June 8, 2013
The Wisdom Fund

June 8, 1967: The Day Israel Attacked the USS Liberty

The pattern set in 1967 -- covering up for Israeli aggression, remains a major contributor to U.S. problems in the Middle East

On June 8, 1967, the USS Liberty, was attacked by Israeli Air Force jet fighter aircraft and Israeli Navy motor torpedo boats. At the time of the attack, the ship was in international waters north of the Sinai Peninsula, about 29 miles northwest from the Egyptian city of Arish.

On the USS Liberty, 34 American servicemen were killed and 174 wounded.

Yet many Americans have no idea this attack ever happened. If they do, they have heard the prevailing myth that the attack was accidental.

Very few have heard the overwhelming evidence indicating that the attack was intentional, and that Israel intended to sink the ship altogether, along with everyone on board.

After getting away with this "act of war against the United States" (according to Admiral Thomas Moorer, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), many believe the Israeli government concluded that it could get away with anything.

For 40 years, survivors of the USS Liberty have been forbidden "to tell their story under oath to the American public." The cover-up of Israel's attack on the USS Liberty, begun under the Johnson administration, continues to this day.

What have successive U.S. administrations been covering up?

On the morning of June 8, the USS Liberty was secretly listening in on the Israelis who were then attacking Arab air bases from Damascus in Syria to Luxor in Egypt. The Israelis had occupied the Jordanian section of Jerusalem, and captured Sharm al-Sheikh.

And while the USS Liberty eavesdropped (Bamford, Body of Secrets): a scant dozen or so miles away, Israeli soldiers were butchering civilians and bound prisoners by the hundreds, a fact that the entire Israeli army leadership knew about and condoned, according to the army's own historian. . . . At the time, Israel was loudly proclaiming -- to the United States, to the United Nations, and to the world -- that it was the victim of Egyptian aggression . . . Israel's commanders would not have wanted tape recordings of evidence of the slaughters to wind up on desks at the White House, the UN, or the Washington Post.

The pattern set in 1967 -- covering up for Israeli aggression, remains a major contributor to U.S. problems in the Middle East.

USS Liberty Memorial

C. Patrick Quinlan, "The USS Liberty Makes Waves in Minnesota," Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, September/October 1993

Enver Masud, "Deadly Deception, Pretexts for War," The Wisdom Fund, July 30, 2001

"USS Liberty: Dead In The Water," BBC, 2002

[Despite the presence of more than 200 men eager to testify, the Navy Court of Inquiry inexplicably did not ask about deliberateness, and did not allow survivors to testify freely - nor did Congress or anyone else. Israel’s "Big Lie" was accepted at face value, and no questions were ever asked about whether the attack was deliberate or whether the Israeli story was true.--James Ennes, "Four Decades of Twisting Facts About Israel's Attack on the USS Liberty,", May-June 2007, pages 26-27]

Raffi Berg, "Why did Israel attack USS Liberty?,", June 8, 2007

"Sen McCain Confronted About USS Liberty Cover-up," May 31, 2012

[Liberty is among the most decorated ships for a single engagement in the entire history of the U.S. Navy. . . .

Legion bigwigs have torpedoed American Legion members' resolutions supporting the Liberty; prevented dissemination of information about the attack; refused to allow a booth by the Liberty Veterans Association at its 2013 national convention; and privately attempted to convince the Veterans of Foreign Wars to similarly prohibit a Liberty booth at its national convention.--Alison Weir, "American Legion Honchos Betray Liberty Veterans,", May 16, 2014]

The Day Israel Attacked America, Al Jazeera, November 3, 2014

Rosemary Pennington, "'The Most Incredible Story Never Told: LBJ's Order to Destroy the USS Liberty,", April 11, 2015

[The inquiry's senior legal counsel Captain Ward Boston, who subsequently declared the attack to be a "deliberate effort to sink an American ship and murder its entire crew," also described how "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."--Philip Giraldi, "Remembering the U.S.S. Liberty: The 50 year cover-up of a mass murder of U.S. servicemen orchestrated by Israel and its friends",, June 6, 2017]

Miriam Pensack, "Fifty Years Later, NSA Keeps Details of Israel's USS Liberty Attack Secret",, June 6, 2017

[the U.S. Senate has also approved a resolution celebrating the 50th anniversary of Israel's conquest of East Jerusalem. . . .

there has been no Senate resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of the bravery exhibited by the officers and crew of the USS Liberty as they were being slaughtered by the Israelis at the same time as Jerusalem was being "liberated."--Philip Giraldi, "Israel's Dirty Little Secret,", June 10, 2017]

Ofer Aderet, "'But Sir, It's an American Ship' 'Never Mind, Hit Her!',", July 11, 2017

Philip Giraldi, "'The American Legion finally calls for a congressional inquiry,", September 5, 2017

[I was Navy signalman on the USS Liberty, which was an electronic intelligence-gathering ship.--Medea Benjamin, "'Why Is a Retired Accountant From Texas Risking His Life To Sail to Gaza?,", July 14, 2018]

Ralph Lopez, "'American Legion Joins VFW in Calling for Congressional Investigation of Israel's Attack on USS Liberty,", December 29, 2018

Jeremy Kuzmarov, "'U.S. Government Withholding Hundreds of Pages About Deadly 1967 Israeli Attack on U.S. Navy Ship,", August 16, 2021

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