How Will Historians Study the USS Liberty Attack?

Merriam-Webster defines “history” “as a chronological record of significant events (such as those affecting a nation or institution) often including an explanation of their causes” and “events that form the subject matter of a history”

They also define “cover-up” as “a usually concerted effort to keep an illegal or unethical act or situation from being made public”

by Joe Meadors

What happens when a few generations from now someone learns about the attack on the USS Liberty and does a bit of research to find out what happened? What sources will be available to them?

The US government?

The DoD and every Member of Congress will point to the US Navy Court of Inquiry Report and the record in the Naval History and Heritage Command as the gold standard of what happened during the attack.

Historians will have access to the US Navy Court of Inquiry Report.

Available evidence combines to indicate the attack on LIBERTY on 8 June was in fact a case of mistaken identity.

US Navy Court of Inquiry Finding of Fact Number One

But they won’t have access to statements from the Members of the Court of Inquiry that bring into question that Finding of Fact. Not on any US government website is Ward Boston’s statement:

I know from personal conversations I had with Admiral Kidd 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.

Capt. Ward Boston, Legal Advisor to the US Navy Court of Inquiry Investigating USS Liberty Attack

They will also be presented with the official US Navy Historian’s position that IS on an official US Navy website:

It involves the mistaken attack by four Israeli jet fighters and three motor torpedo boats (MTB) on the USS Liberty (AGTR-5), which was conducting an intelligence collection mission in international waters off the north coast of the Sinai Peninsula in the midst of the Six-Day Arab-Israeli War. (Emphasis Added)

H-Gram 007 Written by Samuel Cox Senior Executive Service Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (Retired) Director, Naval History and Heritage Command, Curator of the Navy

How about the Israeli government?

The documentation published to the public in the IDF archives is what is in our database. We could not find any additional documentation on the subject.

Limor Itzhak, Director of the public unit, I.D.F & Defense Establishment archives, Ministry of Defense in a Sept. 14, 2021 Email to the Author

We already have the documents included in the IDF Archives posted to our Archive but they’re literally worthless for an effort to determine what happened.

How do you create the honest historical record of an attack on a US Navy ship?

Do it the same way we did for the attacks on the USS Pueblo, USS Stark, USS Cole and the 1983 bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut.

I may be going out on a limb here, but I view the reaction of Congress to the attack on our ship as a defining moment in the relationship between members of Congress and our military.

In the past many could claim to support the military but oppose the action they are involved in.

Now they ignore the action we were involved in and refuse to honor, support, and even listen to those of us who were involved with the attack on the USS Liberty.

They are trying to bury the attack—and their response to the attack—in the dustbin of history.

Ignore USS Liberty Survivors. Refuse to investigate the attack. Don’t make any complete, official and honest record of the attack.

The attack on the USS Liberty is on the verge of disappearing right before our eyes. We cannot allow that to happen.

Contact your Congressional Delegation and tell them convene a Congressional investigation of the attack on the USS Liberty. Ask them to create an official record of the attack.

54 Years After the Attack Congress Continues to Lie to Their Constituents

It’s been over 54 years since the attack. In the intervening years the US government hasn’t bothered to investigate the attack on our ship. Despite this verifiable fact, Members of Congress have lied to their constituents about the USS Liberty Attack by claiming that numerous investigations of the attack have been conducted by the US government. Now Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer enters the picture and lies to his constituent.

