of hands was requested and the vote was 27-11 for approval.

In the full National Security Committee meeting, a motion was made and seconded for approval. The voice vote exhibited overwhelming support. A motion was made to withdraw the resolution, but was ruled out of order.

A similar resolution adopted in 1967 was rescinded without “individual review” at the national convention in 1984. In the intervening years the Liberty survivors have been prohibited from having a booth at the convention and other similar resolutions have been quashed.

For instance in 2012, the Department of Michigan adopted a resolution calling for an investigation only to have it killed in committee at the national convention that year. Legionnaires were thus denied the opportunity to debate and vote on the issue. By contrast, in 2013, the Veterans of Foreign Wars adopted a resolution at their national convention calling for the attack to be investigated.

The claim is sometimes incorrectly made that the attack has already been investigated. However, a one-week-long Naval inquiry was only tasked with investigating crew performance during the attack, and Congress has never investigated the attack as reported in the July 1997 issue of The American Legion Magazine. (For more information go to http://gtr5.com/faq-1.htm or see the resolution documents at https://tinyurl.com/LibertyResDocs or https://spaces.hightail.com/space/XPJEuQ2VKu.)

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JerusalemU Lies About the USS Liberty

According to its website, JerusalemU was “founded by Rabbi Raphael Shore in 2009 to address the prevalent and growing need to educate and inspire the new generation about Judaism and Israel so that they gain a stronger Jewish identity and an appreciation of their heritage.

Jerusalem U is committed to strengthening the emotional and intellectual connection of young Jews to Judaism and Israel breaking old molds, forging new approaches to Jewish and Israel education through the creative use of film and technology all distributed via the Internet, social media, television, grassroots campaigns and partnerships with mainstream pro-Israel and Jewish organizations.

Obviously that “creative use of film and technology” includes lying about the June 8, 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty:

What with all of the historians available to them, why did they decide that their best course of action was not only to include a reference to the attack on our ship but to include lies so obvious that someone with even a rudimentary knowledge of the attack knows they are lying?

Are they so arrogant that they think they can get away with it?  Do they think we wouldn’t notice?

We will do something USS Liberty Revisionists like them don’t do — and didn’t do in the prepatation of the script for their propaganda..

We will contact them and invite them to respond publicly to this post in the comment section below.

Let’s see if they give us the same consideration and courtesy we are showing them.

An American Legion Department Continues American Legion Tradition of Unanimously Passing USS Liberty Resolution

AmericanLegionLogo-1The American Legion National Organization holds a unique and somewhat puzzling position in the history of the attack on the USS Liberty.

Ostensibly, the American Legion is an American veterans group that supports the American military and veterans communities.  Some may question the use of “ostensibly” to define the American Legion but if you look at the Meriam-Webster definition of the term (i.e., “to all outward appearances”) I’m sure you will agree that I am being kind by using the term.

Outraged but undaunted by the National Organization’s refusal to pass a single resolution calling on Congress to investigate the attack on the USS Liberty, the membership has routinely approved annual USS Liberty resolutions at the Department level and passed them along to the National Organization to be considered at the National Convention.

Oftentimes these resolutions are passed without a single dissenting vote at any level of the American Legion.  Until they reach the National Organization.

The National Organization of the American Legion has not passed a single USS Liberty resolution since now-rescinded Resolution 508 was passed in 1967.

For a while we were confused why all USS Liberty resolutions fail to pass at the National level of the American Legion.

Then we learned of the American Legion’s “Quick Guide for Leadership” where they write:

What is The American Legion doing about the USS Liberty tragedy?

The tragic mistaken identity attack by Israelis on the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967 provoked a great deal of controversy among surviving members of the crew and family members. Though residual anger and suspicions remain, the incident was the subject of ten US investigations and three by the Israelis. In the American investigations, the full weight of the US Government allowed access to all of the relevant security information.  Though some accusations were made suggesting the reports sought to hide facts or protect Israel, no credible evidence for these charges has been produced at the US Government level.

The Foreign Relations Convention Committee of The American Legion reviewed the action taken by OSD and Congress on this incident and they voted to reject Resolution 235 submitted by the Department of District of Columbia at the 84 Annual National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, August 2002.

