By Ginny Garner  

“If the truth about the attack on the USS Liberty isn’t told to the American public, our Republic will fall. When your own government sets you up to be murdered, this speaks to the influence the Zionist state of Israel has with our politicians. Not one president from LBJ to Biden has lifted a finger nor has the Congress.”—Phil Tourney, USS Liberty attack survivor.  

Now is the best time for Americans to demand an open and honest congressional investigation of the June 8, 1967 unprovoked and deliberate attack on the USS Liberty by the Israeli military. The brutal assault that killed 34 American sailors and wounded another 174 of their shipmates was then covered up by Commander-in-Chief President Lyndon B. Johnson, military leadership, and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.

Many survivors and other analysts now conclude the attack was a planned false flag intended to sink the ship and kill all aboard as a pretext to gain public support for the US to join Israel in its battle against Egypt during the Six Day War. This is when Israel captured Gaza, the West Bank and the Golan Heights.

Eleven USS Liberty survivors, their wives and children, widows and children of the crew and supporters of the cause for justice for the USS Liberty traveled from all over America to gather in Arlington, Virginia for their annual reunion on June 7-8. For the first time, Arlington National Cemetery granted the survivors’ request for a presentation by the Navy color guard, the playing of Taps, and a Navy chaplain to lead a prayer at the solemn ceremony at the gravesite of the USS Liberty Navy crew blown to bits by a torpedo, and slaughtered with napalm, cannon and gunfire.

The Israeli government’s genocidal actions against the Palestinians in Gaza since October 7, and the US government’s funding of weapons and arms to commit these atrocities, are awakening many who previously were incapable of psychologically processing that Israel, supposedly America’s ally, could plan and perpetrate a deadly attack on an American ship, and that the US government could be an accomplice to this abhorrent betrayal.

Author James Bamford, keynote speaker at the reunion banquet, said the bloody assault marked the point when the Israeli lobby, principally AIPAC, went into high gear to influence and control the US government.

In this photo, USS Liberty survivors stand behind the gravestone for their murdered shipmates. The survivors are left to right: Pat O’Malley, Rodney Dally, Wayne Hildebrand, Smitty Smith, Terry McFarland, Phil Tourney, Jim Cavanaugh, Moe Shafer, Larry Bowen, Ernest Gallo and Ed Bechtel.

The gravestone lists only six of the 34 sailors who were killed due to the political pressure to understate the fatalities.

The reunion participants also paid their respects at the headstone of the ship’s captain.

The next day on June 9th a monument to the USS Liberty created by Cathy Meskel was dedicated in Norfolk, VA.

The survivors and their families endure to this day the anguish and trauma of the horrifically violent attack. They live with the pain and hurt of the shockingly bloody nightmarish slaughter and the knowledge that their own government betrayed them.

Tourney has written three books about the attack and is president of the USS Liberty Veterans Association.

“This reunion has meant as much to me as any previous year,” Tourney said. “Today to see the outpouring of support, including from young people, and to feel the spiritual energy in the room is inspiring.”

The other survivors present at the reunion were Moe Shafer, Ed Bechtel, Ernest Gallo, Larry Bowen, Terry McFarland, “Smitty” Smith, Wayne Hildebrand, Rodney Dally, Pat O’Malley  and Jim Cavanaugh. Ron Kukal and Dan Pageler joined the group via live video. Ten survivors passed away this year while poor health and finances prevented other survivors from attending the reunion.

Bamford, author of “Body of Secrets” which features a chapter on the USS Liberty attack, and “The Puzzle Palace,” noted no Hebrew interpreters were on the USS Liberty, a guarantee no one could figure out what the Israelis were talking about during their attack on Egypt.

Rick Wiles, creator of the masterpiece four-hour USS Liberty documentary “Sacrificing Liberty” also attended the event. The film tells the heart-wrenching story of the attack from the perspective of the survivors and features archival film footage and photographs. To buy a copy of the CDs:

To watch it:

To learn more about this crucially important chapter of American history, national security and foreign policy, here is an interview with survivors Larry Bowen, Joe Meadors and Phil Tourney.