The USS Liberty Attack “Should Never Be Forgotten” Congressman Michael Cloud (R-TX27)

“. . . our nation is indebted to the brave men and women in uniform — and their families — who sacrificed blood and treasure to answer the call of their country. Their sacrifice should never be forgotten.” Congressman Michael Cloud (R-TX27) Email 8/20/2021

by Joe Meadors

Congressman Michael Cloud (R-TX27)
Congressman Michael Cloud (R-TX27)

I will be the first to admit that in creating the title for this blog post I am taking the position of my Congressman—Michael Cloud (R-TX27)—grossly out of context.

Indeed, it is exactly opposite what his position is.

Not only his, but a position proudly held by every Member of Congress who served during the attack as well as every Member of Congress who has served since the attack.

The USS Liberty Veterans Association represents the survivors of the June 8, 1967, Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, our families and the families of 34 of our shipmates who were killed in action during that attack.

Among the awards won by the officers and crew of the USS Liberty are the Medal of Honor, two Navy Crosses, eleven Silver Stars, twenty Bronze Stars, nine Navy Commendations, 208 Purple Hearts, 294 Combat Action Ribbons, the Presidential Unit Citation and the Battle Efficiency “E” which makes the USS Liberty the most decorated ship in US Navy history for a single event since the end of World War II.

A dubious honorific the attack on our ship has is it is the only attack on a US Navy ship since the end of World War II NOT investigated by Congress.

The Congressional Research Service took that considerably further when they told us their research did not reveal a single US government investigation of the attack.

CRS Response to Congressional Investigation of USS Liberty Attack
CRS Response to Congressional Investigation of USS Liberty Attack

An attack on a US Navy ship warrants a complete and comprehensive public investigation.
Evermoreso given the fact that not only War Crimes but a capital violation of Article 99 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and a violation of 18 U.S. Code § 2441 – War Crimes were committed during that attack.

Most Americans share our concern that the US government has not investigated the attack and want to know what they can do to ensure not only the attack is investigated but also the refusal of the US government to investigate the attack.

The simple answer is to Click Here to send a letter to your Congressional Delegation telling them to investigate the attack.

In doing so, you will be a participant in US Navy History. No other crew of a US Navy ship had to lobby the US government to investigate the attack on their ship.

Welcome to everyone who becomes a participant in USS Liberty history. You are joining with a crew that does not know the meaning of defeat.

On June 8, 1967, we defeated the most powerful military in the Middle East.

We now set our sights on defeating an uncaring Congress. You’re invited to join with us.

ET3 Terry Halbardier Silver Star Citation

ET3 Terry Halbardier Silver Star Citation

Silver Star Medal (1) Awarded to a person who, while serving in any capacity with the Navy or Marine Corps, is cited for gallantry in action that does not warrant a Medal of Honor or Navy Cross. (a) While engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; (b) While engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or (c) While serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. (2) The heroic act(s) performed must render the individual conspicuous and well above the standard expected. An accumulation of minor acts of heroism normally does not justify the award, but unusual or exceptional cases will be decided on their merits. Authorization 10 U.S.C. S6244

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Electronics Technician Third Class James Terry Halbardier, United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving on board the U.S.S. LIBERTY (AGTR-5), on 8 June 1967.

Terry Halbardier
Terry Halbardier

The U.S.S. LIBERTY was attacked by Israeli aircraft and motor torpedo boats in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea on the fourth day of the SIX DAY WAR. Petty Officer Halbardier, without hesitation and with complete disregard for his own personal safety, fearlessly and repeatedly exposed himself to overwhelming rocket and machinegun fire to repair a damaged antenna in an open deck area during heavy aerial attacks.

Aware that all of the ship’s transmitting antennas had been destroyed and that communication with higher authority depended upon antenna repair, Petty Officer Halbardier risked his life to run connecting coaxial cable across open decks from the antenna to the main transmitter room.

His efforts allowed the ship to establish communications with distant elements of the SIXTH Fleet and call for assistance.

Despite being wounded, Petty Officer Halbardier ignored his injuries until the antenna had been repaired and the call for help had been received and acknowledged.

His courageous actions were critical in alerting distant Navy commanders to the ship’s need for assistance and were instrumental in saving the ship and hundreds of lives.

Petty Officer Halbardier’s outstanding display of decisive leadership, unrelenting perseverance, and loyal devotion to duty reflected great credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

USS Liberty Capt. William McGonagle-Medal of Honor Citation

USS Liberty Capt. William McGonagle-Medal of Honor Citation

§8291. Medal of honor: The President may award, and present in the name of Congress, a medal of honor of appropriate design, with ribbons and appurtenances, to a person who, while a member of the naval service, distinguishes himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty-(1) while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; (2) while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or (3) while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

WILLIAM LOREN MCGONAGLE MEDAL OF HONOR CITATION

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.

Sailing in international waters, the Liberty was attacked without warning by a jet fighter aircraft and motor torpedo boats which inflicted many casualties among the crew and caused extreme damage to the ship.

Capt. William McGonagle

Although severely wounded during the first air attack, Capt. McGonagle remained at his battle station on the badly damaged bridge and, with full knowledge of the seriousness of his wounds, subordinated his own welfare to the safety and survival of his command.

Steadfastly refusing any treatment which would take him away from his post, he calmly continued to exercise firm command of his ship. Despite continuous exposure to fire, he maneuvered his ship, directed its defense, supervised the control of flooding and fire, and saw to the care of the casualties.

Capt. McGonagle’s extraordinary valor under these conditions inspired the surviving members of the Liberty’s crew, many of them seriously wounded, to heroic efforts to overcome the battle damage and keep the ship afloat.

