Help Wanted: USS Liberty Whistleblower

Help Wanted: USS Liberty Whistleblower

In 1979 with the publication of Assault on the Liberty, Jim Ennes became the first USS Liberty whistleblower.  In 1982 the survivors of the USS Liberty became whistleblowers followed closely by many high-ranking US Navy officers.

Now it’s your turn.

by Joe Meadors

We’re looking for a Whistleblower who can tell us what happened between the time the US Navy Court of Inquiry was ordered and the publication of the Court of Inquiry Report.

It’s an old story.  One we’ve told many times. A US Navy ship is attacked in international waters by unmarked aircraft.  Her radios are jammed on both US Navy tactical and international maritime distress frequencies.  Attacking torpedo boats deliberately machine-gun her serviceable life rafts that were dropped over the side in anticipation of abandoning ship.  They then circle the torpedoed and burning ship while firing from very close range at USS Liberty crewmen who ventured topside to help their wounded shipmates who were trapped and unable to move below decks.  After they cease hostilities, the torpedo boats depart the scene immediately only to return some 90 minutes later with an offer of assistance in an obvious attempt to be able to claim they were coming to drive off the aggressors. In the middle of this, The White House was informed of the attack but orders the rescue aircraft recalled because LBJ “didn’t want to embarrass an ally.” Continuing the charade of concern, the US Navy orders a Court of Inquiry to look into “all aspects of the attack.” The Court takes over where LBJ left off:

  • They remove from the record any evidence of Lloyd Painter’s testimony of his witnessing the deliberate machine gunning of our life rafts in the water.
  • They refuse to hear the testimony of Glenn Oliphant after they learn that he, too, witnessed the deliberate machine gunning of our life rafts in the water.
  • They ask for and receive written statements from some 65 USS Liberty crewmen but refuse to enter them into evidence.
  • They refuse to investigate the decision to obey LBJ’s order to recall the rescue aircraft despite it being unlawful and a capital violation of Article 99 of the UCMJ.
  • The Convening Authority ignores the recommendation of his Legal Advisor and attaches his limited endorsement.
We’ve done everything we can think of to try to convince the US government to conduct a proper investigation of the attack on our ship. We know that there are others who were involved in the process that culminated in the publication of the US Navy Court of Inquiry Report. We need them to come forward and tell how they were involved in the process and what they witnessed.  I’m thinking specifically of the yeomen who served as court reporters who took the dictation of the verbatim testimony and who were involved in transcribing that testimony which involved removing a portion of Lloyd Painter’s testimony from the record. The position of whistleblower comes without monetary compensation.  What you will be able to do is look yourself in the mirror in the morning knowing that you have finally come forward and unburdened yourself of this cross you have carried for these past 52 years. Applicants can indicate their interest in this position by emailing [email protected].