by Joe Meadors

Members of Congress, have you no shame? Did you think we’d allow you to lie about the US government’s investigation of the attack and let you get away with it? Do Senate ethics rules allow you to lie to your constituency when that lie is easily proven to be just that — a lie? The US government has never investigated the attack on our ship. This has been verified by the Congressional Research Service, the National Archive and Records Administration as well as the Historians of both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate. To claim otherwise is admitting you take your talking points not from Americans who were aboard the USS Liberty and who can provide eyewitness testimony but from Israel partisans who have been spreading the lie of multiple US government investigations of the attack for decades.
Senator Chuck Schumer By U.S. Senate Photographic Studio/Jeff McEvoy
I have duplicated below an email received from one of Senator Chuck Schumer’s constituents. In it, he lies to this constituent. To show Mr. Schumer for the liar he is, we recommend asking him for a copy of the investigations he claims were performed. Email your Congressional Delegation and have them send you a copy of Congressional Investigation of the Attack. http://bit.ly/2ZxgqTI.They will be unable to provide you with any because it doesn’t exist. Email your Congressional Delegation and have them ask Congressional Research Service to send a copy of the US government investigation of the attack. http://bit.ly/2JYf29p.The CRS will tell you that they cannot find any reference to a US government investigation of the attack. Email the Congressional Historians and have them send you a copy of Congressional Investigation of Attack. http://bit.ly/2XrJwXe. Neither Congressional Historian will be able to provide you with a copy of a Congressional investigation of the attack since they cannot find any in the records available to them. From: Senator Schumer <senator@schumer.senate.gov> Date: Tue, Jul 27, 2021, 3:07 PM Subject: A message from Senator Charles E. Schumer Thank you for contacting me to express your concern with the 1967 attack targeting the USS Liberty. I share your concerns. The USS Liberty was a technical research ship that belonged to the United States Navy from 1963 to 1968. On June 8, 1967, while conducting an intelligence collection mission near the Sinai Peninsula in the Mediterranean Sea, the ship was mistakenly attacked by Israeli fighter jets and torpedo boats, killing 34 crewmembers and wounding 171 more. Israel-which was in the midst of the Six-Day War against six Middle Eastern countries-apologized for the tragic accident, explaining that the Israeli military had incorrectly identified the USS Liberty to be an Egyptian ship. Inquiries performed by both the Israeli and U.S. governments arrived also concluded that the attack was accidental, caused by Israeli confusion about the ship’s identity. We must never forget that the freedom enjoyed by so many Americans is possible only because of sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed forces. Throughout my career, I have been a steadfast supporter of honoring our beloved service members and those who died in the line of duty. That is why I, alongside several of my fellow Senators, sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, urging him to add to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial the names of 74 sailors who were killed while serving aboard the USS Frank E. Evans on June 3, 1969. Although investigations of the USS Liberty attack and financial compensation to the families of the 34 fallen crewmembers were completed, I will continue to keep your concerns in mind as conversations about potential future probes take place. I will also continue fighting to ensure that all veterans receive the recognition they so greatly deserve, and that the sacrifices they made to protect our country are never forgotten. Again, thank you for contacting me. Please keep in touch with your thoughts and opinions. Sincerely, Charles E. Schumer United States Senator Please do not respond to this email. To send another message please visit my website at https://www.schumer.senate.gov/contact/email-chuck . Thank you

Congressional Research Service: “unable to locate a copy of a Congressional investigation into the USS Liberty incident”

At least there’s one element of the US government that is not afraid of telling the truth about the cover-up of the attack on the USS Liberty.

by Joe Meadors

According to its website the purpose of the Congressional Research Service is “to ensure that Members of the House and Senate have available the best possible information and analysis on which to base the policy decisions the American people have elected them to make.  In all its work, CRS analysts are governed by requirements for confidentiality, timeliness, accuracy, objectivity, balance, and nonpartisanship.”Congressional_Research_Service The CRS prides itself as being “Confidential, Authoritative, Objective and Nonpartisan.” This is in stark contrast to Wikipedia where anyone can create and edit an article while at the same time their guidelines claim their articles present a Neutral Point of View, contain information from Reliable Sources, and do not contain Original Research. Over 20 years ago a mutual friend introduced me to Clyde Mark.  Clyde was a Research Librarian at the Congressional Research Service.  He was in the CRS on June 8, 1967, when the USS Liberty was attacked and was the person to whom questions from Members of Congress concerning the attack would be submitted for his authoritative, objective and nonpartisan response. We entered the offices of the CRS through a nondescript door in the Library of Congress and were directed into one of their conference rooms. Our meeting with Mark was short.  He was as familiar with the attack and continuing coverup of the attack as we were. My final question to Mark:  “Has the US government conducted an investigation of the attack on the USS Liberty?” His response was immediate and emphatic:  “No!” Unfortunately, he couldn’t make that statement officially.  The Congressional Research Service can only respond officially to questions that come from a Member of Congress. The task in front us was clear cut.  Find a Member of Congress to ask the CRS the question. Easier said than done.  It’s taken over 20 years and countless requests to many Members of Congress.  For some reason they are afraid of even asking the question.  Perhaps due to the fact that much of their boilerplate responses to their constituents who ask concerning the USS Liberty is sourced from the Israeli government and her supporters instead of people who were there and who were American victims of the attack. After 20 years we have a partial answer from the CRS:
From: Congressional Contact Sent: Friday, August 7, 2020 4:12 PM Subject: USS Liberty Congressional Investigation This email is in response to your request for information about a copy of the Congressional investigation on the USS Liberty attack that occurred on June 8, 1967. I was unable to locate a copy of a Congressional investigation into the USS Liberty incident. . . . I hope that you find this information helpful. Research Librarian Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Division Congressional Research Service
The CRS response is admittedly limited to a strict reading of the Congressional request.  But it’s a welcome departure from no Congressional request at all. We now know officially that Congress has not investigated the attack on our ship.  Our effort now needs to be focused on getting the CRS to admit publicly that no one in the entire US government has investigated the attack.