This is a bald faced lie from the National Organization of the American Legion to its membership.  Repeated and continuing efforts to have the National Organization explain its position have been ignored.

Realizing the lie told to them by the National Organization, the Department of Washington has approved and passed a USS Liberty resolution to the National Organization.  That resolution is provided below.  We are under no misconception about what will happen to it.  We wonder how long the membership of the American Legion will remain silent about their organization being ruled by a group that has an agenda that is contrary to their stated values.

THE AMERICAN LEGION DEPARTMENT OF WASHINGTON
LACEY, WASHINGTON

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, on June 8, 1967, while operating in support of the National Security Agency (NSA) in international waters, properly marked as to her identity and nationality, and in calm, clear weather in the eastern Mediterranean, the USS Liberty (AGTR-5) was the target of an unprovoked attack by Israeli military forces that killed 34 members of the Liberty’s crew and wounded 173; and,

WHEREAS, in recognition of their heroic efforts during and after the Israeli onslaught, Liberty crew members were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, 2 Navy Crosses, 12 Silver Stars, 20 Bronze Stars, more than 200 Purple Hearts, and the ship’s captain, Navy Commander William. L. McGonagle, was awarded the Medal of Honor; and,

WHEREAS, the June 28, 1967 public summary of proceedings of the Navy Court of Inquiry into the attack stated: “It was not the responsibility of the Court to rule on the culpability of the attackers and no evidence was heard from the attacking nation”; and,

WHEREAS, according to Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) information reports from June and October, 1967, sources in Tel Aviv reported: “Israel’s forces knew exactly what flag the LIBERTY was flying” and Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan “personally ordered the attack” on the Liberty over the objections of senior uniformed military personnel, one of whom characterized the attack as “pure murder”; and,

WHEREAS, Richard Helms (Director of Central Intelligence, 1966-1973), stated in a 1984 CIA interview: “everything possible was done to keep from the American public really the enormity of this attack on an American naval vessel” and “since this is for the Agency’s record, I don’t think there can be any doubt that the Israelis knew exactly what they were doing any statement to the effect that they didn’t know that it was an American ship is nonsense”; and,

WHEREAS, Lieutenant General Marshall S. Carter, USA (ret.) (Director of the NSA, 1965- 1969), recalled in a 1988 NSA interview that he stated at a Congressional hearing in 1967 that the attack on the Liberty “couldn’t be anything else but deliberate. There’s just no way you could have a series of circumstances that would justify it being an accident” and Carter indicated this remained his belief in 1988; and,

WHEREAS, in a 2003 affidavit published in the Congressional Record, Captain Ward Boston, Ir., JAGC, USN (ret.), legal counsel for the 1967 Navy Court of Inquiry stated: “I know from personal conversations I had with Admiral 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’ despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary”; and,

WHEREAS, according to the findings, published in the Congressional Record, of the 2003 Independent Commission of Inquiry, chaired by former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, USN (ret.): “there is compelling evidence that Israel’s attack was a deliberate attempt to destroy an American ship and kill her entire crew’ and “the White House deliberately covered up the facts of this attack”; and,

WHEREAS, in 2013, the Veterans of Foreign Wars adopted Resolution 423 calling “upon Congress to immediately investigate the attack on the USS Liberty by the armed forces of Israel on June 8, 1967, in order to determine the truth behind the attack, and to bring closure to the families and crew”; and

WHEREAS, in August 1967, after the conclusion of the Navy Court of Inquiry, the American Legion adopted Resolution 508 (rescinded in 1984 without being first reviewed) declaring the published report of the Navy Court of Inquiry “fails to provide the American public with a satisfactory answer as to the reason for the attack” and stating that “The American Legion denounces and condemns Israel’s irresponsible attack” and demanding “a complete and thorough investigation of the incident”; and,

WHEREAS, according to Gurney Williams III, writing in The American Legion Magazine (“Death Strikes the Liberty”, July 1997), Congress has never investigated the Israeli attack on the Liberty; now therefore be it,

RESOLVED, by Post 40, the American Legion, Department of Washington, in regular meeting assembled in Seattle on March 14, 2017, that the American Legion should call upon the United States Congress to publicly, impartially, and thoroughly investigate the attack on the USS Liberty and its aftermath and to commence its investigation before the end of 2017, the 50th anniversary year of the attack.

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