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.