USS Liberty: Why Investigate the Attack on a US Navy Ship?

USS Liberty: Why Investigate the Attack on a US Navy Ship?

Congressional investigations of the attacks on the USS Pueblo, USS Stark and USS Cole as well as the 1982 bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut were initiated almost immediately following each of those attacks.

The Israeli’s attacked the USS Liberty over 19,100 days ago with no Congressional investigation in sight.

What effect has Congress’ refusal to investigate the attack on the USS Liberty had on the survivors of the attack, our families and the families of our 34 fallen shipmates?

Do Members of Congress even care?  Hint: No!

by Joe Meadors

We’ve been approached by a staff member of a Member of Congress who solicited my input to be presented to his boss regarding the attack on the USS Liberty and the possibility of a Congressional investigation of the attack. In my email response to him I addressed the questions he posed as well as a question posed in an attachment he included.  To paraphrase his main question, “The attack happened over 52 years ago, why investigate the attack in the first place and why investigate now?” My response follows:
Thank you for reaching out to me. To get directly to the questions you asked. No Member of Congress (now or previous) has ever indicated an interest in a Congressional investigation of the attack on our ship.  In fact, they are so averse to anything USS Liberty that no Member of Congress has ever attended the annual memorial service we hold in Washington, DC.  Proof that Members of Congress perform a litmus test to determine whether or not the sacrifice of American KIA’s are worth publicly honoring. I know of nothing in the Constitution or statutes that requires Congress to conduct an investigation of the attack. That said, historically Congress has investigated all attacks on a US Navy ship since the end of World War II.  The attacks on the USS Pueblo, USS Stark and USS Cole have all been the subject of a Congressional investigation.  As have been the bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut and the attack on the SS Mayaguez. The attack on the USS Liberty is the only attack on a US Navy ship not to be the subject of a Congressional investigation since the end of WWII. This despite the facts that the attack included:
  • Unmarked aircraft;
  • Jamming of our radios on both US Navy tactical and international maritime distress frequencies;
  • Deliberate machine gunning of serviceable life rafts we had dropped over the side in anticipation of abandoning ship;
  • Slow circling of our torpedoed and burning ship by attacking torpedo boats as they fired from very close range at USS Liberty crewmen who ventured out to help our wounded shipmates trapped topside; and,
  • The decision of the attacking torpedo boats to depart the scene immediately after they ceased hostilities only to return some 90 minutes later in an obvious attempt to be able to claim they were coming to our assistance to drive off the aggressors.  International law obligates the aggressor to offer aid immediately after they cease hostilities, not 90 minutes later.
The Department of Defense, on the other hand, IS under an obligation to conduct an investigation.  Under the DoD’s Law of War Program (see link at http://bit.ly/2Natc7t) the Department of Defense is obligated “to investigate all allegations of war crimes whether committed by or against the United States.”  This is not a suggestion or recommendation.  It is an obligation. On June 8, 2005 we submitted “A Report: War Crimes Committed Against U.S. Military Personnel, June 8, 1967” to the Department of Defense. (see link at http://bit.ly/2Natc7t). The Department of Defense responded by claiming that the Court of Inquiry that they conducted shortly after the attack satisfied their obligation under their Law of War Program. Unfortunately, the independent Congressional Research Service disagrees with the DoD’s position. Some 25 years ago I had the opportunity, with the help of a mutual friend, to sit down with Mr. Clyde Mark, a Researcher with the Congressional Research Service. Mr. Mark was in the CRS when the ship was attacked and was the researcher to whom USS Liberty-related questions would be submitted to for response. I asked Clyde the direct question, “Has the US government conducted an investigation of the attack on the USS Liberty?” His response was immediate and emphatic.  “No.” In order for his response to be officially from the CRS, the question must be posed by a Member of Congress.  No Member of Congress will ask.  