Subsequent to the attack, although in great pain and weak from loss of blood, Capt. McGonagle remained at his battle station and continued to command his ship for more than 17 hours.

It was only after rendezvous with a U.S. destroyer that he relinquished personal control of the Liberty and permitted himself to be removed from the bridge.

Even then, he refused much needed medical attention until convinced that the seriously wounded among his crew had been treated. Capt. McGonagle’s superb professionalism, courageous fighting spirit, and valiant leadership saved his ship and many lives.

His actions sustain and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

 

RIP Robert Lee Wilson, USS Liberty Survivor

RIP Robert Lee Wilson, USS Liberty Survivor

Robert Lee Wilson
Robert Lee Wilson, USS Liberty Survivor

Robert Lee Wilson, 78, a resident of Edgewater for over 20 years and previously of Severna Park, MD, passed away on August 2, 2021 at the South River Health and Rehabilitation Center from complications of pneumonia and ongoing health and back-related maladies that ultimately took his life.

Born in Big Stone Gap, VA on March 8, 1943, Robert had a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, and a Master’s of Science of Strategic Intelligence degree from the Defense Intelligence College. One of his most profound moments in life was his time spent on the USS Liberty especially June 8th 1967. Robert served his country in the U.S. Air Force. Prior to retiring in the early 2000s, he was a long-tenured employee of the National Security Agency.

In addition to being a sports and physical fitness enthusiast, his greatest hobby and joy was archeology and history. He’d also served many years with the American Research Center in Egypt as its Vice President, and developed a tremendous group of friends he always cherished.

Robert was a loving, caring father and husband. His level of empathy, good common sense, humor and humility knew no bounds. We all were fortunate to have him in our lives.

He is survived by his spouse of over 39 years, My Kieu Wilson; two children, Kevin Wilson and Kelly Gaestel and their respective families.

Relatives and friends are invited to celebrate Robert’s life at the Kalas Funeral Home & Crematory, 2973 Solomons Island Road, Edgewater, MD on Saturday August 7 from 2 to 4 pm.

Cong. Michael Cloud (R-TX27) Ignores USS Liberty Survivors’ Requests

Cong. Michael Cloud (R-TX27) Ignores USS Liberty Survivors’ Requests

There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and timeless as infinity. It is the void, bereft of conscience and patriotism, but not of callousness and hypocrisy. This is the dimension of dystopia. It is an area we call Congress.

by Joe Meadors

Contact a Member of Congress. Any member. Ask if they support the American military. To a person, they will loudly and repeatedly heap their admiration and unwavering adoration on the members of our Armed Forces.

Ask them to give a visible sign of that unwavering support of our American Armed Forces by publicly supporting USS Liberty Survivors’ effort to ensure the US government investigates the attack on their ship.

Silence.

Ask them to express outrage at the fact that machine gun fire from the torpedo boats attacking the USS Liberty deliberately destroyed life rafts USS Liberty crewmen dropped over the side in anticipation of abandoning ship. That action removed any chance USS Liberty crewmen would survive the sinking of our ship.

Silence.

Ask them to express outrage that the President of the United States ordered the rescue effort of the Sixth Fleet to stand down and recall aircraft that had been launched to come to our help.

Silence.

Invite them to attend a Memorial Service honoring our 34 shipmates who were killed in action during the attack.

Silence.

Correspondence from survivors of other attacks on US Navy ships since the end of WWII would be quickly and satisfactorily addressed by their Congressional Delegation.

Not so correspondence from USS Liberty survivors.

How do I know this happens?

Because it is happening to me.

For over 30 years, I have lived in this Congressional District. During that time, I could not elicit any concern about the actions conducted by the forces attacking us and by the President of the United States. Both Democrat and Republican Members of Congress who have represented and are representing me have ever expressed any concern at all about what happened to us.

For those who applaud Congressman Cloud’s policy of ignoring the requests of American Servicemen who survived the War Crimes committed by the Israeli military during the attack on our ship, feel free to express your gratitude by emailing Nicole Beamer at nicole.beamer@mail.house.gov

Hasbara Doesn’t Bring It’s Best and Brightest to Discuss the USS Liberty Attack

Hasbara Doesn’t Bring It’s Best and Brightest to Discuss the USS Liberty Attack

It’s no big secret that Israel partisans and their lackeys both inside and outside the Beltway have hoped the Israeli military would have succeeded in its obvious aim of sinking our ship and ensuring no one survived. But we did survive. And have been telling our story for over 54 years. Now that people are listening, the grand Poo-Bah in Hasbara has decided they should become involved. To him we say, bring it on.

By Joe Meadors

Merrian-Webster doesn’t have a definition of “Hasbara” but Wikipedia describes it as a “Public-relations efforts to disseminate, abroad, positive information about the State of Israel and its actions.”

Out of all the members in the Hasbara stable, it’s obvious that @FalconApoda is the only one tasked with engaging on Twitter about the attack on the USS Liberty.

He has to the vast archive of information available to him in Israeli military archives but he has ignored that resource and chosen to go it alone.

Was it his choice? Maybe he just hasn’t gotten the word yet. “Stay away from the USS Liberty!”

“Don’t f*ck met me on this subject, boyo. You’re way over your head.” he warns a Tweeter hoping his lies and propaganda will go unchallenged.

He claims to have done extensive research about the attack but when offered eyewitness testimony from Americans who were there, he dismisses them as “lies.”

Bring it on @FalconApoda.

The most powerful military in the Middle East allied with the President of the United States couldn’t defeat us.

What chance do you and your colleagues in Hasbara have?