I know they won’t because I have asked them to – repeatedly – and they have refused. Members of Congress insist there has been an investigation of the attack on our ship. The Department of Defense insists there has been an investigation of the attack on our ship. The Congressional Research Service insists there has been NO investigation of the attack on our ship. Will you ask the CRS the question? Will I participate in a conference call with the Congressman? That depends.  And it should be noted that it comes at a personal price. I have been invested in the effort to persuade Congress and the DoD that an attack on a US Navy ship warrants a complete and comprehensive public US government simply because it happened since before the USS Liberty Veterans Association was created in June, 1982. There was a time when I could pursue that goal dispassionately.  Almost like the attack happened to someone else. That wall was destroyed years ago. Now I protect myself by confining my actions to the protection of a computer and word processor.  Unlike the Congressmen and their staffers I have interfaced with over the past decades, my computer doesn’t tell me anything I want to hear or make promises it doesn’t have any intention of honoring just to get me out of the office. To anticipate a question routinely asked during meetings with Congressmen:  Why after over 52 years should we now conduct an investigation of the attack on the USS Liberty? The answer is complicated and simple at the same time:
  • It happened.  That alone should suffice.  It worked for the attacks on the USS Pueblo, USS Stark and USS Cole as well as the 1982 bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut.  Not so for the attack on the USS Liberty;
  • War Crimes were committed by and against the United States during the attack;
  • While we were still under attack and calling for help, LBJ personally ordered the recall of two flights of rescue aircraft that had been launched to come to our aid and would have arrived in time to drive off the torpedo boats, saving the lives of 25 of our shipmates;
  • The US government, by its refusal to conduct an investigation of the attack, has allowed War Crimes to be committed against the United States with impunity;
  • The investigation should be expanded far beyond the attack to include a review of the reason why the US government has not conducted an investigation of the attack despite the pleadings of USS Liberty survivors who relate the account that includes violations of the Geneva Convention, the Laws of War, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice; and,
  • The families of our fallen shipmates have lived since June 8, 1967, with the knowledge that the US government thinks so little of the sacrifice of their sons or fathers that it won’t bother to determine the facts of the attack nor will they attend a memorial service honoring the sacrifice of their loved ones even when that memorial service is held literally in their back yard.
In the attachment you included with your email the question is asked, “Why did the government of Israel knowingly attack the crew and ship of the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967?” The question is one that should be addressed during the US government investigation we have been advocating for for decades.  The US Navy Court of Inquiry was directed NOT to pursue that question even though it was clearly within the scope as described by ADM John S. McCain, Jr. the Convening Authority. The NSA has acknowledged the existence of voice tapes that may address that question although they refuse to release the tapes referenced in their message.  The referenced message is at https://usslibertyveterans.org/files/station_has_voice_tapes.pdf.  Please help us by asking the NSA to release of the voice tapes referenced in the NSA message. My response to your email has been far longer than I anticipated when I began and has covered far more material than anyone can include in a brief, 5-minute conference call with a Member of Congress. If it’s all the same to you, my preference would be to allow these comments to be submitted for consideration in lieu of the phone call. I would also appreciate the courtesy of a written response from the Congressman. If you have any other questions or want any further information, please don’t hesitate to get back in touch with us. Warmest regards, Joe Meadors, USS Liberty Survivor Director of Operations USS Liberty Veterans Association Email: joe@ussliberty.com https://usslibertyveterans.org https://usslibertyveterans.blog https://usslibertydocuments.info NEW! Library of All USS Liberty-Related Information (Under Construction)  
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